In April, we spent two days in Tampa with highly motivated alliance leaders at the Global Summit 2022, a Signature Conference produced by our knowledge partner, the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals.
Three impressions stuck with us from ASAP’s first in-person event as we returned home to our desks:
- The rapid elevation of strategic alliances to the top team agenda
- The importance of alliance analytics
- Our innate need as humans to connect in person
Strategic alliances have moved to the top team agenda rapidly
As always, ASAP’s Global Summit 2022 brought together alliance leaders from a plethora of industry sectors. Besides life sciences and technology, we also saw strong representation from the public sector, financial services and professional services. It struck us that we had so many members of the c-suite as speakers this year, in additon to a great representation of visionary heads of alliance management.
Both this degree of representation and the topics confirmed what we have seen over the last two years: partnering with trusted organizations to achieve great aims has risen to the highest priority for organizations across sectors.
The focus on achieving the purposes of each alliance has intensified too. Before the pandemic, we saw co-innovation and co-commercialization as one additional path of many for organizations to grow in the long-term. Today, alliances are not just one additional path for growth, they are the additional path for achieving sustained, step changes in strategic growth.
This also implies that strategic alliances are not just a fallback option in case an acquisition turns out not to be feasible, but are a viable way to gain access to innovation and new markets.
Alliance analytics are evolving
Against this backdrop, it is critical that strategic alliance management as a profession, which is still nascent, develops a common language about alliance analytics, measures and KPIs. While these are well established in other functions such as HR, R&D and Sales, each organization is still experimenting to develop a set of analytics which is common in alliance management across industries.
It is very important to us that allianceboard, as the #alliancetech company, contribute to this effort. I was privileged to be invited to deliver a presentation before a packed house that explained our view of the fundamentals of outcome, activity and alignment analytics that every alliance management team should track and educate its stakeholders about. Watch out for a separate post on this shortly.
I am very grateful for the interesting and insightful discussions with many conference participants on this topic.
Humans are social
This leads me to my last point. ASAP did a great job organizing its Global Summit remotely during the last two years, yet nothing replaces seeing so many alliance leaders in the flesh. Looking people in the eye. Sensing their aura. Shaking their hands, fist-bumping or merely bowing our heads in a personal greeting. Everyone smiled at this event.
The pandemic has taught us how to work without being at work, connect with our colleagues and get business done with our partners. Undoubtedly the pandemic has had a positive effect on our work life balance, our family lives and our planet, yet once in a while we need to get out to see and interact with our colleagues and peers. So many ideas are created, so many small problems resolved over an in-person exchange without technology as the conduit – and this Global Summit was no exception.
Our challenge will remain to retain some of the positive effects while losing the negative ones. Collaboration technology has a role to play in this. allianceboard is playing that role in two ways: by bringing together alliance management teams that are spread out globally and by allowing partners to drive their strategic partnerships together, to one purpose, producing a common set of real-time analytics, using one version of the truth to support their leadership and joint governance teams.
What role are you playing? I look forward to your thoughts.