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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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Building and Sustaining the Alliance-Enabled Enterprise—Through the Lens of Vantage Partner’s Stu Kliman

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017

Building broad-based organizational partnering capabilities that are strongly embedded within and across your firm’s partnerships can be daunting in the face of an increasingly complex web of multi-industry alliances. Take your partnering capabilities to a new level with advice on how to manage just this kind of challenge 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.

 

Stuart Kliman, CA-AM, a founding partner of Vantage Partners LLC, and co-author of Vantage’s 2015 study, “Transcending Organizational Barriers—A Cross-Industry View of Alliance Management Trends and Challenges,” will build upon this research in his two-hour long workshop, “Building and Sustaining the Alliance-Enabled Enterprise.”  Kliman manages Vantage’s alliance practice area and is a regular speaker and writer on alliance and key supplier relationship management.

 

This year, Kliman will be co-running the workshop with Julie Shirley, executive, strategic alliances for financial services and technology at Equifax, who will share how the concepts highlighted by Kliman have enabled Equifax’s alliance success. Shirley leads a team of alliance partnering specialists that strives to maximize value from Equifax’s partnerships and to institutionalize partnering and alliance management capability at Equifax. Previously, Shirley was deputy general counsel for Equifax.

 

Organizations need to remain agile to effectively engage in key alliances as new technologies appear that can disrupt as well as assist. Alliance managers, in particular, can help enable an enterprise-wide mindset for driving innovation through partnerships to maximize value for all stakeholders. The session promises to be a highly interactive workshop that addresses a range of challenges while exploring both normative and sub-par organizational approaches for partnering. It will also focus on a framework to assess an organization’s partnering capabilities.

 

The creation of a sustainable, “alliance-enabled” enterprise is key to succeed. “If you have an alliance-dependent strategy, then your entire organization, including, of course, your management team, needs to be focused on supporting it,” according to Kliman.

Organizations must shift from their traditional, inwardly focused foundations to embrace externally focused strategic assumptions for winning, and in the process, embed an operating model and culture befitting a world-class partner.


“A framework for assessing your organization’s broad-based partnering capabilities would look at those aspects of an organization that ultimately lead to behaviors and results—such as core assumptions that the organization has about how it wins, organizational design, key processes and tools, explicit and implicit incentives, roles and responsibilities, and skills,” he adds.


The discussion will focus on the difference between organizations that are designed to succeed at external partnering and those that are not. It also will drill down on how the partnering capability of an organization might be designed in a meaningful and impactful way, and the role that alliance management organizations can play to ensure that their companies are truly prepared to execute a partner-dependent strategy.


“Alliance management organizations far too often are focused on the mechanical aspects of making individual alliances work,” Kliman states. “Instead, they need to be more focused on ensuring that the organization itself is designed to support its alliance dependent-strategy, if indeed that is the strategy the organization has.”


The session also will include roundtable discussions and sharing of ideas across the broader group, during which participants can engage with their colleagues to discuss barriers they've experienced to building a true alliance-enabled organization and brainstorm changes necessary to reach that goal.

Tags:  Alliance Management  alliance managers  cross-industry  partnering  strategy  Stu Kliman  Trends and Challenges  Vantage Partners 

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Mining Eli Lilly's Century of Alliance Experience at ‘Alliance Management Workshop: Tools and Techniques’

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, February 27, 2017

Last year marked the 140th anniversary of the founding of Eli Lilly and Company. For the past century, alliances have been critical to the company’s enduring success—and again this year Lilly will share its partnering experience and expertise in a workshop 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.

Lilly’s Chief Alliance Officer David Thompson, CA-AM joins Director of Alliance Management, Gary Butkus, CA-AM, RPh, on Tuesday, Feb. 28 for a pre-conference workshop, “Alliance Management Workshop: Tools and Techniques,” a distillation of Eli Lilly's century of business alliance experience that will provide case studies, tools, and techniques used to train alliance managers at Lilly.

Given the pharmaceutical company’s longevity, Lilly has experienced a prolonged period of patent expirations. Yet the company’s research and development efforts continue apace—in 2015, Lilly achieved significant advances in their pipeline of molecules in clinical development, due in part to the alliances it has forged.

 

As part of the “Tools and Techniques” workshop, or what Lilly refers to as Alliance Management 101, Thompson will address topics salient to alliance managers such as the various types of alliance managers and the management of business risk, human risk, and legal uncertainties. He and Butkus also will delve more deeply into the three phases of an alliance life cycle.


“Lilly wants to be an open source of information in order to advance the art and science of alliance management. We hope that people will use, share, and build upon the tools and resources Lilly has developed since 1999,” Thompson notes. “I hope that attendees know more than when they arrived, feel confident in the skills they learned, and share the knowledge they gained with their own company and alliance partners.”

Tags:  alliance life cycle  Alliance Management  alliance managers  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Gary Butkus  Resources  Tools 

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ASAP European Alliance Summit To Provide ‘Extensive Content’ to Expanding Number of Participants

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What was just around the corner begins tomorrow, one of Europe’s most advanced educational business opportunities the 2016 ASAP European Alliance Summit. Held at London’s exquisite Royal Garden Hotel near Kensington Gardens, “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships” is being jointly sponsored by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals and Thought Leader Global.

The number of attending alliance managers and partnering practitioners is expected to double as compared to last year, providing ample opportunity to network. “This year’s ASAP European Alliance Summit is highly international and diverse with more than 100 participants confirmed so far,” said Ariann Ignati, operations manager at Thought Leader Global, which is known for arranging business media and events for senior management in multinational enterprises. “We have extensive content and presentations from the life sciences, IT, manufacturing, and many other industries,” including energy, smart cities, biopharma, engineering, chemical, and consumer goods.

An international contingent of around 30 progressive business thinkers from more than 15 countries will provide some of the most cutting edge information in their industries during two streams of programming. Presenters will cover the topics of cross-sector alliances, joint ventures, innovation, and ecosystem partnering; discuss in-house case studies; delve into the impact of the cloud, Internet of Things, and digital systems, among other topics. Session topics range from Google’s “An Alliance Built on Culture” to Facebook’s “New Partnership Models in a Digital Landscape,” Siemens Technology to Business’s “Innovation, Disruption and Partnerships within the Startup Ecosystem,” Ipsen’s “Developing an Onboarding Process for Alliances/Partnerships,” Janssen Business Development’s “Making your Alliance Global: Having a Global Approach for Managing Alliances,” and many more. Click here for an expanded list of of session and speaker information.

Sessions will be provided by heads of alliances and joint ventures, corporate partnering experts, and business development specialists, as well as alliance, JV, and partnership departments from companies such as IBM, Bayer, Facebook, Takeda, Philips, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Renault Nissan, Google, Deutsche Telekom, Unilever, GE Oil and Gas, Shell, DONG Energy, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Syngenta, Huawei, Ericsson, Servier Monde, Janssen, Oracle, the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation, and New Generation Leader.

“It’s a critical time in alliance management as it adapts and grapples with the changing landscape of the emerging multi-industry ecosystem,” said Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president & CEO of ASAP. “This is an opportunity to jump in and hear from some of the biggest movers and shakers in their industries on how their companies are breaking from the pack to collaborate in innovative and adaptive ways as the Internet of Things impacts their partnering.”

Leonetti plans to attend the Summit, opening the event by making himself available to anyone interested in finding out how ASAP membership and best practices can enhance your business practices. Those who arrive early will have the opportunity to take the ASAP Certification of Achievement-Alliance Management (CA-AM) Prep Workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

For more information and an expanded list of offerings, go to: http://www.strategic-alliances.org/?page=eurosummit

Tags:  2017 ASAP European Alliance Summit  alliance  alliance managers  cloud  cross-sector alliances  digital systems  Ecosystem  ecosystem partnering  innovation  Internet of Things  joint ventures  partnering  Partnerships  Thought Leader Global 

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‘Design in Pencil’ as You Integrate Change into the Design Thinking Process (Part Three): How Alliance Teams Build an Experience Map, Grapple with Challenges, and Iterate

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, October 3, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2016

As you work through the design thinking process and apply it to your partnerships, you are building techniques to reach a decision, and you are learning to work together. With an alliance team and two core partners, you can get at an aligned recommendation or proposal. The ideal is to brainstorm and map out the most efficient way partners can get to the most effective process to come to a proposal. Then bring the partners together and arrive at a decision. Instead of “You have your way and I have mine,” ask “What is the alliance way?”

Now participants in the “Using Design Thinking to Drive Speed, Innovation, and Alignment in Partnering” workshop are exploring how to build an experience map. At this point in the 90-minute interactive session at the Sept. 7-9, 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Boston, ASAP board member Jan Twombly, CSAP, and her partner at The Rhythm of Business, Bentley University professor Jeff Shuman, Ph.D., CSAP, are leading breakout groups through the process, advising executives to:

  • Step back and focus on empathic needs using their emotional intelligence.
  • Define what the empathic needs are for the co-diagnostic partner.
  • Report back to the larger project team—scientists, governance bodies, and other stakeholders.
  • Brainstorm with the larger group in mind.
  • Accelerate the delivery process, and eliminate elements can slow the process down.
  • Separate decision making into a core group for brainstorming and a companion diagnostics partners group.
  • Question if either party has experience. If both or neither have experience, then negotiate.

It’s critically important for alliance managers to drive the process and ensure it’s actually happening. Establish a collaboration leadership team; compare the companions in a diagnostic space and find companion diagnostic partners. Define the objective of the proposal and components. Both parties should come up with a short list of partners. There should be a joint evaluation process before asking for project approval. Get feedback, and redesign the prototype loop. Bring leaders and managers together to do this. Obtain a joint alliance management agreement on a new design. Relaunch the collaboration, implement from both partners, and plan for a joint development.

  • Two groups should come together and define a shared problem or goal.
  • Identify the problems.
  • Bring back to the company collective and individual brainstorming and group feedback.
  • Finalize and propose to the steering committee.

Approach Issues with Partners—and Build Iteration into the Process

Implementation

There is a skill to defining assumptions that may turn out to be true, or not true. Engage people, and roll it out to create a social charter, and stick to it. When looking at the final piece—look to iterate. You may find you didn’t get the question right, or you may discover you didn’t understand and so-and-so needed to be brought into the process. Question: Are you delivering the design experience? Make sure you find measures that define it. Prior to the proposal being presented to governance, make sure everyone has bought in.

As part of the workshop, groups were formed and asked to identify three assumptions inherent in the process they designed. Additionally, they were asked to assess the following: What is the most critical assumption you have made, and if it’s wrong, what is the impact? 

Group responses:

  • People won’t be candid or transparent or participate in individual conversations.
  • The development team is vetting the plan properly, and it was checked for joint alignment.
  • Both teams want to work jointly and collaborate. Or do they think they know best?  
  • They assume the other company has experience, but they may not have the experience or data needed.
  • In the list of shared attributes, make sure the internal list matches up. If not, it won’t pass governance.
  • You don’t need hard data numbers to prove or disprove the assumption.

Final thoughts

ID assumptions.  Use iteration. Move forward and focus on the intended outcome.  Start the intended experience, and map backwards. All stakeholders must get their needs satisfied; if not, they will stick out their foot and stop the process. Give power to partners if you wish to engage in a productive and collaborative process.

Tags:  alliance managers  alliance teams  Bentley University  biopharma  collaboration  decision making  design thinking  healthcare  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  leadership team  non-asset based alliances  partnering  partners  The Rhythm of Business 

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