My alliance partner Anoop Nathwani and I recorded a series of fireside chats about alliances & partnerships. Here is our first conversation: Today’s topic, particularly, is the big question of many companies and that many people always asked me. Why would I team up in a strategic alliance?

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Video transcript:

We are Peter Simoons and Anoop Nathwani   

Peter:   And we’re here to talk about strategic alliances. And today’s topic, particularly is the big question of many companies, many people always asked me, so Peter, why would I team up in a strategic alliance? Let me ask that question to you Anoop. Why would companies team up in strategic alliances?

Anoop:   Well, I think there are a number of reasons. The first one, besides the current challenging times we’re in. The first one is the fact that there are companies all around the world in every industry sector being disrupted. Left, right and center by digital technologies, artificial intelligence, blockchain, you name it,  sustainability. So they’re being disrupted, and they need to survive. But more than that, they need to transform, they need to innovate. They need to drive competitive advantage and stay current, but most importantly, they need to deliver value to their customers because their customers are, are driving the way they interact with them in a very different way to the way they were five years ago, 10 years ago, etc. Now, there is only one way they’re going to be able to do that in, in a good way. And the smart way of doing that is through alliances and partnerships. We can call them strategic, but we can talk about the word strategic later on. But certainly partnering as a broad thing is a smart way of doing it, as opposed to some of the other options that are also available.

Peter:   Yes. So I hear you use the word customer now we live in in turbulent times at the moment with a virus conquering the world. Should companies team up for the benefit of their customer or are there other stakeholders in play like patients who might not necessarily be the customer they are teaming up for?

Anoop:   And that’s a very good point, Peter. So when we talk about customers We’re gonna talk about people who are recipients of the service and they could be customers, it could be patients, etc. Let’s take a very, very current example that’s happening right now with a Coronavirus. Vaccines need to be found for the corona virus of cure, some sort needs to be found. What we’ve actually seen is a group of three competing, potentially competing organizations or biopharma companies are actually coming together, pooling resources etc to try and find a novel way of finding a cure for this  coronavirus right. Now, there’s nothing in there that talks about driving revenue, but it’s all about providing value benefit to the patients. So the end recipient is very strategic. It’s a very, very strategic way of thinking. And one of the things we talked about is that companies should even learn how to partner with their competitors. Well guess what, this is a fabulous example of companies that are doing that in very, very interesting times.

Peter:   Yes, because they did the three companies you were referring to. I believe one of them was BioNTech teaming up with Pfizer and another one is CureVac. They are potential competitors. They’re teaming up together to come up with a solution for the current Corona Covid-19 Virus. .

Anoop:   So you know this area about competition or sleeping with your frenemy etc. Perfect example of doing that and there are many others but in the current situation that’s that’s a great example to to actually take a look at.

Peter:   Yeah. Well, many people and especially traditional organizations are hesitant when it comes to teaming up with a competitor. Do you know any other examples where companies have successfully teamed up with competitors?

Anoop:   Absolutely So So an example in the autumn in the auto industry, if you look at the Renault Nissan, Mitsubishi Alliance, it’s still there. Even though Carlos Ghosn is no longer there, it’s still there. And that’s all about companies like Renault Nissan that initially started off with the word competitors to each other who teamed up to to drive initially efficiencies and their organization by by pooling resources around manufacturing, around HR around buying all that sort of stuff, but together they innovated to create the electric car and this are still the leader in electric cars.

Peter:   Yes, and I believe that the majority of the consumers will not realize that Renault and Nissan are working together. They just see brand one or brand and they make a choice. And they might think, well, the leaf looks like a Renault car. But then they still think, well, it’s a different car. But underneath the hood, it’s a similar car. Let’s put it similar and not the same.

Anoop:   Exactly that there is a common modular framework which the Renault Nissan team have used. So the guts of it, the underneath of it is the same, but what they do on top is they, they build on top in their own way. But you’re right, a lot of consumers don’t see it. The only reason the only time that consumers will see it is because they’ve heard of the case that’s going on with Carlos Ghosn and that’s the only time when they really think about it or when or when we actually tell them during our training that that if you heard about this, that they are the penny drops, that that’s a big alliance. And the interesting thing there is is it’s been so successful that Mitsubishi joined Daimler’s become a part of it as well. So it’s very successful from that perspective.

Peter:   Yeah, absolutely. I believe we are not going to tell a little bit more Not right now about how to create search in life because that’s where we have our training for

Anoop:   absolutely correct.

Peter:   So we will post a link underneath this video that people can find out more about the training, which in the sign of the times takes place online, is very interactive and is allowing people to use the time that is freed up by getting rid of all the non essential meetings. So you can use the time to learn and to improve your essential strategic alliances.

Anoop:   Absolutely agree and i think i think this is an important time, Peter because there’s a lot of challenges that people are being thrown up against with all sorts of things happening with the current coronavirus and it’s clouding people’s minds and judgments and and unfortunately, there’s a lot of pessimism creeping in. I’m a firm believer as you are as well. We are firm believers, Peter, in being really, really optimistic, and I think this is a real time to actually use that optimism, look at the challenges and be look at the opportunities in this challenge. And one of the biggest opportunities of all is to enhance your learning your skills, your leadership competence in the space and become a master of what you need to do in terms of alliances and partnerships. 

Peter:   Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you for this first fireside chat we had together. 

Anoop:   Thank you. You got it. Peter. Thank you.