Alliance Management Consulting and Training, Partnering Frameworks and Tools, Collaborative Leadership

Overcoming the Challenges of Consensus Decision Making in Hybrid Environments at 2021 ASAP Biopharma Conference
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.
Where’s the Value? Upcoming ASAP Netcast Explores the Value in Biopharmaceutical Alliance Management
4. News and Events / July 17th, 2021
Where's the Value ASAP Netcast
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.
The Value of Alliance Management on the Agenda at the 2021 Strategic Alliance Management Congress
4. News and Events / April 24th, 2021
May’s all-digital Strategic Alliance Management Congress includes two opportunities sponsored by The Rhythm of Business for participants to consider how to evolve and adapt their practices to deliver and communicate the value their services offer to stakeholders, partners, and customers.

Jan Twombly, CSAP presents Seven Habits of Highly Effective Alliance Professionals, a tour through evergreen alliance management practices that are being innovated for today’s business environment of increasing complexing partnerships in which face-to-face will remain a luxury—and the surprisingly productive ways of working we’ve adopted out of necessity will remain.

Alliance management is an enabling function, often without a direct line to revenue. It can be challenging for alliance professionals to measure and communicate the value of their services and to make their work visible. As a result, in times of uncertainty such as our current period, they can become an easy target for the budget axe. Practicing the seven habits delivers the services stakeholders value the most—and helps alliance professionals communicate that value.

An additional opportunity for conference participants is a moderated roundtable on The Value of Alliance Management. The roundtable looks at the essence of alliance management and asks:
  • What are the alliance management services stakeholders value the most?
  • In what ways do you measure and report alliance management activity?
  • How would you like senior management to describe the value of alliance management?
Join other biopharmaceutical alliance professionals from industry and academia May 18 and 19, 2021. Network with peers and learn the seven habits that help you deliver value. There is still time to register at https://www.alliancemanagementcongress.com.
Managing the Cost of Time at Alliance Startup on the Agenda at the 2021 ASAP Global Alliance Summit
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.
The Demand for Alliance Management Grows—and Paradoxically It Must Prove Its Value
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...
On the Agenda at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit
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...
A Message to Alliance Professionals: Let's Not Let the Crisis Go to Waste
4. News and Events / March 16th, 2020
Making Lemonade: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

The unfortunate appearance of COVID-19 has all of us scrambling to keep our families, employees, and customers safe while keeping our businesses operating. At The Rhythm of Business, we’re taking all recommended precautions, ceasing travel, and the hosting of meetings in our offices until it is safe to gather in person again.
 
However, as the eminently quotable Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” We are following his advice and innovating how we deliver professional development and carryout our VitalSigns Alliance Operations Effectiveness Assessment to help the alliance management community continue to deliver value that ultimately benefits customers and patients.

Virtual Alliance and Collaboration Professional Development

Over the past several months, we’ve seen a big uptick in the number of companies wanting to offer alliance and collaboration training. In the spirit of lemonade from lemons—making the best of a bad situation—we are working with our clients to create virtual training sessions, following leading practices of distance meetings. We’ll take our day-long, or multi-day, in-person sessions and break them up into a series of webinars, making them interactive with polling and chat. In between webinars, we’ll host small groups to work on case studies, analyze situations, and take part in exercises to apply the learning. Jeff Shuman’s experience of many years of conducting MBA classes with a combination of in-person and online students is very relevant and helpful.

If you’ve been thinking about offering training to alliance team members, part-time alliance managers, or governance committee members, this is an opportune time to do so. Afterall, potential participants won’t be travelling any time soon. Here is a brief slide deck introducing our alliance and collaboration professional development offerings and how we tailor them to your current and expected portfolio of asset-based, service, digital, and data alliances, from the lab to interactions with payers.

Take the VitalSigns of Your Alliance

These challenging times require alliance teams to rally around a North Star focused on the value the alliance is intended to deliver to customers, patients, and the partners to the alliance. One way alliance professionals can deliver value to their stakeholders is to evaluate how well the alliance is collaborating and overcoming the inefficiencies that cause risk and prevent the partners from receiving intended value. Our VitalSigns Alliance Operations Effectiveness Assessment pinpoints the actions leadership and management can take now to guide their teams to overcome those inefficiencies, differences of opinion and ways of working, as well as to address simmering conflict and find innovative “third ways” that offer value creating solutions. We are taking the alliance governance committee workshops that are an integral part of this process virtual, meaning that we can speed up the realization of benefit by having a special purpose meeting that doesn’t need to wait for a spot on the agenda.

We’re Eager to Collaborate with You

There is no doubt these are challenging times. Collaboration and partnering has never been more important in all aspects of our lives. The Rhythm of Business is creatively addressing the challenge and ready to work with you to ensure that we make lemonade, innovating our way through this crisis.

In collaboration and partnership,

Jan and Jeff

Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
The Rhythm of Business
Reach Jan at +1 617.851.0135 or jan@rhythmofbusiness.com
Reach Jeff at +1 508.954.2896 or jeff@rhythmofbusiness.com
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...
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...
Partnering Readiness on the Agenda at ASAP European Alliance Summit
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.
Show a Little Alliance Management Love for Medical Affairs Presented at ASAP Biopharma Conference
4. News and Events / September 24th, 2019
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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...
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...

Two New Alliance and Partnership Management Training Programs Kickoff 2019 Learning in Action Agenda
4. News and Events / January 31st, 2019
Build speed and agility into partnership development and management by acting like a startup business. Drive customer-obsessed partnering outcomes by demonstrating collaborative leadership. Our two new Learning in Action™ programs help you and your team “get smart quickly” and drive business transformation.  

The Rhythm of Business announces two new Learning in Action™ opportunities to help businesses create and grow the partnerships and alliances they need in order to provide the transformative outcomes customers seek. These programs are delivered in person for maximum learning and include: principles, guidance and tools, application through either a case study or working an actual situation—potentially with a partner—activation support, as well as tracking and reporting of success metrics. Program descriptions and links to session overviews and sample co...
Creating Your Minimum Viable Partnership on the Agenda at ASAP European Alliance Summit
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....
Taming the Octopus: Managing the Web of Clinical Collaborations
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....
Joint Development of Complex Solutions Requires Extreme Partnering
2. Thought Leadership / June 30th, 2018
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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.
 
Partnering at the Speed of Business
2. Thought Leadership / April 28th, 2018
Authors: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
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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.
 
Joint Development of Complex Solutions Requires Extreme Partnering
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....
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...
Beyond the Pill Strategies: Biopharma Partnering's Next Frontier
2. Thought Leadership / September 11th, 2017
Beyond the Pill imageAUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
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Three trends – new technologies, shifting economics, and empowered patients – are disrupting biopharma’s traditional business model. Smart biopharma companies are responding by embracing a holistic “beyond the pill” approach to the future.

For most biopharma companies, beyond the pill is largely a defensive strategy aimed at justifying or preserving pricing or perhaps gaining reimbursement in any amount. If prognosticators are correct, this bundle of product, services, and data (typically referred to as a solution) will be required for receiving regulatory approval in the not-to-distant future. The bundle may even be part of a single label.

Opportunities to create, deliver, and capture value abound across the value chain. All require partnering. Biopharma partnering and alliance professionals should dive in, head first.
Outsourced Service Providers or An Ecosystem of Strategic Partners?
1. Partnering Guide / August 30th, 2017
AUTHOR: Jan Twombly
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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...
Into the Vortex: Leading the Power to Partner Everywhere – Presentation at Strategic Alliance Management Congress
2. Thought Leadership / May 9th, 2017
AUTHOR: Jan Twombly
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Biopharma partnering professionals, access our presentation from the May 2017 Strategic Alliance Management Congress.

Partnering is ubiquitous. It is happening everywhere in every function of a biopharma company. New partners often come from unexpected places. An ecosystem perspective is required to address new challenges and keep traditional alliances and collaborations on track. Explore the implications on how alliance processes must adapt and evolve – from partnering models to governance and measurement. Understand the new mindset and skillset required for alliance managers to succeed now that partnering is everywhere.
ASAP Global Alliance Summit Presentation – Think Horizontal: Reimagining Partnering Practices as Digital Business Transformation Becomes Reality
2. Thought Leadership / April 3rd, 2017

AUTHORS: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman
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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.

The Partner Everywhere Imperative: A Practitioner’s Guide – As Published in Strategic Alliance Magazine
2. Thought Leadership / March 1st, 2017
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly, Jeff Shuman, and Lorin Coles
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The business transformation promised by the fourth industrial revolution is not possible without a partnering everywhere capability. Adapted from our e-book The Power to Partner Everywhere, this article from Strategic Alliance Magazine highlights the five design principles that get you started on the capability building journey that produces measurable business outcomes.
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 Power to Partner Everywhere: Why You Need It, What It Is, How to Build It
2. Thought Leadership / December 8th, 2016
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly, Jeff Shuman, and Lorin Coles
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It is a time of experimentation. There is little guidance for companies to follow. Few are familiar with what to do. Fewer are prepared to execute.

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 Alliancesphere is your guide to designing and building this capability. It is the central organizational imperative of our time.

Companies need a next generation partnering everywhere capability to benefit from three trends that are upending the relationship with the customer, reshaping business processes, and disrupting business models. We outline five design principles to get you started on this journey, which must be championed and owned by the executive suite.

However your company is preparing for the impact of digital business transformation, a next generation partnering everywhere capability is essential for your success.
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: 

...
Mastering the Speed, Scale, and Scope of Partnering for the Connected Ecosystems of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: As Published in Strategic Alliance Magazine
2. Thought Leadership / September 21st, 2016
AUTHORS: Jan Twombly, Jeff Shuman, and Lorin Coles
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Our cover story article in the Summer 2016 edition of Strategic Alliance Magazine highlights some of the ways in which partnering practices must change to keep pace with the exponential rate of business transformation unleashed by the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It necessitates rethinking the rules of partnering and taking an ecosystem perspective to building partnering capability. Those that don’t will be leaving value on the table at best – and at worst may find itself left behind.
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...

A Mindset for the Biopharmaceutical Alliance Manager in the Era of Connected Ecosystems
2. Thought Leadership / December 23rd, 2015

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Author: Jan Twombly

First in a series to challenge the profession to “think differently,” we describe a mindset – a way of thinking about the role of the alliance manager that transcends “best practices.” For those new at alliance management – and executives who need...

Partnering in a Time of Uncertainty – As Published in Strategic Alliance Magazine
2. Thought Leadership / July 31st, 2015

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Author: Jan Twombly

Uncertainty and complexity are all that is certain. Integrating partnering strategy into corporate strategy is an essential path to leveraging all available resources in the journey to become agile enough to manage the unexpected.

Learn the components of...

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...

SMART Partnering: Orchestrating Success in the Era of Connected Ecosystems
2. Thought Leadership / February 27th, 2015

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Author: Jan Twombly

Welcome to the era of connected ecosystems.

Incumbents struggle to shift their businesses from legacy cash cows to emerging new models. Some will – many will not. Resiliency and the courage to be bold and think big are essential in the face of ever-chan...

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...

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...

Healthchecking Consortia
2. Thought Leadership / April 13th, 2014


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Author: Jan Twombly

Recently, an alliance professional asked us how to conduct a “health check” of a pre-competitive consortium. Like many research-intensive companies, his company belonged to - and had made investments in - many of these organizations. To maximize thei...

Presentation: Right Partners, Right Strategy. Taking a Strategic Approach to the Partner Portfolio
2. Thought Leadership / April 3rd, 2014

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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.

 

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The Spotlight Intensifies - As Published in Strategic Alliance Magazine
2. Thought Leadership / April 3rd, 2014
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Author: Jan Twombly

An update on the 2012 Practice of Alliance Management in the Biopharmaceutical Industry Study conducted by The Rhythm of Business finds an intensified focus on alliance management performance in the industry as a whole. The study results show an expansion of a...
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...

The Partner Portfolio Manager: Shining the Spotlight on Performance and Value
2. Thought Leadership / February 28th, 2013

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Author: Jan Twombly

How does an alliance manager know where to put his or her efforts? Too often these efforts are focused where the noise is loudest and the “brushfires” burn the brightest. But being a firefighter is not the optimal role for alliance managers—and it isn’...

From Followers to Leaders: Alliance Management in Biopharma
2. Thought Leadership / November 22nd, 2012
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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...
Congratulations! You've Been Appointed to a Governance Committee. Now What?
2. Thought Leadership / October 15th, 2012
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Author: Jan Twombly

IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT MANY ALLIANCE MANAGERS stumble into the role. They don’t have the title, it isn’t included in performance objectives, and they don’t have any training in it.

Practically, the same can be said for executives asked to serve on governance...

Designing and Managing Alliance Networks
2. Thought Leadership / September 4th, 2012

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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...

Measuring and Managing the Alliance Portfolio
2. Thought Leadership / March 26th, 2012

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Author: Jan Twombly

Measuring across the portfolio provides a consistent basis to compare like alliances so that the portfolio may be managed. Managing across a portfolio allows leadership to ensure that its alliance partners, in totality, are providing the desired strategic and...

Portfolio Evaluation Tools
2. Thought Leadership / December 1st, 2011
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Authors: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Try these tools to create a value/complexity profile for your portfolio of collaborative relationships and calculate the Return of Collaboration. Also included is a template for an alliance management workplan focused on the three major types...
How Alliance Management Delivers Value: Moving Beyond Best Practices
2. Thought Leadership / January 20th, 2011

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Authors: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Alliances and other forms of collaboration are an integral component of strategy. In some companies, they account for more than 50 percent of revenues and new products. Entire business processes are being entrusted to partners. As a result, it...

Collaborating to Win: Measuring Collaborative Ability
2. Thought Leadership / June 1st, 2010

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Authors: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Today collaboration is vital because organizations realize they can no longer go it alone. To survive and prosper in today’s globally networked economy, organizations know that they must bridge their structural silos and successfully collabo...

The Real Power of Collaboration
2. Thought Leadership / October 13th, 2009

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Authors Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

A clear sign that organizations find a skill or ability valuable is when it begins to find its way into the competencies used to evaluate employee performance. Such is the case today with collaboration. Even the recent awarding of the Nobel Pea...

Creating Agile Businesses
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / June 1st, 2002

Authors: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

A Business Week cover story makes the observation that “Suddenly, running GE is a whole new ball game.” Of course they’re right. But let’s be honest, in our increasingly interconnected, customer-centric global economy, successfully running GE, or f...

Everyone is a Customer
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / March 1st, 2001

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Authors Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

We are living in volatile times. It seems that everything that was true about business is no longer true.

Why is that? Very simply, it’s because of two fundamental truths of the networked economy:

The power in business relationships ha...

Developing Your Sense of Timing In Business
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / November 1st, 2000

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Authors Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Everyone knows that timing is important in life. Can you think of a single human activity where timing isn’t an essential component? Timing is fundamental! Timing is everything! PERIOD!

Webster’s defines timing as “Selection or the abi...

The Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / November 1st, 2000

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Author: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Over the entire history of business analysis, the conventional wisdom has been that if you have an idea for a business and the idea is good and you implement the idea correctly, the business will succeed. If the idea is bad or you fail to imple...

A Business Pattern for the Networked Economy 
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / May 2nd, 2000

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Author: Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Sir Francis Bacon was right… Knowledge is Power! Consequently, one of the most profound implications of the rapid shift to the networked economy is the unparalleled access to knowledge everyone now has. As a result, customers really do have t...

Sitting in the Customer's Chair
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / August 1st, 1998

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Author: Jan Twombly

Is your attention focused on pleasing yourself or your customers? For too many entrepreneurs, surprisingly, the answer is they’re bent on pleasing themselves.

To help you understand what we mean, let’s take a look at James, an entrepreneur friend of our...

Finding Your Pushcart
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / July 1st, 1998

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Authors: Jeff Shuuman and Jan Twombly

Start small. Most businesses start small out of necessity. The entrepreneur doesn’t have the personal finances or the backers to start big. Of course, the entrepreneur would like to start big. Many entrepreneurs think they need the scale of...

You Can't Get It Right the First Time
3. Entrepreneurial Classics / March 1st, 1998

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Authors Jeff Shuman and Jan Twombly

Entrepreneurship has never been more popular or more important. By most estimates millions of businesses are started every year in the United States and around the world. But there’s a dark side to these statistics. Two out of three of these...

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