But according to this research, there’s an unwillingness to take risks and think big. It’s also a large reason why many women aren’t invited into the C-Suite. Few products and IT initiatives today exist in a vacuum; ecosystems rule the day.
Women In Technology International Summit’s “Strategic Alliances and Partnerships” panel addresses these issues.
5 key takeaways:
1. Create a bigger vision roadmap
Alliances are a critical tool to attack new market opportunities as part of a larger decision making process. Having these tools increases marketability, leads to expansion and skill sharing.
2. Profile key partners
Clearly identify how and where an alliance will help achieve business goals, who might be suitable candidates, and the short- and long-term wins for the companies involved.
Craft an efficient, repeatable model based on a set of best practices and a CLEAR strategy. A playbook can cut risk, create a platform for making decisions, reduce conflicts (or help resolve them), and increase returns.
3. Identify the win on both sides
“The industry is struggling through a time of absorption, consolidation and overcoming social/financial/legal obstacles – the landscape is forever changed. What it lacks right now is nerve and imagination,” says John Soper, Founder of New Paradigms Marketing Group.
Companies struggle with global market timing and investing in requirements. If you can’t get your company aligned, you are prey to killer sharks–your competitors. Selling the value of alliances drives global expansion: Hitting critical markets and sharing the capital risk.
4. Enlist “colored penguins”
Alliance managers are the commanders of any strategy. The sad truth is many companies pick the wrong types of people to lead the organization and then systematically fail to invest adequate resources in on-boarding employees and ongoing development. Alliance managers are colored penguins: they must be equal parts diplomat, salesperson, strategist, and circus juggler, and companies need to clearly define what they need to succeed. Honing employee skills on a consistent basis is recommended.
Nimma Bakshi, President, Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter, suggests a co-creation wheel. “Bring different stakeholders together by cross-mapping their priorities to figure out what scope to create around and intermingle, he says.” The C-suite zeroes in on large business areas of development to create net value for a company. Charge employees to become “curators of co-creation.” Learn where each person fits and what they can achieve toward business growth.
5. Manage people in the process
“You have snipers everywhere,” Phoenix Consulting’s CEO Norma Watenpaugh says. You know the type — the “Debbie Downers” of the bunch. There’s a political subtext they weave into every conversation.
Focusing on long-term goals will keep projects, people and initiatives from being squashed. Influencers typically get internal players and stakeholders to agree on priorities. “People support what they create. It’s time to draw them into the creative process,” Watenpaugh adds.
So what’s a the true measure of success? “If you create a community and you will know what to do next because the community will tell you. If they don’t then you haven’t built one,” Bakshi says.
Suzanne is an industry leading digital strategist. Currently, she’s a partner at a new interactive, post-production and full service agency: STICKS AND STONES.