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‘Building Corporate Capability for Collaboration’: Pre-Summit Workshop Attendees Assess their Organizations’ Readiness for the ISO 44001 Standard for Business Collaboration

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

If you think your organization meets a certifiably high standard of collaboration excellence just because you’re an ASAP member and employing best practices—well, you just might be right. On Monday, March 26, several dozen ASAP Global Alliance Summit attendees were able to validate their assumptions and measure the level of their organization’s collaborative capability against the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) 44001 standard for business collaboration and ASAP’s Handbook of Alliance Management. Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, principal of Phoenix Consulting Group, and Parth Amin, CSAP, principal of Alliance Dynamics, LLC, presented an in-depth ISO 44001 preconference workshop at the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA.

“What is the standard? People tell me you can’t standardize a relationship—they are all so different,” Watenpaugh noted in her opening comments. “And this is true—but we know from ASAP that there is a common life cycle and approaches that make alliances more successful.” More to the point, she continued, “It’s a framework, not a rigid process. It doesn’t tell you how to have a process or governance, it just tells that you need to address that.” The standard is designed for broad applicability, she added. “It enables organizations of all sizes—you can be a two-person organization and certify.” Regardless of organization size, when two or more organizations partner, “having a common model, language, framework, makes partnering more successful because it reduces friction.”

The ISO 44001 standard “also recognizes cultural differences” and, “as a standard, it’s very unique in promoting collaborative behavior,” Watenpaugh said. “Most standards are about processes, how you manage those processes, and that’s part of it as well—but there is high emphasis on having collaborative behavior and culture.”

The first part of the 90-minute session focused on how ASAP certification and best practices complement and accelerate ISO certification. Watenpaugh and Amin walked workshop participants through a collaborative maturity model based on the fusion of the ISO Standard and the ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management: A Practitioner’s Guide. Amin discussed new tools and then had attendees utilize a live assessment app that, based on the responses, scored their organizations’ ability to deliver high-performing collaborations. Attendees also received (on a memory stick) a comprehensive implementation guide that maps the ISO 44001 standard to the ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management.

Amin, an evangelist for the ISO standard who has worked closely with ASAP partner New Information Paradigms to develop the assessment tool, emphasized “the importance of relationships to CEOs.” He and Watenpaugh—leader the US technical advisory group for the ISO standard who previously led the revamping of the ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management several years ago—addressed, from an enterprise perspective, why relationships struggle in practice. “Getting value from collaboration is pretty hard,” Amin said. Amin and Watenpaugh talked about how a standard helps to get that value—on an individual, organizational, and partner level—and how ASAP best practices and certification contribute to the standards.

Assessing Readiness for ISO 44001
Amin and Watenpaugh walked through “the initial steps for certification—focusing on the assessing your organization’s readiness and the assessment tool itself,” said Amin, referring to a 20-question assessment app developed by the UK-based New Information Paradigms. Participants then roll up their sleeves for the remainder of the session to “do the assessment live, see their scores, talk about what were some of the ‘ah ha’ moments and surprises,” Amin said, noting that a diverse group of executives participated in the session. “We have broad range of industries represented—from academia, finance, medical device, pharma, high tech, etc.—and a broad range of executive levels—CEOs,  directors, managers, and so on,” he said.

Amin and Watenpaugh “brainstormed on how best to lead our session,” Amin said. “Should it be educational or interactive? We figured it would be something of both, instead of us preaching the whole hour.”

See John W. DeWitt’s recent feature article in the February issue of eSAM Plus for more about the ISO 44001 standard, including excerpts from the February 15, 2018 ASAP Netcast Webinar on the topic with Watenpaugh, Amin, and Cisco collaboration guru Ron Ricci, who discussed “Is Your CEO Challenging You to Go Faster? Why a Collaboration Standard Can Help.”

Tags:  Alliance Dynamics  alliance management  alliances  ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management  certification  International Standards Organization’s (ISO) 44001  Norma Watenpaugh  Parth Amin  Phoenix Consulting Group  standardize a relationship 

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Successful Transitions: ‘How to Optimize Value and Gracefully End Alliance Relationships’

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

You’ve probably got a process for kicking off an alliance. What about when it’s time to end the alliance relationship? On Tuesday, March 27, at the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, two veteran partnering executives tackled the topic of “How to Optimize Value and Gracefully End Alliance Relationships.” This session combined the insights and perspectives of Ron McRae, CSAP, director of alliance management at Janssen Biotech, and Steve Twait, CSAP, vice president of alliance and integration management at AstraZeneca.

As it so happens, “AstraZeneca and J&J are working through a transition right now,” Twait noted. “While we didn’t turn it into a case study, we were able to pull in some learnings from that. And while the two of us coming together was serendipity for the conference, we actually have some history and current projects that our companies are working on together.”

Prior to the 2018 Summit, I asked the two of them: Why do you feel that the topic of graceful exits and transitions is important to delve into more deeply? What inspired the two of you to invest your time into sharing your case examples and insights?

“Alliance management professionals typically have toolkits with practices and tactics for kicking off an alliance. There is a lot of excitement and commitment to that phase of the alliance lifecycle. However, the same is not generally true when it is time to end the alliance relationship.  Alliances come and go, but successful management of an alliance transition requires both timely and effective planning as well as flexible problem-solving capabilities at all levels. It also may require a fair amount of persuasion to ensure commitment as colleagues want or need to move on to new responsibilities,” McRae noted.

If it’s over, why does the transition matter so much? “It is important to eliminate or minimize any customer disruption to preserve asset value and even reputations of the partners,” McRae responded. “In the biopharma industry, it can even have life or death consequences depending on the indications of the product and/or availability of other medical options.”

In these cases, “the connection to patients is something we need to think about,” Twait noted. “You’ve got patients relying on the product, as you transition it to the other company, so you need to make sure you keep the patient in mind and don’t interrupt what they need.”

Even when lives don’t hang in the balance, “we should also keep in mind that we want to make sure we manage these situations as effectively as possible, as we may have another ongoing or future alliance opportunity with the partner,” McRae added.

Twait and McRae emphasized that the toolkit for graceful exits is not entirely unfamiliar.

Many of the same governance structures and tools utilized during other phases of the alliance lifecycle can be used during transitions or terminations, but the emphasis of some may change and new ones may still be needed—for example, alliance transition agreements and their components,” McRae explained.

More to the point, because of their relationships and skillsets, alliance executives are the right people at the right time during a transition.

“Alliance management is uniquely positioned in most organizations to maintain that value as the asset shifts hands from one partner to the other, because of existing relationships externally and internally, as well as our persuasive mindset and commitment,” McRae said. “Having led several transitions, we have experienced a number of lessons learned that we are sharing with our alliance management colleagues to help them anticipate and navigate similar situations.”

To be clear, this is not about when “alliances go bad.” It’s about timely, well-managed, intentional transitions.

“Transitions are part of any alliance,” Twait said. “Up front, we say this isn’t talking about when an alliance fails for technical reasons, but more about taking a thoughtful approach to how you transition something that’s been unbelievably successful—you’ve had a longstanding partnership but eventually it made sense for one company to manage the asset. Our focus is more on key learnings when, because of any number of reasons, the time is right for you to transition.”

McRae and Twait provided a number of such examples.

“Some of Ron’s examples involve a very mature alliance transitioning into a different phase,” Twait explained. “Some of the examples I provided are transitions, even divestments, where AstraZeneca is transitioning a product to another company because we are, for whatever reason, focusing our efforts in other areas.” Getting the transition right makes a crucial difference because you’re “leveraging years of relationships if it’s happening after a long relationship,” he continued. “You have people who have invested years in a product, business, and patients.”  

Tags:  alliance executives  alliances  AstraZeneca  governance structures  Janssen Biotech  Ron McRae  Steve Twait  transition 

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Millennials, Entrepreneurs, and the Push and Pull of the Crowd—an Interview with Lorin Coles (Part Two)

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, January 22, 2018
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018

During a recent interview for the Q4 2017 Strategic Alliance Magazine, I spoke with Lorin Coles, CSAP, CEO and managing director of Alliancesphere, an alliance management and collaboration consulting business, on the topics of innovation, out-of-the-box thinking, and creativity in business partnering (see “Giving Birth to Innovation: The Brainchild of Out-of-the-Box Thinking”). Coles had many insightful and inspiring ideas on the topic, and due to limited space, some of these ideas didn’t make it into the magazine.

Following is Part Two of our two-part blog post based on additional materials from the interview with Coles. We pick up the story of The Coca-Cola Company, which as looking to build joint, adjacent business models and innovation practices, and how Coles and the American Israeli Chamber of Commerce began working with Coke’s chief innovation officer across the brands to on a trip to Israel.

Coles: Israel is sometimes called “the start-up nation.” Tel Aviv feels like a combination of New York, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley. People there have this belief that anything is possible, and it’s very contagious. They are not trying to do incremental innovation. They are trying to do breakthroughs. We put together meetings there with universities, venture capitalists, governments, entrepreneurs, and the incubator system. So everyone was well prepared with the kinds of things Coca-Cola was looking for to innovate. Coca-Cola already had a strong bottler in Israel but did not have a company-to-country innovation model. All kinds of deals and R&D came out of that. On the tech side, Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University, and the Volcani Institute ended up signing big agreements. Coca-Cola ended up creating a partnership with venture capital firms on the supply chain side. They created BRIDGE, and started looking at Israel from the tech, Internet, retail, and consumer side. It went from ingredients, supply chain, and water to information technology. That model has now been replicated around the world, including in China—both BRIDGE and an innovation hub were created. For me, all this falls under the umbrella of collaborative innovation, which involves collaborating and innovating differently by setting up hubs where certain parts of the world have capabilities.

The Crowd Factor
From the 1980s until now, I can track every big wave from a tech innovation standpoint. Over the past 40 years, the one thing I found was that every time disruptive tech occurred—you have the disruptor versus who is being affected—the leaders resist the change. They try their best, but in the end, the market wins. The customer is pulling it because:

  1. The experience is better.
  2. A network of ecosystem applications is built and driven around the change (the PC revolution and client server system drove it for many years, then mobile tech).
  3. Open systems, standards, and the market pull it (consider Über, it’s simpler and better than getting a taxi, it’s ubiquitous).

Read Part One of this blog for more insights from Lorin Coles, CSAP, and see ASAP Media’s in-depth interviews with Coles and other out-of-the-box thinkers in the Q4 2017 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine.

Tags:  alliances  Alliancesphere  BRIDGE  collaboration  critical partnering  ecosystems  Entrepreneurial Innovation  Gen X  incubator system  innovation hub  lifecycle  Lorin Coles  Millennials  Strategic Alliance Magazine  supply chain 

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Millennials, Entrepreneurs, and the Push and Pull of the Crowd—an Interview with Lorin Coles (Part One)

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, January 19, 2018

During a recent interview for the Q4 2017 Strategic Alliance Magazine, I spoke with Lorin Coles, CSAP, CEO and managing director of Alliancesphere, an alliance management and collaboration consulting business, on the topics of innovation, out-of-the-box thinking, and creativity in business partnering (see “Giving Birth to Innovation: The Brainchild of Out-of-the-Box Thinking Magazine”). Coles had many insightful and inspiring ideas on the topic, and due to limited space, some of these ideas didn’t make it into the magazine. Following is Part One of a two-part blog post based on additional materials from the interview.

The Cusp of Change
Coles: Today, it’s the most exciting time I’ve ever seen. Building the solutions and go-to-market has evolved because there are so many different routes to market to create that customer experience. So much has to do with digital technology—a lot of it is the leading edge. Also, crossing from the innovators to early adopters—we definitely have worked in many companies along that lifecycle. The market is at the point where they know how critical partnering, collaboration, and ecosystems are. Companies are all trying to figure out how to partner with tech companies in cross-industry partnering with three, four, five multiple companies at once to create a partnership.

The Influence of Gen X
The depth and breadth of partnering is so different, and I think we’re going to see a big change in the market: Clearly, the workplace is changing with millennials. They are moving up in the management structure, changing the makeup, and understand tech and partnering. People in their 40’s are now becoming leaders of companies. That group understands more intuitively. Another factor has to do with operating in a global landscape, where some cultures are more inherently collaborative. Also, the role of women in leadership—they are more open to collaboration. Finally, the Cloud—because of mobility and the Cloud and what is possible, tech is not sitting in the basement anymore. Uber, airbnb, artificial intelligence—all of these next-generation ideas are absolutely going to create business opportunities and a better world. 

Entrepreneurial Innovation
In 1999, I got involved with an organization in Atlanta—The American Israeli Chamber of Commerce. The Coca-Cola Company was looking to build joint, adjacent business models and innovation practices. We started working with the chief innovation officer across the brands, and we put together a trip to Israel. There were three core things Coca-Cola was trying to innovate around:

  • brands or products
  • capabilities: anything up and down that valley chain, such as technology, processes, ingredients, or science
  • packaging: an important part of fast-moving consumer goods companies

Before we went, we looked at four areas of innovation: Water, energy, ingredients, and the supply chain. I went to Coca-Cola before heading to Israel and gathered the problems and consumer and business challenges in those four areas.

Learn more about the story of Coca-Cola, Israel, and innovation in Part Two of this blog sharing more of ASAP Media’s conversation on out-of-the-box thinking with Lorin Coles, CSAP, CEO of Alliancesphere. 

Tags:  alliances  Alliancesphere  collaboration  critical partnering  ecosystems  Entrepreneurial Innovation  Gen X  lifecycle  Lorin Coles  Millennials  Strategic Alliance Magazine  supply chain 

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Dassault Systèmes: Out-of-the-Box Thinking in Three-Dimensional Design

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dassault Systèmes in Vélizy-Villacou­blay, Paris, France,  is a leader in three-dimensional design, visualization, and collabo­rative solutions that help customers define, simulate, and demonstrate their products in the virtual experience space. Michael Moser, global alliances network collaboration manager at Dassault Systèmes, recently shared his perspective on innovation, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking in the  soon-to-be-published Q4 Strategic Alliance Magazine cover story “Giving Birth to Innovation: The Brain Child of Out-of-the-Box Thinking.” The following Q&A is a continuation of the discussion.

What foundations do partnerships need to successfully innovate and create?

An alliance needs to be defined in terms of aligned strategy, shared objectives, a joint value proposition, and a set of guidelines that define the working together. A framework is put into place to protect the interest of either party, but there is risk that this may be considered as too limiting. In this case, I advise to focus on the original purpose of the partnership—probably defined in the early partnership definition phases—that needs to be tested and proven in the real world. What is more inspiring than focusing on a joint solution, to address a business challenge for a mutual customer or user group? With this setting, the alliance partners can unleash their full creativity for defining, developing, and marketing this joint solution.

Relate an experience you have had where out-of-the-box thinking resulted in problem solving and/or a better project outcome.

Here is an example of a very small technology partner that integrated its solution to enable testing of assembly situations in manufacturing in our platform. In this application, a real “operator” person enters the virtual world of a simulated factory environment to try out manipulations on virtual production models. Without a dedicated marketing department, they had the permanent issue of creating awareness of their solution offering, which is highly specific and needs to be positioned properly versus competitive solutions. We worked with the partner to create a partnership solution video, which is short and fit for social media use. The video summarizes the solution value (unique immersion into a virtual 3D world) and three functional benefits in a simple and upbeat way. We shared it on You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn. Targeted salespeople can get the message via their attention to social media.

What do alliance managers need to know when engaged in multi-party innovation?

First, ensure that communication is not lost in silos, e.g., in individual mailboxes. Propose a platform-based communication/collaboration hub. Work in digital communities, where exchanges are logged and can be found and retrieved by all participants. Governance of the multi-party alliances also needs to be done on the platform. Ideally, the status is depicted in online dashboards. Rather than clarifying a strategic fit in a unilateral one-to-one alliance, a multi-party environment is more challenging in terms of ensuring that everyone’s interest is understood and taken into account. Mutual interest is mandatory for mutual participation in the collaboration process. The alliance manager needs to live up to the challenge of balancing these interests, at best through a mix of a formal process and informal social practices. Animating the multi-party alliance also is an important role of the alliance manager.

What are some creative ways Dassault collaborates with customers?

There are many ways we try to capture customer feedback.

Pilots: New disruptive solution approaches are often launched with a set of selected pilot customers to test concept alternatives and fine-tune the applications before a general release. The users are the best source of telling the value an application provides to solve their business challenges. Their feedback on their usage of our software is essential for providing a better experience.

Playground: In many Dassault Systèmes offices as part of the EBC (Executive Briefing Center) initiatives, we have implemented demonstration spaces where we show experiences in various domains, often specific to an industry, always addressing a specific use case. Visitors can be immersed in these experiences, and we extract their perception of the value. This way we can test solutions—even prior to their release to the market—in order to learn and improve.

User Days: Our brands invite their specific user community to events in the local geography, with the objective to pass information to them. But also to get feedback on their perception of our software and to hear their questions and propositions on what could be improved.

Digital Communities: Each brand has one or several communities in dedicated domains, which host a specific audience of users. Digital communities are a way to harvest user feedback in addition to the physical meetings—by surveys and from discussions that occur online.

Videos on Social Media: Publishing video content on the known social media platforms, centered on You Tube, has become a major communication strategy for Dassault Systèmes. 

Tags:  alliance manager  alliances  collaborations  communication  creativity  Dassault Systèmes  governance  innovation  Michael Moser  multi-party alliance¬  out-of-the-box thinking  partnership  virtual world 

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