Phoenix Rising Blog – Strategic Alliances

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 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 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 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 Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Alliance management is in many ways a young profession, yet there is a set of defined processes and practices that have been shown to be effective in creating and operating successful collaborations.   Research has shown that companies that approach collaboration through...

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Posted Monday, October 21, 2013 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Success Begins at the TopIt is hard to overstate the importance of a champion at the senior levels of the organization.  Many alliances fail or falter when they lose the executive champion and the role is not backfilled with a strong leader.The role of the champion is many fold. They represent...

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Tags: champion, executive sponsor, alliance, strategic partner


Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 07:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Do you have champions in your alliance? or do you have snipers and hostages? When I teach alliance skills mastery workshops, I often ask how much time managers spend on internal alignment.  That is winning the hearts and minds of the internal alliance stakeholders to gain their buy-in and...

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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, September 3, 2009 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Social media hype is everywhere. We are deluged with it on-line. We see it on TV. Our kids are absorbed by Facebook. The State department even requests that Twitter delays maintenance to ensure continuity in the information flow from civil unrest in Iran. Even as we are coming to grips with Social...

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Tags: social media, partnering


Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 02:32 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Attended an ASAP Green breakfast this morning and it was certainly eye opening even if the coffee arrived late.Hal LaFlash, Dir Emerging Clean Technology Policyfrom PG&E -that's Pacific Gas and Electric for the non-Californians - spoke on the many alliances that PG&E has been cultivating...

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Tags: power, green, alliances


Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Part I discussed how demographic segmentation allowedtargeting programs, benefits, and attention to engender greater loyalty and business through their developers. Part II addresseshow segmentation by 'Loyalty' itself helps to identify andto address specific concerns of developers. While...

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Tags: roi, loyalty


Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

I was approached by a client some weeks ago to present at conference some work we did on Developer Loyalty. Now there are a lot satisfaction type surveys out there, but my client presented a very specific challenge. She was new in the role as the Director of the Developer Community and needed...

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Tags: roi, loyalty


Posted Monday, January 5, 2009 at 03:09 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Have you read a book in the past year that made an impact on you and how you manage alliances and partnerships? Could even be one you've written!! Here are some that I read this past year which I found had relevance to the field of alliance management. NOT listed in any order other than how they...

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Tags: alliances, reading, list


Posted Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 08:32 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Plans for Strategic Alliances on the RiseNearly one-third of consumer products companies plan to forge new strategic alliances in the upcoming 12 months (30 percent), up 8 points from the second quarter of 2008 according to Pricewaterhouse CoopersNEW YORK, Dec 4, 2008GlobeNewswireChrysler...

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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 Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

What do you think of, when you think win-win? Most business people will interpret that as "I win and my partner wins". Unfortunately quite a number will behave differently: "win-win means I win twice!" This, as you can imagine, does not produce sustainable partnerships. Smart business people will...

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Tags: partnering, growth


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


Posted Friday, March 28, 2008 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

"Collaborative Innovation: Leveraging Strategic Partnerships for the Global Playing Field" Sunday, March 30, 2008BlogTalkRadio: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/CoachforInnovation6:00 p.m. Pacific/9:00 p.m.Collaborative innovation is rapidly becoming a key differentiator for organizations. But as enterprises...

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Tags: partnering, innovation


Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 11:17 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

A successful alliance program begins at the top with the support of the CEO. Like many other things, the CEO influences company culture, models the behavior, and sets the priorities in collaborative relationships. CEO support and that of the CXO staff fosters the environment where alliances can thrive...

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Tags: partnering, success, alliances, secrets

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