Alliance Management Expertise, Partnering Frameworks and Tools, Collaborative Leadership

How Alliance Professionals Deliver Value at Startup
1. Partnering Guide / March 25th, 2021
Discussion Summary from Exclusive Executive Roundtable

There is a truism among alliance professionals—start an alliance right, or you will start it again in the midst of an erosion of trust and even conflict. As part of an exclusive executive roundtable discussion sponsored by The Rhythm of Business during the ASAP Global Alliance Summit in March, nearly a dozen heads of alliance management within life science companies gathered to discuss the challenges of startup and the value alliance professionals can and should deliver to their stakeholders during this critical phase. Their conclusion: Prepare your stakeholders for what could go wrong and set them up for making it go right.
...
How Alliance Professionals Treat Team Turnover as a Value-Adding Opportunity
1. Partnering Guide / December 28th, 2020
“We’re moving so fast we don’t have the luxury of formal onboarding. We just kind of throw them in there. They’re smart, they’ll figure it out.” This is what we’ve been hearing from too many alliance professionals about their approach to onboarding new project team and governance committee members. In taking this position, alliance professionals are overlooking a key value adding opportunity: Helping the new member know what they need to know to establish the right priorities and engage in the right activities to accomplish what they as a member of the team must, and to quickly get connected and engaged with the rest of the team.

When this engagem...
Rumblings, Perennial Challenges, and Reimagining a Path Forward
1. Partnering Guide / December 4th, 2020
There is no question 2020 has been the most challenging year in recent memory. As it comes to a welcome close, old challenges are appearing anew. For biopharmaceutical alliance professionals, it is once again the season of having to explain to the CFO wielding the budget axe, “So tell me again what you do?”
 
It is not surprising, given the uncertainty of the business climate and the wholesale changes that have occurred. Companies have learned to live without physicality in offices, sales calls, team meetings, conferences, new staff interviews…the list goes on and on. Suffice it to say that any executive worth their salt is examining what their business needs and doesn’t need to be successful as we hopefully emerge from the pandemic in 2021 and into the next normal.
 
Savvy alliance leaders should welcome the challenge—and be prepared with an answer that not only explains how you’ve helped the business achieve great things during 2020 by keeping its alliances on track. You must also be ready to share what you and your team are doing to reimagine the future course of the company’s alliance capability and help lead it in a time of scientific and technical advancement, changing economic incentives, and empowered patients that necessitates partnering happening everywhere in the organization—all while incorporating the surprisingly productive ways of doing business we’ve adopted...
Breaking the Collaboration Paradox: A Leadership Requirement for the Next Normal
1. Partnering Guide / November 11th, 2020
The following post was initially published by The Drucker Forum as part of its "Shape the Debate" discussion concurrent with the 12th Global Peter Drucker Forum, Leadership Everywhere, A Fresh Perspective on Management.

There are some things we’ve learned in the past seven months that make sense to carry forward into the next normal. Chief among them is that the amount of partnering among firms occurring to combat the pandemic, the neighborhood tie-ups to support small businesses, and bubble quarantines in learning groups as well as professional sports teams, requires a collaborative leadership style. 
 
Collaboration is a buzzword that everyone thinks they know what it means, but few truly do. It is typically thought of as a simple skill we all learned in the sandbox, a value to be trumpeted, or technology that allows people to work together electronically. These are all elements of collaboration, but they fail to adequately define...
The Silver Lining: Reimagining Alliance Management to Focus on What Matters Most Now
1. Partnering Guide / September 24th, 2020
Download a pdf of our conference presentation

Our hats are off to everyone who participated in the ASAP Biopharma Conference earlier this month! Because of all the creativity and engagement by speakers, participants, the program committee, and staff, it certainly felt like a real conference, just one delivered in a digital environment instead of in Boston’s Seaport District! It is further evidence the status quo is no more and so many of the old rules no longer apply. This is really the silver lining: a license to fix what’s broken, become more resourceful and agile, dispense with unnecessary process, and focus on what matters most.

COVID-19 and Work from Home (WFH) has created a new burden on alliance professionals. You must be more intentional, work harder to be in the right meetings, pay more attention to the mental and physical state of your team, your governance members. Add to this all the new types of service, data, and digital partnerships both before- and with-COVID and it is clear the time has come to reimagine how alliance management practices are implemented and the capability is organized and resourced to meet growing, changing demand.

Our presentation at the conference introduces practical actions for reimagining the collaboration between alliance managers and their internal stakeholders, especially governance team members, and the resulting partner experience. We toss aside the status quo to:
  • Redefine how alliance managers are assigned to alliances
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to align on the services that create value for them and that mitigate the panoply of value-eroding risks that are now present
  • Create the transparency of information flows and communication required in our together-but-apart world
Contact us today to discuss how our consulting and training services can help your alliance management team be more agile, more digital, and more successful in delivering the value to stakeholders that matters most today.
Shine a Spotlight on Your Alliance Portfolio
1. Partnering Guide / September 2nd, 2020
This is the third in a series of posts from allianceboard, a next generation alliance management platform and The Rhythm of Business on why the time has come to digitize your practice to drive value for stakeholders, your partners, and you.

Seeing the Big Picture

Not long ago, an executive newly appointed to lead the alliance management function for his company—but who had no alliance management experience—asked us, “How do I see what is going on across all of our alliances? I am used to starting my day looking at a dashboard that lets me know what needs my attention.” We had to explain to him that currently, within his company, he would have to manually aggregate individual alliance managers’ monthly reports to get an overall picture. But that need not be the case. 
 
As we’ve been describing in this series of posts, external events coupled with the growth in the number and types of alliances and other collaborations are shining a spotlight on the need to digitize certain aspects of alliance management workflow and administration. If our newly appointed alliance executive had in place a digital alliance management platform, he would have had the ability to aggregate all the alliances in his portfolio—or any relevant subset thereof—into a single dashboard and understand them in relation to one another. It would also help him better appreciate the work of his allian...
The Golden Package Leads to the Payoff
1. Partnering Guide / July 31st, 2020
This is Part Three of a three-part series about an exemplary research collaboration between global biopharmaceutical giant AbbVie and BioArctic, a research-intensive Swedish biopharmaceutical company. The purpose of the alliance was to develop antibodies (immunotherapy) based on promising science discovered by BioArctic that could stop progression of the debilitating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The partners wish to share their experiences so that both their companies and others may benefit. The Rhythm of Business was engaged after their collaboration had achieved its primary objective to help the partners examine their alliance, identify repeatable practices, and tell their story.
 
Read Part One: The Making of a True Collaboration
Read Part Two: How the AbbVie-BioArctic Partnership Executes Collaboratively
 
For two years the partners had been following the workplan, advancing the science that they hoped would produce a game-changing treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. For that to happen, AbbVie had to “opt-in” to license the antibodies for clinical development. If it decided not to, for any number of valid business or scientific reasons, BioArctic would need to go find another partner. If that rejection were to occur, it would cost them valuable time in both the exclusivity to the underlying intellectual property and in the competitive arena. It would result in devaluing the asset in the eyes of a new development partner.  In October 2018 BioArctic delivered the “Golden Package” containing the fruits—all the data and deliverables—of the two years of work to AbbVie, which had 90 days to make a decision. Thanks to a proactive approach with much of the ground already laid, the review was quick and internal alignment secured. Within two weeks it informed BioArctic that it would exercise its license option bringing the alliance to a succ...
Digitizing Alliance Management for Agility and Efficiency
1. Partnering Guide / July 15th, 2020
This is the second in a series of posts from allianceboard, a next generation alliance management platform and The Rhythm of Business on why the time has come to digitize your practice to drive value for stakeholders, your partners, and you. Louis Rinfret, PhD, founder and CEO of allianceboard contributed this post. Access the first post in this series Digitize Your Alliance Management Practice to Provide Visibility, Promote Agility, and Create Value
 


How do you ensure your alliance team is agile and efficient while managing a growing portfolio?  As companies race to innovate and grow, heads of alliance management functions must plan how to support the increasing demands on their teams.

Working harder with current systems and processes is not sustainable in most situations.  Leaders must then think strategically and envision how they...
How the AbbVie-BioArctic Partnership Executes Collaboratively
1. Partnering Guide / July 7th, 2020
This is Part Two of a three-part series about an exemplary research collaboration between global biopharmaceutical giant AbbVie and BioArctic, a research-intensive Swedish biopharmaceutical company to develop antibodies (immunotherapy) based on promising science discovered by BioArctic that could stop progression of the debilitating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The partners wish to share their experiences so that both their companies and others may benefit. The Rhythm of Business was engaged after their collaboration had achieved its primary objective to help the partners examine their alliance, identify repeatable practices, and tell their story. Read Part One The Making of a True Collaboration.

Getting to “Happy-Happy”

The synergy equation of 1+1=3 is an axiom of partnering, implying that the goal is to create value that cannot be achieved alone. Sweden’s BioArctic takes it a step further, looking to achieve the state of “happy-happy” with their partners. This next generation of the classic win-win focuses on “satisfaction, relationship, the cooperation, and the future.”[1] It is a way of getting to an agreement that is open, transparent, non-competitive, and assumes that each party gets what it wants by helping the other parties to the relationship get what they want. This “give and get logic” is the essence of collaboration; core to how to create, deliver, and capture true value in an alliance. As BioArctic’s project leader explains, “It is important to listen to the partner and unde...
Digitize Your Alliance Management Practice to Provide Visibility, Promote Agility, and Create Value
1. Partnering Guide / June 30th, 2020
This is the first in a series of posts from allianceboard, a next generation alliance management platform and The Rhythm of Business on why the time has come to digitize your practice to drive value for stakeholders, your partners, and you.

The Time to Digitize is Now

We’re Zooming and Hanging Out every day. Going-to-Meeting, Teaming, and Webexing from morning until night. These conferencing apps are familiar tools to alliance managers; it is just that our reliance on them has grown as we manage alliances from a distance. As helpful as they are when meeting virtually, approximating face-to-face meetings except for the essential relationship-building step of breaking bread and raising a glass, they facilitate only a portion of alliance management activity that provides the services stakeholders value. The demands of remote work lay bare the need to accelerate an essential component of applying agile principles to alliance management—digitizing certain aspects of alliance management workflow and admin...
The Making of a True Collaboration
1. Partnering Guide / June 6th, 2020
This is Part One of a three-part series about an exemplary research collaboration between global biopharmaceutical giant AbbVie and BioArctic, a research-intensive Swedish biopharmaceutical company to develop antibodies (immunotherapy) based on promising science discovered by BioArctic that could stop progression of the debilitating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The partners wish to share their experiences so that both their companies and others may benefit. The Rhythm of Business was engaged after their collaboration had achieved its primary objective to help the partners examine their alliance, identify repeatable practices, and tell their story.
 
At the September 2014 Parkinson’s Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, Gunilla Osswald, CEO of BioArctic approached the AbbVie booth and asked whom she should talk with about her company’s Parkinson’s Disease program. She was directed to AbbVie’s Europe-based search and evaluation team member who told her that BioArctic’s program was too early for AbbVie to consider. “Come back when you’ve humanized the antibody,” he said.

Fifteen months later, having successfully humanized the antibody, Osswald was meeting with AbbVie’s search and evaluation lead for neuroscience at a partnering conference. Their meeting was supposed to be a brief 20 minutes. Layer-by-layer it became 90 minutes of scientific discovery. It was the first step in establishing a critical trust building foundation for what would become a successful collaboration on promising science to treat a disease with no known cure.

This partn...
Bridging the Gap to the Next Normal
1. Partnering Guide / May 9th, 2020
As we try to find our way to the next normal for the economy and our lives, a tremendous leadership challenge presents itself to alliance professionals: How to reimagine the people-centric business of partnering when team members’ personal lives are disrupted or worse, remote work is the norm, there is great economic uncertainty, and intense pressure on resources? Add to this the fact that cross-industry, multi-partner as well as public-private collaboration is required to innovate our way out of this crisis. The number of partnerships for tests, vaccines, treatments, and medical equipment is exploding, as this graphic from CB Insights (Figure1) depicts. How can alliance management expertise be applied to this speed, scale, and scope of partnering so that time and money is not squandered by the inherent inefficiencies in partnering?

Even bef...
Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability--Part One of Four
1. Partnering Guide / March 15th, 2020
This is Part One of a Four Part post on adapting and applying certain principles of agile management as a means of meeting the increased demand for alliance management services as the scale, scope, and complexity of biopharmaceutical asset, service, digital, and data alliances and partnerships grows.

Download a pdf of all four parts of “Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability” plus “What to Do When it Gets ‘Just Too Hard.’”   


In our post What to Do When It Gets “Just Too Hard” we describe a challenge biopharmaceutical alliance professionals are facing: How to provide proactive, value creating alliance management services to company stakeholders and partners when the number, variety, and technical complexity of partnerships exceeds the ability of alliance managers to implement a traditional management model across the scale and scope of the overall corporate portfolio. A promising approach to the problem lies in adapting and applying certain principles of agile management. In this post we explore what is meant by agile and how it can be implemented in an alliance managemen...
Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability--Part Two of Four
1. Partnering Guide / March 14th, 2020
This is Part Two of a Four Part post on adapting and applying certain principles of agile management as a means of meeting the increased demand for alliance management services as the scale, scope, and complexity of biopharmaceutical asset, service, digital, and data alliances and partnerships grows.

Download a pdf of all four parts of “Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability” plus “What to Do When it Gets ‘Just Too Hard.’”  
 


Read Part One of Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability

Practice Component 1:  Resourcing the Portfolio

One of the key reasons for reimagining alliance management as an agile capability is because there is currently a mismatch between the scale of enterprise partnering and professional alliance management resources. Current practice addresses this through traditional tiering and scoping that result in unmanaged alliances and diminished value to stakeholders of alliance managers who are spread too thin to deeply en...
Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability--Part Three of Four
1. Partnering Guide / March 13th, 2020
This is Part Three of a Four Part post on adapting and applying certain principles of agile management as a means of meeting the increased demand for alliance management services as the scale, scope, and complexity of biopharmaceutical asset, service, digital, and data alliances and partnerships grows.

Download a pdf of all four parts of “Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability” plus “What to Do When it Gets ‘Just Too Hard.’”  

Read Part One or Part Two of Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability


Practice Component 2:  Increasing the Agility of Alliance Management Practices 
 

There are many ways to build agility into alliance management practices. The Service Level Agreements between alliance managers and stakeholders shape expectations and focus resources on the work that delivers the greatest value to stakeholders and enhances the partner experience. Successful implementation of services requires standardization, meaning that everyone understands the language and how t...
Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability--Part Four of Four
1. Partnering Guide / March 12th, 2020
This is Part Four of a Four Part post on adapting and applying certain principles of agile management as a means of meeting the increased demand for alliance management services as the scale, scope, and complexity of biopharmaceutical asset, service, digital, and data alliances and partnerships grows.

Download a pdf of all four parts of “Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability” plus “What to Do When it Gets ‘Just Too Hard.’”  

Read Part OnePart Two, or Part Three of "Reimagining Alliance Management as an Agile Capability"
 
Practice Component 3:  Adapting the Alliance Management Organization

Typically, the resourcing model has been that each alliance has one alliance manager and that each individual has responsibility for multiple alliances. Certainly, there are exceptions for very large and complex alliances, and in advanced companies that have recognized the need for new ways of working, but by and large the traditional model remains entrenched. This means that alliance management functions, groups, or teams do not operate as teams; they operate as collections of individual contributors. Agility depends on purpose driv...
Collaborative Leadership: The Antidote to the Collaboration Paradox
1. Partnering Guide / January 21st, 2020
Thus far in this series of posts on collaboration, we’ve defined it as a purposeful, strategic behavior that is easier said than done. This is because of both a failure to build the capability—the mindset, skillset, and toolset—to collaborate across boundaries and the collaboration paradox—the systems, processes, and policies that helped companies be successful in the past that today impede their ability to collaborate. In this post we look at both collaborative leadership and the leadership system required to support and implement the capability as the antidote to the people and organizational challenges of achieving success in cross-boundary collaborations....
What to Do When It Gets “Just Too Hard”
1. Partnering Guide / January 2nd, 2020
A very successful entrepreneur once told us she knew it was time to iterate her assumptions and change her business when the current way she was doing something was “just too hard.” Ever since that conversation, we watch for this signal. Alliance management within biopharmaceutical firms is showing many signs of hitting the tipping point where it is just too hard to continue implementing alliance management practices as is typically done. One of the key issues raised during our 2018 research project with more than 30 biopharmaceutical companies both large and small was the challenge of an ever-increasing workload—both a growing portfolio to manage and the increasing technical complexity of the alliances making up the portfolio.[1]

Lat...
Five Skills for Collaborating Across Boundaries
1. Partnering Guide / December 26th, 2019
In our post Collaboration: Easier Said Than Done we said that leadership systems had to evolve to break the collaboration paradox—the barriers that impede collaboration, but enabled success in a prior business environment. That’s one part of the puzzle of making collaboration—a strategic and purposeful way of behaving and working— an organizational capability. There are also operational and execution skills to collaboration between entities in addition to the psychological skills and values such as openness, empathy, and delegation that are typically present when individuals behave collaboratively. [1]
 
Behaviors are ways of conducting oneself or how a group acts in response to its environment. On a psychological level, collaboration is a natural response to an environment of trust, transparency and respect. In that nurturing environment, one is more likely to be open to other’s ideas, empathetic to their concerns, and willing to give up some level of control and credit.
 
Organizations agree to collaborate to leverage and align the resources of each party for customer benefit which should result in mutual benefit for the collaborators. This requires uniting two or more entities that each have their own strategies, structures, cultures, goals, and processes, crossing organizational boundaries to access those resources. This adds complexity, risk, and challenge to the endeavor....
Collaboration: Easier Said Than Done
1. Partnering Guide / December 9th, 2019
Collaboration is a business buzzword that everyone thinks they know what it means and how to do it, but few truly do; yet it has never been more important than it is today. In addition to the lack of collaborative skills and mindset would-be collaborators also face a Collaboration Paradox— the systems, processes, and policies that have enabled success in the past reinforce barriers impeding success in today’s ecosystem-based collaborative business models. Developing the necessary capability—the mindset, skillset, and toolset for intra- and inter-organizational collaboration—is a work in process for most organizations. This capability also needs a backbone to latch itself to—the culture, policies, and processes of a leadership system that enable and encourage collaborative ways of working.
...
Could Partnering Capability be the Achilles’ Heel of Ecosystems?
1. Partnering Guide / July 9th, 2019
The 11th Global Peter Drucker Forum is all about the power of ecosystems and managing in a networked world, topics that are near and dear to us. They are hosting an excellent blog that has many contributors and posts. Check out our contribution that argues that without an enterprise partnering capability, it could become the Achilles’ heel – the exposed and unprotected weak spot – of any business seeking to create, deliver, and capture value in through ecosystems.
Partnering Readiness: The Through Line from Collaborative Leadership to Collaborative Execution
1. Partnering Guide / May 31st, 2019
download a pdf of the slide deck
access the full webinar

The data keeps rolling in: The companies that are successful in becoming digitally-enabled and customer-obsessed—and therefore prepared to compete as we enter the 2020s—are those best able to collaborate internally and externally. This dynamic of Technology + Partnering together are redefining and rewiring organizations, necessitating a new collaborative leadership system to serve as the backbone that supports agile collaborative execution.

The objective of the leadership system? To ensure that companies are ready to partner; purposefully and opportunistically, in one-to-one relationships, multi-partner engagements, and in ecosystems.  Partner readiness for the 2020s is not as simple as having an alliance management team that supports a center of excellence offering tools and training. Partnering readiness is embodied in every leadership action, operational structure, and execution motion. It extends through strategy, product, marketing, sales, support and management. It is the strategic imperative for alliance leaders today.
  
View our recent ASAP Netcast webinar or download the slide deck to evaluate how ready your company is to compete and succeed in the 2020s.
Alliance Managers Find They Have the Control and Influence to Empower Collaborative Leadership
1. Partnering Guide / April 2nd, 2019

Author: Jan Twombly

At the recent ASAP Global Alliance Summit, we conducted an abbreviated version of our workshop, Own Your Transformation: A Five-Point Agenda for Empowering Collaborative Leadership, with alliance professionals from info tech, biopharma, and fintech, as well as other industries where partnering is as essential as the technology. The objective of the session was to design a collaborative leadership system to break through the barriers organizations typically put up to true collaborat...

Closing the C-Suite's Collaboration Gap
1. Partnering Guide / December 20th, 2018
Earlier this month, we presented and recorded a webinar to expand upon our mini e-book that we wrote together with our partner Alliancesphere, Own Your Transformation: A Five-Point Agenda for Creating Your Organization’s Collaborative Leadership System. The key message of the presentation is to urge alliance professionals to take charge of closing the gap between the happy talk about the importance of partnering and the actual ability of organizations to collaborate and partner well in a digital world....
Own Your Transformation: Creating Your Organization's Collaborative Leadership System
1. Partnering Guide / November 6th, 2018
download the pdf

Technology + Partnering together are today’s business imperative. They are redefining and rewiring organizations and what it means to be a leader. Partnering is happening everywhere, requiring collaborating internally and externally—at all levels and across all functions—with unprecedented speed, scale, and scope. It is apparent to leaders now: digital transformation doesn’t happen without robust partnering capability.

The challenge and opportunity for today’s collaborative leaders could not be more meaningful and impactful:
How will you create, deploy, and integrate a leadership system for collaboration from top-to-bottom and end-to-end, overcoming organizational boundaries, inertia, and old ways of leading?

The SMART Partnering Alliance of The Rhythm of Business and Alliancesphere offer a five-point collaborative leader’s transformation agenda— a roadmap for creating your organization’s leadership system for a rapidly changing digital world.
How to Tame an Octopus: Managing the Proliferation of Clinical Collaborations
1. Partnering Guide / October 15th, 2018
In 2016, former US President Jimmy Carter announced that he no longer required treatment for his metastatic melanoma that had spread to his brain and liver. After six months of being treated with the immunotherapy pembrolizumab (trade name KEYTRUDA), together with surgery and radiation therapy, doctors had seen no sign of his disease for three months. This was a remarkable development—before pembrolizumab was approved in 2011, President Carter’s cancer likely would have been fatal.

Known as a “checkpoint inhibitor” pembrolizumab and other drugs in its class work—in simplest terms—by turbocharging the body’s immune system so that it can fight cancer. Its success, and the success of other similar drugs, such as avelumab (trade name BAVENCIO), and nivolumab (trade name OPDIVO), have unleashed a tsunami of clinical collaborations to identify how using these drugs in combination might expand and extend their significant patient benefits—and maximize their value to the biopharma companies that are de...
Coping Strategies for Overstretched Biopharma Alliance Executives
1. Partnering Guide / September 15th, 2018
It has been said by more than one executive that having too much work for her team to manage is a “high-class problem to have.”  If you buy that thinking, biopharma alliance executives have a very high-class problem to cope with!

The Rhythm of Business has interviewed over 30 alliance executives from a wide-range of biopharma, biotech, and animal health companies to understand and report on the current state of practice. Our core finding is that alliance management is here to stay in biopharma. It is viewed as a strategic capability, essential to the organization, with increasing C-Suite visibility and support.

What we’ve also learned is that alliance management teams are dealing with growing portfolios of alliances to manage along with greater technical components to their alliances. Some 86 percent of interviewees report growin...
Fail Fast to Learn Fast
1. Partnering Guide / May 1st, 2018
Partnering at the speed of business requires the entrepreneurial agility to adapt and evolve, especially when pursuing a business transformation agenda. Agility and nimbleness can be quite challenging in complex partnerships that must navigate the strategies, structures, processes, and cultures of two or more companies to get anything done...
Designing the Why, What, and How of Your MVP - Minimum Viable Partnership
1. Partnering Guide / March 6th, 2018
Lorin Coles, our partner at Alliancesphere, often says, “There is a difference between vibration and forward motion.” The winners in business today recognize speed is the currency of business—and using it to move in the right direction is equally critical. With apologies to Lewis Carroll, too many companies take the approach of “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.”
 
When it comes to building the partnerships that allow you to co-create, co-develop, and monetize complex solutions, being ready to move forward with haste takes a robust framework that lets you identify and engage with the right partners at the right time...
20 Years Later Rhythm is More Important than Ever
1. Partnering Guide / February 4th, 2018
AUTHOR: Jeff Shuman

As January drew to a close, I couldn’t help but to think back 20 years, to the end of January 1998, the month my book, The Rhythm of Business: The Key to Building and Running Successful Companies was first published.[1] It describes the natural development process successful entrepreneurs use to build and run their businesses.
 
In metaphor and in reality, successful entrepreneurs feel the rhythm of their business. When they do, they know what they need to learn about their customers, the partner ecosystem, and the business model that will create, deliver, and capture value for all concerned. That focus on “getting smart quickly” lets them operate with necessary speed and the agility to adjust with quick, easy grace as they learn what enables their success.
...
Partnering at the Speed of Business
1. Partnering Guide / December 28th, 2017
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

Speed is the new currency of business, says Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at Salesforce. And he’s spot on!

 Bain’s Firm of the Future practice makes the key point that “success depends on how firms deliver the benefits of scale and intimacy better and faster to customers.”[1] What is unsaid is that it takes an ecosystem of partners too, because of the complexity of the technologies and the domain expertise required to apply them within specific use cases. And these partners  probably are not the same ones that help you service enterprise customers with traditional solutions, or where the purpose of the partnership was for balance of trade.

For example, indu...
Outsourced Service Providers or An Ecosystem of Strategic Partners?
1. Partnering Guide / August 30th, 2017
AUTHOR: Jan Twombly
download pdf

The July/August issue of Pharmaceutical Outsourcing features our recent article on building the mindset, skillset, and toolset to collaborate with providers—and maximize the performance of your biopharma ecosystem.


The article highlights Forma Therapeutics, a quickly growing integrated drug discovery and development company, that has a very collaborative and innovative culture that clearly works to its benefit. The Company just announced an extension of its 2014 collaboration with Celgene to “evaluate additional therapeutic candidates across important emerging target families in the areas of protein homeostasis, inflammation & immunology, and neuro...
It is Within Your Reach: The Power to Partner Everywhere
1. Partnering Guide / December 8th, 2016
AUTHOR: Jan Twombly

Everywhere – In every place or part; in all places. The power to partner everywhere means that throughout your business, wherever it engages with external partners, the mindset, skillset, and toolset to partner well are infused in the culture, ingrained in behavior, and integrated into how work gets done.


Building this capability is an urgent organizational imperative. You need it to benefit from the transformation heralded by the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. The economic and human value these technologies are expected to produce is huge – as much as $11 trillion per year from the Internet of Things, just one such technology. The relationship with the customer is being upended and business processes and business models are being reshaped by these technologies. But no one company can do it alone.  The speed, scale, and scope of partnering required today are unprecedented. Partnering is ubiquitous. To benefit, you need a next generation partnering everywhere capability.

The Power to Partner Everywhere: Why You Need It, What It Is, How to Build It, the latest publication from SMART Partnering,TM a venture of The Rhythm of Business and...
The Ubiquity of Partnering and Why Every Company Needs the Ability to Partner Everywhere
1. Partnering Guide / October 13th, 2016
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman


Maybe it is starting to sink in. Just maybe it is starting to be understood. The ways and the depth with which we connect with others, connect our organizations, and share data, knowledge, and experience are driving business, societal, and personal value. This means managing external collaborative relationships well – a.k.a. partnerships and alliances – makes a difference in the outcomes we get!

Here are two recent studies that see the light: 

...
Taking a Horizontal Approach to the Vertical Partnering Challenge of IoT
1. Partnering Guide / July 25th, 2016
AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
 

Our previous blog post stated that partnering could be either the connective tissue or the Achilles’ Heel of a company’s efforts to capitalize upon the tremendous opportunities offered by the Internet of Things (IoT)--and all the technologies enabling the digitization of business, the shift to everything as a service (XaaS), and outcomes-based business models. We said that smart companies are rethinking their partnering practices from the customer back – and finding that what they’ve been doing is no longer sufficient for the speed, scale, and scope of partnering today.

At the crux of the issue is that in order to deliver the turnkey solutions customers require, companies need the ability to assemble just the right mix of partners for that customer scenario – and hope that can become a replicable industry use case, relevant for many more customers without tremendous customization. The path for achieving this appears to be a targeted and precise vertical focus.

...
It is Time to Think Differently - Taming the Complexity of IoT Partnering
1. Partnering Guide / May 3rd, 2016
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is upending partnering “best practices.” One practice is clear: no company succeeds alone. It takes an ecosystem.

This is partnering at a scale, scope, and speed unprecedented until now. It requires creativity and bold experimentation. Companies must learn quickly, iterate strategies, manage complexity, and try new models for value creation, delivery, and capture.

“We know how to partner. We’ve been doing it for 20 years.” These are deadly words when said about partnering for the Internet of Things....

Designing Minds Want to Know
1. Partnering Guide / April 6th, 2016
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman


In a recent appearance at the Boston College CEO Club, GE’s Jeff Immelt remarked that one of the reasons GE is moving its headquarters to Boston is that he wants to be in the “sea of ideas” driving the innovation and change that surrounds the industrial internet. In his words, he wants people “terrified and paranoid” because all the innovation and change around them could make them obsolete if they don’t evolve and grow, too.

While some may consider this an overstatement, there is enough change happening in business models, strategies, operations, and how leading companies execute for success to give us pause and ask:

Shouldn’t partnering models and practices evolve, to...

Does Your Company Have the Power to Partner Everywhere?
1. Partnering Guide / February 29th, 2016
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman


If it is March it must be time for the ASAP Global Summit! This year’s conference – the last one for which Jan is leading the programming, stepping down from the role after 7 years – is organized under the theme of Partnering Everywhere: Leadership for the Ecosystem. The programming committee chose this theme because of how pervasive partnering has become across the enterprise and the diversity of business and partnering models that are developing across all industries. Businesses are partnering with companies and institutions never thought about previously. Cross-sector and multipartner arrangements are proliferating. Value is not just financial; it is multifaceted and evolves uniquely as each partnership matures.

Success in ecosystem partnering is not happenstance—it takes careful design. Three components—strategy, governance, and execution—must work together seamlessly to give your organization the partnering capability it requires today.

At The Rhythm of Business and in the work of the transformation-focused SMART Partnering™ Alliance with Alliancesphere that we announced at the 2015 ASAP Global Summit, we are confronting this challenge head...

The Mission Endures, The Journey Continues
1. Partnering Guide / December 23rd, 2015

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

As we reach the end of 2015, we can only look back at an amazing year and ahead with giddy anticipation of what 2016 will bring. This is the year we finally hit the tipping point in the transformation of business that first prompted us to begin our journey into...

Suddenly, Partnering is New Again
1. Partnering Guide / June 8th, 2015

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

Over the years partnering has gone through many cycles, falling in and out of favor but still somehow, never really being considered a strategy of choice, unless a company was born with it as part of its core business model. In most traditional companies, sen...

Think Your Company is SMART? Check Out Your Score on The SMART Partnering Spectrum
1. Partnering Guide / April 25th, 2015

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly

We are pleased to offer a complimentary SMART Partnering Assessment of your company’s partnering capability. Simply complete this brief 15 question, 5-minute survey and you will be provided with customized feedback from the SMART Partnering Alliance – The Rhythm of Busine...

New Whitepaper; SMART Partnering: Orchestrating Success in the Era of Connected Ecosystems, ASAP Global Summit and as Seen in Strategic Alliance Magazine
1. Partnering Guide / February 27th, 2015

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly

It is ASAP Global Summit time again and as we head to snow free and warm Orlando, Florida from the grasp of one of the two worst winters in Boston’s recorded weather history, we are excited about more than the chance to leave the snow boots and shovels at home!

At the Su...

It Takes Collaboration to Make a Revolution
1. Partnering Guide / January 26th, 2015

AUTHOR: Jeff Shuman

I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s new book, the Innovators. To my surprise, I couldn’t put it down. At 560 pages with over 1000 reference notes covering the period from 1834 to 2014, it is not a casual read. But for this life-long student of computers and collaborat...

Will 2015 be the Year of Partnering? The Chief Strategy Officer Summit Offers a Good Omen
1. Partnering Guide / December 31st, 2014

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

As 2014 winds to a close, we pause to reflect on the past year and to think about what the New Year may bring. It has been a pretty good year for partnering professionals and anyone who believes in the power of collaboration.

Brilliant new partnerships inte...

Strategic, Entrepreneurial and Adaptable: Qualities for Alliance Success
1. Partnering Guide / November 16th, 2014

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly

I had the pleasure of moderating the ASAP New England Chapter’s event earlier this month, Alliance Management in an Age of Disruption. Our panel of cross-industry alliance professionals tackled a number of issues, including:

  • Causes of disruption in their industry...

Improving Partnering Outcomes – What’s an Alliance Professional to Do?
1. Partnering Guide / September 29th, 2014

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

Over the past several months we have thought a lot about a question that is both challenging and imperative:

How can alliance managers more directly and more successfully improve partnering outcomes?

We’ve long worked to enhance and increase the impa...

Strategic Thinking and Partnering Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List
1. Partnering Guide / June 30th, 2014

AUTHOR: Jeff Shuman

We have travelling quite a bit lately. One of the few benefits of long-range travel is that it gives me a chance to catch up on my reading! Here are a few more books to add to your summer reading list - -this time on strategic thinking and partnering.

The first is ELEVATE...

Good Picks on Collaboration, Strategic Alliances and Partnering to Include in Your Summer Reading List
1. Partnering Guide / May 23rd, 2014

AUTHOR: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

 

If you are like me, you are in the process of selecting the books you want to read over the summer. The good news is that with e-books it’s a lot easier to “pack” a number of books as you head off for vacation or just try to squeeze in some beach ti...

How do you Define Partner?
1. Partnering Guide / May 17th, 2013

Author: Jan Twombly

When it comes to business buzzwords that have lost all meaning, “partner” is likely at the top of the list. Everyone is a partner today. Whether decision making, investment, risk and profit are shared or the objective is to shake down a service provider to the point wher...

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