Partnering Strategy Is the New Frontier of Value Creation for the Chief Strategy Officer, Collaboration Experts Say

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Partnering experts from The Rhythm of Business and Alliancesphere share insights and deliver a call to action at the Chief Strategy Officer Summit in New York City, December 2-3, 2014.

The Rhythm of Business and Alliancesphere, two leading providers of services, training and tools for partnering and collaboration management, today announced that The Rhythm of Business President Jan Twombly and Alliancesphere CEO Lorin Coles will be featured presenters at the Chief Strategy Officer Summit in New York City Dec. 2-3, 2014. The two will offer a call to action to strategy executives: their leadership is essential to improving success in partnering.

Partnering is a key component of most companies’ strategies today. It is not uncommon to find that over 50% of current revenue, product pipeline and corporate spend is with entities considered “partners.” Unfortunately, Twombly says, “Partnering is often the third wheel in resource allocation decisions. Companies traditionally ask, ‘Should we build or buy?’ If neither of those decisions is a great one, partnering is reluctantly considered.”

Twombly and Coles note that this dynamic is increasingly a relic of the past. However, Coles says, “Partnering not well done can lead to poorly allocated resources, misplaced effort, underperforming or failed relationships – and the real risk of financial, strategic or reputational damage. Indeed, the best data says that about half of strategic partnering efforts fail to deliver intended results.”

The two collaboration experts propose that the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is well-positioned to lead the necessary transformation to partnering success.

“Having a purposeful, strategic approach to partnering tends to produce better outcomes,” Coles says. “Studies conducted by IBM, PwC and others report that partnering smartly to drive innovation and growth results in companies that outperform their peers in terms of revenue growth and a number of other financial measures. Additionally, being a good partner means attracting other good partners, creating new opportunities.”

“As the executive responsible for ensuring alignment with the company’s agenda among business units, the CSO must also ensure that business unit plans are allocating sufficient resources to developing the ability to succeed at partnering,” Twombly says. “To produce the outcomes organizations seek from their partnering efforts, partnering must be ‘baked into’ how business is done, not a ‘bolted-on’ afterthought. That begins by having an explicit partnering strategy,” she explains.

According to Coles, “Companies must approach partnering strategically, but too many have not thought through the internal implications. They have to integrate partner development efforts across all functions and levels of their organizations, and they must have an effective means to ensure meaningful value is deployed to customers utilizing resources from all parties to the effort.”

“Partnering and alliances can no longer be perceived as an ‘alternative’ or a pre-cursor to acquisitions,” Coles adds. “To succeed, partnering must be explicitly embedded into the corporate DNA and strategy of a company. As strategy executives continue to play critical roles in strategy development, resource allocation and strategy execution, partnering is the new frontier of value creation for the organization and an opportunity for the CSO to enhance his or her value.”

The Rhythm of Business and Alliancesphere have formed a partnership to provide Chief Strategy Officers and others with an end-to-end solution to integrating partnering into strategy and operations. Their joint solution is called SMART Partnering™ – an outcome-based approach to bringing collaboration and partnering into the core of an organization to drive innovation and growth.

About The Chief Strategy Officer Summit

The Chief Strategy Officer Summit is a production of Innovation Enterprise, a multi-channel media brand focused on the information needs of Senior Big Data, Strategy, Analytics, Digital, Finance, Innovation, Operations & Decision Support executives. To obtain an agenda for the conference visit

About Alliancesphere and Lorin Coles

Founded in 2002 by alliance management and selling pioneers Lorin Coles and Deb Barnard, Alliancesphere helps companies collaborate to transform their organizations, drive innovation, and unleash new growth. Coles and his team work tirelessly to convert “big pictures” into a rewarding reality—extracting maximum value from collaborative engagements for such large-enterprise clients as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp, Equifax and Coca-Cola.
Twitter: @Alliancesphere

About The Rhythm of Business and Jan Twombly

Jan Twombly is President of The Rhythm of Business, Inc., providing expert alliance and collaboration management consulting and education services to global companies, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies, including Astellas, Bayer, Colgate Palmolive, EMC, Sanofi and UK Trade & Investment. The firm guides organizations through the earliest stages of developing their partnering capability, and works with the leaders and pioneers of alliance management to reach higher performance levels and extend their partnering capability enterprise-wide.
Twitter: @RhythmofBiz

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