During the past few years, we’ve all somehow witnessed the Brexit process, whereby the United Kingdom began their long removal from the European Union. No alliance lasts forever and in the case of the EU, one of the alliance members wanted to leave. The scale on which this took place and the impact it potentially has for the world, brought Brexit to the forefront of world news. Hence we’ve all heard about the tedious negotiations that went on during the process and then, finally, that an agreement had been reached.
An exit in an alliance of companies will generally be less visible, but it will be a similar process. Exit negotiations are not the easiest ones. The love is over and the parties will mostly look for personal gain during the exit negotiations. It requires a very professional attitude to negotiate an exit that is beneficial to all parties involved.
Clearly, when the love is over and tension is in the air, the moment of exit is not the easiest moment to negotiate. A better moment to negotiate any exit terms, or at least a framework for an exit, is the moment of alliance creation. This is the moment when the parties are in creation mode, on speaking terms and willing to negotiate from a “we” perspective rather than an “I” perspective.
As no alliance lasts forever, it is as such very important to design the alliance for its eventual exit. Design it tightly enough to be working as one, design it loosely enough to be able to part ways amicably. Do remember though, that an alliance contract will always be an incomplete one. So, refresh it during the lifetime of the alliance as you get to know the parties and as you better understand the feasibility of the goal of the alliance.
Transformation or Innovation
Besides an exit, many alliances also have the option to innovate or to transform into a new form or shape. In the Alliance Masterclass, we not only work through the full alliance life cycle, we also spend ample time on the stage of transforming, innovating or exiting your alliance.
Remember that when your alliance exit is upon you, you will focus on exiting gracefully. An alliance exit where the press is all over your companies will hurt everyone involved.