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‘Building Corporate Capability for Collaboration’: Pre-Summit Workshop Attendees Assess their Organizations’ Readiness for the ISO 44001 Standard for Business Collaboration

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

If you think your organization meets a certifiably high standard of collaboration excellence just because you’re an ASAP member and employing best practices—well, you just might be right. On Monday, March 26, several dozen ASAP Global Alliance Summit attendees were able to validate their assumptions and measure the level of their organization’s collaborative capability against the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) 44001 standard for business collaboration and ASAP’s Handbook of Alliance Management. Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, principal of Phoenix Consulting Group, and Parth Amin, CSAP, principal of Alliance Dynamics, LLC, presented an in-depth ISO 44001 preconference workshop at the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA.

“What is the standard? People tell me you can’t standardize a relationship—they are all so different,” Watenpaugh noted in her opening comments. “And this is true—but we know from ASAP that there is a common life cycle and approaches that make alliances more successful.” More to the point, she continued, “It’s a framework, not a rigid process. It doesn’t tell you how to have a process or governance, it just tells that you need to address that.” The standard is designed for broad applicability, she added. “It enables organizations of all sizes—you can be a two-person organization and certify.” Regardless of organization size, when two or more organizations partner, “having a common model, language, framework, makes partnering more successful because it reduces friction.”

The ISO 44001 standard “also recognizes cultural differences” and, “as a standard, it’s very unique in promoting collaborative behavior,” Watenpaugh said. “Most standards are about processes, how you manage those processes, and that’s part of it as well—but there is high emphasis on having collaborative behavior and culture.”

The first part of the 90-minute session focused on how ASAP certification and best practices complement and accelerate ISO certification. Watenpaugh and Amin walked workshop participants through a collaborative maturity model based on the fusion of the ISO Standard and the ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management: A Practitioner’s Guide. Amin discussed new tools and then had attendees utilize a live assessment app that, based on the responses, scored their organizations’ ability to deliver high-performing collaborations. Attendees also received (on a memory stick) a comprehensive implementation guide that maps the ISO 44001 standard to the ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management.

Amin, an evangelist for the ISO standard who has worked closely with ASAP partner New Information Paradigms to develop the assessment tool, emphasized “the importance of relationships to CEOs.” He and Watenpaugh—leader the US technical advisory group for the ISO standard who previously led the revamping of the ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management several years ago—addressed, from an enterprise perspective, why relationships struggle in practice. “Getting value from collaboration is pretty hard,” Amin said. Amin and Watenpaugh talked about how a standard helps to get that value—on an individual, organizational, and partner level—and how ASAP best practices and certification contribute to the standards.

Assessing Readiness for ISO 44001
Amin and Watenpaugh walked through “the initial steps for certification—focusing on the assessing your organization’s readiness and the assessment tool itself,” said Amin, referring to a 20-question assessment app developed by the UK-based New Information Paradigms. Participants then roll up their sleeves for the remainder of the session to “do the assessment live, see their scores, talk about what were some of the ‘ah ha’ moments and surprises,” Amin said, noting that a diverse group of executives participated in the session. “We have broad range of industries represented—from academia, finance, medical device, pharma, high tech, etc.—and a broad range of executive levels—CEOs,  directors, managers, and so on,” he said.

Amin and Watenpaugh “brainstormed on how best to lead our session,” Amin said. “Should it be educational or interactive? We figured it would be something of both, instead of us preaching the whole hour.”

See John W. DeWitt’s recent feature article in the February issue of eSAM Plus for more about the ISO 44001 standard, including excerpts from the February 15, 2018 ASAP Netcast Webinar on the topic with Watenpaugh, Amin, and Cisco collaboration guru Ron Ricci, who discussed “Is Your CEO Challenging You to Go Faster? Why a Collaboration Standard Can Help.”

Tags:  Alliance Dynamics  alliance management  alliances  ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management  certification  International Standards Organization’s (ISO) 44001  Norma Watenpaugh  Parth Amin  Phoenix Consulting Group  standardize a relationship 

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