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ASAP New England Chapter Holds Well-Attended, Practical Meeting on Alliance Management Skills and Competencies

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017

Neither snowstorm, nor sleet, nor freezing temps can keep Jeffrey Shuman, PhD, CSAP, principal at The Rhythm of Business, from a New England ASAP Chapter meeting. And apparently, it couldn’t keep four other panelists and about 40 attendees from the discussion on “Alliance Management as a ProfessionSkills, Competencies,” at the Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab in Cambridge, Mass., on Jan. 31.  

The panel talked about the basic alliance management foundational skills recognized by recruiters, career paths, adapting to the evolving ecosystem, soft skills that are key to performing the job, and other related topics in a dynamic, one-hour meeting. In addition to Shuman, who moderated the discussion and is also professor of management at Bentley University, the panel members included ASAP’s own President and CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP; Marc Silber, founder and president of Crossover Consulting Group, a life sciences headhunting and recruiting agency; Mark Coflin, CSAP, head of alliance management, corporate planning & program management, Shire; Michelle Gardner, business development executive, cloud service providers, at IBM, who arranged the practical meeting.

The complexity of multi-industry, multi-partner alliances with a global reach has made alliance management training skills increasingly important. “Not everybody needs to be an alliance manager, but it’s our view that everybody increasingly needs to have some alliance management skills because alliance capability needs to extend to the perimeter, to the edge of the organization,” Shuman says. For example, scientists increasingly are working with other scientists in other organizations on tech solutions or drugs, whereas previously, most of the innovation was done internally. “What we see happening is folks in those areas are coming to their alliance folks and asking for advice,” he explains. “More people are interacting in these collaborations, and they really need some understanding of the skills and toolset.”

“Given that the speed, scale, and scope of partnering has increased, companies can’t afford to build an alliance management group that can manage all of the different parts of their business. When partnering with external entities, many people need a better understanding of the skills and tools.”

Among the topics that surfaced from the discussion were:

  • How to progress to an alliance management role from another area of the company
  •  Areas alliance managers are recruited from
  •  The various career paths and roles alliance managers can move into
  • Ecosystems, multi-party networks, hub-and-spoke models, and two-party relationships
  • The differences between being an alliance manager in biopharma/pharma and high tech

The topics likely will resurface in various sessions at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Part­nering Enterprise,” held Feb. 28-March 2 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California. Some of these topics also appear in a newly released ebook “The Power To Partner Everywhere: Why You Need It, What It Is, How To Build It,” by The Rhythm of Business Principals Jan Twombly, CSAP, Shuman, and Lorin Coles, CSAP, co-founder and CEO of Alliancesphere, LLC. Their two companies joined forces to form the SMART Partnering Alliance.  For a copy of the ebook, go to http://rhythmofbusiness.com/.

Tags:  alliance management  alliance manager  biopharma  career path  ecosystem  high tech  Innovation  Jeff Shuman  Marc Silber  Mark Coflin  Michelle Gardner  multi-industry  multi-partner alliances  partnering  Partnering Enterprise  pharma  Profit  SMART Partnering Alliance  The Rhythm of Business  tools  training skills 

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ASAP Selects 10 Alliance Excellence Awards Finalists for 2017

Posted By John W. DeWitt and Cynthia Hansen, Thursday, January 19, 2017

Every year, ASAP highlights outstanding member accomplishments at the Global Alliance Summit. This year, 10 nominees will be competing in four categories for the Alliance Excellence Awards: Individual Alliance Excellence, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, Alliance Program Excellence, and Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility.

“These companies have proven track records demonstrating significant leadership value in alliance management,” said Michael Leonetti, president & CEO of ASAP. “Our awards committee reviewed a number of outstanding nominees this year from a range of industries. We selected candidates that were going above and beyond in their practices and can serve as models for the ASAP community. They hail from industries such as consumer credit reporting, audit, tax, and advisory services, IT, utilities, healthcare, consulting, and biopharma, and the projects span the globe, including the Kruger National Park in South Africa,” he added.  

“I especially appreciate the submissions for Social Corporate Responsibility,” added Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, chair of the 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards committee and founder/CEO of Phoenix Consulting Group. “We had three worthy finalists for that category this year. It’s always great to see the contributions companies are making to make the world a better place.”

Past winners received awards for significant contributions through partnering that increased revenues, provided society with creative business models and problem solving, enhanced products/services/technologies, advanced the profession, etc. Additional value is placed on leadership practices that result in high levels of productivity, effort, achievement, and innovation. Past winners share three key achievements:

  • Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that has evolved the art and science of alliance management
  • Compelling and measurable results
  • General persistence in overcoming obstacles

 Individual Alliance Excellence Award

The Individual Alliance Excellence Award is given to a partnership that has instituted practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management for a single alliance. The alliance may be an emerging alliance or comprised of two or more companies. The three finalists are:

Bayer-Evotec: This strategic research alliance hopes to identify three small molecule clinical candidates for the treatment of endometriosis. Bayer and Evotec have joint responsibility in early research and preclinical characterization of potential candidates, with Bayer responsible for subsequent clinical development and commercialization. To date the alliance team has delivered five preclinical candidates, exceeding the initial goals of the collaboration.

Loonaangifteketen-UWV-CBS- Belastingdienst: After a disastrous start, this unique partnership of three government agencies managing tax revenues in The Netherlands—Belastingdienst (Dutch IRA), UWV (Dutch National Social Security Administration), and CBS (Statistics Netherlands)—became highly effective by applying alliance management best practices, such as development of governance, trust building, and extensive attention to team meetings.

National Grid-EnergySage: The alliance provides a marketplace for solar energy to Rhode Island residents by leveraging existing programs that provide an energy efficiency assessment with a solar assessment. The multi-level value creation is designed to meet the state’s carbon reduction goals and create jobs in alternative energy, while providing a one-stop website for all services, and where dozens of local solar installers provide quotes and choices.

Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award

This year’s Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award will be presented to one of two companies for the use of new alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. The tools or processes are additions to existing practices that address specific elements of alliance management, such as measurement, training, conflict resolution, general communication across the partner ecosystem, or similar facets of the discipline. The two finalists are:

KPMG-UK: This KPMG-powered enterprise branding combines the company’s knowledge of back-office transformation with leading cloud technology providers, such as Oracle, Workday, ServiceNow, and Coupa. The innovation in branding and bundling technology helps accountants easily grasp the business value and significantly increase the win rate in competitive situations.

NetApp: While many companies still try to manage partnering processes through spreadsheets, NetApp has invested in technology and governance of its rigorous alliance co-selling program to ensure trackable processes that produce results. The processes engage NetApp and partner representatives proactively in account mapping, account planning, and pipeline management with exemplary execution of the most difficult aspects of go-to-market alliances. 

Alliance Program Excellence Award

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a single, specific company and its partnering program, not to an alliance. The company exceeds expectations with scalable practices, tools, and methodologies to support successful formation and management of alliance portfolios over time. They are repeatable and have led to consistent alliance performance across multiple alliances. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. The two finalists are:

Equifax: Equifax has built an exemplary partnering program in an industry where partnership and alliance business models are still at the budding stages. Internal governance structures enabled management across a highly matrixed enterprise and impacted results on multiple levels, such as revenue, the ability to enter new markets, the launch of new products, and changes to organizational culture.

STC Solutions: This highly innovative, consolidated, and centralized alliance and partnership management framework spans different divisions and functional groups throughout the organization and business relationshipsfrom supply side to customer side. The framework develops and promotes an extremely effective corporate-wide collaborative culture that includes supplier, tactical alliances, technology partners, cloud/IoT channel partners, and strategic alliances.

Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award

The Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award is for partnerships making a profound, measurable, and positive social impact. The principal objective of the alliance is social impact, not profit—although profit, especially if used to fund program expansion, is not discouraged. The three partnering finalists are:

Bayer and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi): The focus of this alliance is to develop a drug to dramatically reduce treatment time and increase effectiveness for River Blindness, a disease affecting 25 million people in 31 African countries. Current treatments only affect young worms and must be repeated to target adult worms over their 17-year lifespan. Bayer has contracted with non-profit DNDi to provide the new drug at an affordable price for national disease control programs.

Dimension Data and Cisco Systems, Inc.: South Africa is home to 70 percent of the remaining rhinos in the world. Cisco Systems and Dimension Data collaborated in the Connected Conservation initiative to apply Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to prevent and reduce the number of rhinos being poached in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The alliance developed new technology for tracking rhinos without needing to tranquilize them, which can be extremely dangerous to the animals. The technology also creates tight physical security within the preserve to track staff, suppliers, contractors, security, and visitors. The technology and alliance can be replicated to conserve other endangered species.       

The Synergist-Sanofi: This multiparty alliance incorporates an ecosystem approach to address Dengue fever that includes the general public, government and health agencies, industry, academics, and healthcare professionals aimed at co-creating solutions. “Break Dengue” uses information sharing and crowd sourcing through social media, online chats, case tracking worldwide, and public access to toolkits that reduce risk of infection. The Synergist framework and innovative governance structure provides a systematic approach to manage a diverse ecosystem. The platform is extendible to other diseases, such as Zika.  

Tags:  alliance  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Bayer  Belastingdienst  CBS  Cisco Systems  Dimension Data  DNDi  ecosystem  EnergySage  Equifax  Evotec  IoT  KPMG-UK  Loonaangifteketen  National Grid  NetApp  partnership management  Sanofi  STC Solutions  The Synergist  UWV 

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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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Summer 2016 Issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine: Partnering for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; SAM Celebrates Five Years of Ink; Behind the BioPharma Conference Podiums

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 1, 2016
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Strategic Alliance Magazine! This summer’s 60-page issue, formerly known as the Q2 edition, celebrates five years of the ups, downs, and inside-outs covering cutting-edge alliance management topics, as documented by John W. DeWitt. Turn the page, and readers can explore alliance management’s critical role in the fourth industrial revolution, as foreseen by forecasters Jan Twombly, CSAP, and Jeff Shuman, CSAP, PhD, principals of The Rhythm of Business, and Lorin Coles, CSAP, co-founder and CEO of Alliancesphere, LLC. The cover story encourages readers to envision their companies orchestrating the speed, complexity, scope, and scale of the emerging ecosystem, and probes what will be required to stay attuned to the rhythm. “One thing is certain,” they predict. “If you do nothing to build understanding and capability to partner with an eco­system perspective, your company will be leaving value on the table at best—and at worst may find it­self left behind.”

 

This issue of SAM is certain to open your thought in other ways with a sneak peak of the new ASAP-commissioned 6th State of Alliances research report, “The Economics of Alliances, Social Capital, and Alliance Performance,” authored by Shawn Wilson, PhD, DBA, vice president and general manager at Beaulieu West Textiles. For the first time ever, ASAP provides hard numbers through economic and financial metrics that can be applied to enhance your company’s partnering and revenue.

 

Also on the “thought provoking” side is an Up Front book review “Committing to Collaborate” by ASAP CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, highlighting Martin Echavarria’s book Enabling Collaboration: Achieving Success Through Strategic Alliances and Partnerships. Leonetti wishes he had owned Echavarria’s book years ago because of its wise collaboration advice. An accomplished business coach for companies such as MasterCard, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Scotiabank, and American Express, Echavarria’s key argument is that partners should frame opportunity based on mutual understanding and core competencies, foster relationships over time, and make collaboration central with solid relationships when in the process of securing the commitment to development. Negotiating the collaboration portion of the deal will result in more sustainable alliances, he emphasizes over and over again. The review is an introduction to SAM’s engaging new book review feature—with many more insightful reviews to come.

 

If you’re wondering about this year’s 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference

 “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” Sept. 7-9, at the Revere Hotel in the heart of Boston, read the preview of the timely keynote address “Healing the U.S. Health Care System: Collaboration is Essential” by Dr. Sam Nussbaum, strategic consultant, EGB Advisors, Inc. Nussbaum will touch on the impact of the presidential elections on healthcare and offer insights from his considerable experience streamlining and orchestrating healthcare between public and private entities. The plenary will be presented the following morning, Sept. 8, by Stéphene Thiroloix, CEO at Mayoly Spindler, who will share his perspective on leadership challenges in biopharmaceuticals and healthcare in “The View from the C-Suite: Partnering and Alliances Today and Tomorrow.”

 

This rich issue also includes a Member Spotlight interviewing Citrix’s Steve Blacklock on how partnering has driven Citrix to the cloud, and we continue our Cultural Roundtables coverage from the March 1-4 2016 Global Alliance Summit, “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. Part II delves into another aspect of the intensive two-hour session where participants explored cultural aspects of a region in relation to business acumen. The Spring issue covered China; this issue explores forging relationships in India and Latin America.

 

Eli Lilly and Company has provided another topical editorial supplement, “Better Together: Best Alliance Practices for Building a Better Brand,” by

Markus Saba and David S. Thompson, CA-AM. Finally, in The Close, our publisher and editor describes the message that came through “loud and clear” from the last conference he attended—partnering and collaboration truly are everywhere. We look forward to sharing with you this Summer 2016 issue of SAM that is chock full of exceptional collaborations, companies, individuals, and ideas. It’s been a terrific five years of SAM and ASAP Media—and we look forward to many more to come.

Tags:  6th State of Alliances  Alliance Practices  Alliancesphere  Citrix  cultural  David Thompson  Dr. Sam Nussbaum  ecosystem  EGB Advisors  Eli Lilly and Company  Inc.  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Loren Coles  Markus Saba  Martin E  Mayoly Spindler  Shawn Wilson  Stéphene Thiroloix  Steve Blacklock  The Rhythm of Business 

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Maximizing the Alliance Management and C-Suite Relationship Through the Eyes of Biopharma Conference Plenary Speaker Stéphane Thiroloix

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, August 1, 2016
Updated: Sunday, July 31, 2016

Stéphane Thiroloix describes himself as a “reasonable generalist,” having been involved with partnering in multiple waysfrom business development, general management, marketing, and sales to R&D and legal affairs. The CEO at Mayoly Spindler, an emerging family-owned, independent French company with a focus on gastroenterology and dermocosmetics, will present a plenary talk on The View from the C-Suite: Partnering and Alliances Today and Tomorrow,” Thursday morning, Sept. 8, during the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference. This year’s conference, “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed,” will be held Sept. 7-9 at the Revere Hotel in Boston. Mayoly Spindler’s revenue originates half in France and half abroad through activities in over 50 countries, mostly via local partnerships. The company’s portfolio strategy is based almost exclusively on partnering. Thiroloix provided this preview of his topic on how alliance management functions can best be viewed and leveraged by company senior leadership.

What are some of the challenges when coordinating the alliance management and C-Suite relationships?
The first challenge is simply understanding the role of alliance management. When you have skilled and proactive alliance managers, it does not take long for the C-Suite to appreciate their work and turn to them constantly. Another challenge is keeping the alliance manager in play at all times, even when a partner is tempted to take a more direct CEO-to-CEO route. While that’s a perfectly legitimate move, it’s then the CEO's responsibility to keep the alliance manager in play, even if it’s transiently unofficial. One interesting challenge is accepting contradictions from the alliance manager as they stand for partner interests. It’s easy to state and posture that the alliance manager is our partner's ambassador in our ExCom [executive committee], but when they make the partner's case in a difficult decision, we may feel a little strain as we remind ourselves that we hired them to do so and should pay attention.

Among your proposed discussion topics is the importance of establishing an alliance management function and its value to the senior executive team. Why has this become increasingly important in the new ecosystem?
The pharma model has become tremendously fragmented. When I started my professional life, large pharma companies were the norm, and they were fully integrated—from fundamental research to sales. Partnerships were the exception rather than the norm, and we relied mostly on our internal dynamics to succeed. Today, not only is there a constellation of small, ultra-specialized players, but even the large pharma players outsource vast quantities of strategic activities, including entire components of their R&D, most of their manufacturing, and frequently their commercial activity. As a result, the way we work today is intrinsically alliance-based. Additionally, it’s not about whether you're big or small. If you are a big, dominant player, there is high risk that you will be overpowering in your partnerships. Partners used to accept this because partnering with big pharma was the grail. That’s no longer the case, so big players need alliance management to maintain a healthy balance in their dealings with smaller players who have a variety of other doors to knock on. If you are a small player, you must be agile, humble, and alliance-focused in order to quickly build a strong partnering track record.

Describe some effective strategies partnering professionals can use to support the C-Suite?
A straight answer may be a little simplistic. The company (and its C-Suite), its partners and the alliance manager themselves, have a specific profile and style that may call for different approaches. The C-Suite requires a difficult balance between boring them with systematic activity reporting and appearing to withhold knowledge that provides an edge—which is unbearable to the C-Suite. What I've seen work well is to use the pace of partnership governance: at ExCom meetings before key alliance governance moments, provide relevant updates and gather C-Suite insight. That way you will not be covering all topics all the time. Make sure you share partner milestones to provide the C-Suite with opportunities to react in a constructive manner. If a partner cleared an FDA hurdle or raised capital, some C-Suite members may want to send a congratulatory note—but if you don’t point it out, they might miss the occasion. The best way to work the C-Suite is unquestionably to work more with their teams than with them. Similarly, make sure the C-Suite's personal assistants know where to find alliance reports, and develop flexibility and opportunities for them to connect with bosses whenever they need to deal with the alliance. Be ready to explain the same things again and again. And never, ever surprise them.

Tags:  alliance management  alliances  C-Suite  ecosystem  FDA  governance  Mayoly Spindler  partners  partnership  Stéphane Thiroloix 

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