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A “Get Smart” Opportunity for Alliance Managers—ASAP Smart Cities Summit in Brussels to Improve Partnering Practices for Industries and Planners

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Friday, May 1, 2015

In the last decade or so, we’ve incorporated Smartphones, cars, appliances, and other technologies into our daily lives. Now this technology and planning are merging at a mega-scale to create Smart Cities to form the best combinations of the smarts. Alliance managers have a mega-role in this trend, and the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals has jumped on the bandwagon with a ASAP EU Smart Cities event, in Brussels, Belgium, June 12, at the Brussels44Center, where attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to create smart alliances from master planners and technology gurus to develop best alliances practices for the future.

Annick De Swaef of Consensa Consulting, president of the BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) Chapter of ASAP in Brussels, and an ASAP EPP (Education Partner Provider) (see Q1 2015, Strategic Alliance Magazine, “Europe’s Alliance Evangelist,” Pg. 34) is on the cusp of this trend as moderator and local co-organizer of the event. “The purpose of the Smart Cities event is to bring together a variety of professionals involved in designing and implementing Smart Cities project consortia, alliances, and eco-systems,” she says. “The event aims to assemble different industries—from engineering and construction to telecom and technology.”

For more information and registration, visit http://www.strategic-alliances.org/page/smartcities .

The first global ASAP EU Smart Cities event of its kind will be attended by both international and local participants, as well as representatives from both large and small enterprises. The Smart Cities committee decided to locate the global event in Brussels because it’s the capital of the European Union and the European Commission and European Parliament are located at the center. The metropolitan is also home for many European agencies directly involved in Smart Cities programs across Europe. 

The event promises to provide some of the best Smart Cities experts in the industry, such as British architect and urban designer Kelvin Campbell, chair of Smart Urbanism, an open-source urban research and development organization; Dr. Henriette van Eijl, policy coordinator of the Directorate of “Innovative and Sustainable Mobility” in the European Commission's Directorate-general for Mobility and Transport (MOVE); Kim Möric, a renowned legal advisor in European administrative and public law, partner at DLA Piper UK LLP, and Chairman of the nonprofit organization “PPP Wallonie-Bruxelles: réseau de competences” (PPP Network).  For the schedule of events, visit http://www.strategic-alliances.org/page/smartcities . 

The European Union has launched an ambitious Investment Plan for Europe, worth €315 billion, to encourage investment in strategic projects, such as ones aimed at developing Smart Cities, De Swaef explains. “Different economic and societal challenges need to be tackled urgently in the coming decade in Europe. In one form or another most of these challenges relate to leveraging the existing housing, transport, energy, and digital infrastructure into sustainable drivers for growth and welfare. For ASAP, it’s the right timing to intensify the promotion of the alliance management discipline as a tangible added value for companies to participate successfully in Smart Cities initiatives across Europe.” 

ASAP sponsored two Smart Cities events in the United States last year in conjunction with Schneider Electric through the New England and Southeast Chapters. The global Smart Cities event is sponsored by ARCADIS, SAS Institute, and Schneider Electric.

The cost to attend is €200 for ASAP Members, and €450 for non-members click here to register today. If non-members join ASAP BEFORE registering for the event they will save €250 on their event registration.  Join ASAP online by clicking here or call Lori Gold, Director of Member Services at +1 781.562-1630 ext. 203.

Tags:  Alliance Management  alliance practices  Annick De Swaef  ARCADIS  ASAP EU Smart Cities  Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals  Brussels44Center  European Commission  European Union  SAS Institute  Schneider Electric  smart alliances  smart cities 

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Focusing on ‘Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,’ ASAP Issues Call for Topics and Presentations for 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference and 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference is once again shaping up to be the pivotal event of the year for partnering executives in health and life sciences. ASAP has issued its call for presenters and presentations for the event, which will be held Sept. 9-11, 2015 at The Revere Hotel Boston Common, and for the March 1-4, 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in National Harbor Maryland. 

In describing the focus of this year’s biopharma event, ASAP’s programs committee emphasized that the biopharma alliance executive’s job is more challenging than ever. “We lead increasingly complex and diverse collaborations spanning industries and sectors. As our industries relentlessly evolve and interconnect, success or failure—in a global ecosystem of pharma leaders, biotech innovators, service organizations, providers, agencies, academia, patient advocates, and more—now hinges on the adroit leadership of partnering executives.” 

The programs committee seeks a diversity of presentations on topics that address the challenges and opportunities facing today’s biopharma partnering executives and their organizations. Key questions that presenters are encouraged to address include: 

  • How we lead in a way that makes the difference? What does it take to be strategic and proactive—without losing a relentless focus on execution? How can we guide our organizations as they collaborate across boundaries—and operationalize brand new business models in an increasingly interconnected network of new and existing partners?
  • How can partnering executives seize opportunities and root out risks wherever we find them? How do we help our organizations “see around corners,” anticipate what’s next, and move forward confidently through continuously shifting business, societal, and regulatory landscapes.
  • What builds a rock-solid management foundation for partnering success? You can’t “wing it” with partnering and collaboration—so how can partnering executives utilize ASAP’s alliance management expertise, training, shared knowledge, certification, and community as key building blocks for their sustainable success.
  • How can partnering executives capture and deliver the value envisioned in every collaboration? 

The 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference will explore these and related questions, with the goal of helping partnering executives develop the perspective of visionary leadership and the expertise to act amidst uncertainty. Attendees at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference will enhance their management skills to engage stakeholders and integrate partnering throughout the business, fostering healthier outcomes for people and billions in stakeholder revenue for their biopharma organizations and ecosystems. 

It’s easier than ever to submit a topic for the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference—or for the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. There are even two submission processes—a simplified one taking less than five minutes, and a more detailed proposal that takes about 20 minutes. Click here and follow the directions for submission.

Tags:  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference  2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  academia  agencies  Alliance Expertise  biotech innovators  Call for Topics/Presentations  Ecosystem  global ecosystem of pharma leaders  health and life sciences  Leadership  partnering executives  providers  service organizations 

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Collaborations Can Work Together To Find the Holy Grail in Health Care Problems: Dr. Mark Rosenberg Addresses a Rapt Audience at the ASAP Summit on How to Discover the Gold

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The “Holy Grail” in health care is the golden promise of being able to eradicate a disease, pronounced Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president and CEO of The Task Force For Global Heath, based in Decatur, Georgia. As the director of the Task Force’s Center for Global Health Collaboration, he described one effort after another where collaboration served as a key component in successful global health-related achievements during his talk at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA. Drawing on his co-authored work Real Collaboration: What Global Health Needs to Succeed” (University of California Press, 2010) and its “Partnership Pathway,” he outlined the necessary steps to developing large-scale, effective global health projects. 

The Task Force’s collaborations are particularly instructive for alliance managers because they involve multiple partners working on massive projects – global and regional agencies, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and other nonprofits. In his talk “Fostering Real Collaboration: Lessons from Solving Global Health Problems,” he covered a range of circumstances where large coalitions tackled major health issues – from smallpox and river blindness to pedestrian accidents. The room was still as he described how his own personal experience with a tragic accident in his neighborhood impacted his career a number of years ago. 

“A young woman runner had just been hit by a car. She had a tremendous head injury, so I started doing CPR,” he explained. “An ambulance came … [but] she died in my hands there on the street – she had two children waiting for her at home. It turned out she was the most famous runner in Atlanta – she had run 17 marathons.” 

Rosenberg sent pictures of the accident scene to a European colleague, who responded, “Your street is designed to kill people.” Rosenberg recounted the conversation with his friend: “There are no speed bumps at intersections. You can’t see those white lines. You also have red lights—red lights kill people. The only collisions that are fatal are high-speed collisions and when the light turns yellow, what do people do? They speed up—and in Atlanta, they speed up when it turns red,” Rosenberg added, cutting the tension of his powerful story. His colleague continued, “That’s what creates fatal crashes. In Sweden, we got rid of all red light intersections and reduced fatalities by 90 percent in road traffic injuries.” 

“More than 1.5 million people are killed on roads every year, but we can reduce crashes to zero,” Rosenberg colleague believes. The goal in Sweden today is to eliminate them altogether, and that required a coalition. They recognized it was a multi-faceted problem involving transportation, road building and construction, education, police, and almost every area of the public sector. So they started by involving Volvo, which declared in a campaign that by 2020, no one will be killed by road crashes. The effort grew to such a degree that the European Union adopted a standard to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2050. 

The experience led to Rosenberg’s involvement in establishing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. He became its first permanent director in 1994 and also worked with Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias to organize a coalition to address road traffic injuries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. 

All coalitions undergo a series of steps to become successful, he pointed out. “The most important part of the journey is how you manage the alliance. Make your meetings productive and manage in a way so that there is trust.” The biggest obstacle to success is the failure to do these five things: Define your goal, define your strategy, clarify your structure, your membership, your management, he concluded. 

Tags:  “Real Collaboration: What Global Health Needs to S  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliance managers  Center for Global Health Collaboration  collaboration  Dr. Mark Rosenberg  high-speed collisions  large coalitions  manage the alliance  The Task Force For Global Heath  Volvo 

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Keeping Pace with the Internet of Things: Walking the Post-Disruption Walk While Transforming Partnerships

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Monday, March 23, 2015

Like Mickey’s brooms in the film “Fantasia,” the Internet of Things has multiplied into a labyrinth of complexity accompanied by its companion—disruption. “As disruptive technology takes hold, companies not used to partnering together are forced to do so, and it’s up to alliance managers to forge these alliances as leaders and define the swim lanes between companies,” said Tony DeSpirito, vice president of global alliances at Schneider Electric during the session on “Transforming Partnering Post Disruption” at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA. 

 

“The greatest challenge we are facing right now as we look forward strategically is issues around the Internet of Things—I’m talking about control systems that operate in the infrastructure. It’s forcing Schneider to partner with different companies we’re not used to. We are being forced to partner with folks that own the digital world. For us, every day, it’s how do we connect the physical world with the digital world? How do we connect Schneider Electric with IBM?” he concluded.

 

For the company worth $30 billion (US) and its 15-person global alliance team, it’s a major puzzle. “Alliance is not core to the strategy of Schneider,” he admits, but digital disruption has forced the company to add an alliance manager to the corporate executive committee.

 

Schneider’s challenge points out a critical alliance question: How do we lead with a velocity of change that is happening at such a rate that is not business as usual? asks  Lorin Coles, CSAP and CEO of the consulting and training company Alliancesphere. “Not doing anything is not acceptable. Companies like IBM are reorganizing from top to bottom. Other companies are trying to change customer buying behavior. If we can solve this customer problem, then the ecosystems and partners support that.”

 

Don’t be afraid. Embrace the change,” chimed in Laura Voglino, general manager of IBM’s ecosystems and social business, who has experienced major disruption and transition at IBM. “It will take you to great things on a personal level because it keeps you vital and great for your companies and in the market.”

 

IBM changed the whole cloud structure with a huge focus and substantial team, she explains. “What really caught us by surprise was the velocity of the transformation and adoption.”

 

More than 90 percent of budgets in data centers are being put into cloud, she adds. The buying behavior of clients is changing, and there is a much greater focus on developers. “We needed to change our view of partnership to catch those cloud developers. We needed to open the scope to have venture capitalists. We needed to work with startups. These guys are bringing a lot of innovation that our clients are very thirsty for. Every time we think of alliances we think of Apple and IBM. But there’s a different level, a different dynamic. We just announced Citibank and IBM partnering, going to the market to activate developers to serve Citibank. This is a different system.”

 

We needed to get people enthusiastic about the start-up guys, ask what the vision is, and ask how to break the inertia of the immediate results. “Inertia is the worst enemy. When you have disruption, the worse you do during disruption time, the better it is to change,” she concludes.

 

With the Internet of Things, if you don’t get revenue, look at the activity or pipeline. And if you don’t have that, then look at lighthouse accounts—those accounts that will bring you revenue in 2016-2018.  “It’s incumbent upon us to stand up and show true leadership. As alliance managers, to be leaders you need to say 100 times to the same people, you will see revenue!” says DeSpirito.  “We don’t need to be the fastest bear. The winner of the Internet of Things is a group of kids in China that developed a remote control way to control forest fires. All of the innovation we are talking about is API [Application Programming Interface].”

Tags:  alliance managers  Alliancesphere  API  Apple  Citibank  cloud  disruption  IBM  Internet of things  Laura Voglino  Lorin Coles  Schneider Electric  start-ups  Tony DeSpirito 

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Jumpstarting and Invigorating Partnerships One Country at a Time: Medifast’s Success Tactics in Global Fight Against Obesity Include Playing Soccer with the CEOs

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Medifast has used a lot of jumping, starting, and winning goals in its global fight against obesity. The strategy has resulted in robust health and a rosy future for the company that produces a clinically tested, portioncontrolled weight management program. Fortune Magazine cited Medifast as the fastest growing company in 2010.

 

“Our brand awareness is now up to 40 percent. When I first started, it was in the teens,” said Brian Lloyd, CSAP, executive vice president of international & business Development, during his session “One Word to Jumpstart or Re-invigorate Your International Growth Strategy: Partnership” at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA. 

 

International partnerships are providing a huge boost for Medifast in its step-by-step efforts to expand its global footprint. “From an international standpoint, we are trying to become the partner of choice,” said Lloyd. That requires getting partners onboard in their global “mission to drive people to make them healthy,” he added. “Mexico is now number one in obesity, and the US is number two. We saw an opportunity to expand by partnering with a pharmaceutical company in Mexico.” 

 

Key to the success of that partnership is cultural understanding. In one country, playing soccer with the CEO became an inroad for success, and it now comes up every time he visits the office. “What happens outside of the office is just as important as what happens inside the office,” he emphasized.

 

Clear communication is also key. Language barriers can turn into misunderstandings and kill an otherwise solid collaboration. Addressing the flaw in hiring talent was critical when he first came onboard with Medifast: “They didn’t have anyone in key roles who could speak Spanish.”

 

The company invested in more Spanish speakers and there is now a monthly report that includes languages spoken by employees. The partners also invested in English classes. Medifast expanded its mission to Central and South America, as well as adding a new partner is Canada. “You could say they are a competitor of ours, but we have been able to identify the collaboration and make it a win-win,” he said of that partnership.

 

Health tracking devices, such as Fitbit, are valuable expansion tools for Medifast. He attributes Weight Watchers’ loss of 40 percent in value to not adding similar apps. Other steps taken to increase profitability are: 

  • Weight control centers where clients see someone weekly - a kind of “Cadillac” where you pay a bit more
  • Medical providers and tools that expand services, hospitals, health systems supporting the process, and leading cardiologists
  • Technology partnerships to help drive consumer retention and engagement 

Lloyd left the large audience with his “Top Ten Key Takeaways”:

  • Getting C-level buy-in means more than getting their approval to enter an alliance – active engagement is required and ongoing
  • What happens outside the office can be just as important as what happens inside the office – enable trust and shared vision
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • You will run into problems, gaps & delays – so plan for them!
  • Understand the “nuances” of cultural impacts: both geographically and the partner company’s cultural impacts
  • Be mindful of timetables and their pace of business (i.e., while we may be running they plan to walk)
  • Deliver on the quarterly metrics, but have a 1-2 year vision for future expansion and growth
  • Resolve conflicts early: communicate and implement learning loops
  • Document everything! Turnover happens as well as issues arise
  • Be a Change Agent! Empower others through knowledge & opportunity

Tags:  Brian Lloyd  Canada  Central America  ChangeAgent  cultural impacts  Fitbit  international partnerships  Medifast  Mexico  South America  Weight Watchers 

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