Experience learns that companies around the world waste millions every year spent on partnerships and alliances that do not work out in the end. In my work I focus on helping you make your business collaborations work and achieve the success that you aspire.
These case studies below are examples of past engagements that will give you a sense of my work and the possibilities of how I can be of help. Feel free to contact me for an introduction call to explore how I can help you to increase your success with partnerships and strategic alliances!
Setting up the alliance capability
A non-profit organization in Amsterdam wants to expand their reach in their focus areas in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. They realize that to do this most effectively, they have to professionalize the way they work with partners in these regions and turn them into real alliance partners. To do so, they want to establish a central alliance management function in Amsterdam and develop the skills and capabilities for their region managers, who will act as alliance managers.
In my assignment with this organization, I have been coaching the central coordinator in her efforts to set up the central function, including the use of tools and procedures. In our regular meetings I provided direction, we reviewed progress, and I guided and advised her in the challenges she was facing. Also we set up a coaching and training program to educate and guide the alliance managers in their new way of working.
Getting back on track
An FMCG company was in an alliance with a small startup. The alliance had its focus on bringing the patented products, which were in development by the startup, to commercialization. After four years into the partnership the parties were getting out of sync, communication stammered, and trust was declining.
A culture clash was about to happen in this alliance, and my assignment was to perform an internal review at the multi-national, assess whether a turnaround was possible and advise on how to bring this alliance back on track.
A series of international phone interviews and a review of all contracts led to an analysis of the situation and an advice presented to the board of the multi-national on how to best move forward.
Interim Alliance Coordination
A multi-national with a central alliance department was facing a temporary shortage in the workforce due to role changes among employees, combined with absence due to maternity leave for one of the team members.
In my interim assignment, I stepped into the role of alliance coordinator for 14 months, thus filling in for the lack of experienced alliance specialists. I guided one of the divisions of the organization, coaching approximately 40 alliance projects in all stages of the alliance lifecycle.
During the final months of the assignment, I brought the new alliance coordinator for the division up to speed by educating and coaching this employee on the job and with that phasing myself out of the interim assignment.
Team education and coaching
An ICT company in Southern Germany was looking to professionalize the alliances team and to create a common framework to use in their approach with their alliance partners.
In a two-day team education and coaching session, I educated the team in the elements of the alliance lifecycle that were most necessary for their particular type of alliances. By combining the education with group coaching, I bridged the theory and their daily practice and we jointly applied the theory to their actual cases and challenges.
This approach provided a tailored education session with practical tools and tips that could be used in the daily work of the alliance managers the next day.
Educating a global company
A global technology company wanted to educate their employees involved in alliances, to ensure that the standard methodology to pursue alliances was well understood and applied across the world.
In this assignment, I developed a tailored education program that educates the companies employees on their internal alliance methodologies and procedures. So far I taught this program in locations across Asia, Europe, and the USA, educating altogether approximately 200 people in the common alliance framework.
The global education program leads to an increased alignment in the Alliance community and an improved understanding and adoption of the internal methodologies. In the end, this leads to a much higher success ratio in creating alliances.
Global team education and coaching
The global partner managers of the services division of a software company needed to improve their partner performance, while at the same time establishing a standard approach and verbiage.
In conjunction with a partner, I brought the global team together for a two-day workshop in Amsterdam, where they were educated in the art and science of creating alliances. The workshop was scenario based and tailored to the situation these alliance managers faced every day. The agenda was designed to offer ample time for group scenario work allowing them to practice the theory. At the same time, the group scenario work facilitated in establishing a teamwork culture among the dispersed global team where many met each other for the first time.
The education of the workshop was extended with a four month group coaching period. During this coaching time, the attendees were given specific assignments to apply on their existing partnerships with the goal to improve their partnerships while learning and securing the new skills. Each month progress was monitored and guided in group coaching calls that were conveniently scheduled across three main regions.
Several companies see the value of certification for their alliance professionals to the CA-AM or CSAP level certification as provided by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals.
To prepare people for the certification exams, I have provided certification workshops that examine and refresh the skills necessary to attain certification. These workshops have been facilitated in-house for several companies, often tailored to the particular company environment while maintaining the traditional refreshment that is required to prepare for certification.
Selecting the right partner
The CEO of a small company with an innovative software solution realized that to grow his business beyond his limitations and thus achieve his ambition; he needed to establish a strategic alliance. The purpose of this partnership would be to offer leverage for global growth and adoption.
Initially, the CEO had a preferred partner in mind. However, this was more based on gut feeling rather than a robust assessment. Potentially another partner could fill in a short term gap, but according to his gut feeling, certainly not the long term.
I a one-day coaching session I worked with the CEO through the partner selection process. We worked the strategic rationale for partnering, validated every potential partner and came to a conclusion. The session led to new insights and a new conclusion for the most viable partner, not only for the long-term but also for the short term.
Updating the partner approach
A specialty retail company was facing challenges with their partner approach in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. They needed to create an updated framework for working with partners across the region, a quick improvement in results and partner satisfaction with some of the partners.
In a one day workshop, I guided the partner team through the Alliance best practices to identify the low hanging fruit that could lead to quick improvements in partner results and partner satisfaction. In the second part of the workshop, we worked on the tools and methodologies that would enable them to create an updated framework to secure improved future partner results.
Coaching Alliance professionals and executives
From time to time, everybody needs a sounding board or advice in his daily work. Over time I have been working in coaching assignments with several alliance professionals and executives.
These one-on-one coaching engagements covered a broad spectrum of topics and engagements like:
- Guidance on career matters like finding the best future development perspective for an alliance manager.
- Situational coaching on a seemingly stuck alliance situation. By bringing in my independent outside guidance, we allowed the situation to get unstuck.
- Being a long term sounding board for an experienced business developer in the creation of new alliances for his department in a large corporation.
- Providing coaching and ongoing education for new alliance managers.
- Coaching in establishing the profession in an organization by the coachee, while at the same time the coachee was managing a multi-national alliance.
- Situational coaching of senior executives on the best solution for the alliances they provided executive sponsorship for.
- Coaching executives in their career development
- Coaching executives in solving challenging collaborative situations
For some situations, a single coaching call was sufficient to create sustainable results, while in other situations long-term guidance was desired.
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