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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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How Contract White Space Becomes the Gray Area of a Deal (Part Three)

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Updated: Saturday, October 28, 2017

Panelists were discussing the very different worlds of deal making vs. alliance management when ASAP Media left off in Part Two of our coverage of “Reading Between the Lines: Living in Contract White Space” explored the “gray area” between contract signing and actual implementation on day two of the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference September 13-15 in Cambridge, Mass. USA. The presenters were Christine Carberry, CSAP, chief operating officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Andy Eibling, CSAP, vice president of alliance management at Covance, the drug development business of LabCorp, and Brian O'Shaughnessy, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl and president and chair of the board of LES, the Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada), which focuses on licensing and commercial transactions involving intellectual property (IP) rights. Now the panel is discussing the handoff from deal to alliance management implementation of the partnership.

 

How does effective handoff happen?

  •  Knowledge transfer.
  •  Art meets science.
  •  The deal leader needs to have significant EI, emotional intelligence.
  •  Sometimes working through difficulty can be bonding.
  •  You don’t want everybody involved in every step, but you need an effective handoff. Bring in the alliance early on and as things wrap up, so the knowledge transfer occurs. Make a note of potential problem areas.

O'Shaughnessy: “There are problems with getting a person to read the contract. He tells me ‘he trusts me,’ but this is HIS business. He needs to bear down and read the terms. Too often a client signs off on details but has never read the contract. That’s when you need to document the visits and confirm the statements he made. Granted, this is difficult to do diplomatically. Frankly, if the boss isn’t going to read the contract, the boss isn’t going to read the contract.”

 

Carberry: “The executive sponsor, whoever that person is, needs to take ownership of it. What will this mean in a year’s portfolio? Is this a big deal or small? If this is a primary revenue driver, you will pay greater attention.”

 

“In terms of anticipating problems, a lot has to do with how you get started. Building a relationship in the beginning is helpful when things get contentious. Everyone should state what they consider to be successful and what concerns them, so everyone has an understanding. Whatever the ‘noise is in your head,’ get it out on the table. Think about having everyone come up with an evaluation of the project, then share it. In the end, the value may be the same, but they used totally different assumptions to get there. Also, set up an easy achievement to drive momentum.”

 

“Remember, people who created the deal are not the ones who implement it. It’s important to reset it with the people involved with the process. You need to get the teams together to discuss process and reinterpret the contract based on what each believes is the deal.”

 

O'Shaughnessy: “The third phase is when the respective implementers and deal makers get together to see if there are fundamental differences. Deal maker drafters will hear the implementers out. Feedback is critical. Don’t drag the last contract out as a basis to begin; instead, examine hot buttons. Sometimes you discover ‘the last time we did this we got burned,’ so seek to avoid it again.”

 

Takeaways:

  •  Success means: parties up-front agree on a set of values.
  • Nothing was agreed to ‘til everything was agreed.
  • Look at everything in development, then made sure it sticks—is held together.
  •  Put details into a ledger.
  •  Teams work through areas as they come up and acknowledge that processes happen within companies so they can move on with negotiated details working in parallel.
  •  Autonomy is a good thing. If lawyers create a massive structure, the results may be too bureaucratic. Flexibility is needed to reflect variables that crop up.

How can we apply previous experiences to future deal negotiations?

According to the audience, there’s a need for “common learning,” sharing it back. You need to discuss what could have been done differently and, in the end, retain some collective understanding, such as capturing what is of value and problem areas.

Tags:  ”First patient  alliance management  alliances  Andy Eibling  Brian O'Shaughnessy  change agent  Christine Carberry  compromise  contract  Covance  Dinsmore & Shohl  due diligence  emotional intelligence  first visit”  governance  Implementation  Keryx Biopharmaceuticals  Licensing Executives Society 

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How Contract White Space Becomes the Gray Area of a Deal (Part Two)

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, October 30, 2017
Updated: Saturday, October 28, 2017

This picks up where ASAP Media left off in Part One of our coverage of “Reading Between the Lines: Living in Contract White Space” explored the “gray area” between contract signing and actual implementation on day two of the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference September 13-15 in Cambridge, Mass. USA. The presenters were Christine Carberry, CSAP, chief operating officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Andy Eibling, CSAP, vice president of alliance management at Covance, the drug development business of LabCorp, and Brian O'Shaughnessy, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl and president and chair of the board of LES, the Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada), which focuses on licensing and commercial transactions involving intellectual property (IP) rights.

All presenters agreed that in general no one talks about when things go wrong. People focus on success. But change agents happen. People need to think more about likely situations that arise, about what can change. According to Carberry, biopharma negotiations offer special problems when teams spend 80 percent on work related issues and 20 percent on the exit. The exit can be what’s tricky.

“How should you run an alliance?” Eibling asked, shifting the focus of the discussion. “There’s a boilerplate we’d like to follow vs. figuring out what happens when everything blows up. Think of audit provisions; once you pull the trigger, everyone shifts into distrust mode.”

He reminded them that governments impose transparency and accounting, a carefully defined system of disclosures so the process is established. But it’s your responsibility to address issues early on, before they become an issue. 

“Trust is everything in an alliance. Trust is key,” Eibling stated. “Some think controls run in the face of trust, but it’s the opposite. The process helps establish trust building. If you have trust, you can more easily get to benchmarks. My motto is ‘no deal without a meal.’ Sit down over lunch with your counterpart to build trust.”

 

Shifting focus once again, Eibling questioned what’s missing from agreements. “External communications need to be on-going. ‘What’s material and what’s missing’ is what’s needed when everything blows up. The question is, what can be done during the deal making process to improve success?”

O'Shaughnessy: “Licensing is a full contact sport and needs the full team—lawyers, tax experts, scientists, business folks. Speaking from a LES prospective, they don’t appreciate the growing field of alliance management, so there’s not an effort to bring alliance into the deal process. They need to understand that an alliance team can analyze the details to see problem areas.”

“I had no idea what went on after the deal was signed.”

“Too often, LES views alliance management as a hindrance, as the folks who throw up roadblocks. Alliance management needs to stay in the background and define simple defining principles: This is how we work—from cultural differences to operating principles. When in the grey space, the alliance team will make it work, will look to principles to get through the grey area.”

Eibling: The alliance will shepherd the process, but the alliance needs to remain in the background and let others negotiate. The alliance folks tell them to finish the deal and then we’ll focus on governance, commitments etc. Meanwhile, they need to remain vigilant to see what was contentious, to remain alert to problem areas.

This interaction continues in Part Three of ASAP Media’s coverage of the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference session, Reading between the Lines: Living in Contract White Space.”

Tags:  ”First patient  alliance management  alliances  Andy Eibling  Brian O'Shaughnessy  change agent  Christine Carberry  compromise  contract  Covance  Dinsmore & Shohl  due diligence  first visit”  governance  Implementation  Keryx Biopharmaceuticals  Licensing Executives Society 

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