4. News and Events / June 8th, 2022
Join us for a special opportunity to experience a version of our popular training on the strategic alliance startup process, Start it Right or Start It Again
. Until now, this course has only been offered in company-specific settings. On June 23 and 24, from 11:30am – 1:00pm EDT
, The Rhythm of Business will share our process, tools, and templates for standing up and successfully launching a strategic alliance in an interactive, digitally-delivered, case-based ASAP Master Class.
We use two fictitious but very real case studies to guide the discussion, allowing participants to choose the alliance situation of their choice. One case study describes a codevelopment, cocommercialization alliance between a biotech and a large pharma. The second describes a software vendor (ISV) partnering with an advisory services partner (GSI), distributing their offering through cloud and managed services providers (CSP and MSP).
In addition to industry and alliance-purpose customization of the startup process, we have also adapted our process, tools, and templates for the realities of remote work. The adaptations are the result of consulting to six startup alliances, including complex biopharma, digital health, and tech ISV-GSI alliances since the start of the pandemic.
This is a great opportunity. It is well-suited for both new members of your team to learn the basics of alliance startup, as well as experienced people who want to hone their craft. We guarantee there are key takeaways and actionable insights for all.
for registration information. Contact us if you’d like to discuss bringing this course in-house.
4. News and Events / April 12th, 2022
Strategic alliances and alliance management professional development opportunities are aplenty this spring, including online and in-person options. You can find us speaking on the following venues:
March 29, 2022 - ASAP Webinar: Leaning into the Future: Priorities for Biopharma Alliance Professionals
April 20 - 21, 2022 - ASAP Global Alliance Summit: Master Class Helping Your Partners Help You: Using the Power of Positive Influence
and panel discussion How Alliance Professionals Deliver Value in BioPharma Commercial Alliances
May 9 - 11, 2022: Strategic Alliance Management Congress: Top Five Opportunities for Getting a Little Better Every Day
May 18 - 19, 2022 - Biopharma Project Managers' Conference: Everyone Needs Some Alliance Management Skills in the Biopharma Ecosystem
Click more for details about these presentations and links to the...
1. Partnering Guide / April 12th, 2022
Back in person for the first time since 2019, the ASAP Global Alliance Summit
kicks off next week in Tampa and we couldn’t be more excited! We are leading a new Master Class Helping Your Partners Help You: Using the Power of Positive Influence
. This cross-industry session provides an opportunity to apply techniques to lead without authority, practicing the reciprocity that is one of an alliance professionals’ superpowers.
Alliances, partnerships, indeed any type of collaborative relationship work on influence. It is the force that is used to help partners prioritize for you, to get executives to allocate budget to your effort, and to create champions. Alliance professionals use positive influence to create alignment internally and with partners and to find creative solutions to problems. Positive influence is what we use to earn the right to lead when we have no authority to do so. It is key to shifting mindsets from that of control and adopting the behaviors required in the business ecosystems companies operate in today.
Positive influence is the currency of business now that customers, partners, and team members all have practically infinite choices. This cross-industry master class explores how to develop your ability to use positive influence to create value for all concerned. It involves redefining your boundaries and purposefully building mutually-beneficial relationships throughout the ecosystems essential for success. We’ll explore the norm of reciprocity and how to use the tool of relationship currencies to help your partners help you.
Helping Your Partners Help You: Using the Power of Positive Influence
is available as an in-person or digitally delivered workshop. There has never been a better time to hone your skills, helping your organization reap the benefits of collaboration and partnering.
4. News and Events / February 7th, 2022
Join us on February 17, 2021 for an interactive presentation Techniques for Successfully Collaborating with Strategic Suppliers and Partners
presented to the Project Management Institute’s Mass Bay Chapter
. The session, which will be held over Zoom, introduces participants to:
- Pros and cons of typical collaborative operating models and how to decide what is right for your collaboration
- How to establish appropriate oversight and feedback models that provide freedom to operate
- Understanding how to use value and influence, the secret sauce of collaboration
- How to build trust across organizational boundaries—and why there is no collaboration without trust
We also share a practical framework for joint solution development projects that gets you on the path to successful partnering, producing the solutions customers want. Register today
Top Five Opportunities for Getting a Little Better Every Day
On February 24, we present the trends we see in our work over the past two years with biopharma alliance professionals about the small changes in everyday practice of alliance fundamentals that can make a big difference in outcomes.
This ASAP Netcast webinar presents five opportunities to improve operational excellence in alliance management that not only deliver value on their own, they also create time and space for pursuing higher value services.
Practical tools and learnings presented include:
- A step-by-step inquiry process to create alignment to guide an alliance’s decision making
- A chartering process and Collaborative Leadership Agenda to establish an alliance’s operating model, distribution of responsibilities, and desired behaviors
- A framework for comprehensive and holistic information management and communications within the alliance and between the alliance and its member partners
Getting a little better every day in alliance management fundamentals is a critical strategy both for managing resource constraints and engaging stakeholders in a collaborative approach to alliance success.
Even if you can’t attend, you’ll have access to the recording and slides.
Download our whitepaper describing the five opportunities
and learn about an ASAP Alliance Excellence Award Winner that demonstrates what embracing these opportunities can do for you!
2. Thought Leadership / February 6th, 2022
What differentiates great alliance professionals from good ones? The great ones strive for excellence in everything they do, getting a little bit better every day.
We’re advocates of learning and continuous improvement—it is the essence of the iterative development methodology that is the rhythm of business Jeff first defined nearly 30 years ago. Great alliance managers are always learning and applying those learnings. It is hard to do consistently.
The daily exigencies regularly get in the way. Looking back over the past two years of consulting engagements and deep dive alliance assessments, we’ve identified five opportunities to improve alliance effectiveness that might not seem game-changing, but that truly have an impact both in the near and longer-term that is measurable and significant.
In most instances, the actions to take are welcomed by teams and just require diligence to implement and recognize benefit. For one blockbuster alliance we’ve worked with since 2009, taking care to get the fundamentals right led to an ASAP Alliance Excellence Award.
Join us on the journey to alliance management excellence.
2. Thought Leadership / December 14th, 2021
Download the pdf
How can we and our partners achieve operational excellence in a hybrid meeting environment? A mix of technology, planning, creativity, and flexibility is helping alliance professionals find the answers.
The title of this article came from the participant introductions in our sponsor’s executive roundtable following the 2021 ASAP BioPharma Conference, very nicely summing up the sentiments of the assembled. Regardless of the environment, process, or activity, excellence in alliance management is the North Star we strive for. And oh yes—we are likely doing this in a hybrid meeting setting, with some people in a room physically together and others remote. It creates a new dynamic in many ways, especially for making complex decisions, potentially necessitating a more prescriptive approach than was used when everyone was in a room and had built relationships over multiple opportunities to “hug and break bread,” as Jeff likes to say.
Download the pdf
of this article that appears in the Q4 2021 issue of Strategic Alliance Quarterly
for and exploration of operational excellence in alliance management and insights on pursuing aspects of it in a hybrid governance meeting environment.
1. Partnering Guide / December 5th, 2021
Earlier this year we published a white paper and gave a number of presentations on Seven Habits of Highly Effective Alliance Professionals Who Deliver Value
. We described what these people consistently
get right regardless of the purpose or business model of an alliance. One of the habits is a focus on being excellent in the execution of alliance management fundamentals. These core practices include, among others, strategic visioning and alignment, establishing efficient operating models, managing an agile governance process, creating alignment, and of course, good communication. Our experiences over the past few years tell us that too often these fundamentals get short shrift amidst the urgencies of the day, having too many alliances to manage—and in the constraints on working together caused by the pandemic.
The result: alliance professionals who are missing opportunities to deliver value to stakeholders and alliances that aren’t as successful as they should be. Operational excellence is a mindset of getting a little better every day in the fundamentals of your craft—in making the basics just part of the culture and “how work gets done around here”—so that you can focus on higher value activities. It is about moving from good to great.
Herewith are our Top 5 opportunities to help alliance teams be more agile, to make better decisions, and have more valuable and productive partnerships right now. These insights have been gleaned though 1) VitalSigns Alliance Operations Effectiveness Assessments of complex codevelopment, cocommercialization biopharma alliances; 2) baseline assessments of practices against both the Seven Habits and our Alliance Management Foundation model, and 3) numerous roundtables and master classes we’ve conducted over the past two years.
4. News and Events / September 11th, 2021
The Rhythm of Business is proud to once again be a platinum sponsor of the ASAP Biopharma Conference.
This is the premier event for life science alliance management professionals. Even in an all-digital format, there are plenty of opportunities to network, learn from industry leaders, and put your fingers on the pulse of partnerships today.
Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman will lead a Live Stream Master Class session on Monday, September 27th
: Operational Excellence for Consensus Decision Making in Hybrid Environments
. Participants will analyze a comprehensive case study in small group discussions and address several questions to:
- Apply leading practices for facilitating hybrid meetings to structure the decision-making process
- Consider how to best prepare executives to properly consider a complex topic when not in a room together
- Overcome the trust barriers that exist because alliance teams haven’t had the venues to properly build relationships during the pandemic
Participants’ analysis will be informed by an upfront presentation by Twombly and Shuman that shares some of their most recent work on driving excellence in alliance management practices in a hybrid environment and at a time when alliance management services are in high demand.
Twombly is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of ASAP. To see the complete Conference agenda and to register, visit https://asapbiopharma.org
1. Partnering Guide / August 6th, 2021
On July 29, Jan facilitated a conversation with Katherine Kendrick, CSAP
, head of alliance management at Jazz Pharmaceuticals
and Nancy Griffin
, vice president of alliance management at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals
about defining and communicating the value professional alliance management delivers to its key internal stakeholders and partners. Part of ASAP’s
webinar series, everyone defined the preparation and delivery of the session as “certainly not work.” Highlights of our spirited and spontaneous conversation follows.
Our discussion built upon the cover story article in the Q1 2021 Strategic Alliance Quarterly
, to which each of us contributed, widening the aperture to explore how to expand beyond the daily management of contracts, governance, and solving problems to discuss the higher level, more strategic services and activities stakeholders value the most....
4. News and Events / July 17th, 2021
Join Jan Twombly, CSAP, President of The Rhythm of Business as she leads this provocative discussion on July 29, 2021
with two dynamic alliance management leaders, Nancy Griffin
, Vice President of Alliance Management at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Katherine Kendrick, CSAP
, Head of Alliance Management at Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
Biopharma alliance professionals are perennially challenged to explain the holistic and strategic work they do to prevent the inherent inefficiencies in alliances from overtaking intended value. The discussion will offer insights into how to present the story of alliance management in a way that connects to the needs of senior executives.
We will also explore how these alliance leaders are structuring their teams and shaping jobs to better safeguard their company’s interests and further the goals of their individual alliances and the company’s overall portfolio.
As the profession evolves to take on a more strategic role, what to measure and how to communicate must evolve, too. We’ll look at how our alliance leaders are doing just that—and importantly weaving in storytelling to help the organization but its trust in the value of alliance management to grow its partnering capability and maximize the value of its alliance portfolio.
This Netcast is free for ASAP members
. If you aren’t a member, contact us
for a discount code.
1. Partnering Guide / May 17th, 2021
How do you know if your alliance or business partnership is operating effectively? Sure, revenue is a gauge, as well as hitting key development milestones. It still doesn’t tell you if the partners are productively leveraging the resources available to the alliance, or if it is operating in an environment built on mutual trust and respect, focused on innovating and producing results.
Alliances are inherently inefficient and it is the job of the alliance professionals managing the alliance to preserve and enhance the value intended when entering into the collaboration, while identifying and mitigatin
g the risks that can cause it to fall short of its potential.
To measure if an alliance is operating effectively, many years ago we created the VitalSigns Alliance Operations Effectiveness Assessment (See Figure 1). In a demonstration that measuring effectiveness can contribute to alliance success, the XTANDI alliance of Astellas and Pfizer recently won the 2021 ASAP Alliance Excellence Award for a Longstanding Alliance
. In accepting the award, the alliance directors credited the role regularly measuring effectiveness as part of a program of continuous improvement plays in the alliance’s success. Our congratulations to the winners! They have worked very hard over many years to ensure the alliance is producing maximum value for patients and the partners.
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.
4. News and Events / February 27th, 2021
The Rhythm of Business is proud to once again be a platinum sponsor of the ASAP Global Alliance Summit
, See into the Future of Alliances.
This is the premier event for alliance management professionals from across industries. Even in an all-digital format, there are plenty of opportunities to network, learn from industry leaders, and put your fingers on the pulse of partnerships today.
Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman will lead a Live Stream Master Class session on Monday March 15th The Value of Alliance Management: Managing the Cost of Time at Startup
. Featuring two case studies, one of a codevelopment, cocommercialization biopharma alliance and another of a software vendor-global systems integrator partnership, participants will address several questions and:
- Identify the potential value-eroding inefficiencies and risks in the case studies that must be addressed
- Develop a high-level plan for a fast-paced, agile startup—in a remote digital environment, without in-person interaction
- Capture the value produced by applying alliance management practices
Their analysis will be informed by an upfront presentation by Twombly and Shuman that shares some of their most recent work on reimagining alliance management practices to be more agile and to focus on what stakeholders value the most.
Twombly is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of ASAP. View the complete Summit agenda
and register today.
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...
4. News and Events / October 12th, 2020
The Rhythm of Business’ presentation at the 2020 Strategic Alliance Management Congress offers a path to focusing on value key stakeholders recognize while meeting growing demand.
As biopharma companies evolve their business models in response to economic pressures, changing patient expectations, and new technologies that are powering everything from drug discovery to the sales process, alliances and partnerships multiply. The demand for managing alliances grows, yet in a pandemic environment, uncertainty is constraining resources and budgets making it an imperative to prove the value of the alliance management function.
On October 27, Jan Twombly, president of The Rhythm of Business and an ASAP Board of Directors member, will present her company’s prescription for maximizing the ability of alliance managers to deliver value to their organizations. She will discuss three influencing f...
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
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.
4. News and Events / September 16th, 2020
A Summary of our ASAP 2020 Biopharma Conference Exclusive Executive Roundtable Discussion
It is really starting to settle in—there is no going back, there is only moving forward. Whenever we again experience a world where face-to-face meetings, quick drop-ins on a colleague or executive, and maybe even business travel are possible, there are some things we’ve learned in the past six months that make sense to carry forward into that next normal. In our current normal, we are not only figuring out how to deal with distanced work, we’re trying to learn how to innovate with new partners and new partnering models and ensure we deliver what matters most to our stakeholders and alliance partners to realize the outcomes and value intended by both newly formed alliances and those once operating under an entirely different set of assumptions.
These are some of the highlights of our exclusive executive roundtable discussion during the 2020 ASAP Biopharma Conference on September 15, complementing our presentation The Silver Lining: Reimagining Alliance Management to Focus on What Matters Most Now. Link to our conference presentat
4. News and Events / August 12th, 2020
Summary of ASAP Global Summit Roundtable Discussion
Download a pdf of the discussion slides
Digital health has the potential to improve the health of millions of patients and radically change the way health services are delivered. In addition to providing benefits to patients and providers, the benefits for companies offering digital technology and life science products and services are substantial. It is a productive alliance of two innovative industries that not only innovate very differently, they go to market and partner differently. No wonder high tech and biopharma alliance managers have different jobs!
In digital health initiatives, the job of the alliance professionals is to bridge differences and find a third way that results in creating successful outcomes for the patients, providers, payers, and partners.
As part of the 2020 ASAP Global Alliance Summit,
we gave a presentation on the topic and hosted a roundtable discussion of several technology and biopharma alliance professionals. The following are the highlights from o...
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...
4. News and Events / July 1st, 2020
Summary from exclusive ASAP Global Alliance Summit executive virtual roundtable. Download the discussion slides
“We are all operating in a new norm and we need to evolve with it.” So stated one of the alliance executives The Rhythm of Business invited to a virtual roundtable discussion during the 2020 ASAP Global Alliance Summit
on reimagining alliance management for the next normal. We approached the topic from two angles:
- The impact of COVID-19 on a people-intensive business that depends on good relationships
- The increased demand for alliance management services as companies’ alliance portfolios continued to grow in size, complexity, and new types of digital and service alliances, even before the pandemic
The silver lining of needing to find a next normal is that it gives license to fix what is broken, it forces us to become more resourceful and agile, and focuses us on what...
4. News and Events / June 21st, 2020
The Summit may be virtual this year, but The Rhythm of Business is very much engaged. We are proud to be long-time members, sponsors, and contributors to the ASAP community and to participate in this first virtual Global Alliance Summit.
- We’re presenting On Demand Session 502, The Alliance Management Mashup: Bridging the Digital Divide
- Jan Twombly is moderating live stream Session 207 Biopharma Commercial Alliance Management Challenges on Thursday, June 25 at 11:15 am EDT
- We are also hosting an exclusive virtual executive roundtable on Reimaging Alliance Management for the Next Normal on Thursday, June 25 from 9:00 – 10:00am E...
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?
4. News and Events / May 9th, 2020
Before COVID-19 biopharmaceutical alliance managers were dealing with an increased demand for their services as companies’ traditional alliance portfolios continued to grow in size and complexity. With COVID-19 and virtual work, an additional burden has been added, but a new urgency to rethink how alliance management is done presents itself
. Add to that all the new types of service, data, and digital partnerships being stood up and it is clear the time has come to reimagine how alliance management practices are implemented and the capability organized and resourced to meet growing demand.
The need to become more agile, iterative, and focused on what truly matters is great.
Agile principles have been applied to businesses as varied as Haier, a white goods manufacturer, and global healthcare companies such as F. Hoffmann-LaRoche with impressive results. This webinar introduces a practical approach to applying agile methods to the practice of alliance management and the structure of a function or team. Participants will learn:
- How to build a stable backbone to enable rapid decision making and a focus on work that creates value
- An agile approach to staffing the management of alliances that better utilizes available resources
- How to use specialist roles to drive innovation
- How to create service level agreements to ensure services provided are those that deliver the greatest value to stakeholders
- The benefits of digitizing workflow and administration to deliver consistently superior work product—and build good alliance hygiene among stakeholders
Watch the webinar
Download our whitepaper Demand for Alliance Management Has Changed. Are You Ready? for more on this topic.
2. Thought Leadership / March 15th, 2020
Download the pdf
View our ASAP Netcast on the topic.
When the head of a biopharmaceutical alliance management team told us he had to give his people “permission to ignore certain partners,” and another leader said he’d love to get into digital health partnerships, but didn’t have the resources, we knew the demand for alliance management had reached a tipping point. It is time to modernize how alliance management practices are implemented and the capability organized and resourced to meet growing demand.
Many companies across industries have taken a page from the discipline of agile software development to rethink how they go about their work. The outcomes are impressive in terms of value delivered to customers and the resulting benefits to the company and employees. We’ve always applied core tenants of agile to our work with alliance professionals, so over the past year we’ve been digging deeper and rethinking how to adapt agile principles to the work of alliance management.
The pdf linked to at the top contains two posts from The Partnering Guide™
blog presenting our perspective on the challenge facing alliance managers and an approach to applying agile to the alliance portfolio, services, and organization. We hope you find these posts helpful and welcome the opportunity to work with you to be ready to handle the increased demand for alliance management.
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...
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...
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....
2. Thought Leadership / December 30th, 2019
download the pdf
The final Strategic Alliance Quarterly
of the decade features our article introducing the Partnering Readiness Stack, our outcome focused-approach to bring in agility, reduce the inefficiencies in partnering and ensure that the rhythms of partnering are not met with unnecessary friction and hurdles, whether in low-touch or high-touch, one-to-one, multipartner networks, or ecosystem arrangements.
Using data generated from interviews, a survey, and workshops with ASAP members, we share participants’ assessments of their current state of readiness and an overview of some of the initiatives they are undertaking. In the partnering everywhere world, the new strategic leadership agenda goes well beyond “partner of choice” and “centers of excellence” and requires knocking down barriers to collaboration, obliterating silos, and transforming the enterprise to enable a holistic, integrated partnering capability.
4. News and Events / November 8th, 2019
A diverse group of alliance professionals is convening in Amsterdam on November 14 and 15, 2019 for the ASAP European Alliance Summit
. The Rhythm of Business is pleased to sponsor the event for the second year and to be offering Partnering Readiness: The Through Line from Collaborative Leadership to Collaborative Execution
. Jan Twombly, CSAP, president will deliver the presentation
Partnering readiness means that throughout the organization, 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.
The goal of partnering readiness is to introduce agility, reduce the inefficiencies in partnering, and ensure that the rhythms of partnering are not met with unnecessary friction and hurdles. This level of partnering everywhere capability is essential today. According to Cap Gemini, Institute for Corporate Productivity, MIT Sloan Management Review
and others, 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. These companies are ready to partner
; purposefully and opportunistically, in one-to-one relationships, multi-partner engagements, and in ecosystems. They are breaking down barriers, incorporating the activities and rhythms of partnering with agility and ease into their solo activities.
Drawing upon research among the ASAP community and direct engagement with companies building their partnering readiness for today and beyond, the session:
- Presents an actionable framework to describe partnering readiness
- Identifies common organizational barriers to collaboration
- Describes initiatives ASAP members have underway to remove the barriers
Can’t be at the conference? Download the presentation now
and contact us
today to learn how you can help your company develop its partnering readiness.
4. News and Events / September 24th, 2019
Download a pdf of presentation
The 2019 ASAP Biopharma Conference is in full swing, with record attendance. The opening day included a session moderated by Jan Twombly, President, The Rhythm of Business on why collaboration between medical affairs teams in complex alliances is crucial and how alliance managers can be certain they are positioned for success, thereby increasing the likelihood the alliance will achieve its intended va...
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.
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...
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....
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...
4. News and Events / October 15th, 2018
The Rhythm of Business is pleased to announce that it is sponsoring the 2018 ASAP European Alliance Summit
in Amsterdam, 8-9 November 2018. Now in its fourth year, the conference brings together alliance and partnering practitioners from across industries and from many countries for two days of networking, presentations, and learning from each other about how to drive business outcomes through partnering....
2. Thought Leadership / September 27th, 2018
download the pdf
Based on The Rhythm of Business’ research, there is no longer any doubt that alliance management is acknowledged at the highest levels as an essential strategic capability in today’s biopharmaceutical company.
Everything we’ve learned through interviews of 31 alliance managers from 29 big pharma, biotech, and animal health alliance management functions, points to a core challenge confronting alliance management leaders:
How will you continue to resource and evolve your alliance management capability to keep pace with the scientific and business changes hurtling at the industry that are in turn driving the need for more and more partnering and externalization?
We offer you our recommendations for how an essential function keeps pace with demand in this mini e-book.
Don’t miss our article about what we’ve learned through the research in the Q3 2018 issue of Strategic Alliance and check out our narrated presentation
of the preliminary results from the research.
2. Thought Leadership / September 24th, 2018
download the pdf
“My job is getting more technical and more challenging every day.” This is how one of the first interviews we conducted began in our ongoing research project to examine the current state of the practice of biopharmaceutical alliance management. “What do you mean by that?” we asked. “I am spending more and more time making sure we don’t violate contract restrictions,” he responded—explaining that this means he needs to have a pretty good understanding of the science in multiple research agreements and
understand the legal strictures. “We spend a lot of time making sure that what we are doing on one project doesn’t create a problem on another contract. Only the alliance management team will have that perspecti...
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...
4. News and Events / July 1st, 2018
Jan Twombly, president of The Rhythm of Business is joined by Judy Baselice, director, alliance management at Pfizer and Ellen Locker, executive director, alliance management Merck & Co.
at the 2018 ASAP Biopharma Conference
in an interactive discussion about the complex web of agreements, restrictions, and obligations resulting from the explosion of clinical collaborations to create combination therapies....
2. Thought Leadership / June 30th, 2018
Download the pdf
This presentation given at the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit by Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman introduces our methodology for partnering at the speed of business by creating a Minimum Viable Partnership (MVP). We use a why, what, how value framework to shape the alliance business model and infuse the process with a focus on learning fast what works and what doesn't work. Tips and techniques for addressing intellectual property in joint solution development are also included.
2. Thought Leadership / April 28th, 2018
Authors: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
It is no secret that business is moving faster than ever before and that the formula for success in business transformation is Technology + Partnering. A common theme of sessions at the ASAP Global Summit over the past several years has been how to “partner faster.” By definition, bringing multiple companies together to create a joint solution adds complexities beyond a single company innovating and going to market alone. While partnering certainly has some advantages of speed, the complexities can also cause it to bog down. We’ve all experienced lengthy delays in working out agreements, settling disputes, and just getting decisions made that erode intended value.
What follows is a collection of posts from The Partnering Guide™, our blog that covers trending issues in partnering, collaboration, alliance management, and digital business transformation to the ecosystem economy. In these posts we apply the concepts underpinning entrepreneurial agility to propose ways of accelerating not just the partnering process, but also to “get smart quickly” about the value assumption and alliance business model that will create the business outcomes that benefit all concerned.
4. News and Events / February 8th, 2018
Mini-workshop at ASAP Global Alliance Summit, March 28, 2018 mixes partnering acumen with entrepreneurial know how to present a framework for co-creating complex solutions at the speed of business....
4. News and Events / September 1st, 2017
The Rhythm of Business is pleased to once again announce our sponsorship of the ASAP Biopharma Conference, the leading conference for life science partnering professionals. This year, we are sharing some of our learning about driving commercial success with local partners, applying some of the lessons learned in the world of information technology.
In high-tech, the last mile to the customer includes “channel partners” or “resellers.” This is also the case in biopharma – although it is rarely described as a channel. Leveraging techniques high-tech companies have successfully utilized, we’ll examine practices biopharma companies are adopting to better align with their partners and drive success by ensuring their partners are successful.
Learn what it takes to make your company stand out and be top of mind when it comes to serving patients through the biopharma channel. Educate and engage key stakeholders in adopting your critical processes such as compliance, pharmacovigilance, supply chain, and quality. Help partners leverage your resources and achieve mutual success.
Learn more about the conference and register. It is an event not to be missed!
2. Thought Leadership / April 3rd, 2017
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
Companies are transforming and digitally enabling their business models in a variety of ways leading to new value for customers, stockholders, and stakeholders. Partnering is essential to this transformation – and partnering models are also evolving to reflect a shift to consumption and outcomes-based business models. It is not uncommon for 5 – 7 partners to be involved in the discovery, development, and deployment of industry-specific, turn-key solutions to customers.
Add to this the fact that in this new world the roles of companies may shift as the solution moves from get-to-market to go-to-market. Different business units may be involved, crossing as many internal boundaries as external ones. This breaks existing partner models and practices in many ways – from establishing and aligning value propositions to governance, communication, measurement, and agreements.
Every component of the partner journey must be reimagined to accommodate the network of partners that agilely assembles in a blend of structures ranging from loosely to tightly coupled and requiring no-touch to high-touch support.
Download our presentation from the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit to understand how to reimagine your partnering practices for the speed, scale, and scope required for digital business transformation.
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:
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....
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...
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...
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...
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:
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...
2. Thought Leadership / April 3rd, 2014
Author: Jan Twombly
This presentation was given by Jeff Shuman of The Rhythm of Business, Lorin Coles of Alliancesphere and Scott Musson and Jack Barrata of Red Hat at the 2014 ASAP Global Alliance Summit.
Click to read more ...
2. Thought Leadership / November 22nd, 2012
Author: Jan Twombly
For its 2012 study of alliance management in the biopharmaceutical industry, The Rhythm of Business surveyed 47 companies from across the globe and found that, on the whole, resources and staffs devoted to alliance management in biopharma are increasing or hol...
2. Thought Leadership / September 4th, 2012
Author: Jan twombly
Networks bring multiple entities together in ways that offer some of the same benefits and challenges as alliances. They also bring unique management challenges. This paper introduces the concept of networks of alliances and other collaborative relationships a...