Can technology replace alliance management?

What do you think, can technology replace alliance management?

Some will have a definitive answer to that question, however, as with many things in alliances, the answer should probably start with “it depends”.

No matter how you look at it, technology is changing our lives. Think about video: right now you can have a high quality video conversation with me regardless where we both are in the world. That conversation can take place from devices we carry around in our pockets.

Barely 10 years ago we needed to travel to look each other in the eyes or we needed very expensive equipment to conduct a video meeting. Technology is shifting our abilities and can bring us closer together.

Yes, I hear you, it brings us closer, but it’s not replacing alliance management!

Well, do you remember last week’s article?

The meaning and purpose of an alliance will be different for many companies. When you are in a highly standardized reseller partnership, many of the alliance management tasks can be automated and technology can replace alliance management to a large extend.

However, most partnerships are not that highly standardized and systemized; they require the essential human-to-human interaction to make and keep them successful. Alliances require elements that can not be automated like trust, stakeholder management and creativity. That’s what makes alliances so fascinating.

Technology can’t replace alliance management, but technology can help make our tasks and interaction easier, like with the video example I mentioned above.

Recently I was invited to start to collaborate with other coaches from all over the world in a environment called ‘Slack’. This tool is fully focused on enabling team communications in one common, online, place. Members of a team can be anywhere, in your organization or across organizations.

Being in this Slack team of coaches for one week now, I have barely scratched the surface of the possibilities that Slack can offer to alliance management. However, I do already believe that this piece of technology can help make life in alliances a little easier.

I can see Slack being a cross organization team room where all communication takes place. The invited team members all have the latest version of plans at their disposal and are all in the loop of the communication they need for their team.

The main topic at the moment among the team of coaches in Slack is how technology can help in our coaching efforts through the platform. This is another human-to-human profession where technology is coming in.

In my coaching I already use a mixture of live meetings, Skype video meetings, email interaction and chat message based communication for quick questions and reminders. This way, alliance business coaching with me becomes an integral part of your job and there is just a chat, email or call between you, your question and me.

Just like in alliance management technology can’t replace coaching, but it will make coaching more effective and a more embedded part of your work and your development.

Enjoy your week!


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