Phoenix Rising Blog – Professional Development

Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 10:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Partner managers need many skills to orchestrate collaboration between partnering organizations. Based on the requirements outlined by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals[1], the successful partner manager must have developed skills that are not only specific to collaboration but also to broad business and industry knowledge along with an in depth understanding of their own organization.

These competencies and skills are broken into four categories in order to organize thinking around them.

  • Core skills are the collaborative management skills that operationalize the partnership so it can be managed efficiently. 
  • Context skills include 'soft skills', which are more leadership and people oriented, that help make the partnership run more effectively. 
  • Business and industry skills are functional business skills paired with understanding the common practices and landscape of the particular industry. 
  • Company skills are those specific to the culture, norms and the practices that exist within a particular company.

The critical skills are listed below. The partner manager needs all of them, but the partner savvy company embraces them across the organization. 

Critical Skill Set

  • Managing the Alliance Lifecycle
  • Stakeholder Alignment
  • Managing Performance
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Harnessing Diversity to Capture Innovation
  • Change Management
  • Influence without Authority
  • Managing up, down and sideways
  • Financial and Business Acumen
  • Critical Thinking
  • Leading Virtual Teams
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Savvy
  • Collaborative Selling

In today’s hypercompetitive environment, organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on business collaboration to compete successfully - creating new value networks, tapping into new sources of innovation, and driving growth through strategic partnerships. Organizations need to ensure they can deliver on their strategic objectives by leveraging high performing collaborative partnerships and alliances. The skills required to manage these complex collaborative relationships have now become critical value-creating competencies. Hence executives need to be confident in the skills of their partnering professionals and partner managers need to be able to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities against internationally recognized standards and global best practices. With businesses becoming more dependent on strong partnerships and internal collaborative capability, it is imperative!


[1]The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management: A Practitioner’s Guide”; Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, 2013

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Tags: Collaboration skills, partner manager,


Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 07:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Skills, Aptitudes and Attitudes of Highly Successful Partner ManagersThere are key differences in skills, aptitudes and attitudes of a highly collaborative partner manager.  They are skilled at adapting to an ever changing environment and operating in a world beyond the traditional organization...

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Posted Monday, October 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Investment in Talent to Grow and InnovateTo many organizations, alliances and strategic partnerships are “the new way businesses grow and innovate,” particularly as they experience a rising profile within the C-suite.  As partnership alliances become an increasingly important source...

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Tags: Partner manager, partnering talent, partnering, channel management, alliance management


Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

One of the challenges of professional development is retaining the knowledge and incorporating the new learning into the day to day business practice. Most of us intuitively understand the limitations of classroom training. While most well-crafted training includes discussion...

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Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 04:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

No one graduates from school with a degree in Alliance Management and most of us have found ourselves in the profession quite by accident.  I’ve asked people how they have come into the profession and there is quite  a spectrum.  Many come from technical or scientific disciplines...

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Posted Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

“Collaboration is the number-one trait CEOs are seeking in their employees, with 75 percent of CEOs callingit critical” in IBM’s most recent 2012 study surveying 1700 CEO’s.  But this skill is in short supply. Collaboration has fallen into the skills gap.  It should...

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Posted Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 06:00 AM by Ann Trampas

When I first began my career -- fresh out of college -- I didn't have a clue about the value of professional development.  After all, I had a few degrees, a little experience, that's enough, right?Wrong.  Oh, so wrong.Like many alliance professionals, I worked in a variety of roles before...

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Tags: Ann Trampas, Norma Watenpaugh, CA-AM, CSAP, Professional Development, ASAP, workshops, seminars


Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Aligning team members and stakeholders to support the work of an alliance or any business relationship can be surprisingly treacherous.  One would think that if the strategic intent and return on investment on an alliance is clear the rest falls into place.  Well, guess again. At PhoenixCG...

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Posted Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 02:28 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

I did a study three years ago of partner health across 14 strategic alliances and about ~400 respondents and found something very interesting about the nature of trust in alliances. We did a correlation of heath attributes against overall partner health. We found that when 'trust' was present it did...

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Tags: Alliance Management Best Practices, Alliance Strategy


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

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