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

Where’s the Value? Insights from Our ASAP Webinar Chat
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....
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.
As Seen in Strategic Alliance Quarterly: Alliance Management's Digital Future is Here
2. Thought Leadership / December 10th, 2020
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The digital transformation of alliance management has arrived!

Just published: Our article in the Q4 2020 edition of Strategic Alliance Quarterly, co-authored with our partners at allianceboard. It explains why an alliance-centric digital platform is key to alliance professionals’ delivery of valuable services, reimagined and at scale, as companies' reliance on alliances as a core pillar of strategy continues to increase.

Contact us today to learn about our digital transformation services and how implementing allianceboard helps you elevate, document, and communicate the value of alliance management.
 
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...
Exemplary Alliance, Ordinary Practices
2. Thought Leadership / September 8th, 2020
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The statistics are daunting. Drug development has an overall failure rate of over 96%. It is especially acute for some of the most debilitating diseases where the biological mechanism that causes the disease state is not well understood. Spreading that risk is part of the reason why most drugs are developed in partnership. In 2018, all 62 drugs approved by the FDA incorporated some aspect of partnership.
 
Partnership may be common, but that doesn’t mean it is practiced well. Research from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals indicates that success rates increase substantially when leading practices are utilized. At first blush, good alliance practices seem to just make sense and of course, every good business person and collaborative scientist will naturally apply them. However, alliances are conceptually simple but operationally quite challenging. Consistently engaging in the behaviors and implementing the practices that help alliances be successful—and deliver life-changing medicines to patients—takes work.
 
AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical giant, and BioArctic, a research-intensive Swedish biopharmaceutical company engaged The Rhythm of Business to help it examine what it did right in a recently concluded research collaboration to develop antibodies (immunotherapy) based on promising science discovered by BioArctic that could stop or slow down the progression of the debilitating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The partners wish to share their experiences so that both their companies and others may benefit. Their story—from initial contact through to a successful conclu...
Digitizing Alliance Management for Agility and Efficiency
1. Partnering Guide / July 15th, 2020
This is the second in a series of posts from allianceboard, a next generation alliance management platform and The Rhythm of Business on why the time has come to digitize your practice to drive value for stakeholders, your partners, and you. Louis Rinfret, PhD, founder and CEO of allianceboard contributed this post. Access the first post in this series Digitize Your Alliance Management Practice to Provide Visibility, Promote Agility, and Create Value
 


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

Working harder with current systems and processes is not sustainable in most situations.  Leaders must then think strategically and envision how they...
Digitize Your Alliance Management Practice to Provide Visibility, Promote Agility, and Create Value
1. Partnering Guide / June 30th, 2020
This is the first in a series of posts from allianceboard, a next generation alliance management platform and The Rhythm of Business on why the time has come to digitize your practice to drive value for stakeholders, your partners, and you.

The Time to Digitize is Now

We’re Zooming and Hanging Out every day. Going-to-Meeting, Teaming, and Webexing from morning until night. These conferencing apps are familiar tools to alliance managers; it is just that our reliance on them has grown as we manage alliances from a distance. As helpful as they are when meeting virtually, approximating face-to-face meetings except for the essential relationship-building step of breaking bread and raising a glass, they facilitate only a portion of alliance management activity that provides the services stakeholders value. The demands of remote work lay bare the need to accelerate an essential component of applying agile principles to alliance management—digitizing certain aspects of alliance management workflow and admin...
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: The New Strategic Leadership Agenda for Partnering Professionals
2. Thought Leadership / December 30th, 2019
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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.
What's Your Resourcing and Capability Roadmap? Five Recommendations for Evolving Alliance Management
2. Thought Leadership / September 27th, 2018
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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. 
As Seen in Strategic Alliance Magazine: No Longer Any Doubt: Alliance Management is an Essential Strategic Capability for Today's Biopharmaceutical Company
2. Thought Leadership / September 24th, 2018
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“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...
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.
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.
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.

...
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...

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...

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 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...
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...

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