About Alliance Management
Alliance management is a business management specialty that cuts across business functions and orchestrates close and collaborative relationships between two or more entities that share assets, strengths, risks, rewards, and control. It includes policies, practices, processes, behaviors, and tools through which an organization realizes value and manages risk from its alliances and other business collaborations.
Why Companies Enter into Alliances
Alliances and partnerships of all forms are a central component of almost every company’s growth strategy. Some organizations view themselves as part of, perhaps orchestrating, one or more ecosystems of partners that come together to innovate and drive outcomes for customers. Using the specialized mindset, skillset, and toolset that inform alliance management frameworks, practices, and processes is how companies succeed in their partnering efforts.
Role of the Alliance Manager
Alliance managers are generally at a director level and above in corporate hierarchy and have a comprehensive understanding of their business, partners, and the industry. Most importantly, they have a mindset that is inclusive, believing that greater value is created when all parties benefit. They have high emotional intelligence coupled with business smarts.
Alliance managers can come from any function. In life sciences, they often take a path through the research lab, project/program management, or business development. Alliance management can be a career or it can be an important stop in building the broad experience needed to become a senior executive.
It is a very rewarding role, as practically no one other than the CEO has a perspective as holistic as an alliance manager. It is also a very challenging role to align the strategies, structures, cultures, and ways of working of two or more entities around a common purpose.
Value of Alliance Management
The value of alliance management is to manage the cost of time. It is measured in the actions taken that preserve and enhance the value of the alliance, that manage risk, and that improves the effectiveness of the alliance.