The recognition of the alliance profession

This afternoon at the ASAP summit I have been attending a session led by Jan Twombly of The Rhytm of Business, about promoting the value of alliance managers. Reports show that many companies see an increasing role of alliances. Revenues from collaborative relationships increase in some cases to even 60-70%. An increasing amount of companies outsource parts of their operation, also a collaborative effort that requires the skills of an alliance manager.

However the profession somehow does not get the recognition it need from senior management. In many cases the revenue out of alliances increases, however the investment in alliance management stays the same. The role is like the lubricant in the engine: rather invisible it seems unimportant, but the system can’t do without it, when it is not there the engine will stop. So the issue is how to define the alliance role, the value it delivers and how to get it recognized by the CEO as a management specialization?

The group had a great discussion, dynamically led by Jan, on how to communicate the value the alliance profession brings to the organization. How does your organization handle this, do you feel sufficiently recognized as an alliance professional? Do you have an internal communication plan in place to make sure your organization is involved in your alliance efforts?