Some food for thought for you at the beginning of this new week: when we talk about partnerships & alliances, we often connect the word strategic to alliances. This means that there must be more kind of alliances than just strategic alliances. If you have read my post about the alliance spectrum, you have seen many more flavors of business partnerships. There are also companies that use terms like tactical alliances and business alliances to distinguish the corporate alliances with a long term focus from the shorter term alliances or business unit alliances.

Something being “strategic” implies that it has a long term focus and is of essential importance to an organization. Sometimes I sense a dilution of the word strategic when used in combination with alliances and despite the broad spectrum, many people start to call every kind of alliance a strategic alliance.

Now a question to ponder on and a poll:

The question: Do we really need to make the distinction between strategic alliances and other kind of alliances? Couldn’t we just do with the term alliances, or partnerships?

The poll: How important are alliances really for you? Give your rating of importance in the poll below. You can immediately see the overall results of all the readers of this blog.

Obviously I have my thoughts about the several terms used as well and why or why not to use them, but first I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great week!

2 Responses to “How important are partnerships & alliances?”

  1. Peter, Thanks for raising this critical issue. In our recent senior executive study on “Building Powerful Strategic Alliances: How Companies of All Sizes Can Increase Their ROI,” we found that across industries, terminology really does matter. The way in which partners referred to their relationship significantly impacted their expectations at all stages of strategy, planning, co-development, and evaluating results. For a complimentary copy of the report visit

    • Hi Pamela, thanks for your reply. Indeed when talking to people I notice that many use different terminology for the same elements. It is very important to be clear on terminology in the conversations (prospective) partners have together. It is also interesting to see that how we talk about something impacts the results and that not only applies to alliances!