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New ASAP Workshop Offers Toolbox for Adapting to Industry Change with an Agile, Lean Alliance Management Practice

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 8, 2016

“Do the people in your company really understand alliance management?” That was a key question Lynda McDermott, CA-AM, president of EquiPro International, a consulting and coaching company specializing in leadership, team, and business development for Fortune 500 and medium-size companies, posed during the workshop “Lean and Agile: Next Generation Alliance Management” at the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference Sept. 7-9: “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” at the Revere Hotel Boston Common, Boston. 

“No-o-o-o-o!” came the resounding response throughout the room. 

The new instructive workshop is designed to improve the role of alliance managers and familiarize participants with what’s needed today to streamline their alliance management practice. Co-facilitated by Annick De Swaef, CSAP, managing partner of Consensa Consulting, it addresses pressing industry changes, such as the impact of digitalization and cross-industry partnering, through basic questions and key objectives such as: 

  • Identifying that your team’s current alliance best practices and skills are future-
  • Assessing if these practices and skills are lean and agile

 The facilitators focused on the three practices they consider critical to a successful partnership: Framework, team dynamics, staying lean and agile. 

For a successful framework, your team needs to be aware of strategic investment, the alliance lifecycle, value co-creation, and alliance governance, McDermott said.

“So many clients don’t understand alliance governance. It’s about all the people in the room, different experiences, different cultures, and how I can service this team so we can come together in this challenge,” she added. 

Participants at tables were then asked to take part in an interactive game with building blocks, and McDermott linked the unique outcomes of each group to the reality many alliance teams face. “What you think is an alliance may not be what someone else thinks looks like an alliance,” she said. “We are trying to take the burden off of you of being the sole person responsible for the success of the alliance.” 

 “Poor implementation of the governance structure is the No. 1 reason alliances fail, according to the research,” she added. “Never assume that what you know is what everybody else knows. Your team members need to be able to see the big picture and how alliances fit into corporate strategy. It’s important that you provide sufficient learning material and experiences to other members of the team.” 

She then probed another key question: “In general, do you think collaboration is a skill that comes naturally to people?” 

“No-o-o-o!” came the cacophonic response again. 

“Toddlers don’t collaborate. They have sandbox issues,” she responded. “It depends on how you’ve been socialized. And people have their own points of view and agenda. But you can learn how to get better.” 

Fundamental to good team dynamics is the concept of the ladder of trust; sensitivity to cultural differences; a networked organization; and collaborative skills, De Swaef added. Pay attention to spoilers of those healthy team dynamics, such as: 

  • A lack of trust
  • Communication that is not always open, which could be cultural
  • Ill-defined responsibilities
  • Differences in company sizes, power struggles

“An alliance manager is not a therapist. Never assume people will behave collaboratively,” she said. “Make sure you create those skills in a safe setting. Give them training on conflict management from the start. Reward your team. Keep the team dynamics flowing in a positive way. And award problem solving, which is often not done.”

The third critical component is to stay lean and agile, she advised. Lean is about proceeding without wandering around and following up with steps in the shortest possible ways. Agile is as fast as possible, but in an interactive way where you reduce the risk for your organization, she continued. “It’s important to be a shape shifter when you are working with a partner. You need to rejuvenate your alliance practices,” she added, while citing the analogy of the hare and tortoise. 

“There is so much regulation and compliance that the culture creates the tortoise,” said McDermott of the challenges that arise particularly in life sciences and health care. “The question becomes, are you so tied to that that you can’t become agile” she continued. 

“When doing alliances with IT, not many companies are turtles. Those kinds of alliances are coming into the [biopharma] industries,” De Swaef noted. “My way or the highway is over.” 

Empower your teams, map out processes, and figure out where they can be more efficient, innovative, and creative. “You are not a therapist, but you are a change facilitator,” observed McDermott. “Think about the least developed competency or best practice in your organization, and then go to the ASAP sessions and find an answer. ASAP is really in the process of trying to connect with you to develop your teams and provide training so you can make sure your teams can learn and connect with each other with a lean and agile mindset.” 

Tags:  alliance manager  Annick De Swaef  biopharma  communication  Consensa Consulting  EquiPro International  Framework  governance  IT  ladder of trust  life sciences  Lynda McDermott  staying lean and agile  team dynamics 

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New Offerings at ASAP BioPharma Conference Address Wide-ranging Impacts on the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Saturday, August 27, 2016

As futuristic technologies become realities, professionals in the life sciences and healthcare industries are consulting their maps and charts to determine how their companies should navigate the new waters. Attendees at ASAP’s next BioPharma Conference will have an opportunity to collectively view the vast possibilities at “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed,” Sept. 7-9 at the Revere Hotel in Boston, Mass., USA. This year’s conference will address wide-ranging impacts on the industry, including the changing political scene, multi-partnering, the Internet of Things, and assistive technologies. 

 

After a rich offering of workshops on Sept. 7, the conference will kick off with a timely address from keynote speaker Dr. Sam Nussbaum, strategic consultant, EGB Advisors, Inc., who will present a talk on “Healing the U.S. Health Care System: Collaboration is Essential” (for more information about Nussbaum, see the link in this E-news), followed by a networking opportunity. The following two days include a plenary and about 26 forward-thinking, thought-provoking sessions from which to choose.

 

"The ASAP Biopharma Conference is a must-attend for alliance professionals of all experience levels,” says Jan Twombly, CSAP, former ASAP chairman of programming, and president of The Rhythm of Business. “It traditionally offers equal parts of looking outward to how the industry is changing and the implications for managing the risk and optimizing the value of alliances and other collaborations, as well as looking inward to develop the mindset, skillset, and toolset of a modern alliance capability.”

 

Well-known and respected industry luminaries are unveiling some never-before-presented information and perspectives. Take, for example, these insightful offerings:

  •  “Applying the Latest Alliance Management Research to Your Partnering Practice,” presented by Stuart Kliman, CA-AM, partner, alliance practice leader at Vantage Partners, and Shawn Wilson, DBA, vice president and general manager at Beaulieu Group: Two new groundbreaking research studies provide critical data on current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the alliance management profession.
  • “A New Model for Western and Chinese Pharmaceutical Partnering,” presented by Brent Harvey, CA-AM, director of Alliances, Eli Lilly and Company: "How To" insights on collaboration drawn from a longstanding, advanced partnership model between Eli Lilly and Company and WuXi AppTech, which provides, among other things, examples of how to leverage the regulatory environment in China to bring new drugs to market faster.
  • “New Partnerships between High Tech and BioPharma and the Alliance Management Practices to Support Them,” presented by Russ Buchanan, CSAP head of corporate alliances at Xerox Corporation, Joseph Schramm, VP strategic alliances at BeyondTrust, and David Thompson, CA-AM chief alliance officer at Eli Lilly and Company: Key insights provided by two highly accomplished technology company alliance executives that are sure to generate discussion about how biopharma alliance professionals can overcome potential challenges when partnering with tech companies.

 Preparing for rapid change is a central theme throughout the conference, and some of the workshops are offering essential “updates” for the alliance management toolbox. “With many more partners for many more purposes, new partnering models and differences to leverage, no alliance manager can rest on his or her laurels,” points out Twombly. “Unique among biopharma alliance management conferences, the ASAP Biopharma Conference leans in on where the profession is going, not where it has been."

 

Several workshops being offered emphasize the need to stay abreast of pressing industry changes, such as “Next Generation Alliance Management, Lean and Agile” facilitated by Lynda McDermott, CA-AM, president of EquiPro International, and Annick De Swaef, CSAP, managing partner of Consensa Consulting. Their workshop addresses digitalization’s influence on biopharma and cross-industry partnering, and it centers around basic questions that everyone in the industry is asking: “Are my team's current alliance best practices future proof? Should my alliance team acquire new skills?” De Swaef recommends combining ASAP’s newly launched in-company team training with the CA-AM Certification Exam Prep to strengthen company capabilities, expand into new areas of value creation, and introduce new best practices.

 

Twombly and Rhythm of Business Principal, Jeff Shuman, CSAP, are offering their own forward-thinking, 90-minute, hands-on workshop on design thinking for complex problems, such as for multi-partnering, non-asset-base alliances, and partnering with “sectors who run on much faster clock speeds than is typically seen in biopharma.” The data-driven, user experience-centered innovation and problem-solving methodology has been adapted for alliances and partnering practices.

 ASAP also plans to unveil a new custom-designed session: The ASAP Aquarium, facilitated by Twombly. Similar to a “fishbowl” communications activity, where the line is intentionally blurred between listeners and participants, ASAP’s version will start off with a deep discussion between industry thought leaders and senior-level partnering executives as the audience gazes into the aquarium. Listeners will then be able to “tap in,” join the discussion with a hot idea or new perspective, and replace the initial participants. The session provides for a fun way to actively engage and contribute to the collective wisdom of the group while exploring the questions that matter most as alliance professionals “engage with new faces and in unexpected places.”

Tags:  Alliance Professionals  Annick De Swaef  ASAP BioPharma Conference  BeyondTrust  Brent Harvey  collaboration  David Thompson  Dr. Sam Nussbaum  Eli Lilly and Company  EquiPro International  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Joseph Schramm  Lynda McDermott  Russ Buchanan  The Rhythm of Business  WuXi AppTech  Xerox 

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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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