Partner Selection

In this fireside chat we talk about alliance partner selection and why it is important. We highlight why you can not simply team up with another company based on the fact that the two CEO’s like each other. There must be more in the partner selection which in some cases will be more a partner assessment rather than a partner selection.

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Partner Selection – Video transcript:

We are Peter Simoons and Anoop Nathwani.

Peter: And we’re back for a next fireside chat. I believe this is number four already. What are we going to talk about today?

Anoop: We’re gonna talk about playing golf or being on an airplane. No, I actually, no, I actually think we’re going to talk about choosing the right partner. Yeah. Now, this is an interesting one, Peter, because I hear a lot of companies who say, you know, CEOs meet up on an aircraft or they’re on a golf course and they just say, you know what, we’ve got some we really can work together. We got some great complementarity. We should partner up. Let’s do it. Let’s actually partner up and let’s actually get the message out to teams. We’re going to form a partnership or an alliance together. A fantastic way of actually doing things isn’t that right, Peter, what do you think?

Peter: Absolutely fantastic recipe for failure.

Anoop: Absolutely correct. Correct. So in terms of examples, Peter, you know, I’ve got an example if I may have a large corporate that I was consulting to, right. And one of the pieces of businesses said, okay, Anoop. Can we have your help? Because we’ve got some partners over here that we’re looking to select, and we got some ideas as to the right partner we want to work with, how do we go about moving it further. One of the things I had to do is I said to the people, the stakeholders in our team to say, Okay, let’s have a look at these partners. Have you actually, have you tested them? Have you actually gone through a selection process of Are these the right partners for you? The people that I was working with the stakeholders looked at me like I was an alien from Mars. Okay. They looked at me thinking Anoop , which planet are you from? What beer, what drink you’ve been drinking over here, that we need to know about. So I said, they said, we know which partner we want to work with this. There’s a couple here that we know. Our CEO’s know each other and our businesses know each other. We know that’s the right partner.

I said, Okay, have you heard of a partner selection process? And again, they looked at me just like thinking, Well, no, but we know what partner we want to work with. I said, No, let’s sit down. Let’s workshop it. And let’s go through a proper partner selection process. So there’s a tool that we use, and I use the tool that you have, and it’s available. And I use that tool. We went through it, we workshoped this for, I would say, a good couple of days. Right? actually looking at the and I actually got the the stakeholders together in a room. So let’s look at the ecosystem of potential partners. Let’s start narrowing it down to the two that you’re looking at, etc, let’s wide net, let’s look at the ecosystem of potential partners that you’re looking to work with in this particular solution area.

And we did that and we went through this whole scoring process, and I challenged them every step of the way, in terms of how they ranked it, what, what criteria, they put on it, all that kind of stuff, etc. And it was amazing that we went through the process, the penny drop, these people absolutely dropped because they were actually selecting the wrong partners. They were selecting the partners that actually scored the worst compared to what they should have been selecting. Now, that’s not to say that the selection criteria is the Bible. But it’s a tool that actually you can standardize if anyone says why did you select partner A versus Partner B, you have a tool that says that here are the criteria that we’ve used to To qualify the partners with, and this is the basis on which we’ve done it. So you can stand behind it and try and make a scientific and educated judgment on which partner you want to potentially work with. But it was an aha moment with these people. Okay.

Peter: So I think there is another element to it. So, especially in pharma companies, you often see that they only have chosen one partner because they have the right molecule. And still I always say, do the partner assessment, then it’s not a selection but an assessment. It is two different companies coming together to work together. You need to know where the other company works, where they have different cultures, and different habits and different strategies. When you assess that on forehand, you will learn to know your partner. It’s not only from one side to the other, but ideally the other side to the other partner in both ways. You know, where are we different? What do we need to manage when we go forward in this Collaboration together?

Anoop: I think that’s a good point, Peter. Because when I think about the corporate that I worked with, I said to them, let’s do it from our perspective. I said, the next thing that needs to happen is the partners, the partner that comes out of this at the top, the one or two that come out of the top, what you then need to do is get them to do that analysis on us as a partner as well. And then we sit down together, and we look at it together. And this is a process that literally the people who are working on this kind of looking at this partnering thing, hadn’t had any clue. They had no idea. And it really was an eye opener. And it is an eye opener, because I still say today, Peter, and I’m sure you and I both saw it. Very, very few companies really, really do this professionally and that’s and they do fall down. So if you don’t select the right partner, you’re going to get failures.

Peter: Absolutely. It’s like building a building without a foundation. Correct. Okay. So the foundation of a good partnership is a good partnership assessment. Let’s keep it with that for today.

Anoop: Absolutely correct, a good lesson for today.


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