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Your Move: Changing Jobs in Biopharma Alliance Management

Posted By Michael J. Burke, Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2019

A perennial topic of interest in the ASAP biopharma community—and alliance management in general—revolves around plotting one’s career path and changing jobs, whether that means moving to a new company or shifting to a new job in one’s current organization. And who better to learn from on this subject than three senior alliance leaders who’ve all made significant job changes?

            Such was the setup for a session at the just-concluded ASAP BioPharma Conference 2019, held Sept. 23–25 in Boston. Titled “Alliance Management: What’s Your Next Move?,” the session was led by Steve Twait, CSAP, vice president of alliance and integration management at AstraZeneca, and copresenters Karen Denton, CA-AM, head of alliance management at Experion, and Nancy Griffin, CA-AM, vice president of alliance management at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

            Twait spent 26 years at Eli Lilly, then left the Indianapolis pharma company for UK-based AstraZeneca, where he has spent the last five years. Griffin described herself as a “serial alliance manager,” with stints at Bayer and Novartis before taking a new job five months ago at Vertex. Denton’s experience, meanwhile, was primarily in commercialization and marketing. She wanted to get into business development but instead became an alliance manager at Bayer—due to Griffin’s influence at the time—before eventually heading to Experion.

            A large pharma company may offer many opportunities to grow an alliance management career, said Twait. The centralized alliance management function at Lilly meant that Twait was able to move relatively seamlessly into different areas and roles. A smaller company may not provide that chance, but wearing many hats there may present other types of enriching experience.

            Griffin noted that personal and family concerns often weigh as heavily as professional considerations—if not more so—and can affect the timing of any move when children are young and in school, for example. If there’s a merger or acquisition involving your company, she added, it can take some of the control away when you’re trying to forge your own destiny. Determining when you can afford to take the risk and try something new is key.

            Denton agreed with Twait that “boredom is never associated with alliance management,” and that the field creates many opportunities for both professional and personal growth. Twait added that just making the leap from Indianapolis to Cambridge, England, was important for his own growth as an individual. Denton said that in her own career move she essentially decided to “set fire to the cockpit and go.”

            The copresenters presented a structure for thinking about making your next job change that consisted of three categories: “Know Before You Go,” “Early Learnings,” and “Begin the Build.” Among the things to find out when plotting a job move, they said, are:

  • Why did this company go outside the organization to make the hire?
  • What is the prospective company’s business development strategy?
  • How can you add value in that strategy?

      Among the “Early Learnings,” the trio cited these questions to ponder:

  • Who are the key stakeholders and who are your best sources of information?
  • How can you get some quick early wins and what are the pressure points in the new organization?
  • Select the right diagnostic: How will you get the information you need to begin to build?
  • How can you establish your value—and credibility—early on?

      Within the first hundred days at a new company, the three presenters recommended taking the following steps internally:

  • Find out who are the “friends and family” of alliance management
  • Get 20 people and 20 processes described as soon as possible
  • Hold one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders
  • Begin ongoing mentoring efforts
  • Shadow department projects

      Externally, they had additional recommendations:

  • Make contact with your alliance management counterparts at the partner
  • Going through one to two cycles of governance should help with the learning curve
  • Collect performance data on the alliance
  •  Do an informal alliance health check with your alliance management counterpart

      Twait described these steps in total as “like an onboarding tool—it’s your own onboarding plan.” Another big question: Where are the key risks in your new company’s alliances in the next 30 days? They can appear in any number of areas:

  • Communication—especially with “unique personalities” who require special handling
  • Where the money is going, with any attendant budget constraints
  • IP issues
  • Public disclosure issues
  • Presence or lack of processes
  • History of conflict within or around the alliance

       Given that all job changes can be challenging, and that learning a new company from a cross-functional area such as alliance management can be hard, audience members in the session had some other pieces of good advice for those making alliance career moves. These included:

  • Ask good questions and don’t be afraid to sound “dumb”—the new company may use different language from your old one
  • Communication is key—face-to-face conversations and “hallway meetings” can help a lot, especially in a small company
  • Understand the essentials of the alliances you’ve taken on—get a summary of the key aspects of the contract in each alliance you’re responsible for
  • The alliance management role may be poorly understood at your new company and not have a true mandate—so you’ll have to earn your credibility
  • The new company may expect miracles—so manage expectations, then deliver
  • The new company wants to reap the benefits of your expertise and to hear your war stories—but don’t compare the new and old companies

      What’s your next move? Whether it’s to a new company or even a new country, or just into a new role in your current organization, there’s a lot to think about and a lot to do as you bring your own experience and alliance know-how into a new situation with fresh challenges. 

Tags:  alliance management  alliances  AstraZeneca  biopharma community  CA-AM  career path  Communication  conflict  CSAP  Experion  IP  Karen Denton  mentoring  Nancy Griffin  senior alliance leaders  stakeholders  Steve Twait  Vertex Pharmaceuticals 

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‘You Give Me a Buck, and We Give You Back Three’: Pharma Partnering Leaders Discuss Roles—and the Value of Alliance Management

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Friday, April 13, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The evolving roles of alliance executives—and capturing the value of the alliance function—were among the many topics that emerged as during the Tuesday, March 27 leadership panel discussion, “Driving Alliance Excellence into the Future,” moderated by Andy Eibling, CSAP, former Covance vice president of alliances, at the ASAP 2018 Global Alliance Summit, “Propelling Partnering for the On-Demand World: New Perspectives + Proven Practices for Collaborative Business,” March 26-28, 2018. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

 

Pharma executives joining Eibling for the discussion included Casey Capparelli, global product general manager in oncology at Amgen; Nancy Griffin, CA-AM, vice president and head of alliance management, global business development & licensing at Novartis; Mark Noguchi, vice president and global head, alliances and asset management, at Roche; and David S. Thompson, CA-AM, chief alliance officer, Eli Lilly and Company. (Editor’s Note: See the forthcoming April 2018 edition of eSAM Plus for more coverage of this fascinating leadership discussion.)

 

When Eibling threw out the topic of alliance management’s role in acquisitions, mergers, and divestments, and business development and licensing, he noted, “You need to differentiate between a stop and start in terms of divestments. Divestments can be ongoing. Someone in the group manages the ongoing process.”

 

Capparelli: In Amgen that holds true for small acquisitions, but large complex acquisitions need to be managed separately.

 

Thompson: You need to look to someone else to run a large acquisition.

 

Eibling: There’s lots happening in the pharma world today, but will it continue?

 

Thompson: There are more and more partnerships. The trend grows and grows. Today each alliance manager is involved with 20 to 30 alliances. How do you manage ever increasing volume? It’s hard to predict if something will come to fruition.

 

Eibling: Let’s look at the role of the alliance manager, and how it has shifted between project management and alliance management. Alliance management and project management need to be connected at the hip and carve out space through the partnership management team. There are three roles in a partnership management team. The question is who drives those team meetings? Who is accountable? Does the project manager manage the success of the alliance?

 

Thompson: Most M&A integration gets done in 100 days. The work looks the same except it’s compressed. It takes 100 days to swallow an alliance. It’s at a pace you need in an M&A.

 

Capparelli: Deal making is a transactional approach, but building trust generates respect.

 

Griffin: You build an operating model in the core so that you build consistent capabilities.

 

Noguchi: The Roche alliance group is modeled after Lilly. The skill set is there but compressed.

 

Eibling: There’s a shift between deal makers and an alliance manager with a partner. No one understands the dynamics as well as an alliance manager. With ever expanding projects, it’s the alliance manager who understands motivations and how to construct the alliance and M&A deal.

“Let’s look at value,” Eibling said, wrapping up the panel discussion. “How do you capture the value of alliance management? How do you define value?” he asked Thompson.

“Alliances are not efficient but effective,” Thompson asserted.

 

“Fear is a great motivator,” he continued. “I’ve seen too many alliances go out of existence. They focused on relationship management but didn’t expand beyond that to the legal and business risk. That contributed to their demise. They didn’t feel valued in the organization. So, in times of hardship, they’re an easy target to eliminate,” he explained.

 

“We saw it happening and so became open about our model. We measure continuation. We are adjudicated by leadership. It’s valuable to talk about your own contributions. You get the [internal] client you’re supporting to agree based on what they think—what they value or don’t value. Is this a risk reduction or efficiency game? You build to be efficient but it’s the face-to-face that often counts.  As for monetizing the value of alliance management, it’s simple. You give me a buck, and we give you back three.”

Tags:  acquisitions  alliance management  alliance manager  Amgen  Andy Eibling  Casey Capparelli  David S. Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  leadership  M&A  M&A integration  Mark Noguchi  Nancy Griffin  Novartis  partner  partnerships  Pharma executives  project manager  Roche 

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2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit To Provide New Business Perspectives and Proven Leadership Practices

Posted By John W. DeWitt and Cynthia Hansen, Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Some 50-plus seasoned alliance managers and business insiders to share their know-how and valuable content in the form of sessions, workshops, talks, and panel discussions from 35-plus leading companies, educational institutions, and consultancies

The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), an international association dedicated to the leadership and practice of alliance management, partnering, and business collaboration, announced the theme for the 2018 Global Alliance Summit: “Propelling Partnering for the On-Demand World: New Perspectives + Proven Practices for Collaborative Business,” to be held March 26-28 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The largest international management education opportunity of its kind, participants have access to the latest trends in the profession from a range of leading industry thought leaders providing groundbreaking talks, practical workshops, and cutting-edge sessions.

The 2018 Summit particularly emphasizes programming for veteran alliance mangers that focuses on how to apply leading edge practices and seasoned know- how at a time of considerable change with increasing multi-industry partnering. The thought leaders representing numerous industry verticals will include influential c-level and senior executives from Fortune 100 and 500 companies.

The Summit will provide a rich mix of:

  • Fifty-plus facilitators, speakers, and panelists representing 35-plus industry-leading companies, educational institutions, and consultancies
  • Twenty-eight education sessions and in-conference workshops
  • Ten-plus hours of business development and networking opportunities
  • Eight different in-conference tracks
  • Six pre-conference workshops
  • A biopharma leadership panel session
  • The renowned ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards ceremony
  • Ample networking opportunities and an engaging roundtable session

Strong international participation in past Summits has created a diverse, global, cross-cultural climate with 25 percent attendance from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The Summit is offering intensive leadership-related pre-conference workshops Monday, March 26, on topics such as ASAP’s newly launched in-house TE-AM Training, another on overcoming obstacles and conflict, leveraging the new ISO 44001 Collaborative Business Relationship Management Standard, Game Theory in strategic decision making and negotiations, Alliance Management 201 as a follow-up to the 101 session, and CA-AM exam preparation.

The event will start off Tuesday, March 27, with a timely keynote address by tech insider Tim Minahan, senior vice president of business strategy and chief marketing officer at Citrix. A leader in global marketing strategy and operations, he is responsible for securely deliver the world's most important apps and data. A tech eclectic, Minahan has served in a broad range of business leadership roles at leading enterprise software, cloud, and services firms. He is particularly adept at defining new markets and positioning companies to own them. He previously spearheaded SAP's successful transition to the cloud as CMO of the company's cloud and line-of-business unit. He joined SAP when the company acquired Ariba, where he was Ariba’s global CMO and senior vice president of business network strategy where he led the commercial strategy for the Ariba Network, the world's largest and most global business network. He also oversaw the design and execution of go-to-market programs and marketing initiatives to fuel Ariba’s growth as a leading cloud company. 

Before the day’s close, attendees will be privy to the winners of the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards, a big favorite as companies are honored for their alliance capabilities in specific categories. The Summit will also highlight four scheduled plenaries from top-level speakers: two from pharma companies, including Mark Noguchi, Roche’s VP and global head of alliances and asset management and Lucinda Warren, VP, business development, neuroscience at Johnson & Johnson Innovation; two from high tech companies, including Russ Cobb, global VP of alliances and channels at SAS and Wayne Usie, senior vice president & chief market development officer at JDA Software. The remainder of the Summit will include a wide variety of sessions in eight different tracks that are geared toward enhancing alliance performance, such as the life sciences, tech, and leadership. The Summit will be strongly weighted toward higher-level alliance education, such as how to think strategically and how to drive collaborative leadership throughout an organization. A new, particularly strong leadership panel session will be comprised of biopharma executives David Thompson, CA-AM, CAO at Eli Lilly and Company; Mark Noguchi, VP and global head of alliances and asset management at Roche; Casey Caperelli, head of alliance and integration management at Amgen; Nancy Griffin, CA-AM, VP of alliances with Novartis.

Attendees can expect to receive strong content from recurring Summit rainmakers, such as:

  • Ben Gomes-Casseres, CSAP, Brandeis University and author of Remix Strategy partnered with Greg McGahan, PwC deals partner and alliances/joint venture practice leader, in their session “Alliances in Corporate Development: Back to the Future?”  
  • Stuart Kliman, a partner and head of alliance management practice at Vantage Partners with “Realizing the Value of Non-Traditional Partnerships in Pharma/Biotech and Technology”
  • Jan Twombly, CSAP, president, The Rhythm of Business, and Jeff Shuman, CSAP, principal, The Rhythm of Business, and professor of management, Bentley University with “Joint Development of Complex Solutions Requires Extreme Partnering”  
  • Joe Schramm, vice president strategic alliances, BeyondTrust, and Morgan Wheaton, senior director, global partner alliances & channels, JDA Software with Partnering with Change in a World of Ongoing Disruption”
  • Dr. Ard-Pieter de Man, CSAP, School of Business and Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with “Building Your Collaborative Business Model”

Additionally, a mix of sessions will be providing strategic perspectives and management insights in a range of industries, such as:

  • “Architecting for Transformation: The Next Generation Partner Ecosystem,” by Russ Cobb, global vice president alliances and channels, SAS Institute, and Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, founding principal, Phoenix Consulting Group
  • “How to Optimize Value and Gracefully End Alliance Relationships,” by Jeff Hurley, CA-AM, alliance management director, Eli Lilly and Company, and Ron McRae, CSAP, director of alliance management, Janssen Biotech
  • “Alliance Management: A Growing, Enterprise-wide Activity,” by Karen Denton, CA-AM, alliance management director, BD&L alliance management, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and Christoph Huwe, CA-AM, PhD, strategic alliance manager therapeutics, global external innovation & alliances, Bayer Pharmaceuticals
  • “Centralized vs. Decentralized Alliance Organizations: How to Survive and Thrive in Both Ecosystems!”, by Tony DeSpirito, CSAP, vice president/general manager of operation services, Schneider Electric, and Scott San Antonio, CA-AM, global director for IoT and edge compute alliances, Schneider Electric

This is a representative selection of what’s on the docket. For more information about the Summit keynote, agenda, sessions, workshops, and other programming, go to: http://asapsummit.org/.

Tags:  Amgen  Bayer  Casey Caperelli  Cindy Warren  Citrix  Eli Lilly and Company  Janssen Biotech  Jeff Hurley  Joe Schramm  Johnson and Johnson Innovation  Karen Denton  Mark Noguchi  Nancy Griffin  Novartis  Roche  Ron McRae  Russ Cobb  SAS Institute  Schneider Electric  Tim Minahan  Tony DeSpirito  Wayne Usie 

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