Alliance Challenges

Improve Way of Working

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

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

In order to not make an alliance strategy an afterthought, not only do you have to step out of your silo but you have to step out of your company. When you step outside the organization you have to figure out who to partner with and establish trust.

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?


We already have trusted partners that understand our vision and objectives. They are communicated to regularly. When an initiative begins, we know our partner ecosystem and which is the best to bring to the table up-front. This is a PartnerFirst mentality. It is a new and natural way of working.

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.

FY22 Partnering Approach and Resource Plan to maximize Partnership impact