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Will 2015 be the Year of Partnering? The Chief Strategy Officer Summit Offers a Good Omen
1. Partnering Guide / December 31st, 2014     A+ | a-
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 intended to further embed the digital revolution were announced – think IBM and Apple and their efforts to bring the power of apps to business uses. Or consider the joining up of pharmaceutical giant AbbVie with the Google-funded Calico to drive innovation in drug discovery and development for age-related diseases. Smarter cities initiatives and the Internet of Things are creating networks of partners who once would have seemed strange bedfellows. Every day new collaborations are announced, intending to accomplish what cannot be accomplished alone. We also see an uptick in the number of companies recognizing that people don’t learn how to collaborate in the sandbox as children and thus are investing in professional development to up their game.

Earlier this month, along with Alliancesphere, our partner in our SMART Partnering™ initiative, we delivered a keynote speech at the Chief Strategy Officer Summit in New York City, reaching out to a key C-Suite constituent of alliance professionals. Our message was straight-forward:

At a time when partnering is pervasive, it must be baked into strategy development, resource allocation and strategy execution. It can no longer be treated as an afterthought.

You can see Jan Twombly of The Rhythm of Business and Lorin Coles of Alliancesphere deliver the presentation Partnering Strategy: The New Frontier for Chief Strategy Officers on the Innovation Enterprise website. We also published an article on the topic in Chief Strategy Officer Magazine.

At the Summit, we offered participants the opportunity to see how their companies score on the SMART Partnering Spectrum by completing a quick and easy survey to get complimentary customized feedback and get started on the journey to partnering success. Click here to access the survey:

So will 2015 be the year companies invest in partnering smartly – thereby benefiting alliance and partnering professionals? Lorin and Jan were witness to a turn of events at the Summit that could only be perceived as a good omen. The night before the Summit – which took place in the heart of Times Square – there was a public concert – right outside the venue – in celebration of World AIDS Day. It kicked off with Bill Clinton! celebrating the success to date in combatting AIDS due to partnership between governments, NGOs, non-profits, healthcare organizations and biopharmaceutical companies. He then proceeded to introduce U2 and a mega-star line up that followed them!

The next day, during the Summit program, Jan and Lorin were preceded by the Chief Strategy Officer of one of the biopharmaceutical companies that has played a sizeable role in the AIDS fight. He talked about how we don’t hear much of AIDS anymore – giving Jan the perfect opening in their talk to point out that he could only have made that comment because of the power of partnership and alliance.

We will take that as a sign that the future of partnering shines brightly as we turn the page to 2015. Happy New Year!

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