In an in-company Alliance Masterclass last week, the participants worked the Needs & Contributions matrix on one of their existing alliances. The purpose of this exercise in the class was to have them take a step back and look at the alliance with a renewed view. 

As you might remember, in its initial version, the Needs & Contribution matrix is designed to help you create clarity in what each partner brings and gains from a partnership. In most situations, the matrix is used in the alliance creation phase. However, it is also very useful to relaunch, or reassess an existing alliance.

In the Masterclass last week, the tool helped the participants to reassess the question of “why are we in this alliance” and prepare for a possible relaunch, if necessary. In two groups they worked the matrix and created an action plan to improve the alliance based on their findings. 

Both groups independently came up with a useful addition to version 2 of the tool. Their suggestion was to assess risks in addition to the needs, contributions and benefits. This addition allows for a more complete assessment of an alliance, whether new or existing. The risk assessment of an existing alliance might be easier than when using the tool during the creation of a new alliance. In both cases, do make an action plan based on the outcome of the tool to address gaps and possible risks.

Try version 2 out on one of your alliances, and let me know how it goes!