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The C-Suite Takes Front Seat in Lively Panel Discussion at ASAP BioPharma Conference (Part 3)

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This is a continuation from the panel discussion “Speak My Language: How to Have a High Impact Conversation with the C-suite,” which took place at the 2018 ASAP BioPharma Conference. See Part 1 of this blog post for background information on the panel, which included:

  • James C. Mullen, chairman of the board of directors at Editas Medicine, Inc., who has grown many organizations dependent on partnerships
  •   Samantha Singer, chief operating officer at the Broad Institute, whose organization partners with multiple industries to achieve the Institute’s mission to impact human health throughout the world
  • Alex Waldron, chief commercial officer at Pear Therapeutics, who is highly skilled at bringing in business development and alliance management expertise to grow a company through partnerships

Christine Carberry, CSAP, chief operating officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, moderated the session. At this point in the discussion, Carberry had just prompted panel members to answer the following: “Let’s dig into where things tend to go awry. How do alliance professionals demonstrate their value to the organization? The second half of my question is, what are some of the pitfalls? Where do alliances get in trouble, and how can an alliance manager avoid those pitfalls?” After listening to the responses (see Part 2 of this blog for panelists’ answers), she added her thoughts.

Carberry: Build C-suite-to-C-suite [connections] early on in the relationship. I use to joke that it’s important to have relationships between companies that play golf so the CEOs can get together. You need to be comfortable getting on the phone with them and having a conversation that can go like this: “This is what we’ve done, tried, and this is why it didn’t work.” This is helpful to an executive. We need to implement what will remove barriers and allow us to go forward. The value proposition may have just changed for the companies: That beautiful future might not get created, because we all know divorce is part of the deal. One of the things you will discover as an alliance manager is  you will get people in the organization grumbling about the partner.

Mullen: How many of you inherited a contact, and you were not at the table? [At this point, nearly everyone raised his or her hand while laughter rippled through the room.] Look for the wishy-washy language. Those are the issues that never got resolved during the contract negotiations.

Singer: No matter how good your business development is, the reality is [your perception of the contract] will not match three months later.

Mullen: If you are talking about “stage gate,” make sure it means the same thing between the partners. It may seem really obvious, but it’s not. Make exactly sure of what they are saying.

Carberry: Have clear definitions. For example, “First Patient In.” You may think things are commonly understood, but lawyers say it’s important to make sure definitions are as clear as they possibly can be.

Carberry then fielded an audience question from Jeremy Ahouse, CSAP, vice president alliances, Merus. “A lot of alliance people complain that when they have to bring bad news, the C-suite thinks they only bring problems. How can you do that so that the messenger doesn’t feel like they will get shot?”

Mullen: You need a fairly straight scorecard for the goals of the partnership, and you need a record against that. That way,  it becomes evident that you are making progress. The fact is, [otherwise], you are just raising problems. Check off the problems, and let them know that they talked to you about it, that work was done, and here’s how it got resolved. Keep a high-level scorecard.

Waldron: I agree on the scorecard. And talk about successes, don’t only talk about problems.

Carberry: Everyone is conditioned to success. So if you are doing your job well, you are having those conversations about problems with us.

Waldron: If your company doesn’t have some kind of periodic review, push for that—even if it’s a 15-minute review. Push for that so you can get in front of them. We had a lot of customers, and both the customers and our company didn’t do everything perfectly. But when I had that review of information first, then when they called me up and let me know, 90 percent of the problem was already solved. I knew about it, cared about it, and it got solved.

See parts one and two of this blog and ASAP Media’s ongoing coverage from the 2018 ASAP BioPharma Conference on the ASAP Blog at www.strategic-alliances.org. You will find interviews with conference presenters and other coverage of leadership and strategy, biopharma-tech partnerships, and other trending conference topics in recent and forthcoming editions of Strategic Alliance Magazine and eSAM Plus

Tags:  Alex Waldron  alliance managers  Broad Institute  Christine Carberry  collaborations  c-suite  Editas Medicine  James C. Mullen  Keryx Biopharmaceuticals  partnerships  Pear Therapeutics  Samantha Singer  scorecard 

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The C-Suite Takes Front Seat in Lively Panel Discussion at ASAP BioPharma Conference (Part 2)

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This article continues ASAP Media’s coverage of the panel discussion “Speak My Language: How to Have a High Impact Conversation with the C-suite,” which took place September 25 at the 2018 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Boston. After introducing the panel members (see Part 1 of this blog post for background information on the panelists), Christine Carberry, CSAP, chief operating officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, prompted the panel members to answer the following: “Let’s dig into where things tend to go awry. How do alliance professionals demonstrate their value to the organization? The second half of my question is, what are some of the pitfalls? Where do alliances get in trouble, and how can an alliance manager avoid those pitfalls?”

Samantha Singer, chief operating officer at the Broad Institute: Alliance managers demonstrate their value in their ability to escalate appropriately and bring issues to senior management. We don’t always understand where relationships are going to stumble when we go around the corner. Where I’ve seen situations fall down is when alliance managers think they need to solve problems first; coming to the senior executive when there’s something wrong without ideas for how to solve it. Also, treat the relationship as a relationship. Make sure the transactional doesn’t get in the way of the relationship for you and the entire team. The last point is: Keep the conversations honest. When people are collaborating together, someone usually wants to impress someone else or know more. But we all know, on projects, that is not how you get things done: Tackle problems, and be creative. And make sure that honest dialog really happens.

James C. Mullen, chairman of the board of directors at Editas Medicine, Inc.: Understand whoever is running around the C-suite, they only know so much. You need to decide what they need to know. The tendency is to over-communicate. I’ve received 40-page project reports that I never read. I only care about the problems. Focus on escalating the exceptions. That’s what I need to know about. The best way to get my attention is: Don’t try to tell me everything as if I am on the same level as you are. If you dump those 40 pages in my in-box, they never get read. Escalate it, and escalate it quickly. If there is an issue, highlight it and tell me what the implication of this issue is. I want to hear ideas on how to solve the problem. Finally, I want to know if you need help from me to work on a problem. Those are my four steps. The last thing is: You need to know the details of the contract. And if the realities of the partnership are drifting to someplace else, you need to address that contractually. If they drift too far, then you are in a no-mans land of who-was-supposed-to-do-what.

Alex Waldron, chief commercial officer at Pear Therapeutics: I am empathetic in one area: You are the people who need to implement the contract that has just been written. You’ve got to translate the three million pages into what it means for the company and get that going forward. The quickest way to do this is to create as much transparency as you possibly can with the partners out there. Alliances are like marriages: When you get married, you are star struck. It’s a wonderful idea that is almost never accurate. As both companies grow, the priorities will change over time: Your job is to remind everyone of that. Don’t use the “E” wordEscalate. Try to understand the alliance manager on the other side of the table, and create as much transparency as you can, even if it means saying “I understand why you are saying ‘no’ to me, but I must insist based on this contract….”  Managing the contract is absolutely critical. To ensure the success of the contract is essential to avoid pitfalls.

See recent and forthcoming editions of eSAM Plus and Strategic Alliance Magazine and revisit the ASAP Blog at www.strategic-alliances.org for continuing, comprehensive ASAP Media team coverage of the 2018 ASAP BioPharma Conference. 

Tags:  Alex Waldron  alliance managers  Broad Institute  Christine Carberry  collaborations  c-suite  Editas Medicine  James C. Mullen  Keryx Biopharmaceuticals  partnerships  Pear Therapeutics  Samantha Singer 

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ASAP Announces 2018 Alliance Excellence Awards Finalists—and the List Is Worth a View

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, January 29, 2018

ASAP officially announced (see http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/01/prweb15131526.htm) this year’s finalists for the annual ASAP Global Alliance Excellence Awards, and the contributions of companies on the list are substantial—from unusual alliance key performance indicators (KPIs), to programs for crisis management, to collaborations to create social good, to consolidation of alliance data that provides visibility across the organization. The list goes on and on.

Nine candidates will vie for awards in four different categories: Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility; Alliance Program Excellence; Individual Alliance Excellence; Innovative Best Alliance Practice. Winners will be announced March 27 during an end-of-day awards ceremony 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.

The 2018 awards finalists that were singled out for their exceptional leadership and contributions are:

Amgen for a biopharma alliance program recognized for being founded on the three pillars of building a strong foundation with clear roles and alignment of strategic objectives and value drivers through a partnership; ensuring best practice execution on every alliance through an alliance kickoff and playbook; optimizing oversight of Amgen’s alliance portfolio.

Cisco-Dimension Data for their 25-year celebration of alliance success, a milestone that prompted them to kick off 25 projects focused on creating social good, ultimately resulting in a record year for the partnership.

Dassault Systèmes for putting together an effective social video marketing campaign to build awareness and spark interest among customers. The extent to which Dassault has embedded social video marketing into its partner program and scaled it across its technology alliance community is unusual, innovative, and engaging.

JDA for re-architecting its partner program in response to new market opportunities and a shift in customer demand for solutions in the cloud. The Partner Advantage Program launched in April 2017, employing many best practices of modern partner ecosystems.

Medimmune for an alliance information management system and dashboard reporting tools that enable widespread visibility of alliance performance in near-real time, including consolidation of alliance data that provides visibility across the organization.

Merck KGaA for collecting and managing some unusual alliance KPIs for value creation, risk mitigation, and problem solving, resulting in multiple improvements on several levels.

MSD–Julphar for forming the DUNES alliance to serve seven therapeutic areas for six countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a problematic area of the world for business development. Through the introduction of alliance management tools, processes, and training, the companies created sustainable businesses.

Pierre Fabre for successfully deploying SharePoint Alliance Management, which unifies how alliances are managed by providing common alliance management tools to more than 400 people; implementing tools that can be shared with partners; facilitating onboarding of new team members.

Shire for introducing a new best practice for partner crisis management, a unique approach for managing stakeholders through a crisis situation. Originally developed to help navigate a merger, it has since been tested and validated across several crisis situations.

2018 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards finalists will be honored—and the winners announced—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. Learn more and register to attend at http://asapsummit.org/.  Read ASAP’s January 25, 2018 official announcement at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/01/prweb15131526.htm

Tags:  2018 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Finalists  alliance  alliance data  best practices  Cisco-Dimension Data  collaborations  crisis management  Dassault Systèmes  JDA  Medimmune  Merck KGaA  MSD–Julphar  Pierre Fabre  SharePoint Alliance Management  Shire  social good 

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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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ASAP Summit Spotlight Leadership Forum Highlights Exceptional Contributions: Part 2—Building Better Company Culture Through Collaboration

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The following is a continuation from Part 1 of the Spotlight Leadership Forum Q&A Panel session, which took place last March at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Part­nering Enterprise,” held at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California. Highlighted on the podium for their exceptional company contributions were Celine Schillinger of Sanofi Pasteur; Chris Haskell of Bayer; Maria Olson of NetApp; and Kevin Hickey of BeyondTrust. The session was moderated by John W. DeWitt, CEO of JW DeWitt Business Communications and publisher and editor of ASAP Media and Strategic Alliance Magazine, who plied the panel in this with questions on how to build better company culture and frameworks through partnering.

Kevin, when did that [collaboration] light bulb go off for you, or did you always get it? And as an chief executive, how do you drive your company to be more collaborative and successful in partnering?

Kevin: BeyondTrust is made up of nine different businesses. When we came in [to manage the newly combined companies], they had their own system. Our objective was to build the culture on the values we have, and determine what the benefits of the values are and the outcomes. … We tried to get everyone singing out of the same hymnals. We needed structural change, but it really was about culture, and it worked its way down. When we went forward, it was not just a “rah-rah” kick off. It’s was all about communications and driving it throughout the organization.

Maria: The executive team sets the culture of the organization. When I started at HP, it was very collaborative and had a consensus orientation. When I fast forward to some other companies I’ve been to, and it was command and control. The top-level team does set the tone. “Selective collaborations” is what I call it.

You also talked a lot about sales, Kevin. In highly competitive sales environments, there are big challenges. How do you change thought there?

Kevin: You need open communications and clear expectations with everyone in the organization. I don’t care what position you are in the company, if you don’t know how your job affects the company, it needs to start there. You have to be very collaborative, but at some point in time you have to say, “The train is leaving.” Smart people want to get to a decision and move on. Smart people say, if we make a mistake, we will own up to it, adjust, and move forward.

Celine: It’s the paradoxical junction between collaboration and performance via the carrot and stick. We put people in boxes, and it’s crazy. At the same time, research shows people are motived by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. So how do we try to evolve our company’s performance management system? Because of this desire for control, it infiltrates every function other than HR. If we can’t change that, how can we inspire people? How can we cope with the way organizations manage people and also focus attention on something elsethe excitement, the journey, etcetera. It’s not black and white, it’s complicated.

What are some of the strategies you deal with in terms of the need for speed, the need to have deliberation, to not be reactive. How can you balance that today?

Kevin: Sometimes you have to go slower to go faster. You want process. I do find that as a company, you’ll see the people who are doing the rework all the time. To me, you have to guide people to slow down and think about what they are trying to accomplish. All the mistakes I made when I went into partnering in the channel alliance business, it was a quick fix. It really takes thoughtful collaborating up front with people who have done it to get 85 percent of a plan agreed to. It will save you a ton of time on the back end.

For Part 1 in this series, please go here: http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/282809/ASAP-Summit-Spotlight-Leadership-Forum-Highlights-Exceptional-Contributions-Part-1-Inspiring-a-Movement-for-Change-Within-Your-Company . ASAP Media’s coverage of the Spotlight Leadership Forum Q&A continues in Part 3.

Tags:  BeyondTrust  Celine Schillinger  collaborations  collaborative  communications  Kevin Hickey  Maria Olson  NetApp  Sanofi Pasteur  strategies 

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