Three more C’s for Strategic Alliances

In the blog post “The three C’s of Alliances” I elaborated on the need to have Collaboration, Communication and Coordination in place. I cross-posted that blog post to the LinkedIn group of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. That lead to a couple of new C’s and S’s that strategic alliances would need to be successful. Based on the online discussion it seems that in addition to Collaboration, Communication and Coordination also Culture, Commitment and Consistent are the most important C’s to add:

A couple of the respondents felt that culture is an essential C to be added. And I tend to agree. Culture is one of the elements we normally assess during partner selection to see if there is a fit between the two cultures of the prospective partners. Culture is from that perspective an important C to add to the collection. There is however also another view on culture as an important C. Recently I spoke to an executive in the Pharma sector who said that they do not always assess on culture. Sometimes the proposition the two parties can create is so compelling that they will ensure to make the culture of the two companies work. It will not be an element that can stop the alliance in the selection phase.

It is almost obvious that without commitment there will be no ground for a successful partnership. As one of the respondents in the LinkedIn group stated “Commitment is a must which may exist at the start and/or should be strengthened regardless whether it is a public, private or a private and public alliance as it would d be interdependent with the other success factors.” Without commitment there will clearly be no ground for a successful partnership and also no continuity for existing partnerships.

Consistency is the final C for today to be added. When consistency is missing it will be impossible to manage an alliance and it will lead to frustration among the partners. Only with a consistent behavior from both partners and the people involved, an alliance will lead to success.

Additional C’s
Some other C’s that were named in the comments on last weeks post included “conflict avoidance” and “competitive”.  These, however, may be two C’s that are not applicable to every alliance. Sometimes conflicts will arise and need to be managed and competitive may be a C that will depend on the nature of the alliance. In commercial – channel – alliance the C for competitive will need to be strong. In a public/private alliance it may be non-existent.

What additional C’s do you feel should still be added to the list?

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