Phoenix Rising Blog – Collaboration Strategy
Posted Monday, July 2, 2018 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Partnerships are about creating new value that could not be easily achieved alone. So the focus of negotiations should pivot on partner math 1 + 1 > 3.
Your first discovery conversation with a potential partner is usually about how you create more value together. Then, how do you each realize value in the partnership. Sustainable alliances are built on both creating value and claiming value, but without the focus on value creation you are playing a zero-sum game.
There are other negotiation approaches that are more confrontational resulting in win/lose outcomes. These never work well for partnerships. Or in truth for most negotiations as recently reported in a study of negotiation outcomes published by Harvard Law School.
Value creating negotiations involve seeking mutually beneficial outcomes. It often entails asking “Why?” a lot to understand your partners requirements, how they grow their business, how they make money. In understanding their business, you are better positioned to find alternatives and solutions that will benefit both of you and cost you little or nothing. And a good partner will be looking out for your interests as well.
An example is the parable of the orange. Two cooks are tasked to prepare a special meal for a VIP. Their reputations are at stake and tensions are high. One cook intends to make a fabulous dessert and the other a tangy meat entre. Each require an orange for their recipe, but there is only one. They argue about who should get the orange and after many bitter words and bruised egos, they agree to cut the orange in half. Neither is fully satisfied and each is disappointed in the outcome the meal. Had they asked ‘Why?” the result could have been quite different. One cook needed the peel of one orange; the other, the juice.
In reality, getting a potential partner to reveal their true interests is not always as simple as asking “why?” You have to build a relationship of trust to get behind the defensive shield. Often you do that by being more forth coming and showing a little trust yourself.
I often hear the phrase “Gives and Gets” when discussions turns to contracts. Makes me shiver. It sets up a very transactional, zero-sum negotiation, like the example of the oranges which ultimately was lose/lose, since neither cook was satisfied with the outcome. When I hear this phrase, I always interject “No, its Give to Get”. What am I willing to contribute to our mutual success and what does that success look like for you?”
Many less seasoned alliance managers often want to jump into negotiation right away and come armed with contract lawyers. This doesn’t exactly set the stage for relationship building and fostering trust. In the model we advocate, you should have clarity in the value proposition for the customer and all partners and a fairly complete business plan. Most of this prework can be accomplished on an MOU (memorandum of understanding) that enables you to work together to design the partnership without binding commitment other than an intent to work together in good faith until you can establish whether or not you have makings of sustainable alliance.
During this process, you will learn a lot about each other and whether you can work together effectively. This will be important in the weeks and years of the partnership lifecycle. You might as well figure this out up front. An alliance is not a deal after all, not a one-time transaction. Negotiations in the form of joint problem solving and collaboration will be a daily occurrence.
Tags: Collaboration, Innovation, Negotiations, Joint problem solving, value creations
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.”  ...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,” --...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Tags: alliances, cooperation, competition