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Fall 2016 SAM: New Frontiers in Academic Alliances; Interview with a Star Trek Writer and Gaming Professor; the Need to Think ‘Bigger than your Biggest Partner;’ and Much More!

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Fall Strategic Alliance Magazine delves into several new frontiers in alliance management. This issue stretches both imagination and potential with a cover story on academic partnering, “Bringing Academia aboard the Enterprise.” The article explores the history of invention in academia and then shifts to the driving forces today that are making academia an increasingly desirable partner, and how to maximize the potential.

 

Readers are also treated to an interview with Professor Lee Sheldon, a former writer for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and several other well-known Hollywood television series, on creating collaboratively.  Now a professor of practice in interactive media and game development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, Sheldon believes that “bad teams are the ones that cannot communicate and can’t get past their position.”  The better teams “communicate and understand and respect the positions of others outside of their own areas of expertise,” and every challenge can be met by a game.

 

This issue’s Collaborative Buzz highlights innovative partnering and provides a peek into the topic for next spring’s 2017 Global Alliances Summit, “From Science Fiction to Reality,” by Illumina Innovator Alex Dickinson.

 

In his Up Front column “Gaining a Global Perspective,” ASAP CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, emphasizes the importance of a global perspective so essential today for alliance managers as he reflects on the programming from the recent ASAP European Alliance Summit. The “diversity of nations and industries,” and nearly double the attendance, provide a launching pad for his thoughts on how to lead with a winning formula: “Think bigger than your biggest partner—and communicate the value on that level,” he writes. Leonetti also integrates some ideas from the recent leadership forum at the 2016 ASAP Biopharma Conference. Speaking of which, there’s a recap is this issue of the conference that covers the wide range of interactive sessions and dynamic participants this year.

 

Dip into the “Your Career” column for some practical insight from by Eric Rosenson, senior vice president of talent acquisition at Ruderfer & Associates, and Greg Flanagan, president and founder of Emerging Healthcare Partners. John DeWitt writes about how these two search professionals challenge, enlighten, and provoke alliance executives “out of any complacency they might have about career advancement” as well as discussed valuable topics such as “transferrable skillsets—negotiation skills, knowledge of partnership from a business development and sales organization perspec­tive, and other capabilities that are commonly sought in alliance managers.”

 

The Member Spotlight shines on cybersecurity corporate member BeyondTrust in Genevieve Fraser’s interview with Joe Schramm, vice president of strategic alliances. Keys to successful partnering include treating the “partner’s win as sacred,” says Schramm in an interview that looks at the major areas of competition in cybersecurity and how strategic alliances accelerate growth and provide leverage, among other things.

 

Eli Lilly and Company is offering from its alliance management and business training kitchen another recipe for success. Their editorial supplement instructs on how to enhance the flavor and value of an alliance “tossed salad” by adding lean six sigma to improve methodologies, speed, and quality while reducing costs.

 

Finally, The Close explores the relationship between discovery and progress, and highlights an alliance between MedImmune and Johns Hopkins that has resulted in an innovative program that could provide a role model for industry. The program enlists the young minds of millennials “so eager to engage in finding the next great breakthrough for society,” writes Cynthia B. Hanson. “Many millennials are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to engage in discovery provided by a well-designed industry-academic program. It’s well worth considering as part of your overall alliance management strategy,” she points out.

Tags:  2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference  Academic Alliances  accelerate growth  alliances  ASAP European Alliance Summit  BeyondTrust  business development  Eli Lilly and Company  Illumina  industry-academic  Joe Schramm  Johns Hopkins  methodologies  MidImmune  millennials  negotiation skills  Partner  partners  partnership 

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New ASAP Corporate Member Export Development Canada Focuses on Alliances to Build Stronger International Trade Ecosystem

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This is one in a series of blog posts welcoming seven new corporate members into the ASAP fold. Export Development Canada (EDC) is a Canadian Crown corporation providing trade finance, risk management services, and expertise to Canadian exporters and investors worldwide to drive Canada’s economic prosperity. EDC partners with a variety of organizations and stakeholders to reach businesses through new channels, share knowledge and information and, ultimately, create a stronger international trade ecosystem in Canada, according to Laura Hewitt, EDC’s director of public affairs, who provided the following information about the new ASAP corporate member.

 

Why did your team decide to join ASAP at the corporate level?
We were inspired to join ASAP after hearing about the resources available from colleagues in other organizations. We have a number of teams in our organization that create and manage alliances and partnerships, and we’re looking to find information and advice to continue to “up our game” in this area.

 
What is EDC’s purpose and mission?

EDC is focused on ensuring that Canadian companies have access to the tools and knowledge they need to grow and succeed internationally. We connect businesses, regardless of their size, directly to foreign buyers and global supply chains in order to benefit Canada. EDC’s mandate is to support and develop, directly or indirectly, Canada’s export trade and capacity to engage in that trade, as well as respond to international business opportunities. At the mission’s core is using our knowledge of international trade and global buyers to take on and manage significant levels of risk to facilitate the success of Canadian companies in international markets. Our work helped to generate almost $67 billion in Canada’s GDP in 2015more than 4 cents of every dollar.

How do you anticipate ASAP benefitting your mission and goals?

We are interested in ASAP’s resources to shaping our strategic planning for stakeholder engagement and partnerships, in addition to educational tools for measuring alliance and partner success. We also hope to attend some of the webinars or networking events and learn from other professionals in our field.

Please share a bit more information about your company and the type of partnerships you seek.
Helping more Canadian companies engage in international trade requires finding partners to help us deliver solutions in new ways. We need to think beyond our traditional partners (such as banks and insurance brokers) and consider new ones outside our usual playing field. Here is a recent example of where we partnered with Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160920005439/en/Shopify-Partners-Export-Development-Canada-Shopify-Capital. If you want to learn more about Export Development Canada, here is a link to our annual report: http://www1.edc.ca/publications/2016/2015ar/#/en/home.

Tags:  alliances  EDC  expertise  Export Development Canada  export trade  partner  partnerships  risk management services  stakeholder  trade finance 

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Mayoly Spindler’s Stéphane Thiroloix: More on What CEOs Expect from Alliance Management

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Friday, September 9, 2016

Yesterday, Mayoly Spindler’s CEO Stéphane Thiroloix kicked off the opening plenary of the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference. His hour-long presentation and Q&A discussion riveted attendees and teed up key themes for the remainder of the three-day event at the Revere Hotel Boston Common, which was attended by more than 150 life sciences and healthcare partnering executives from around the world. A perennial topic of discussion among alliance execs, regardless of industry, has been how to make what alliance executives do top-of-mind in the C-suite—and how to educate and influence senior executives on how better to leverage alliance management to support the company’s strategic goals. Thiroloix’s talk resonated—because he truly “gets” alliance management and how it fits into an organization. 

Thiroloix has pushed to expand the role of alliance management in Mayoly Spindler, which focuses on gastroenterology and dermocosmetics—so he’s a fan of alliance management and argues that it now plays “a central role in what we do in the healthcare industry.” He’s also crystal clear on what he expects from alliance executives—and what he doesn’t want. I talked to several veteran chief alliance officers who described it as perhaps the best presentation they’ve heard at an ASAP conference, and as I’m writing this blog during the closing session of the conference, attendees are still exclaiming the value of this session for them. 

Check out our earlier coverage of his plenary talk as well as my colleague Cynthia B. Hanson’s strikingly thoughtful Q&A blog post with Thiroloix in August. And here are more nuggets of insight Thiroloix offered during his session: 

  • Align with C-suite processes. “Use the C-suite’s governance [process]. If you can fit your into the normal C-suite governance agenda, it’s better. Be part of the monthly meeting, versus scheduling an alliance meeting the C-suite.”
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat. “Alliances are complex. The rest of my life is also, so don’t expect me to memorize, remind me again, even if it feels incredibly basic. I will stop you if I don’t need more information.”
  • Be specific and don’t assume knowledge. “Whenever you talk about a partner, be ultra-specific. When [my alliance manger] Fabienne Pioch-Laval talks to me about a partner, I don’t hear the first sentence. I’m thinking about, ‘this is the one with the product coming out 2021.’ You have the full picture, but I don’t. Don’t assume that [senior executives] know the specifics. Keep telling me what, why, what for, and how.” 
  • No surprises. “Your role is to anticipate, to manage changes that come from the outside, and from the partner, which is perceived to be outside the company. But make sure [communicating these changes] doesn’t happen in groups. Make sure executive team members know in advance that this is coming up—working the meeting before it happens. The best way to do that is to get their teams to understand, make their teams look good, make sure they convey to their bosses [the information they need]. Help them help you—the C-suite can create interpersonal goodwill.”
  • Give timely support that builds partner. “There are a couple of companies where I have to make myself visit, but if something goes wrong, I don’t know how much I would want to fix it” because of the poor nature of the relationship. “And there are companies that even if something goes wrong, I still want to work with them. Try to find opportunities for senior executives to be in a positive relationship with each other. Make sure your CEO or head of R&D makes that phone call of congratulations for your partner’s success. Write me that message that I can email onto the partner—so that when there’s a bit of turmoil they’ll do the same,” and have the same goodwill towards your company.
  • Don’t bring the CEO your gripes about BD. “One thing that I really don’t want to do is to sort out issues between business development and alliance management. One of the functions where you can step on toes is business development. But you guys can work it out. I don’t want to be involved—I’m just being honest with you.” 
  • Bring your partnering magic to C-suite executives’ teams. “At the end of the day, it’s a function, it’s a set of technical skills, a 360-degree understanding, but there’s an art, an element of humanity, interpersonal dynamics, an element of human magic. I want to see you spending a lot more time with the teams of the C-suite members, so they are informed by their teams. Collaborating in governance just works better naturally—so this is really the key message.”

Tags:  alliance manager  business development  CEO  chief alliance officers  C-suite  executives  Mayoly Spindler  partner  R&D  Stéphane Thiroloix 

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What a CEO Wants—and Doesn’t Want—in an Alliance Executive: A Peek inside the Mind of Mayoly Spindler CEO

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Thursday, September 8, 2016

From an alliance management perspective, how you would you describe your perfect CEO? After today, I might start with the handsome, articulate, and drily witty Stéphane Thiroloix, CEO of French pharmaceutical company Mayoly Spindler. Sharing a peek inside his mind as a company leader, today’s opening plenary speaker at the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Boston at one point described himself as “an anxious maniac” who secretly wishes to avoid meetings with some partners and worries over all the details he can’t remember about other partners. 

Thiroloix opened his talk by describing his humiliation at the center of an unmitigated partnering disaster. A far cry from the historic lament of partnering executives—“the C-suite has no idea what we do”—Thiroloix talked in sufficient detail to demonstrate his thorough command of the ins and outs of strategic partnering and the alliance management role. He also described how he has pushed to expand the role of alliance management in his current company, which focuses on gastroenterology and dermocosmetics. Not surprisingly, the audience was hooked from start to finish. 

Thiroloix backed up his talk by a handful of spare, almost minimalist slides (except for one animated slide that, I’m not kidding, showed a fairy flying around an org chart, waving her wand and sprinkling the magic dust of alliance management across the C-suite team). For nearly an hour of presentation and Q&A, Thiroloix riveted his audience of approximately 150 alliance executives by describing the importance of what they do and how they do it—from his perspective as a CEO. 

After reviewing the sweeping shift, during the past 30 years, from a highly vertical and self-contained pharmaceutical industry to the highly interdependent industry of today, he noted the truism that “we cannot get away from partnering. Today, you can’t do that, regardless of who you are—you have to partner in pretty much everything you do.” Moreover, that means CEOs need to care very much about alliance management. “This really has projected your role to a central role in what we do in the healthcare industry.” 

Then Thiroloix pivoted to the heart of his presentation. “Now I’d like to focus on the other aspect—the C-suite interaction with alliance management. There are a number of things that I’ve come to expect.” 

For starters, alliance management should be a “one-stop shop” for anything involving partners. “We expect you to know everything about the partnership—if you don’t, who will?” he asked. “I don’t know everything about our partners and I develop anxiety about that. The only way to relieve that anxiety is to talk to you. It’s technically important [to provide this knowledge] and also an interesting element of career dynamics. This is about reassuring the C-suite.” 

Indeed, he described in detail his expectations of “support for my team. We want to be informed, prompted and supported, and coordinated. I expect you to keep my team on the right page of that book, and help them to contribute to the health of that alliance.” 

One of Thiroloix’s most powerful points then came when he described his perspective on importance of advocating for the partner—demonstrating just how clearly he sees the nuances of alliance management and its pivotal role in partnering success. 

“I expect the alliance manager to put herself at risk at some point for the partner. Any C-suite will paint the picture the color they need it,” he explained. “The role of the alliance manager is to tell us, ‘you can’t do this because our partner is actually expecting the opposite,’ and to overcome the natural bias of executive committees.” As he did throughout his talk, Thiroloix then dug a layer deeper, explaining what he called a “survival skill” for alliance execs when they are advocating for the partner: 

“Make sure you are clear it’s your opinion versus painting the picture for the partner. I expect the alliance manager to tell me, ‘Stéphane, this is how our partner sees it,’ then say, ‘I think they’re wrong and might be open to changing their minds,’ or, ‘I think they’re right and we need to change our approach.’” 

He also emphasized the importance of telling senior leadership what they need to know about partners to do their jobs—but not what you might want them to know about your job and what it takes to do it. 

“Alliance managers are same as everyone else standing in front of senior management,” he admonished. “We all tend to go over the whole story about every one of our partnerships when we get a little bit of ear time—but don’t do that, we know how hard you work. The C-suite doesn’t understand the job, the complexity—but they understand the need for this type of job.”

Tags:  alliance manager  C-suite  leadership  Mayoly Spindler  partner  senior management  Stéphane Thiroloix  strategic partnering 

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The World of Design Thinking: How It Informs Rethinking Alliance Management for the New Faces and Places of Biopharma Partnering

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 1, 2016

 “Using Design Thinking to Drive Speed, Innovation, and Alignment in Partnering” is a 90-minute, hands-on workshop offered at the upcoming ASAP BioPharma Conference Sept. 7-9 “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” at the Revere Hotel Boston Common, Boston. Led by The Rhythm of Business’s President, Jan Twombly, CSAP, and Principal Jeff Shuman, CSAP, PhD., the workshop will be taking common alliance problems and advising participants on how to understand and apply an adaptation of design thinking to solve them. This workshop will introduce several different techniques along with multiple examples. In this brief interview, Jan Twombly provides a primer on design thinking and what participants can expect. 

What is design thinking?
It’s a methodology for solving complex problems that’s particularly useful in unfamiliar settings, such as partnering with multiple partners, non-asset based alliances, and partnering with sectors that run on much faster clock speeds. It started out as something used for product design, but the data-driven, user experience-focused practice has become very popular in broader business applications because it centers on innovation and complex problem solving. We’ve adapted it for partnering practices. It zeros in on the user’s needs, wants, and limitations, and makes sure that you are providing an experience they value. The tools and techniques take a user-centered approach to aligning processes and interests between and among partners, especially among new faces. It hones in on core problems so that alliance managers can really understand what is needed to solve for, and makes sure they identify the key assumptions in the proposed solutions to understand the data to be gathered to determine if it’s working or not working. In an alliance management context, the users are primarily your internal stakeholders and the equivalent at partner companies. 

How is it used in alliance management?
If you tie back to the conference theme, we live in a world where we are partnering with new partners and in a time of intense competition to get to market first. More and more in R&D is getting externalized, and to drive efficiency in all these new alliances, we need to evolve how we manage alliances. We can use design thinking to really rethink alliance processes, and thereby drive the speed, innovation, effectiveness, alignment, and efficiency required today. You can use design thinking to ensure that your alliance processes and the way you go about collaborating are providing stakeholders with the partnering experience they need to achieve alliance objectives, given the complexity of the relationships and the fact that there is a race to get the most desirable assets and align with companies that will achieve your objectives. We have looked at various ways to do that—starting with IDEO, which created the methodology that is now adapted and used by companies such as IBM, Google Ventures, Bayer, GE Healthcare, and Novo Nordisk. We’ve studied how they are utilizing it and have applied it to alliances in a method we call Partner by Design. 

You collaborated on an interesting article in the Summer 2016 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine entitled “Mastering the Speed, Scale, and Scope of Partnering for the Connected Ecosystems of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” How does design thinking fit into the fourth industrial revolution?
Basically, where it aligns is the fact that partnering processes and the way we have been going about partnering have to change and reflect the speed of innovation today. Partnering processes must reflect the needs of the always-on customer. As business people, we increasingly expect to have the same experience when engaging with companies such as Google, Amazon, or Nordstrom. These are companies known for delivering a great customer experience. This means that we need to change the way we go about partnering. The new business models are outcomes-based, where no value is realized or captured until the end customers get their value. That changes the rules of partnering. You can’t use the same best practices we’ve been using forever. The fundamentals apply, but the new environment demands reflection and evolution. 

Tags:  alliances  Amazon  Bayer  ecosytems  GE HealthCare  Google  IBM  Indutrial Revolution  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Nordstrom  partner  Partner by Design  partnering practices  stakeholders  Strategic Alliance Magazine  The Rhythm of Business 

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