Phoenix Rising Blog – Collaboration Strategy

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 01:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Imagine you have just joined a new high-flying company, leading the partnering organization.  You are full of aspirations and optimism.  This is going to be great!  A nascent partner organizationthat you can shape and grow to meet the astounding growth potential of this booming market. Then you quickly come to realize that this organization is NOT partner friendly.  The R&D organization suffers from not-invented-here syndrome.  The Professional Services and Sales organizations sees partners as their competitors.  Plus, the internal culture is very aggressive – toward each other! Lastly, your boss thinks Win/Win means he wins twice – at the expense of the partner.

Trying to establish value-creating, collaborative business relationships in that environment is like pushing a rock uphill.  A lot of effort for very little progress.  So how do know if your organization is ready for collaboration?  A Collaboration Maturity Assessment can help.  This kind of assessment is one of the recommendations of the International Standard Organization (ISO) for Collaborative Business Relationships.  While there are many elements to managing a business partnership, having an environment conducive to collaboration goes a long way to setting the stage for success.

What are some of the capabilities of a company that is ready to collaborate? They include understanding how collaboration and partnerships fit within the overall organization; a culture that fosters collaborative behavior and the management processes to ensure repeatable success. Here are some of the necessary elements of Collaboration Maturity Assessment:

Organizational Context

Company strategy.  Your organization’s strategy considers external collaboration as a means for achieving strategic objectives in creating innovation, capturing new markets and new revenue streams.

Leadership.  Your leadership team believes in the importance of collaboration inside and out.  They take responsibility for the vision and direction of the collaborative strategy. They actively sponsor key strategic alliances and are accountable for success.

Support.  Your organization provides the necessary resources, infrastructure, systems, and staffing to support your collaboration strategy.

Personal Development and Training.  Your organization fosters and hires personnel with the necessary skills and competencies to manage collaborative relationships.

Process Improvement.  Your organization has the discipline and commitment to continuously improve the processes and capability supporting collaboration.

Organizational Culture

Communication.  Your organization has a communication style that is inclusive, transparent and engenders trust among stakeholders.

Decision Making. Stakeholders within the organization are empowered to make decisions collaboratively, based on mutual agreement.

Knowledge Sharing. Information and ideas such as lessons learned, best practices, standard operating procedures are openly shared and accessible to all stakeholders.

Commitment to Win/Win Value Creation.  All parties in a collaboration acknowledge that benefit and value is created and must be shared through the successful execution of the collaborative activities.

Partner Management Processes

Partner Lifecycle. Your organization has defined a structure approach to managing collaborations that follow a phased approach to formation, operations, and transformation.

Relationship Management Plan.  Your organization maintains a relationship management plan for each collaboration that outlines the charter, mission, goals, processes, tools, governance and communications to be employed in the management of the partner relationship.

Metric Driven.  Your organization utilizes metrics or balanced scorecards to measure performance of each individual collaboration but also the performance of the collaboration program. Metrics are used to drive action.

Working and Staying Together.  Your organization does an effective job to ensure that stakeholders are harmoniously working together and are aligned on the goals of the collaboration.

So what became of the company mentioned in the opening paragraph?  Well they eventually figured it out over a very painful two-year period and the result was they doubled in size with 80% of the new growth coming from partner influence.  It would have been much smoother had the organization had the collaboration maturity to know what partner friendly looked like.  

Guest Co-author: 

Parth AminParth Amin, CSAP, Founder | Alliance Dynamics, LLC

Parth Amin, a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), recently founded Alliance Dynamics – a boutique consulting firm specializing in alliance formation, implementation, and transformation services. Parth is also a delegate to the Technical Advisory Group representing the United States on the ISO 44001 Committee for Collaborative Business Relationships. Prior to founding Alliance Dynamics, Parth spent 16 years in the Healthcare Industry and held roles in Program Management and Alliance Management, most recently being the Vice President of Strategic Alliances.   

Parth Amin, CSAP

Founder | Alliance Dynamics, LLC

 

Parth Amin, a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), recently founded Alliance Dynamics – a boutique consulting firm specializing in alliance formation, implementation, and transformation services.

 

Prior to founding Alliance Dynamics, Parth spent 16 years in the Healthcare Industry and held roles in Program Management and Alliance Management, most recently being the Vice President of Strategic Alliances.   

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Posted Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Business models have fundamentally changed from selling and buying gear to responding to how customers consume technology and how it changes their businesses.We are experiencing seismic changes in the tech industry driven by the convergence of SMAC (social media, mobile computing, analytics and cloud...

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Posted Monday, July 31, 2017 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

When we talk about digital transformation, so much about it is about the customer experience. At a recent ASAP Tech Partner Forum, Tiffani Bova from Salesforce cited an example of how as a consumer, you might order a Starbucks, from your Tesla, through Alexa. When you drive up to pick up your coffee...

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Posted Monday, July 24, 2017 at 02:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Recently I was invited to facilitate a roundtable/workshop at the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Santa Clara, Calif., centered on digital transformation. We heard from many experts and pioneers in the technology space about the challenges and changes they were navigating. It was like drinking...

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Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

How do you engage when your partner is strategic to you – but you are not strategic to them.My partner thinks of me as a supplier, or a channel, or 'fill-in-the-blank.' How do I become a strategic partner?  This is a common refrain from startups and small companies wanting a relationship...

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Tags: strategic partner, alliances


Posted Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 06:00 AM by Deborah Henken

Do you Have the Right Channel for your Future?The Buyer's journey has changed in the past few years.  Has your channel strategy kept up?  Have your partners?  How are you transforming your channel to address how buyers buy? How is your channel changing to keep up?Here are some facts about...

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Tags: channel strategy, digital transformation, buyer's journey, transforming the channel, channel of the future


Posted Friday, May 13, 2016 at 03:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

TALKIN' SMAC AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Author: Hobart Swan | Published by: CCI Global Channel Management, January 2016 Feature Let’s start off with a definition. The Altimeter Group defines digital transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and...

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Posted Friday, April 22, 2016 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Is IOT Ready for the Channel?We’ve been hearing IOT is coming; IOT is coming for some time.  The fact of the matter is IOT is here.  GE announced that they saw $6B inrevenue in industrial IOT this past year, 2015. Others Amazon, Google, IBM, even the US government have also announced...

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Posted Monday, May 25, 2015 at 01:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Partnering Strategies to Accelerate Growth in the Internet of ThingsFor some time we’ve been hearing that Internet of Things is coming.   Well it’s here!There are many examples that we probably don’t think much about.  Beyond our personal devices: smart phones, watches...

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Tags: By one estimate IOT will represent $14T of new value creation by 2020 with 50-75 billion devices connected.


Posted Monday, April 27, 2015 at 09:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Well, IMHO yes and no.I’ve been working for some years with the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) in creating standards for collaboration. And I frequently get push back. “No two relationships are same.”  “Each is special in some way.”  ...

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Posted Monday, September 15, 2014 at 09:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Partnering Return on Investment is often quite attractive since the investment in a partnered initiative is shared.  In other words half of the resources or costs are on your partner’s balance sheet.  There are other organizational advantages as well which become apparent when a build...

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Posted Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 09:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Creating Business Value for CustomersCreating a competitive edge is crucial for all businesses and can be achieved through alliances. Alliances can also be a defensive measure in countering a competitive shortfall such as a gap in a company’s product line. In our research we found that creating...

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Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

The definition for an alliance is when two (or more) organizations combine their resources to create new value that could not be (easily) achieved by either party alone. Innovation is often described as the process of combining disparate ideas to create something new and in today’s business climate...

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Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Market Impact embraces those strategies that are aimed at growing the businesses of the allied partners. It includes strategies such as entering new markets, gaining a market share position, and generally expanding the capability to gain new customers. The top five selections of our best practices...

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Posted Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

The Strategy of AlliancesAlliances in the technology sector are overwhelmingly evaluated based on revenue and for good reason. They deliver incremental revenue over above business as usual. However, revenue is a lagging indicator and does not provide insight into whether the alliance is achieving...

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Posted Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Every organization has a unique culture as a result of the norms, values and accepted behaviors that are held within the community.  People are often unaware that they do function within a company culture. However, when they begin to work closely with another company culture, they become aware...

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Tags: Collaboration, corporate culture, partner friendly, alliance management


Posted Friday, November 15, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Collaborative competencies are a distinct set of skills that effective alliance professionals have in applying the processes and practices described in the previous blog but collaborative competencies also include many ‘soft skills’.  The softskills are ironically the most difficult...

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Tags: Collaboration, competencies, alliance management


Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 at 03:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Alliance Management Practices: Performers and UnderperformersAll business managers, not just those managing alliances, have been challenged with navigating a stormy economy. We had to make decisions on where to cut back, how to to make the best of diminished resources, and still achieve targeted business...

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Posted Monday, August 23, 2010 at 09:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Is your company partner friendly? Or is every attempt at collaboration an uphill battle? I heard one partner manager describe her partnership with one company as “hand-to-hand combat.” Another partner manager described his partner as “infested with partnering antibodies,” --...

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Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Launching new website turned out to be much more of an involved exercise than I imagined. In this day and age, the website is the face of the company and so a new website caused us to rethink the business, the practice areas, and the positioning of PhoenixCG for the future.  Since the founding...

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Posted Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Innovation takes many forms.  We often focus on innovation as technological breakthroughs and indeed those are important to fuel corporate growth.  But there are other forms of innovation which can be just as powerful and just as disruptive to the status quo in creating strategic competitive...

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Tags: alliance, Collaborative innovation, competitive strategy, innovation, partnering, partnerships, value creation


Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 05:52 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Certification assures Collaborative Capability: Taking Partnering to the Next LevelI was fortunate to be featured in an interview for the Marketing Thought Leadership series with Linda Popky, Marketing Master and recently named one of Silicon Valley's Top 100 Women of Influence.  In this podcast...

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Tags: alliances, collaboration, collaborative capability, partnering


Posted Monday, October 12, 2009 at 02:50 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

One area in which social media is gaining traction is support services.When you combine partners in an interactive forum they become a self-help community.When you add customers to the mix, your partners become very competitive in demonstrating their expertise to the customer base.The result is...

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Tags: Social Media, self service communities


Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 04:38 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Findings from a Survey Conducted by Phoenix Consulting Group, June 2009Well, arguably yes and no. Some technologies that might be labeled early Web 2.0 were in pretty widespread usage. Others such as Twitter are caught up in the tornado. Some, such as MySpace, already seem to be in decline.Blogs...

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Tags: social media, partner marketing, ecosystem management, partner ecosystems


Posted Monday, October 13, 2008 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Strategic alliances are often viewed as a strategy for growth and perhaps not always a strategy for economically challenging times. But many of the reasons that make strategic alliances a good idea in good times make them an even better strategy for uncertain times. What are these reasons to partner...

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Tags: strategic alliances, importance


Posted Friday, April 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

The April meeting of the Silicon Valley/Norcal Chapter of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals featured a panel discussion on Coopetition. It turns out to be as hard to pronounce as it is to do. The panel often struggled with every verb and noun form of it: Coopetive, co-opeting. It...

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Tags: alliances, cooperation, competition

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