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Exemplary Alliance Management Practices Receive Accolades and Honors at ASAP’s 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards Ceremony

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards ceremony is a much-awaited event at the annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit, and the 2017 gathering was no exception this year at “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Part­nering Enterprise,” Feb. 28–March 2, at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, Calif. USA. Awards were presented in four categories: Individual Alliance Excellence, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, Alliance Program Excellence, and Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility. Two ASAP Chapter awards were also presented for Excellence in Chapter Innovation and Excellence in Chapter Programs.

 

 “It’s an important part of what we do, and this community should celebrate its successes in the alliance world,” said Michael Leonetti, president & CEO of ASAP, when introducing the finalists.

 

“Every year we get better and better nominations. This year was a really tough judging process,” explains Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, chair of the 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards committee and founder/CEO of Phoenix Consulting Group, when discussing the selections. A member of the awards committee for 14 years, Watenpaugh led the committee through this year’s selection process.

 

Over the years, “we’ve seen the adoption of best practices, and the quality of alliance management has steadily improved and is reflected in the nominations and submissions we have seen. This year in particular, many of the nominations and key award winners looked at alliances as going beyond simple company-to-company connections. They are networks of stakeholders, customers, industry colleagues, and other industry players. It has become a very complex network of alliances, which is how alliances are evolving. They are becoming more ecosystem-centric.”

 

Of significance this year were the three strong finalists in the corporate responsibility category, whereas last year there were none. “It’s always great to see the contributions companies are making to make the world a better place,” says Watenpaugh.

 

The Individual Alliance Excellence Award is given to a company that has instituted practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management for a single alliance. The alliance may be an emerging alliance or comprised of two or more companies. The winner is Loonaangifteketen-UWV-CBS-Belastingdienst. After this partnership of three government agencies began applying alliance management best practices, it became highly effective in the management of tax revenues in The Netherlands. Belastingdienst (Dutch IRA), UWV (Dutch National Social Security Administration), and CBS (Statistics Netherlands) applied a governance model that emphasized cross-agency collaboration versus agency competition. It resulted in a collaboration that generates 60 percent of the Dutch government’s revenue in an easy-to-use system for pensions and social security benefits. The alliance lowered costs while increasing convenience to the citizenry with 96 percent accuracy. The incorporation of ecosystem thinking helped the collaboration maintain a focus on important initiatives while building relationships across the separate departments.

 

The Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award highlights the use of new, individual alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. The tools or processes are additions to existing portfolios that address specific elements of alliance management, such as measurement, training, conflict resolution, general communication across the partner ecosystem, or similar facets of the discipline. The winner is NetApp. While many companies still try to manage partnering processes through spreadsheets, NetApp has invested in technology and governance of its rigorous alliance co-selling program to ensure trackable processes that produce results. The processes engage NetApp and partner representatives proactively in account mapping, account planning, and pipeline management with exemplary execution of the most difficult aspects of go-to-market alliances. They also provide detailed reports on joint co-selling activities. The company is being recognized for the dedicated resources and governance invested in the change.

 

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a single, specific company and its partnering capability, not an alliance. The company exceeds expectations with its scalable practices, tools, and methodologies to support successful formation and management of alliance portfolios over time. They are able to be applied to multiple alliances, as needed, are repeatable, and have led to consistent alliance performance across multiple alliances. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. The winner is Equifax. In an industry where partnerships and alliances as a business model are in the beginning stages, Equifax has created internal governance structures that enable management across a highly matrixed enterprise. The program resulted in significant growth in 2015 and 2016, access to new markets, innovation, cost savings by eliminated legal expenses associated with partner disputes, and a change in culture. Equifax now views partnering as critical to success versus a resource of last resort.

 

The Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award is for partnerships that make a profound, measurable, and positive social impact. The principal objective of the alliance is social impact, not profit—although profit, especially if used to fund program expansion, is not discouraged. The winner is The Synergist-Sanofi. This multiparty alliance comprised of the general public, government and health agencies, industry, and academics and healthcare professionals aims to co-creating solutions to “Break Dengue.” The ecosystem platform, information sharing, and crowd sourcing, with over 1200 member and 2200 Twitter followers, incorporates online chat, worldwide tracking of cases, and toolkits for the public that reduce the risk of infection. The Synergist framework and governance facilitates a neutral platform that encourages participation and enables partners to overcome structural or perceived ethical barriers to collaboration. The platform can be used for other diseases, such as Zika.

 

Two ASAP chapters also received awards. The Excellence in Chapter Innovation award was presented to the RTP Chapter with honorable mention for the Silicon Valley Chapter; the Excellence in Chapter Programs award was presented to the ASAP New England Chapter.

 

See the official ASAP press release announcing the winners at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/03/prweb14113139.htm.

Tags:  alliance  alliance management  alliance professional certification  Belastingdienst  best practices  Break Dengue  CBS  Equifax  governance  Loonaangifteketen  NetApp  Sanofi  The Synergist  UWV 

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On the Cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, How Agile is Your Alliance?

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017

Being brittle during a time of industry change can break a fragile allianceand even a business. Agility is key to surviving disruption, especially when a major shift is taking place to a new industrial age. Find out how your company can adapt and weather the change at the session “Agile Alliances: Catalyst for the Next Industrial Age,” as part of the 2017 Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Part­nering Enterprise,” held Feb. 28-March 2 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, Calif. USA. The session will be moderated by Ann E. Trampas, CSAP, of the University of Illinois—Chicago, with panelists Anthony DeSpirito, CSAP, Schneider Electrics; Gaye Clemson, Globalinkage Consulting; Michael Young, Klick Health; Philip Sack, CSAP, Asia Collaborative Business Community. Sack provided these insights into the session during a recent interview.

How should companies prepare for the fourth industrial revolution with the increase in multi-partnering?

If we accept that the external drivers of global change are going to continue challenging organizationsslow economic growth, digital disruption, globalization, geopolitical uncertainty, speed of change, new nimble competitors, etc.then there is great pressure on organizations to become more agile, innovate, and continually adapt and change. However, this requires additional strategic thinking from previous approaches of value-chain efficiencies, market regulations (barriers to entry), improving costs management, and competitive positioning (differentiation). Success now requires greater thinking about how to continue driving new innovations, customer centricity (creating value), enhancing collaboration (external, internal), and new or adjacent market positions while simultaneously improving performance. That is no mean feat!

Why is it essential for partnerships to become more agilefaster, lighter, more flexible?

There is an increasing appetite for organizations to engage in more strategic collaboration and alliance partnerships, in part driven by the global changes affecting many organizations. Managed effectively, with appropriate support and investment, these relationships assist organizations to enhance their agility, market responsiveness, and new innovation efforts. Many organizations are looking at their strategic partners and networks of partners as a faster way of achieving these objectives rather than typical M&A (buying), or organic internal development (building). This “need to speed” implies that new collaborations and alliances focus on quickly assembling and disassembling around customer/market requirements, delivering rapid prototyping and development capabilities, and operating comfortably within complex and ambiguous situations.

How can alliance managers make their collaborations more agile and successful?

A good place to start would be to review existing collaborations and strategic alliances and how they support achieving these objectives, i.e., new innovations, co-creation capability, improving customer centricity, new products and service solutions, and incremental go-to-market approaches. This open dialogue provides an opportunity to review the original focus and strategic intent of the alliance, what is now required, and where the next evolution of the relationship needs to take place. However creating new alliance relationships that support these new strategic imperatives will involve taking a slightly different approach. Given that these strategic imperatives address significant challenges facing the organization, a firm-wide approach is required for success. The alliance management function has a natural orientation towards strategy, firm-wide thinking, facilitation, collaboration, and ecosystem orchestration. Hence, it should be in the perfect position to lead efforts to create cross-functional teams that would focus on creating, supporting, and delivering to these imperatives. These teams would include members from executive, strategy, research and development, marketing, and human resources and have a strong focus on entrepreneurial action and creation—in effect, a start-up way of thinking within the organization.

 
Is there anything specific to Asia that you think readers might want to know to improve their alliances with Asian companies?

Similar large-scale issues and challenges are being addressed by organizations across Asia as they are worldwide. Engaging within this area is quite exciting and challenging and should be done in a considered and measured approach. There certainly is a strong emphasis on relationships, a natural entrepreneurial spirit, and orientation to deal making. This requires addressing opportunities and making alliances aware of the various local and cultural contexts. This often takes quite some time to evolve. The key message is to do some research, find some local support, and be patient.

Tags:  alliance  alliance partnerships  Ann E. Trampas  Anthony DeSpirito  collaborations  cross-functional teams  cultural  ecosystem orchestration  Gaye Clemson  innovation  Michael Young  network  partners  Philip Sack 

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Free Pre-Summit Session Provides a Taste of New ASAP Team-Building Workshop

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, February 27, 2017

Workshops can be an valuable opportunity for personal growth. They also can boost collaboration and teamwork skills so that team members are on the same page in terms of strategy, skills, and even attitudes. ASAP has incorporated a one-day workshop into its tool box for just this reason, and attendees can taste a sample of the offering 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. The free 45-minute pre-conference preview, “Next Gen Alliance Management: Moving your Organization to Ecosystem Performance Excellence” will be facilitated by Lynda McDermott, CA-AM, EquiPro International, on Tuesday afternoon. The workshop is designed to help participants focus on in-company team training and the CA-AM certification exam.

The session will provide attendees with insights into teambuilding and dynamics through experiential tools, such as business games and case studies. “It’s is not just for professionals,” says McDermott. “It’s useful for all alliance team members who may or may not be certified, and it is designed to expand the alliance team philosophy to all of the people in the corporation who serve on these teams.”

Alliance management gets even more complicated if, for example, you are a US-based pharma company with alliances around the world. “Alliances are a complex business model because you can’t force your culture on them,” she explains.

If they are going to be successful, you need a philosophy that spans all segments of the alliance. “It’s tricky because you want to have a common philosophy but have it flexible enough to adjust to different alliances and their goals,” she adds.

“One philosophy doesn’t fit all,” she continues. “But it’s important that each person that serves on alliance teams has in his or her head what the overall company alliance view is and what the operating principles are that govern every alliance the team works on.”

Which is why McDermott’s past workshops have included exercises such as building a duck out of legos to get people engaged “because people learn more by doing. What we’ve found is that people have different perspectives on what a duck looks like. When you are working in collaboration with alliance partners, not everyone has the same perspective,”  she adds.

While the session provides only a quick taste on the topic, EquiPro International customizes the full workshop to fit company needs. “We work with the company’s alliance management division to find out about the tools, best practices, and philosophy team members use. We have a  framework, but we customize it based on what the company wants to convey to all alliance team members.”

People do not learn and apply critical thinking by going over presentations, she emphasizes. That is why she includes an abbreviated assessment tool for the free session, but pre and post assessment tools for the eight-hour workshop. Participants can then compare their company team development with peers in the room. The assessment tools are designed to build awareness on critical success factors and provide an opportunity for personal reflection. By the end of workshop, participants can then see clearly where further development is needed. 

Tags:  alliance  collaboration  critical thinking  EquiPro International  framework  Lynda McDermott  team members  teambuilding  workshops 

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Dynamic Summit Workshop Promises Practical Tips and Hands-On Exercises To Help Manage and Prevent Alliance Conflict

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, February 20, 2017

Candido Arreche, CA-AM, global director of portfolio & partner management, Xerox worldwide alliances, is known for his captivating, insightful, and fun hands-on workshops at ASAP events. Arreche will be returning to the role with a new six-hour workshop “How to Resolve Conflict in Your Alliance,” from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tues., Feb. 28 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. During a recent interview, Arreche shared his vision for the daily practice of conflict resolution that can keep an alliance relationship moving and growing.

Why a workshop on conflict resolution?

In every partnership, there is always conflict. You have a honeymoon period, but when you roll up sleeves and do the work, there is always conflict. A lot of alliances stagnate because of conflict or misunderstanding. How we work alliances, how we manage that conflict is how we will get that alliance relationship moving again. Conflict resolution is not only the stuff we have to do when we hit the conflict, but what do we do beforehand. Good conflict management works at how to manage negative conflict and how to prevent it.

Do you have any techniques for getting stagnant relationships moving again?

My workshop is mostly exercises to build trust and relationships to understand what the problem or conflict is to be able to work together. The focus is on how to build collaboration when there is an impasse in your alliance relationship. I teach theory, but that is only one-tenth of the workshop. Nine-tenths is everyday collaborative relationship building exercises. I teach them to change behavior patterns. People leave understanding the true problem and take a bag of useful, everyday tools. I also apply some of my Six Sigma exercises.

Can you give an example of one of these exercises?

One of the biggest challenges in problem solving is that people really don’t understand the root cause of the issue. Even management, when it has a problem, wants to solve the problem instead of trying to understand the problem. We are all moving so fast that we want to jump the gun and fix it. But fixing the problem doesn’t always fix the communication problem. I have one Six Sigma exercise called The Five Whys, in which you go through five whys to get to the true root cause before you start fixing it. You can only do that in a collaborative fashion. You need to work together to find common root causes.

Communication seems key to the process. What else is critical?

There are four important C’s in partnerships: communication, culture, continuity, and commitment. A lack of any one of those can contribute to conflict. We’ve talked about communication a bit; so let’s look at the cultural aspect. If you create better communication protocols, clearly understand the commitment of each organization around the alliance, and keep the continuity going, then when you run into the culture piece, you have the building blocks already in place. It’s like a linked chain, and you can’t tackle the cultural component without the others. In terms of continuity, it’s important to keep the alliance moving and fluid. If your alliance stops moving, you will have to overcome the friction again. If a member of the alliance is no longer involved, then it’s going to take an enormous amount of effort to bring someone up to speed. If there is a break in continuity, things stagnate or stop. It’s better to apply these tools daily than at the negotiation table. We want to roll up sleeves and do things that are more applicable to the day-to-day. Finally, people don’t understand how severe the conflict can be when you don’t have committed partners and organizations. One of the best skills of a good leader is good communication and seeking mutual commitment.

When do you know when a partnership is not worth saving?

Nobody likes a sunset in a relationship when you have vested interests. If there is a lack of commitment, delay after delay, and the amount of conflict is escalating, then it’s time to take a hard look at your situation. However, if your partner on the other side of the table is not equally committed, that may lead to bringing in an alternate. It’s also important to keep in mind that not all conflict is bad. It can be turned to your advantage. Conflict can become an ally. 

Tags:  alliance  ally  Candido Arreche  collaboration  communication  Conflict  conflict resolution  continuity  culture  partner  partnership  partnerships  Xerox 

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Alex Dickinson, High-Tech and Biotech Executive and Co-Founder of Start-Up ChromaCode, To Keynote ASAP Global Alliance Summit Feb. 28 in San Diego

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, February 20, 2017

The 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit will focus on partnering for profit, innovation, and value during a time when technology and clinical worlds are among the many industries and sectors colliding in new customer-driven partnerships; Dickinson will discuss complex partnering in “The New Convergence: Life Science + Tech + Government”

CANTON, MASS. (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 02, 2017

The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), the world’s leading professional association dedicated to the practice of partnering, alliance management, and business collaboration, will be telescoping the necessary practices and tools for today’s rapidly growing cross-industry, cross-sector business ecosystems 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, California.

“How to maximize profit and value during a time of complexity so heavily influenced by the evolving Internet of Things and multi-industry collaboration is a challenge companies wrestle with on a daily basis,” says Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP. “Innovation is a key component in that equation for driving revenue streams. More than ever before, this year’s Summit will be providing the kinds of ideas, tools, and best practices partnership managers need to stay on the top of their game during a time of tremendous adjustment. ”

Center stage at the annual event will be keynote speaker Alex Dickinson, PhD, founder and executive chairperson for ChromaCode and recent senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the San Diego-based biotechnology company Illumina. Dr. Dickinson will talk about the new convergence of life science and technology and its impact on the applications and cloud computing practices for large-scale DNA sequencing and leveraging genomics data. In his talk “The New Convergence: Life Science + Tech + Government,” he will discuss his firsthand experience in shaping and connecting these realms, highlighting Illumina’s role as an industry leader in innovative collaboration in the complex world of genomics, and its applications in medical research, clinical testing, and therapy. The talk will focus on Dr. Dickinson’s experiences in driving advances in the evolving, multi-dimensional partnering world across multiple industries and the public sector. Click here to read the full press release.

Tags:  2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Alex Dickinson  alliance  alliance management  ChromaCode  collaboration  genomics data  Illumina  multi-dimensional partnering  partnering 

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