What do you do if your company is approached by another company with a proposal to form an alliance together? There are two approaches to follow in response: the opportunistic one and the structural one.


The Opportunist Approach

In the opportunistic approach your response is something like “Yeah sure, let’s do it” and you jump into a new adventure. Sounds unreal? You would be surprised at how many companies follow this type of approach! It especially happens when it’s the C-suite of one of the two companies that instigates the idea.


The Structural Approach

If you take the structural approach you’ll do your homework first. You’ll ask whether the proposed alliance fits with your strategy? Is forming an alliance the best option? Is this the right partner to be working with? Only then, after doing your preparation work, will you start having conversations with your potential partner.


In reality there is often a fine balance between the two approaches. You don’t want to push your potential partner away by taking extensive time to do your preparation work. At the same time you don’t want to dive in head-first which means higher chance of failure. The practical way to approach this type of situation is as always, to be transparent and communicate clearly with your potential partner. Communicate that you will enter into conversations to explore the proposed alliance opportunity.

Meanwhile do your homework by evaluating your alliance strategy and assess the partner fit. Try using the tools as described in “The 4-step Guide to Successful Partner Selection” and also available in the Alliance Accelerator Community to help you swiftly through the process.


A balanced approach enables you to quickly know whether an alliance opportunity is worth pursuing (or not!).



PS: The Alliance Accelerator Community provides many more alliance tools, cases and knowledge to make your alliance management work better for you and provides for continuous learning. Become a member before 30th November 2020 and you will benefit from a very special launch offer for the lifetime of your membership!