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Q4 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine: Improving Your Communication Skills, Incorporating Ninja Philosophy, and Adding Other Valuable Tools to Your Alliance Manager Toolbox

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sharp communication skills are an essential tool in the alliance manager’s toolbox, so we highlight the topic in the Q4 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine. The lead article, “Upping Your Communications Game,” touches on several tools that can help build the collaboration framework. Several professionals address how to fine-tune those skills, including Eli Lilly and Company’s Mike Berglund, CA-AM on framework construction, body language experts Jack Brown and Clark Freshman on reading nonverbal communication, Anny Bedard of ABio Consulting on cross-cultural communication, and Trisha Griffin-Carty, owner of Griffin-Carty Communications, on the value of weaving stories into presentations. 

We also preview keynote speaker Jonathan Ballon, vice president of the Internet of Things Group at Intel, and other presenters bringing their leading-edge expertise to the upcoming March 1-4, 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, to be held in National Harbor, Maryland, adjacent to Washington, D.C. As in previous years, the 2016 Summit is on the forefront of alliance management practice, with this year’s program honing in on the diversity of skills required for “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Also included in this issue are snippets of events at the Boston BioPharma gathering, “Conference Focuses on Surfing the Shifting BioPharma Wave,” as well as a recap of the 2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit, “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships.” 

Several philosophical voices espouse the value of “ninja” alliance management in the Your Career feature—metaphorically harnessing the ancient elements of earth, water, fire and wind and incorporating them into your daily practice. The article combines the ancient ninja concept with thoroughly modern wisdom and advice from Cindy Warren, vice president of alliance management at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and four panelists at a lively session, “Cultivating an Alliance Management Career,” held Sept. 11 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Boston. Panelists spoke in ways that fit with a philosophical view of ninja practice: the earth element of being grounded and standing your ground; the water element of soft skills and moving around obstacles; tending the fire element by diffusing and managing conflict; harnessing the wind element by bending and being adaptable. For a quick synopsis on what to look for in an alliance manager, we added a short sidebar of Warren’s Top 10 qualities. 

There is a review of Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations, by Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, CSAP—a roadmap for the best partnering routes. Also, a heartfelt tribute to Tom Halle, CSAP, a longtime leader, mentor, and champion of the alliance management profession who recently passed away from lung cancer. The magazine also spotlights corporate member Amgen for its investment in strategic alliances with dozens of active partnerships involving cross-functional governance, while improving its own internal governance and processes, to build healthy, longterm partnerships. The quarterly editorial supplement, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, features the article “Major Moves: Simplifying Alliance Management Product Transitions With Thorough Planning” by Rachelle E. Hawkins, CA-AM, Joanna L. C. May, CA-AM, and David Thompson, CA-AM, on the challenging steps involved in transitioning a globally marketed asset to another company. 

Without the two critical components of good communication and inspired leadership, “a company can end up parading barren goods or services, much like The Emperor who was tricked into believing that he wore a fine suit when nothing of value was really there,” advises The Close’s “The Master Alliance Weaver at Work,” which focuses on the qualities and characteristics essential for a “durable cloth from which to create and deliver significant value.” All valuable information that you need as you build value into your practice at a time when strategic partnering continues to increase in complexity. 

Tags:  ABio Consulting  alliance management  alliance manager  Anny Bedard  Benjamin Gomes-Casseres  body language  Cindy Warren  Clark Freshman  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Jack Brown  Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies  Mike Berglund  non-verbal communication  Rachelle E. Hawkins  Strategic Alliance Magazine 

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The Benefits of Sponsor and CRO Collaboration—from Leveraging Innovation to Sharing Patient Information

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Saturday, October 17, 2015

For many years, Contract Research Organizations (CROs) have sought to move beyond their role as fee-for-service providers and branch out into strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies. These emerging services alliances pattern to some degree the partnerships that pharmaceutical companies form with biotech firms and with each other—but there are differences too. This CRO/Sponsor evolution became a talking point on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference in the session “Enabling Innovation and Value Creation in Sponsor/CRO Collaborations.” Moderated by Doug Williams, business development consultant at BioDigital, the discussion addressed the benefits in two partnering mini-presentations: Covance/Eli Lilly and Company and EMD Serono/Quintiles.

 

In 2008, Lilly and Covance created a groundbreaking 10-year strategic agreement that spans the drug development process, explained Andrew Eibling, CSAP, global vice president and alliance manager at Covance, about the history of the partnership.  “It involved working across the spectrum and various silos of drug development.”

 

Today, Covance has a highly successful cardio vascular partnership with Lilly. At the beginning, it required lots of fine-tuning, because in the rush to get started, they missed out on some crucial steps, recalls Jay Turpen, senior director of clinical laboratory operations at Lilly.

 

“First, we got the right people together to frame out how we were going to work together. It’s so crucial to invest in defining the process: how to communicate, what hand-offs look like, handling escalation. There were skeptics from both companies, so we took time and invested in kaizan events to determine the likely areas where there was the most friction in the program, and invested proactively in those areas,” he added. “Creating a culture of one team with one approach and applying alliance management was successful, and we were able to enroll the study in less than … the scheduled 24 months, and it was 98-99 percent clean through the process.”

 

Then there was a second added valuepartnering on laboratory research. “What’s in the best interest of both Lilly and Covance as we build this new lab system? What information is in our mutual interest?” they asked. “We got literally thousands of people working on these alliances. There needed to be common linkages across those silos,” Turpen added. The central labs group started a unique rewards recognition program. And they reached the point where they now pass patient information back and forth.

 

The final results? “Lilly’s CEO said that it was the best study the company has ever done. It was a high five, a best practice, a solid metric for what a great job that team did,” said Eibling.

 

In the case of EMD Serono/Quintiles, Quintiles’ clinical development division wanted a CRO who got involved early in clinical stages sitting at the development table. The companies also were looking for processing standards, high benchmarks, and most of all, innovative minds at the boardroom table. They signed a partnership with EMD Serono in 2013, and the CRO became a partner in drug/biosimilar development.

 

“Clinical development is challenging because how do you persuade patients and physicians to join a trial? Or are you going to fall back on biosimilar drug development?” Those were some of the key questions raised by Raymond Huml, DVM, executive director of strategic drug development and head of global biosimilars strategic planning at Quintiles Biosimilars Center of Excellence, and Louk Pechtold, CA-AM, directoralliance management biosimilars, in the biosimilars unit at Merck Serono SA. 

 

Biosimilars are follow-on copies of originator medicines made from living tissues (e.g., monoclonal antibodies). The question of biosimilar drug development is increasingly important because by 2020, some $100 billion of original biological medicines will lose intellectual property protection.

 

They also addressed the question of how alliance managers factor into drug/biosimilar development. “We have upper management, middle level, and closer-to-the-ground alliance management. There are alliance managers that look over entire portfolios, but at the end of the day, you need someone who understands the differences or subtleties. And there are differences with biosimilars,” explained Pechtold.

 

“The main value in collaboration is leveraging innovation from one partner to another,” Huml added. Regulatory experience is a plus, and having a global reach can be an advantage. “Those with experience working with multiple companies also have an advantage over one-on-one,” he concluded.

Tags:  Alliance Management  Alliance Managers  alliances  biotech  Collaboration  Contract Research Organizations  Covance  CRO  drug/biosim  Eli Lilly and Company  intellectual property  Louk Pechtold  Merck Serono SA  pharmaceutical companies  Quintiles Biosimilars Center of Excellence  Raymond Huml  strategic alliances 

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Overcoming the Curve of Conviction: How to Increase Value by Getting from Negotiation to Collaboration

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Friday, September 11, 2015

“To Collaborate or Not To Collaborate?” That is the question Mike Berglund, CA-AM, alliance director at Eli Lilly and Company, asked the audience at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference held Sept. 9-11 at the Revere Hotel off the Boston Common.  “Are We Negotiating or Collaborating? Increasing Alliance Value through Collaborative Decision Making” was the topic on stage as Berglund prompted the audience to consider three case scenarios that presented alliance management challenges when working with partners.

 

Decision-making roles are complex, especially in alliances, and become even more complicated when the decision is intricate or embedded, Burglund emphasized. “You as individual have certain attitudes, beliefs, and values that effect how you make decisions. It is a lot easier for me to ask if you will go out and buy a loaf of bread vs. change a specific brand of car or attend a different college. You willingness to change the buying pattern will be different.”

 

How to get to collaboration in a world of culturally entrenched views, tastes, and opinions is one of the challenges alliance managers face in the decision-making process, he indicated. Its about the Conviction Curvea framework of personal buying perspective: “In the alliance world, where you are in this curve will dictate how likely you are to change. If you are going into a governance meeting, the further to the right [on the Conviction Curve] you are, the more difficult it will be to change that position and the more resources and energy it will take.”

 

It’s like a sculptor molding a lump of clay, he added. At first, he or she has the ability to mold it into whatever structure desired, but over time, the clay hardens and becomes more difficult to change. “Working across two companies, with their positions embedded in their respective organizationsit’s hard to change. And you will see that exemplified in alliance management,” he warned.

 

A critical point for alliance managers to consider is the importance of understanding your potential partner and responding appropriately to their behaviors to get to that point of collaboration. Negotiation is all about winning, while collaboration is preferable because its jointly created value that can determine the tone of the relationship, he reminded the audience. Build the alliance from within the alliance and push it outward, he advised. “When you deploy this kind of culture and process, its being organically driven within our organizations.”

 

After challenging participants to consider three very different case scenarios, he asked in one case: “What were the factors that led this alliance to result in a joint decision?” He then drove home the value of using “company pre-meetings to understand your own convictions and then using that information to design the meeting. Choose the right people for the job, make sure that whatever is going into governance meetings has been jointly agreed upon by the parties, and eliminate the opportunity for walk-ins. You really want to limit that discussion, and push it out of governance meeting,” he advised. “Even more important, sit down and talk about company differences. You don’t have to agree, but you need to agree on how you present your different sides,” he added.

 

Then evangelize these norms with the working teams. If you have this kind of behavior in teams, collaboration will be the norm, he concluded.

 

Learn more on this topic in the recently published Q3 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine editorial supplement article “Choose Wisely: Increase Alliance Value through Collaborative Decision-Making,” sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co. and co-authored by Berglund and Lilly’s Chief Alliance Officer David Thompson, CA-AM.

Tags:  alliance management  alliance manager  alliances  collaboration  conviction curve  Eli Lilly and Company  governance  Mike Berglund  negotiation  partners  pre-meetings 

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Top 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Attend the March 2-5, 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Orlando

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In a recent blog post I called the ASAP community “real-life university on the leading edge of business practice.” School is in session next week, when ASAP’s real-world scholars and practitioners converge on Orlando, Florida USA for the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. Here are my Top 10 reasons why you don’t want to miss this unparalleled learning and networking opportunity.

 

10. Multiparty Partnering. Multiparty and coopetition alliances, cross-sector partnering, ecosystem management, and other sorts of complex, multiplayer collaborative models come to the fore at this year’s summit. These aren’t just big concepts—we’re now in the thick of actually managing (with increasing sophistication) these highly complex and chaotic types of partnering models. Two keynotes and multiple summit sessions delve deeply into cutting-edge models and how they play out in practice.

 

9. See Familiar Faces. A remarkable core of partnering and alliance professionals serves as the volunteer backbone of ASAP. These folks serve on the board and lead ASAP chapters around the world. They present at virtual and face-to-face events. And they attend ASAP conferences year in and out. You folks know who you are—and I for one can’t wait to see your familiar faces again this year!

 

8. Meet Fresh Faces. It’s great to see old friends—and also to make new ones. About half the folks who attend ASAP conferences are newbies. It’s an amazing opportunity to make new connections—and to welcome them into the heart of ASAP’s partnering, alliance management, and business collaboration community.

 

7. Notable Keynoters. Conferences are not just about great keynoters—but a great keynote address really sets the tone for a great conference. This year, as ASAP recently announced , we have two “out of this world” keynote speakers. Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, and Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president and CEO of The Task for Global Health, both will speak on Tuesday, March 3, during the global summit’s morning plenary session.

 

6. Channel Accounts Go Collaborative. Recent ASAP webinars and Strategic Alliance Magazine articles have honed in on the rapid convergence of practice between alliance and channel sales management. This year’s summit features multiple sessions on strategic account and channel account management—including a special 90-minute workshop addressing collaboration in the channel.

 

5. Partnering , Sales, Revenues. Indeed, sales and revenue matter more than ever to alliance executives—and conversely, business development and sales are rapidly morphing into highly collaborative functions that require business skills long since honed by the alliance management profession. Multiple sessions will delve into sales—including a recently announced case study presentation by Mission Pharmacal President of Commercial Operations Terry Herring, who will talk about restructuring a family-owned pharma company into a partnering—and sales—powerhouse.

 

4. A Higher Bar for Strategy. As partnering becomes ever more essential to our businesses and organizations, partnerships must deliver the goods and much more consistently fulfill their strategic intent. The keynotes and many sessions will address strategic challenges and opportunities. There’s even an entire track focused on “Leadership for Change Agents.”

 

3. The Win-Win Awards. Paragons of partnering—those who take alliance management to new heights—are recognized each year as finalists for the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards. This year, awards will be presented in the categories of Individual Alliance Excellence, Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, and Alliance Program Excellence. Check the ASAP Blog later this week for our forthcoming announcement of the 2015 finalists.

 

2. Foundational Fundamentals. The annual ASAP Summit has always been a great place for new and less experienced alliance executives to glean incredible amounts of knowledge in a short amount of time. Experienced executives also find it valuable to bone up on the fundamentals. This learning immediately translates into real-world impact as you apply what you’ve learned to your daily job. In addition to tracks and sessions focused on foundational alliance management skills, there are also several in-depth workshops,including CA-AM and CSAP certification exam preparation workshops, a Lilly introduction to alliance management course, and Xerox’s brand new workshop on onboarding your high-tech partnership. 

 

1. Forging Collaboration’s Future. Want to know what’s coming down the pike—next? There’s no better window on the future of partnering and business collaboration than the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. And being at the Summit doesn’t just show you what to expect—it puts you in the driver’s seat to lead your organization through change and disruption. So come to Orlando and forge the future of partnering—from fundamentals to advanced practices! There’s still time to register and attend—even if you only can make it for a day. Click here and visit the summit website and register today!

 

I look forward to seeing you there! 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Dale Ketcham  Dr. Mark Rosenberg  Eli Lilly and Company  Mission Pharmacal  Multiparty Partnering  Professional Development Workshops  Space Florida  Strategic Alliance Magazine  Terry Herring  The Task for Global Health  Xerox 

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Deadline Extended to Dec. 5 for 2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards—and Why Covance’s Andy Eibling Says ‘It’s Worth the Effort to Go through the Application’

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, November 24, 2014

Let’s not pussyfoot around this issue: It takes a decent amount of work to apply for awards—and you still have to do your day job. So will the time and effort you spend completing your application for the 2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards really pay off? Last week, with the deadline for 2015 nominations looming, we posed the question to Andy Eibling, CSAP, vice president of alliance management at Covance.

 

“It’s worth the effort to go through the application,” says Eibling. Covance, a clinical research organization, and its biopharma company partner Eli Lilly and Company shared the 2014 Individual Alliance Excellence Award for a Longstanding Alliance—but even if the alliance hadn’t won the award, Eibling says the effort would have been beneficial. “As one of the side benefits, the discipline of working through the nomination caused us to go back and revisit the accomplishments of the partnership. Just the process of doing that was very valuable. We’ve used the nomination materials a lot internally within Covance, and across the alliance. It gave our team a very nice retrospective—‘wow, we’ve really done a lot here.’”

 

Of course, being selected as a finalist and then winning were thrilling. Eibling cites “both internal and external recognition for the alliance team” that Covance received.

 

“I think it added credibility to our competency development efforts,” he explains. “There are a lot of people who work really hard on this alliance, and having an external body review, critique, acknowledge, and recognize the results of our efforts was really valuable. Having an alliance that lasts this long and is recognized for the things its done doesn’t happen ‘just because’—it’s not happenstance.”

 

The Alliance Excellence Award also validates the value of a strong competency in alliance management—and reminds people of the accomplishments this competency makes possible.

 

“Our efforts to develop this competency, and our ability to deliver on the promise of the competency, were recognized,” Eibling says. “Participating in the awards process allowed us to review things we’ve done together in totality. People are busy and forget all the good things they’ve done. This reminds them.”

 

Awards Application Deadline Extended to Dec. 5, 2014

ASAP has extended until Dec. 5 the nominations deadline for the 2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards, the alliance management community's most prestigious honor celebrating advancements in the increasingly critical practice of executing strategic alliances. As in previous years, finalists and award winners will be honored in a special ceremony at the March 2-5, 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Orlando, Florida USA.

 

The Alliance Excellence Awards acknowledge major corporations, mid-sized enterprises, start-ups and public-private initiatives alike across a diverse array of industries. In addition to Covance and Lilly, prior winners include Cisco, Coherence, Deloitte, DNDi, Federal Express, Harley Davidson, HP, IBM, Inspiration Pharmaceuticals, Ipsen, KPMG, NetApp, Novartis, Oracle, P&G, Roche, Sanofi, SAP, SAS, Schneider-Electric, Starbucks, Teradata, Turkcell, and Xerox. 

 

Applications are vetted by the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Committee, which evaluates nominees’ creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that has evolved the art and science of alliance management, compelling and measurable results, and a general persistence in overcoming obstacles along the way. Click here to learn more and apply today.  

Tags:  2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Andy Eibling  Covance  Eli Lilly and Company 

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