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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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Q1 2018 Strategic Alliance Magazine: The Changing Face of Data Security in Multi-partnering; Insights from Genpact’s Donna Peek; Global Alliance Summit Preview; Happy 20th, ASAP!

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, March 12, 2018
Updated: Saturday, March 10, 2018

Is your company risking underinvestment in data security during a time of major digital transformation? That’s one of the big questions posed in the 2018 Q1 Strategic Alliance Magazine, which is packed with information on emerging security trends that impact today’s evolving multi-industry, multi-partnering ecosystem. “The amount of digital disruption that is occurring—whether in IoT sensors, new business models, the amount of data being produced every day, and the introduction of the cryp­tocurrencies—is creating unlimited opportunities for threat factors … that bad actors can attack,” remarks Steve Benvenuto, senior director in the global security part­ner sales organization at Cisco Systems.

Adding to that challenge: “At the current churn rate, about half of all S&P 500 companies will be replaced over the next ten years,” according to Innosight management consulting company. Risking a security breach in the present climate could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The package of articles provides insights on implementing and maintaining secure systems, especially in light of evolving multi-industry, multi-partnering business models. Citing the US government’s 2017 release of its first “Guidelines and Practices for Multi-Party Vulnerability Coordination and Disclosure,” the articles delve into a range of related cutting-edge topics:

  • Evolving blockchain technology, a promising new framework for supply chain security
  • Case studies on innovative new supply chain models in the pharmaceutical, automotive, shipping, food, and other industries, as explained by NetApp’s Ron Long, CSAP
  •  “Digital Transformation > Changing Business Models > the Impact on Security in Partnering,” what alliance managers need to know to stay abreast of the change, through the eyes of Philip Sack, CSAP, of CollaboRare & the Digital Leadership Institute
  • A behavioral scientist’s perspective on why CEO and company leaders tend to underinvest in security
  • Ideas for onboarding company culture and security protocols for an easy transition on the digital transformation wave

Companies need to carpe diem in this unprecedented, fast-evolving era of digital transformation, adds Donna Peek, CSAP, vice president of global alliances at Genpact, in this issue’s Member Spotlight. “Alliances have never been more strategic and collaboration skills never more vital to corporate success,” says Peek, a highly experienced alliance manager and member of the ASAP Board of Directors. She then provides readers with best practices and solid guideposts necessary for maneuvering today’s obstacle course of disruptions and digital transformation drivers.

The security package is not the only highlight of this issue: 2018 is ASAP’s 20th anniversary since its creation in 1998, a notable milestone that shows the foresight of its founders and value of its mission. Personal accounts and insights into the association’s evolution are provided by ASAP’s President and CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, as well as early thought leaders Robert Porter Lynch, CSAP, and Ard-Pieter de Man, CSAP. “[D]espite the indelible mark we’ve made in business—al­liance management is an essential function and capability in a wide array of leading companies and industries—we still need to roll up our sleeves today with the same bold­ness and vision that our founders had two decades ago. This is a call to action to all of you who are a part of this remarkable journey,” writes Leonetti in his Up Front column.

This issue then provides a synopsis of what’s to come at the 2018 ASAP 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. After providing perspective on the first Summit in 1999, during an era of boom boxes and floppy disks, the articles gives readers agenda highlights, previews of four plenary talks, workshop information, and a who’s who of finalists for the 2018 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards

Tags:  alliance managers  Best Practices  blockchain  breach  collaboration  data security  digital transformation  Donna Peek  Genpact  IoT  multi-industry  multi-partnerhing  NetApp  Phil Sack  Ron Long  Strategic Alliance Magazine  supply chain 

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Alliance Managers

Posted By Kimberly Miller, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Donna Peek, CSAP, vice president, global alliances at Genpact shares her views of what the seven habits of highly effective alliance managers. These habits include being curious, conflict management, organization and political savvy, influencing without authority, entrepreneurial mindset, leadership and change management, and execution. ASAP is the go-to-community for partnership and alliance success to find out more visit

Tags:  alliance managers  change management  collaboration  conflict manangement  Donna Peek  Genpact  partnership  political savvy 

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Learning Agility ID: Insight into Successful Leadership, Part Two

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Updated: Monday, December 4, 2017

ASAP Media continues its coverage of “The Future Belongs to the Learning-Agile, a session presented Sept. 15 by Jim Peters at the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference. Peters is a senior partner in Korn/Ferry International's Leadership and Talent Consulting group. His core message: individuals and/or organizations most adaptable to change are the ones best positioned to survive in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world.


At this point in the session, Peters introduced the attendees to a “Learning Agility Assessment Chart,” where characteristics such as self-assured to self-awareness were graded on a continuum. Other items at each end of the continuum included “depth mental agility” to “breadth mental agility,” “consistent people agility” to “flexible people agility,” “structured change agility” to “experimental change agility,” and “dependable results agility” to “resourceful results agility.” The talent was then scored as a depth learner, expandable learner, or a breadth learner.

Learning agility is based on ability and willingness to learn from experience under first-time conditions, Peters continued, referencing the charts and where people placed themselves and historic figures, such as Mozart, da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin.  “It’s not related to IQ. There’s a difference between traditional learning in comparison to agile learning characteristics. By navigating waters of external forces, agile leaders make a difference. They seek out and have more diverse experiences which enable them to handle challenges. They reflect, gain insight, and distill to apply to situations that may have underlying principles that need that sort of approach.”

Executives who derailed had blind spots—have untested or underdeveloped competencies. In extreme cases, some executives are not able to give up control.  Peters warned against putting people into experiences they haven’t the know-how to deal with. From 35 to 54 is the prime age of functional leaders. But today, too often top executives and even CEOs are found among MBAs that are young and clueless. Their talent may help them with high performance but not agility.

Peters cited that research shows organizations are experiencing a 56% shortage of key positions. Some 48% of companies have no process in place for appropriately selecting candidates and 40% of high potential candidates promoted into a new assignment failed! He admonished the attendees to think about the risk to their organization and the damage to the talent’s future if he/she is shuttled into a position for which the professional is ill suited. Most executives send people to take a course to expand. Yet, research shows that 70% learn from assignments; 20% learn from people, and 10% from courses.

Some companies ID CEOs decades earlier, he stated. “They look for an aptitude for logic and reasoning, a problem solver with a track record and leadership ability. They focus on strengths, but should not ignore weaknesses. Instead, they should create a workaround, so it won’t cause problems. A serious candidate must be able to learn from experience and adjust and must be self-aware. Avoid the hierarchical talent who believes ‘I’m the leader and don’t care how others are responding around me.’”

Financial people believe IQ is the key to success, Peters warned. Select those with learning agility. Mental agility is about problem solving, not IQ. Remember, there are narrow problems and broad problems (depth and breadth).

“People who are endowed with agility are good at reading people. (Steve Jobs could zoom in to see what you were bad at and use it against you.) Agility does not mean you like change, but rather that you understand it and are willing to take heat to work it through, as opposed to some others who would dig in their heels,” he said.

Tags:  Agile learners  agility  alliance managers  Complex and Ambiguous)  creative problem solvers  executives  expandable learner  Jim Peters  Korn-Ferry International  Leadership and Talent Consulting  Learning Agility Assessment Chart  talent  Uncertain  VUCA (Volatile 

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Learning Agility ID: Insight into Successful Leadership, Part One

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, December 4, 2017

When the race goes not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, those that succeed are most likely blessed with agility. That was the reoccurring theme of “The Future Belongs to the Learning-Agile on day three of the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference, “Accelerating Life Science Collaboration: Better Partnering, Better Outcomes,” held September 13-15 in Cambridge, Mass. USA. Presented by Jim Peters, a senior partner in Korn/Ferry International's Leadership and Talent Consulting group, the core message is that the individual and/or organization most adaptable to change is the one best positioned to survive in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world.


Peters is the co-creator of Lominger's proprietary Succession Architect toolset and its Talking Talent process for enhancing executive talent reviews.  He is an expert in strategic human resource management, with a specific emphasis on strategic staffing, development, and succession planning.

“We have a talent problem, a huge talent problem everywhere. Because of VUCA we must move talent faster,” Peters informed attendees. The concept of VUCA was introduced by the U.S. Army War College to describe the more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous multilateral world that resulted from the end of the Cold War. The term has been applied to ideas in strategic leadership in a wide range of organizations, from for-profit corporations to education.

Peters acknowledged that disrupters are a normal part of the business culture. Change is everywhere and coming on fast. Companies cannot rely on past performance to inform them what to do next. “Think, Google’s coming,” Peters said. “Publishing is now self-publishing. Food is now”

“Today you need to change and adjust, to be agile. Disruptors are at work so those at the top must allow for responsiveness, a strategic agility to see over the hill to  the other side. Alliance professionals can move more easily because of their adaptably. But if you don’t have the right people in the mix, what you want to happen won’t happen. You need the right people with the right skills at the right place and time.”  

“Consider air traffic control landing planes in a pattern—a string of pearls. If there is any change, you must change the pattern,” Peters said. “We find talent and create a string of pearls we call the organizational pipeline, the line and number of roles in an organization. To do that effectively, you need to be able to project into the future – to develop a person, starting as an individual contributor, up the line to a managerial role. But first, you need to properly ID the talent. Once you ID talent, you can figure out where they belong in the pattern, the string of pearls,” he explained.

Executives mistake high performance with high potential. Potential is looking forward; competencies look to the past. Think of agile learners as those who step out of their comfort zone. High performers exist on a continuum from depth to breath. Depth is found in functional technical experts who may be superior performers year after year, such as a chief engineer or medical specialist. But when searching for leaders, look for someone who can manage dilemmas effectively. To lead, you need folks that are creative problem solvers. They have breadth of focus in terms of performance. They lead well in first time situations.

We continue with Jim Peters’ session “The Future Belongs to the Learning-Agile in Part Two of this blog post. Check out ASAP Media’s extensive coverage of this and other sessions from the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Cambridge, Mass.

Tags:  Agile learners  alliance managers  Complex and Ambiguous)  creative problem solvers  executives  Jim Peters  Korn-Ferry International  Leadership and Talent Consulting  talent  Uncertain  VUCA (Volatile 

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