directions on the camino journeyLast week the ASAP Alliance Excellence Award winners were announced at the ASAP Global Alliance summit. Congratulations to all winners and particularly to Philips with winning the “Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award”!

Quite often I use the Senseo alliance between Philips and Douwe Egberts as a well known and well documented example that has already seen many stages of the alliance lifecycle. It is also an example that goes back many years in alliance development. Winning this award shows that Philips continues to innovate their alliance excellence to create even more alliance success.

The key to alliance success is having the right people and a procedure in place when establishing alliances. In reference to last week’s article: all of the alliance excellence award winners understand that alliances and collaboration between businesses is not something they just do. These organizations have established best practices and procedures that allow them to excel in and with alliances. Alliances that help their organizations to grow and to innovate in such a way they could not achieve alone. These companies are ahead of the pack: they have alliance excellence!

Some, especially smaller companies, will feel that the word “procedure” is connected to a cumbersome process that slows down whatever they are doing. It does not have to be! The best procedures are adjusted to a company’s structure and are as agile and as pragmatic as possible. Procedures can be as light as a set of checklists or as extensive as an organization wide process with sign off moments: it all depends on your organization’s structure and needs.

Whatever procedure fits you best, do ensure that you leverage the lessons already learned by others and captured in best practices to optimally facilitate your alliance creation process. You don’t have to go this journey alone. Many have been there and have done it already. There are ample experiences and best practices available in books and on the Internet that will allow you to create a leapfrogging alliance success.

Like with any journey, also on this one you can let yourself be guided by an experienced mentor. Through my alliance mentoring program for instance, where we will collaborate for a year and where I will mentor you in your alliances & partnerships. I will be your guide, your sounding board and your accountability partner. We will agree on a plan and a regular call schedule and in between the regular calls I will be available, on demand, to support you whenever you need it.

This is an intensive program and to ensure that I can dedicate the optimum amount of attention to each mentee I have to limit the number of new people I can work with each month. For March 2015 there is room for only 2 more people. So, if you are interested in exploring if this is the right program to leapfrog your alliance excellence, then click here to contact me for a complimentary introduction call.

Enjoy a collaborative week!