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The Beatles, Alliances in the C-Suite, and a Company Built on Strategic Partnerships (Part 1): Citrix Chief Marketing Officer Kicks off the ASAP Global Alliance Summit

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

“Our entire business is predicated on ‘any-ness,’ so we recognize you can’t go it alone,” said Tim Minahan, senior vice president of business strategy and chief marketing officer of Citrix and the keynote speaker at the Tuesday, March 27 opening session of the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. “Citrix was founded 29 years ago [and] has built its entire business on nurturing and fostering strategic alliances and strategic channel relationships. We have dozens of alliances today and nearly ten thousand channel partners that are building entire businesses atop of Citrix.”

Minahan took the stage after opening comments from ASAP President and CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, and an introduction by ASAP Chairman Brooke Paige, CSAP, vice president of alliance management at Pear Therapeutics. Leonetti emphasized to a jam-packed ballroom how, historically, more than half of alliances fail or fail to deliver—but today, “we’ve reversed that trend of alliance failure,”  citing ASAP and other research data indicating “those organizations that have implemented ASAP best practices, and have certified practitioners, are able to achieve up to 80% success rates.” The recent ASAP 6th State of the Alliance research study, he added, “shows that alliances that use best practices make more money. That was something intuitively known for a long time in the ASAP community, but now the data show it as well.”

Leonetti emphasized—and Minahan exemplified—that today, alliance management has a seat at the leadership table and correspondingly, the C-suite itself better understands, is more engaged, and more than ever emphasizes business collaboration and partnering strategy to drive growth, innovate, and deliver better experience and value to customers. Leonetti clicked to a slide citing a slew of business research studies “since 2014 that consistently say CEOs now get it” and rely upon “new strategic alliances for growth, innovation, and go-to-market.” Indeed, “KPMG’s CEO Outlook study in 2016 said 40 percent of CEOs believe we need to move alliances to the C-level.”

For the ASAP community, this advance—of partnering as profession and alliances as core to company strategy—has been a two-decade journey. This year ASAP celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding. (See the Q2 2018 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine for a look back at ASAP’s formative years.) Leonetti did a shout out to ASAP’s Founding Chairman Robert Porter Lynch, CSAP, asking him to stand up and be recognized. “Talk about a visionary,” Leonetti exulted as the audience enthusiastically applauded Lynch. “We appreciate everything you’ve done, Robert.”

Leonetti concluded his comments by emphasizing, “We really need a vibrant community. Engagement is the key to our growth. We have the tools, the people, and we have the attention of every CEO. The table is set.”

To introduce the keynoter, Leonetti invited the ASAP chairman to the stage, recalling that he and Paige both “started in ASAP in 2003. Brooke is now VP at Pear Therapeutics. Brooke has worked with companies with 80,000 people and now, I think, with 50.”

Paige took the handoff. “Here at ASAP we love to talk about the ASAP family, a close community of alliance practitioners. But the question is, what kind of family are we?” she asked. “I was talking to my teenage stepson about alliance management, describing what we do. I said sometimes we see things way ahead in the future that others don’t see. Sometimes we’re dealing with a derailment of a partnership and helping to fix it. Sometimes we’re doing things that nobody else sees. My stepson said it sounds like alliance managers are superheroes,” she said, clicking to a slide with images from recent Marvel comics movies, then to the next slide with the headline on the front page of Superman’s Daily Planet: “Alliance Managers Save the World!”

Paige then introduced Minahan, an English and political science major and graduate of the Kellogg School of Management’s Chief Marketing Officer Program, who joined $3.2 billion Citrix about two years ago. Minahan framed his presentation around the theme of “everything I ever needed to know about strategic alliances I learned from the Beatles.”

Read more of Minahan’s comments—and alliance management insights he derived from Beatles songs—in Part 2 of this blog post.

Tags:  alliance managers  Brooke Paige  Citrix  Michael Leonetti  partnership  Pear Therapeutics  Tim Minahan 

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Pervasiveness of the ‘Alliance Journey’: ASAP president’s opener reflects on Summit challenges with humor on how our alliance journey can involve surprisingly high waters, police escorts, and fire

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“Come hell or high water” is an apt description of this year’s pre-Summit preparations in “sunny” San Diego for the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise.” A unique “alliance journey” is how Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP, summed it up in his clever opener in the Marriot Mission Valley hotel ballroom. Record-setting torrential rain and the swollen San Diego River set the stage for a unique gathering fraught with “headaches”—but fortunately laced with humor. Sound familiar?  

“It was raining, and we were ready to go, getting ready for board meetings, et cetera, and then the hotel had a fire with actual smoke, people leaving the building, people refusing to leave. That’s when it started to remind me of an alliance journey,” Leonetti quipped. “The next day in ‘sunny San Diego,’ there was the rain again. We were setting up an executive committee meeting … and things started to come unglued,” he said while flashing a slide behind him of soggy hotel ceiling opening to the elements.

But in spite of it all, “We had a great day, a great discussion on how to make ASAP great,” Leonetti said.  “It just never stops with you alliance managers,” he joked to the roaring audience.

Leonetti praised the audience for their perseverance with flight delays and taxi mishaps. Disruption is a component of any alliance journey, he pointed out, and that’s especially true when your hotel is surrounded by a “moat.”

“I’ve heard some amazing stories,” he quipped. “Some of you arrived in canoes, fire engines, and police cars” because of the rising waters of the San Diego River. “Some got to Qualcomm Way, and the cab driver said ‘get out.’ A couple grabbed their bags, started walking to the hotel, and walked through water up to their knees. Then the police escorted them.”

 “Next morning, I wake up and the San Diego River is behind the hotel, and the hotel is surrounded by water. Which is when some of you did some amazing things to get here. We’re going to have a great meeting because you’re here,” he said to rousing applause. “And we’ve worked hard, so get ready for a great ride!”

And it was. The weather turned a sunny 70 degrees, and participants enjoyed outdoor networking sessions and abundant quality content. Summit highlights included the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards (http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/269640/Exemplary-Alliance-Management-Practices-Receive-Accolades-and-Honors-at-ASAP-s-2017-Alliance-Excellence-Awards-Ceremony), followed by a well-attended session “Meet the 2017 ASAP Alliance Excellence Award Winners,” monitored by Anthony DeSpirito, CSAP, Schneider Electric. Also of note: an engaging leadership forum, ASAP Aquarium, four outstanding plenary talks, and an engrossing keynote by Alex Dickinson, PhD, founder and executive chairman for ChromaCode and recent senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the San Diego-based DNA sequencing leader Illumina. Dickinson’s address, The New Convergence: Life Science + Tech + Government,” discussed the complexity of partnering as DNA sequencing and genomics technology companies, research institutions, healthcare providers, and many others (such as life insurers) have converged around an explosion of applications that leverage cloud computing for large-scale DNA sequencing, storage, and usage of genomics data.  

Scroll through this blog site for additional coverage of the dynamic plenary presentations (similar in format and content to TED Talks), captivating workshops, and a wide selection of engaging sessions, which will continue to be posted through April. 

Tags:  Alex Dickinson  Alliance Excellence Awards  Alliance Managers  Anthony DeSpirito  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  ChromaCode  Government  healthcare providers  Life Science  Michael Leonetti  Schneider Electric  Tech 

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Two Studies Provide Valuable Economic and Financial Metrics To Support Partnering and Revenues

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ASAP unveiled a landmark alliance management study to a packed room at the Revere Hotel in Boston, a block from the Boston Common, during the recent 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference, “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed,” which took place Sept. 7-9. The session “Applying the Latest Alliance Management Research to Your Partnering Practice” introduced the ASAP-commissioned 6th State of Alliance study, “The Economics of Alliances, Social Capital, and Alliance Performance,” researched and authored by Dr. Shawn Wilson, DBA, vice president and general manager at Beaulieu Group. The report provides economic and financial metrics based on extensive research and data analysis. "What is so important about this report is that it's the first time alliance management studies have gathered defined economic or financial outcomes as well as provided recommendations for improvement,” pointed out Michael Leonetti, CSAP, CEO of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, during the session introduction. The session also included a presentation by Stuart Kliman, CA-AM, co-founder of Vantage Partners, on his company’s 2015 study “Transcending Organizational Barriers—A Cross-Industry View of Alliance Management Trends and Challenges.” Part I of this blog focuses on Wilson’s key findings. 

If you attended the ASAP BioPharma Conference last week or in years past, chances are you’re working for a successful company that has great balance and capability sheets, as well as skilled managers supporting company alliances. If you’re only concerned about the visible firm profile, however, you may miss the iceberg below the surface—the more massive structural configurations, norms, meanings, and work systems. Those subsurface dynamics can be swirling with conflict, which is why Dr. Shawn Wilson of Beaulieu Group, one of the world’s largest floorcovering manufacturers, did a deep dive about a year ago with a three-stage study that included qualitative interviews, a pilot study, and quantitative study of social capital. The consultant, published author, and researcher affiliated with Georgia’s Kennesaw State University worked with ASAP to provide new financial and economic ROI analytics that reflect partnering best practices. The study is based on the finding of three distinct dimensions of social capital: structural, cognitive, and relational. 

Social capital is the aggregate informal resources available to an individual, group, or institution that is generated by positive interactions. It effectively facilitates interactions, acting as a catalyst for inter- and intra-organizational transactions. Wilson used the concept of social capital as a tool to explore the tougher dynamics between organizations—and the potential to alleviate organizational problems in transactions and other interactions. 

“Social capital can be a force that pulls firms together or pushes them away. The more those dimensions of social capital push firms away, the longer the bridge needs to become in an alliance,” observed Wilson. “One of the biggest challenges firms have is that they overestimate what spans the bridge.” He then begged the question: “Were we successful because of the unknown factors under the iceberg?” 

The audience was then asked to consider a strong relationship between two people. “That strong relational tie doesn’t mean there will be strong ties when the entire family gets together,” he pointed out.  Now consider the failed alliance between Tesla and Toyota, which started as a friendship between the two CEOs, he continued.  “The mismatch between the two firms was too much for the alliance to bear.” 

The second finding from the study is that “the right kind of experience counts,” he said. The data don’t show that social capital improves when relationships strengthen; when it comes to an alliance executive’s experience, it’s not about the tools brought in. It’s about how to measure up to a firm’s potential partnership through nuance, he added. 

The third finding? Companies with above-average social capital outperformed their peers. The financial measures were much higher when perceptual measures were met, such as satisfaction, the accomplishment of strategic objectives, and stability. 

Watch for Part II of our coverage on “Applying the Latest Alliance Management Research to Your Partnering Practice,” Stuart Kliman’s presentation of Vantage Partner’s study “Transcending Organizational Barriers—A Cross-Industry View of Alliance Management Trends and Challenges.” You can read more about ASAP’s 6th State of Alliances in the Summer 2016 Strategic Alliance Magazine.

Tags:  6th State of Alliance  alliance  alliance management  Beaulieu Group  Dr. Shawn Wilson  economic and financial metrics  economic ROI analytics  Michael Leonetti  partnering best practices  partnerships  perceptual measures  social capital  Stuart Kliman  Tesla  tools  Toyota  Vantage Partners 

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New Member Mission Pharmacal to Present at Summit on How Partnering Helped Diversify Its Business—and Achieve Double-Digit Annual Revenue Growth

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, February 16, 2015

Terry Herring, president of commercial operations at Mission Pharmacal, will speak March 4 at the forthcoming 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit March 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Fla. The San Antonio, Texas-based global pharmaceutical company recently joined ASAP as a global member.

 

As announced in this week’s ASAP press release Herring will explore the topic of how “Partnering to Diversify Yields Rapid Growth” in his Wednesday morning, March 4, presentation. “Many companies will put self-imposed boundaries and say, ‘we can’t do things that way.’ Well, why can’t you?” said Herring, who joined the 68-year-old family-owned Mission six years ago. “At Mission, we’ve broken down internal and external boundaries and created a unique business structure. Partnering has allowed Mission to diversify products, markets, and services—and achieve double-digit annual revenue growth.”

 

“ASAP is pleased to welcome Terry Herring to the stage at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit—and delighted to announce that Mission Pharmacal has joined ASAP as a global member,” said Michael Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP. “Mission is an entrepreneurial and collaborative company that harnesses partnering to identify unmet patient needs, find market niches, and rapidly deliver innovative solutions. In the best tradition of the ASAP community, Mission’s president of consumer operations now is sharing his company’s experiences with others in order to build the shared knowledge and practices of the entire alliance management community.”

 

Describing the decision to join ASAP as “a no-brainer,” Bennett Kennedy, senior vice president of corporate development and business strategy, oversees partnering and alliance management at Mission Pharmacal.

 

“One key reason we joined ASAP as a global member is that we’re continually searching for like-minded individuals and companies with clean and efficient business and partnering models either through Mission Pharmacal or our wholly owned subsidiaries—BioComp Pharmaceuticals, Mission’s generic company or Alamo Pharma Services which provides Contract Sales and other commercial operational support services,” Kennedy explained. “We are pleased to build new relationships, to share what we’ve learned, and to learn from the wealth of knowledge and experience shared by other ASAP members within and outside of the pharmaceutical industry.”

 

Click here to read the full announcement on the PR Web newswire.

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Bennett Kennedy  BioComp Pharmaceuticals  Michael Leonetti  Mission Pharmacal  Terry Herring 

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‘A Bit of Our Own Medicine’: ASAP Partners to the Launch Successful 2014 European Alliance Summit

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Friday, December 19, 2014

This fall, ASAP joined forces with Thought Leader Global to deliver its first ASAP European Alliance Summit, held Nov. 13 and 14 at Geneva’s Hotel President Wilson. ASAP President & CEO Michael Leonetti, who welcomed more than 60 executives in attendance, said the success of the event vindicates ASAP’s approach. Partnering with an organization that had “boots on the ground” in Europe significantly accelerated the development timeline—and ensured ASAP and Thought Leader Global delivered a compelling program.

 

This week, ASAP Media caught up with Leonetti to what made the ASAP European Alliance Summit so successful—and to find out if the next one is in the works.

 

ASAP Media: Expansion of the ASAP presence in Europe has been discussed for years. Why was it so important to have an event in Europe this year?  What does this mean for ASAP’s international footprint?

Mike Leonetti: We have to do things that prove our international commitment—and it’s been several years since the 2011 BioPharma Conference (held in the US and in Europe), which was our last major event in Europe. It’s ASAP’s strategy and desire to cultivate a strong European community of partnering and alliance management executives—and to develop Europe as part of our global vision. Simply put, I’m focused on making ASAP a true global player. We recognize the importance of doing much more outside of North America, to support our burgeoning international membership and chapters. Europe was perfect place to start.

 

To develop the international community, you need to bring partnering executives together as we do so successfully each year with the ASAP Global Alliance Summit. That’s a US-centric event—and now we have a repeatable event in Europe. I’m far from satisfied with our European presence. But I’m very pleased that we’re making significant progress and working with chapters and members in Europe to build on this foundation.

 

It certainly seems appropriate for an alliance management association to partner—but why did ASAP choose to partner for this event? How did this approach pay off?

We partnered with Thought Leader Global to demonstrate that a partnership capability can allow you to enter a market much more quickly and efficiently. When we made the commitment to do a European event, I only had eight months to plan and execute it—so this partnership was needed. I also think it was important for ASAP to take a bit of our own medicine. We faced the classic buy-build-ally choice and it made sense to ally. Thought Leader Global was an excellent partner—they provided excellent feet on the ground in Europe. It was a great opportunity for Thought Leader Global to connect with our community, and vice versa, and together we drew about 60 people there. So partnering gave us access to resources we don’t have, helped us build a new market faster—and there’s value inherent in the partnership.

 

The event featured two days of great small group discussion and main stage presentations from  notable ASAP members such as Alistair Pim of Schneider Electric, Nick Dunscomb from AstraZeneca, and Michael Andersen of Grundfos, to name a few.  In addition, new companies not from AstraZeneca currently ASAP members were attracted to and attended this event including Hitachi Data Systems and GE Oil and Gas, and others.

 

How would you characterize the event—and what were the hot topics for discussion?

Because the room was relatively small, typically not more than 35-40 people, it gave participants the ability to ask a lot of questions and was very interactive in most cases. Topics were interesting and diverse, encompassing all levels of strategic partnerships, including alliances, joint ventures, and post-merger integration.

 

Is there a renewed emphasis within ASAP on joint ventures and integration of mergers and acquisitions?

ASAP has de-focused on JVs and some have said that they really are not strategic partnerships. In fact, JVs are as strategic as you can get, but governed legally as well as with partnership governance structures and processes. For me, it was refreshing to look at those as very, very sophisticated partnerships.

 

And there’s no group more qualified than the alliance group in post-merger integration. I think some smart companies like Lilly and AstraZeneca are realizing they should use the experts who are good at bringing people together. Why wouldn’t we use what we’ve learned in the alliance world in post-merger integration? There’s been an explosion in M&As—but the M&A is the easy part. Post-integration failure rates are high because it really requires a lot of expertise to integrate operations and cultures. You need a sound integration strategy—or otherwise you have one side decimating the other side, getting rid of everyone. For me, it wasn’t ‘same-old, same-old’ –it was refreshing to have a post-merger integration topic, and we’ve asked Nick [Dunscombe] to do a session on it again at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit [March 2-5 in Orlando USA].

 

What’s the future hold—how will ASAP build on this success?

ASAP and Thought Leader Global have agreed in principle to partner to deliver the ASAP European Summit again in 2015, likely in October, so a bit earlier next year. The agreement hasn’t been signed—but that’s our plan.  ASAP will continue to focus on European development as we revitalize our existing European chapters in BeNeLux, France, and the UK, and as we work with Michael Andersen to explore new chapters in the Nordic region. And of course, we expect that our partnership with Thought Leader Global once again will accelerate our development of new, compelling programming for our 2015 European Summit.

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Alistair Pim  ASAP European Alliance Summit  AstraZeneca  GE Oil and Gas  Grundfos  Hitachi Data Systems  Michael Andersen  Michael Leonetti  Nick Dunscomb  Schneider Electric  Thought Leader Global 

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