Partnering Capability | Collaborative Leadership | Data-rich Alliance Health and Effectiveness Assessments | Alliance Management Digital Platforms

 About The Rhythm of Business


The Rhythm of Business is a professional services firm with core expertise in alliance management and business collaboration. For nearly 25 years, we have worked with partnering and alliance management leaders, business unit heads, and organizational development executives to understand how to make alliances successful. We take what is complex and contextual and make it relatable and actionable.

Our mission is to help people partner well. It is the only way to solve big problems and produce big results. Alliances and collaboration are conceptually simple and operationally very challenging. Successfully practicing alliance management is how to partner well.

Our Specialty

We specialize in alliance management practices that strive for operational excellence and in complex alliances engaging in research, co-development, and co-commercialization. We work across industries and around the globe. Many of our clients are in life sciences and related fields.

Two-thirds of the Top 20 biopharmaceutical companies and many of the leading research institutes and innovative biotechs turn to us to help make their collaborations successful.

We’re expert practitioners of collaborative ways of working. Collaboration is one of the most misunderstood and overused concepts in business today. There are many perspectives on what it is, ranging from the simplistic — working with other people to produce an outcome — to the complexity of the latest technical platform that allows data and documents to be shared. It is treated as a value, a skill, and even an event. In fact, it is a behavior — a strategic, purposeful way of working that produces mutual benefit for all concerned.

An organizational ability to collaborate has been found to be highly correlated with market performance. The key questions for leaders implementing strategies that hinge on partnerships and alliances with external parties are, “How to define collaboration as a behavior?” and “How to build it as an organizational capability…and advantage?”

The Rhythm of Business is your guide.

We’re passionate about empowering your partnering and collaboration success through our consulting, training, digitization, and assessment services. Understanding your business needs, we chart your roadmap to build the mindset, skillset, and toolset to drive customer, stakeholder, and partner value.

Thought Leadership

Cover page for article Board of Directors or Rubber Stamp? The Joint Steering Committee as a Beacon of Collaborative Leadership

The Joint Steering Committee as a Beacon of Collaborative Leadership

We make what we’ve learned freely available. As leaders in the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) we’ve contributed to its handbooks and certification programs, considered by many as the “bible” of alliance management.

We’re regular contributors to Strategic Alliance Quarterly, ASAP’s journal. Jan Twombly helped start it in 2011, has provided guidance on every issue, and is currently chair of the ASAP Board’s Editorial Committee. Our articles have also appeared in numerous trade publications, academic journals, and general business publications. We also create specific publications requested by clients to communicate the intent to develop an alliance management capability and educate their organizations to partner well.

We regularly speak at ASAP’s signature conferences, frequently offering Master Classes, which are abbreviated versions of the training we deliver to companies. We advise on content development and present at the annual Strategic Alliance Management Congress. We also speak at a number of other venues, including project management, strategy events, and industry specific conferences.

Our keynote presentations are also welcomed at corporate events such as annual departmental
planning meetings, talent development events, and alliance kickoff meetings.

Short posts, white papers and other media under the banner of The Partnering Guide™ share our most recent thinking.

Leadership Team

Jan Twombly

Jan Twombly, CSAP


Jan Twombly, Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP), is president of The Rhythm of Business, a professional services firm with core expertise in strategic alliances, alliance management, and collaboration. For nearly 25 years, she has been developing and sharing thought leadership and practical frameworks to enable success through partnering and alliances.

Jan is a trusted advisor to leaders in both industry and academia, helping to develop their organizations’ partnering and alliance strategies, capabilities, and operations. She offers education, training, and mentoring services to build the mindset, skillset, and toolset needed to succeed. Her clients count on her to advise on establishing new alliances, to develop alliance management organizations and practices, and to step in when alliances are in trouble. Data-driven, contextual assessments of complex alliances provide deep insights that solve problems and drive measurable improvement. Digitizing workflow helps alliance managers scale and optimize their work.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), overseeing their editorial and content strategy. She was a contributor to ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management: A Practitioner’s Guide and oversaw the editorial content for The ASAP Guide to Biopharmaceutical Partnering and The ASAP Guide to Information Technology Partnering. She is a frequent contributor to Strategic Alliance Quarterly, and has been published on alliance management topics in a range of publications, including Drug Discovery Today, Business Development and Licensing Journal, and Pharmaceutical Outsourcing. She regularly speaks at conferences and corporate events on collaboration and partnering. Together with business partner Jeff Shuman, she authors The Partnering Guide™ blog and numerous whitepapers at

Her first career was as a Certified Public Accountant, becoming partner in a regional CPA firm, serving technology and knowledge-based entrepreneurial companies. Twombly continues to leverage her financial knowledge. She serves as Treasurer and a Member of the Executive Committee of RESULTS and the RESULTS Educational Fund, sister organizations that empower individuals around the world to use their voices and collaborative skills to influence decisions by governments and other institutions that will bring about the end of poverty.

Jeff Shuman

Jeffrey C. Shuman CSAP, PhD


Jeff is an educator and trusted advisor to executives who are building, leading, and managing alliances and partner networks. His mix of operational, consulting, research and classroom experiences allow him to blend the theoretical with the practical, providing useful, easily implementable and repeatable advice. 

At The Rhythm of Business he partners with global companies in multiple industries to advance their alliance and collaboration management capability. Consulting engagements focus on driving results through enabling all functions of the business to work effectively with their partners throughout the lifecycle. He works with senior executive teams to shape partnering strategy, enable operational and organization readiness, and implement overarching governance. Partnering professionals benefit from his ability to quickly diagnose underperforming alliances, and accelerate the path to profitability. Customized education and training bring alliance and collaboration skills to all who interact with partners.

 Believing that one can’t teach without experience, he’s founded or been part of the founding team of five companies across multiple industries—including a computer company that was the first to build an alliance with Microsoft to distribute Windows 3.0 through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) environment. All of his companies have had partnering as a core strategy and organizing principle of the business.

 Jeff has been a member of Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) since 2002. He was involved on the teams that developed the Certificate of Achievement – Alliance Management (CA-AM) certification and the CSAP certification and contributed to the Handbook of Alliance Management. He frequently presents at ASAP and other organizations’ conferences and events. Together with business partner Jan Twombly, he has a rich history of developing and publishing strategic and practical thinking that advances the art and science of partnering and alliance management.

Partners and Professional Associations

Allianceboard logo


Purpose-built software for alliance leaders to organize and grow their alliance ecosystems with their partners at the center.

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Our partner specializing in last mile execution in information technology alliances drives efficient growth by helping you plan and execute winning results with your partner ecosystems.



A nonprofit, global membership organization for partnering professionals in all industries.

Get In Touch


+1 617 965 4777



656 Ocean Ave Unit 726
Revere, MA 02151 USA

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