Alliance Challenges

Improve Way of Working

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Watch Video of Deb Barnard on the idea of Baked-in VS Bolted-on – 0:44

How do I make partnering baked-in vs. bolted on?

Executives in most companies don’t understand partnering. Yes, partnering is talked about a lot. However, it rarely receives adequate resource allocation in strategy discussions. As a result, organizations lack the capability to assemble and manage the right portfolio of partners to deliver and capture customer value, and leverage their collective resources. Their partners benefit as well as themselves. Therefore, about half of partnering efforts fail. To avoid making an alliance strategy an afterthought, you must step out of your silo as well as out of your organization.


Bolted On

A bolted-on approach looks to simply fill in the gaps. You look at their objectives, see what can be handled internally, and outsource the rest to partners. But what if your partner has a better solution? What if, through their collaboration, you can be more cost-effective? Would you produce a better solution if partners were brought in earlier in the process?


It should be "baked" into strategy development, resource allocation, etc. Executing strategy, which entails day-to-day business operations. From the executive suite to the field, across business units and functions, and in metrics and financials, the partnering gene must be developed if organizations are to thrive in the new normal of the era of connected ecosystems.

How do I evolve our organization to be partner-first?

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Watch Video of Deb Barnard on getting buy-in at every level of the organization. – 1:35

In order to get everyone to understand the value each partner is adding you truly have to understand what is important to them. What are they trying to achieve and how it aligns with your key objectives.

Getting these three categories of tens to thousands of people on board is no small task, and takes strategy and tactics that have a historical record of success.

The Leadership
Leadership is looking for real data and real results. What specific metrics show these results and how can they be measured to show real partner value?

The Management

Managers have to deal up and down in the organization. They are some of the most vital people to have as a champion of the effort. It is one thing to have buy-in from the senior leadership, it’s another when respected management buys it.

The Frontline

These are the people doing the day-to-day work that drives your profits. If they don’t truly understand and believe the value each partner is bringing to the table, then you run a large risk of it all falling apart. They need to understand the value proposition, that senior leadership and management are on the same page and that they will achieve their objectives if they buy-in.

How do I gain executive commitment?

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Watch Video of Deb Barnard on gaining executive commitment – 1:32

In order to get C-level executive commitment, you need to be able to understand what they care about and be able to show how the partnership helps those objectives.


Focusing on the final output
Executives can see through activity for activity’s sake right away. They are looking for output. What are we trying to achieve and when do we expect to achieve it?

Focus on leading indicators
Develop measurements that will tell if you are likely to hit a target that they care about.

Get quick wins and be able to demonstrate the numbers
Large initiatives take time, but any executive can see when the trend is up and you are meeting your leading indicators. Celebrate wins quickly, show how you got there and how they match back to the partnership efforts.

Orchestrating Success in the Era of Connected Ecosystems