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A Lesson From the Whiz Kids: Change and Teams— ‘An Inevitable Combination’

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, July 22, 2019

My father, who recently passed away, worked for Ford Motor Company in its heyday. A 1950  graduate of Harvard Business School and a former Marine in World War II and the Korean War, he started working at  Ford in 1953 and eventually worked under Ford President Robert McNamara, who later became the longest-serving secretary of defense in United States history under Presidents  John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

 

Ford Motor Company was losing millions in the post-  WWII era, but turned a corner through innovative production and management. Seeking new ways to succeed in a time of rapid change (sound familiar?), the company engaged in a unique partnership with a group of United States Air Force officers. Ford would provide the young men just out of the military with jobs and, in turn, the former officers would revamp the company. Disparagingly dubbed the “Quiz Kids” by fellow employees for their youthful questioning, they renamed themselves the “Whiz Kids.” As a manager in finance, production programming, sales, marketing, personnel, and technical and transportation operations, my father worked under their guidance to help reorganize Ford’s financial framework, redefine corporate culture, and contribute to automotive innovation.

 

After my father’s memorial service, I pored over the books in his library. You can tell a lot about a person from the books he or she reads. Based on the collective mix, he pursued self-education to the end, especially in the areas of business, history, leadership—and the art of fly fishing. The mix included tomes such as Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit and Nigel Hamilton’s The Mantle of Command. But what really caught my eye was an unassuming slip of a book: The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High–Performance Organization, by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, Harvard Business School Press, 1993. As I paged through, I found only one sentence in the entire book underlined. In the chapter “Teams and Major Change: An Inevitable Combination,” the final sentence on Page 211 was highlighted: “It is no accident, then, that every single major change effort we know about has depended on teams.”

 

Through landmark business reconstruction and major wars my father had significant life experience leading and participating in successful teams. He must have come away from those experiences with an understanding of how major change is conjoined with well-organized teamwork. At age 93, the concept of digital transformation was a mystery to him, but the strategy necessary for such radical transformation was very familiar: Major change requires visionary leadership, well-orchestrated collaboration, and flexible innovation.

 

History can teach us a lot about successful collaboration. That connection came through at a ASAP BioPharma Conference in a session on “Alliance Management  Learnings from Great Leaders,” led by Harm-Jan Borgeld, head of alliance management at Merck KGaA;  David Thompson, CSAP, chief alliance officer at Eli Lilly and Company; Steven Twait, CSAP, vice president, alliance and integration management at AstraZeneca. The three alliance professionals probed questions about the “Big Three” WWII alliance led by Winston Churchill,  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin—and how history’s lessons learned relate to today’s strategic alliances.

 

When designed and executed well, alliances can resolve conflict, innovate solutions, win wars, and rejuvenate flagging companies. Collaboration can even streamline services in the public sector and define the  workplace cultures of successful 21st century companies like Jazz Pharmaceuticals. For my father’s generation and for ours, it still comes down to inspired leaders and engaged executives who grapple with change by fostering a culture of teamwork and collaboration— and embrace partners along their journey forward. My dad would recognize this approach as “an inevitable combination.” 

Tags:  Alliances  AstraZeneca  Collaboration  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Harm-Jan Borgeld  Innovation  Jazz Pharmaceuticals  Merck KGaA  Steve Twait 

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Mining Eli Lilly's Century of Alliance Experience at ‘Alliance Management Workshop: Tools and Techniques’

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, February 27, 2017

Last year marked the 140th anniversary of the founding of Eli Lilly and Company. For the past century, alliances have been critical to the company’s enduring success—and again this year Lilly will share its partnering experience and expertise in a workshop at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Part­nering Enterprise,” Feb. 28-March 2 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, Calif. USA.

Lilly’s Chief Alliance Officer David Thompson, CA-AM joins Director of Alliance Management, Gary Butkus, CA-AM, RPh, on Tuesday, Feb. 28 for a pre-conference workshop, “Alliance Management Workshop: Tools and Techniques,” a distillation of Eli Lilly's century of business alliance experience that will provide case studies, tools, and techniques used to train alliance managers at Lilly.

Given the pharmaceutical company’s longevity, Lilly has experienced a prolonged period of patent expirations. Yet the company’s research and development efforts continue apace—in 2015, Lilly achieved significant advances in their pipeline of molecules in clinical development, due in part to the alliances it has forged.

 

As part of the “Tools and Techniques” workshop, or what Lilly refers to as Alliance Management 101, Thompson will address topics salient to alliance managers such as the various types of alliance managers and the management of business risk, human risk, and legal uncertainties. He and Butkus also will delve more deeply into the three phases of an alliance life cycle.


“Lilly wants to be an open source of information in order to advance the art and science of alliance management. We hope that people will use, share, and build upon the tools and resources Lilly has developed since 1999,” Thompson notes. “I hope that attendees know more than when they arrived, feel confident in the skills they learned, and share the knowledge they gained with their own company and alliance partners.”

Tags:  alliance life cycle  Alliance Management  alliance managers  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Gary Butkus  Resources  Tools 

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A Swim in ‘The Aquarium:’ Your Chance to Collectively Shift the Thought Currents of Alliance Management

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, September 7, 2016

ASAP Summit and Conference participants spend a lot of time sitting, listening, and absorbing the most cutting-edge information in the industry. Now it’s your turn to be a speaker, guide, and thought provoker in a new session format at this year’s 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. The Aquarium session encourages attendees to dive in and wrestle with the hot topics of the day in a creative, ASAP-designed version of the “fishbowl” learning activity. Moderated by Jan Twombly, CSAP, president of The Rhythm of Business, the session will start with a lively exchange on key topics from several experts in the field of alliance management as the audience peers into the tank. There will be three 25-minute rounds during the session, each with a separate topic. Participants will be allowed to “tap in” and move the conversation in new directions. When someone comes onto the stage, one person must exit. 

“We’re not sticking to a script; each of these topic discussion could branch off,” explains Ann Johnson, ASAP’s content manager, who has developed the concept as an innovation ASAP programming.  “That’s the beauty of nontraditional session structure like this: It allows for free-space that often results in exploring topics in real and meaningful ways … through many different lenses. It encourages engagement, peer-to-peer sharing, and participation, which is what our members want. There are no right answers to these topics, and in fact we want to hear diverse viewpoints,” Johnson adds. “This is a way to hear from the voices we often don’t hear from.” 

It’s an opportunity to become a member of the “school” in a fast-paced, collective swim that is geared to leave participants with a more creative and innovative perspective on the potential for change in alliance management. The following preselected topics are designed to jumpstart the conversation:

Topic #1: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

True or False: The alliance management profession in biopharma has the respect, skills, and ability to lead companies into partnering with different types of partners, across industries, and in new models.

Topic #2: Handle with Care: Managing the C-Suite

How do you ensure executive leadership (C-Suite) is appropriately involved in an alliance, without giving them a seat at the table, especially when the alliance is between a small, innovative company and big pharma?

Topic #3: Breadth or Depth – What Does it Take to Succeed?

Which qualities will be more highly valued in alliance managers as the industry adapts to digitization, outcomes based pricing, and an increasing number and variety of partnerships: broad business and technical skills and experience or deep pharmaceutical industry knowledge and experience?

As the conversation evolves, participants will then get a chance to bump the following thought leaders and senior-level partnering executives off the stage: 

  • Jeremy Ahouse, CSAP, PhD, Executive Director Alliance Management, Celgene
  • Harm-Jan Borgeld, CSAP, PhD, Head Alliance Management, Merck Serono 
  • David Burnham, Senior Vice President Strategic Alliance Management, INC Research
  • Mark Coflin, CSAP, Senior Director Alliance Management Global BD&L, Baxalta US Inc.  
  • Cathy Connelly, CA-AM, Head, Alliance Management, Sanofi Genzyme
  • Andy Hull, CA-AM, Vice President, Global Alliances, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Katherine Kendrick, CA-AM; Director of Alliance Management, Elanco, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Brooke A. Paige, CSAP, Staff Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, HealthCore, Inc.
  • Petra Sansom, Sr. Director, Alliance Management, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Mary Jo Struttmann, CA-AM; Executive Director, Global Alliance Management, Astellas Pharma Inc.
  • Michael Sumpter, Head of Alliance Management, Servier Monde
  • David S. Thompson, CA-AM, Chief Alliance Officer, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Steve Twait, CSAP, VP, Alliance and Integration Management, AstraZeneca

 Photo credit:  MB Photo Credit: W. Chappell

Tags:  alliance management  alliance managers  Ann Johnson  Astellas  AstraZeneca  biopharma  c-suite  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Jan Twombly  Mary Jo Struttmann  Michael Sumpter  partnerships  Petra Sansom  pharma  Servier Monde  Steve Twait  The Rhythm of Business  Vertex Pharmaceuticals 

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Summer 2016 Issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine: Partnering for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; SAM Celebrates Five Years of Ink; Behind the BioPharma Conference Podiums

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 1, 2016
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Strategic Alliance Magazine! This summer’s 60-page issue, formerly known as the Q2 edition, celebrates five years of the ups, downs, and inside-outs covering cutting-edge alliance management topics, as documented by John W. DeWitt. Turn the page, and readers can explore alliance management’s critical role in the fourth industrial revolution, as foreseen by forecasters Jan Twombly, CSAP, and Jeff Shuman, CSAP, PhD, principals of The Rhythm of Business, and Lorin Coles, CSAP, co-founder and CEO of Alliancesphere, LLC. The cover story encourages readers to envision their companies orchestrating the speed, complexity, scope, and scale of the emerging ecosystem, and probes what will be required to stay attuned to the rhythm. “One thing is certain,” they predict. “If you do nothing to build understanding and capability to partner with an eco­system perspective, your company will be leaving value on the table at best—and at worst may find it­self left behind.”

 

This issue of SAM is certain to open your thought in other ways with a sneak peak of the new ASAP-commissioned 6th State of Alliances research report, “The Economics of Alliances, Social Capital, and Alliance Performance,” authored by Shawn Wilson, PhD, DBA, vice president and general manager at Beaulieu West Textiles. For the first time ever, ASAP provides hard numbers through economic and financial metrics that can be applied to enhance your company’s partnering and revenue.

 

Also on the “thought provoking” side is an Up Front book review “Committing to Collaborate” by ASAP CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, highlighting Martin Echavarria’s book Enabling Collaboration: Achieving Success Through Strategic Alliances and Partnerships. Leonetti wishes he had owned Echavarria’s book years ago because of its wise collaboration advice. An accomplished business coach for companies such as MasterCard, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Scotiabank, and American Express, Echavarria’s key argument is that partners should frame opportunity based on mutual understanding and core competencies, foster relationships over time, and make collaboration central with solid relationships when in the process of securing the commitment to development. Negotiating the collaboration portion of the deal will result in more sustainable alliances, he emphasizes over and over again. The review is an introduction to SAM’s engaging new book review feature—with many more insightful reviews to come.

 

If you’re wondering about this year’s 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference

 “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” Sept. 7-9, at the Revere Hotel in the heart of Boston, read the preview of the timely keynote address “Healing the U.S. Health Care System: Collaboration is Essential” by Dr. Sam Nussbaum, strategic consultant, EGB Advisors, Inc. Nussbaum will touch on the impact of the presidential elections on healthcare and offer insights from his considerable experience streamlining and orchestrating healthcare between public and private entities. The plenary will be presented the following morning, Sept. 8, by Stéphene Thiroloix, CEO at Mayoly Spindler, who will share his perspective on leadership challenges in biopharmaceuticals and healthcare in “The View from the C-Suite: Partnering and Alliances Today and Tomorrow.”

 

This rich issue also includes a Member Spotlight interviewing Citrix’s Steve Blacklock on how partnering has driven Citrix to the cloud, and we continue our Cultural Roundtables coverage from the March 1-4 2016 Global Alliance Summit, “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. Part II delves into another aspect of the intensive two-hour session where participants explored cultural aspects of a region in relation to business acumen. The Spring issue covered China; this issue explores forging relationships in India and Latin America.

 

Eli Lilly and Company has provided another topical editorial supplement, “Better Together: Best Alliance Practices for Building a Better Brand,” by

Markus Saba and David S. Thompson, CA-AM. Finally, in The Close, our publisher and editor describes the message that came through “loud and clear” from the last conference he attended—partnering and collaboration truly are everywhere. We look forward to sharing with you this Summer 2016 issue of SAM that is chock full of exceptional collaborations, companies, individuals, and ideas. It’s been a terrific five years of SAM and ASAP Media—and we look forward to many more to come.

Tags:  6th State of Alliances  Alliance Practices  Alliancesphere  Citrix  cultural  David Thompson  Dr. Sam Nussbaum  ecosystem  EGB Advisors  Eli Lilly and Company  Inc.  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Loren Coles  Markus Saba  Martin E  Mayoly Spindler  Shawn Wilson  Stéphene Thiroloix  Steve Blacklock  The Rhythm of Business 

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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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