By Jan Twombly, CSAP, President The Rhythm of Business, Inc. and Louis Rinfret, PhD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Groupe allianceboard, Inc.
Partnering and alliances are easy! Two or more companies decide they want to do something together and they just do it. Right?
Not really. Because alliances combine the different strategies, structures, cultures, and processes of the partners, it takes skill and effort to bridge those differences and find an aligned path to achieving what was intended when the parties agreed to the alliance. Enter the specialized discipline of alliance management. It exists to realize that intended value by guiding the partners to agree on how they will work together to get the outcomes they want and the purpose of why they came together. Without the how, the what and why won’t be achieved.
Because alliances are conceptually simple and operationally very challenging, it can be hard for alliance professionals to get the necessary investment in the organization’s much-needed alliance management capability. The purpose of this paper is to give you tools to make your case, educate executives, and enroll them as active participants in realizing the intended value of alliances.