Look at your Alliance Efforts Through a Different Lens
I’ve seen some recent developments, not necessarily in the business space, but more in the public domain where organisations are trying to work together. During these efforts to work together, all organisations are represented by their leaders. Now, you would expect that, especially in the public domain, leaders would be capable of stepping over their own egos. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here and it’s clearly hurting their collaboration attempts!
In collaboration between organisations, it’s essential to look at the benefits to the customer, or when it’s in the public domain, the benefits to the citizens or patients. Alliance efforts never are, and should never be, about the leaders and their organisations.
You might’ve heard me mention the necessity of having a triple win value proposition in the past. Think of that value proposition as a triangle with three elements to it. The elements on the bottom of the triangle form the foundation. These are the two (or more partners) involved in the collaboration. The top element is the beneficiary: it is the customer, or in the case of public organisations, the citizen or patient. They should be on top because without thinking of the ultimate beneficiary, it is useless creating a collaboration between organisations. In such a case an alliance is destined to fail!
What is required for leaders who are establishing an alliance is that they are able to step over the shadow of their own egos. They need to think and be collaborative and look at situations through a different lens. The lens of the customer, the citizen, or the patient.
A helpful tool in creating alliances is the so called needs and contributions matrix. This matrix forces you to look at your alliances in a different way and therefore the question “What’s in it for us?” is not the first question you’ll consider. First, you will look at the needs of the customer and at what is needed to accomplish that goal for the customer. Then you will look at what you can contribute and what you need from potential partners to create a solid, three-way value proposition.
The needs and contribution matrix helps you to look at an alliance opportunity through a different lens. It will help you to create a balanced and healthy alliance and it will help you to grow your company.
PS: Watch this great eight minute minute video in which Marcia Marini explains how establishing strategic alliances helped her to grow her health consultancy exponentially.