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

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...
Shine a Spotlight on Your Alliance Portfolio
1. Partnering Guide / September 2nd, 2020
This is the third in a series of posts from allianceboard, a next generation alliance management platform and The Rhythm of Business on why the time has come to digitize your practice to drive value for stakeholders, your partners, and you.

Seeing the Big Picture

Not long ago, an executive newly appointed to lead the alliance management function for his company—but who had no alliance management experience—asked us, “How do I see what is going on across all of our alliances? I am used to starting my day looking at a dashboard that lets me know what needs my attention.” We had to explain to him that currently, within his company, he would have to manually aggregate individual alliance managers’ monthly reports to get an overall picture. But that need not be the case. 
 
As we’ve been describing in this series of posts, external events coupled with the growth in the number and types of alliances and other collaborations are shining a spotlight on the need to digitize certain aspects of alliance management workflow and administration. If our newly appointed alliance executive had in place a digital alliance management platform, he would have had the ability to aggregate all the alliances in his portfolio—or any relevant subset thereof—into a single dashboard and understand them in relation to one another. It would also help him better appreciate the work of his allian...
The Alliance Management Mashup—Bridging the Digital Divide: ASAP Summit Virtual Roundtable
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...
The Making of a True Collaboration
1. Partnering Guide / June 6th, 2020
This is Part One of a three-part series about an exemplary research collaboration between global biopharmaceutical giant AbbVie and BioArctic, a research-intensive Swedish biopharmaceutical company to develop antibodies (immunotherapy) based on promising science discovered by BioArctic that could stop progression of the debilitating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The partners wish to share their experiences so that both their companies and others may benefit. The Rhythm of Business was engaged after their collaboration had achieved its primary objective to help the partners examine their alliance, identify repeatable practices, and tell their story.
 
At the September 2014 Parkinson’s Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, Gunilla Osswald, CEO of BioArctic approached the AbbVie booth and asked whom she should talk with about her company’s Parkinson’s Disease program. She was directed to AbbVie’s Europe-based search and evaluation team member who told her that BioArctic’s program was too early for AbbVie to consider. “Come back when you’ve humanized the antibody,” he said.

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

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

Even bef...
Collaboration: Easier Said Than Done
1. Partnering Guide / December 9th, 2019
Collaboration is a business buzzword that everyone thinks they know what it means and how to do it, but few truly do; yet it has never been more important than it is today. In addition to the lack of collaborative skills and mindset would-be collaborators also face a Collaboration Paradox— the systems, processes, and policies that have enabled success in the past reinforce barriers impeding success in today’s ecosystem-based collaborative business models. Developing the necessary capability—the mindset, skillset, and toolset for intra- and inter-organizational collaboration—is a work in process for most organizations. This capability also needs a backbone to latch itself to—the culture, policies, and processes of a leadership system that enable and encourage collaborative ways of working.
...
20 Years Later Rhythm is More Important than Ever
1. Partnering Guide / February 4th, 2018
AUTHOR: Jeff Shuman

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

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.

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
download pdf

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: 

...
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...

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

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

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

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

AUTHOR: Jan Twombly and Jeff Shuman

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

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...

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

download pdf
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...

Top