ASAP Announces Growing Support for ISO Standard for Business Collaboration

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The expanding U.S. Technical Advisory Group includes the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, Business Relationship Management Institute, Cisco, Verizon, Phoenix Consulting Group, and PwC; ASAP invites more organizations to support a common standard for collaboration and relationships in and among organizations

The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), the world’s leading professional association dedicated to the practice of alliance management, announced growing support for an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard for business collaboration. The U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meets this week in New York City in its role of representing the interests of U.S. organizations in the development of the international standard. In addition to ASAP, U.S. TAG members include representatives from Business Relationship Management Institute, Cisco, Verizon, Phoenix Consulting Group, and PwC.

“We invite ASAP members worldwide and other U.S. and international business organizations of all sizes to learn about, support, and adopt the emerging ISO standard for business collaboration,” said Michael Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP and chair of the U.S. TAG. “The involvement of ASAP and its members and partners is core to the ASAP mission, which has focused for many years on establishing and propagating a management standard for the alliance management and partnering profession. Collaboration within and among organizations is the way business gets done today. Our latest research clearly proves that partnering and other forms of business collaboration become much more efficient and effective—creating much greater value and delivering consistently superior results—when collaborators share a common framework, including expertise, nomenclature, processes, tools, behaviors, and culture that support collaboration.”

Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI) pursues a mission complementary to ASAP’s mission by focusing on relationships within business organizations.

“Internal as well as external business relationships are built on trust and have equal focus on business value,” said Aleksandr Zhuk, co-founder of BRMI and member of the U.S. TAG. “It may seem surprising that we need a standard for commonplace acts of collaborating and building relationships. But once you start bridging cultural and organizational barriers, adding layers of complexity due to different approaches, that’s where the necessity for common language comes in, and where standards can be helpful.”

Given the focus on business relationships, the ISO standard for business collaboration incorporates elements of organizational behavior and culture, not merely process and nomenclature.

“Most standards are very cut-and-dried process oriented,” said TAG member Norma Watenpaugh, principal of Phoenix Consulting Group. “This ISO standard has a unique aspect as a management standard in that it advocates behavioral and cultural support. Our U.S. TAG and the international group working on the collaboration standard recognized early on that collaboration is about behaviors and skills, not just process—without the appropriate behaviors and skills you can’t make it happen.”

Cisco is both a maker of technologies for business collaboration as well as a company that has spent many years seeking to improve its own ability to collaborate.

“At Cisco, we learned that elements such as common vocabulary and shared measures of success, as well as a common meeting system to engage employees, are the keys to driving strategic clarity and transparency—and giving people the freedom to successfully collaborate,” said U.S. TAG member Ron Ricci, who is vice president of customer experience services at Cisco and co-author of The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential. “If we are good stewards of this collaboration standard, we will make it possible to help people to work together in the way that supports what they do best.”

About ASAP
The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) is the only professional association dedicated to elevating and promoting the profession of alliance management and partnerships. Founded in 1998, the organization provides professional development, networking and resources for cultivating the skills and toolsets needed to manage successful business partnerships. ASAP’s professional certifications include the Certificate of Achievement-Alliance Management (CA-AM) and Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP). Active global members include AbbVie, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Capgemini, Cisco, Citrix, Covance, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, Huawei, IBM, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, KPMG, Merck, Mission Pharmacal, NetApp, Novartis, Sanofi, SAS, Schneider Electric, Takeda, Verizon, VMware, The Warren Company, and Xerox. A complete list of global members is available at http://www.strategic-alliances.org.

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