Partner or Perish: Forging effective alliances

Why do most alliances fail?
Why do most alliances fail?

This week, John Buckingham drew upon his 30 years of expertise building health care businesses globally in a MaRS Best Practices Series session on effective alliance management, “Partner or Perish: Forging Effective Alliances”.

Alliances are a form of collaboration in which individual organizations retain strategic autonomy while committing resources to a joint activity. The most common types of alliances are formed for operational (e.g. manufacturing) or specific project needs. The right alliance or partnership can help an organization achieve its goals in many different ways: by giving it access to outside expertise, access to flexible resources, reducing its financial risk, and/or increasing its speed of development or of getting to market.

Yet less than 40% of alliances in life sciences meet their objectives.

Why such a high rate of failure? Because collaborating isn’t easy. Often, it has a lot do with misalignment of goals, miscommunication, poor execution, technical failure or a change in the financial prospects of one or more of the partners. You’ll notice that the first three reasons why alliances fail have to do with the management of the alliance as proper management plays a crucial role in making sure the partnership succeeds.

To learn more about key alliance management competencies and tools that can help you manage your partnerships such as Alliance Management Principles, an Alliance Team Charter and an Alliance “Health Check” survey, see John’s presentation slides here:
Partner or Perish: Forging Effective Alliances

View more Microsoft Word documents from Cathy Bogaart.

As well as being a MaRS Advisor and the founder and principal of Buckingham Alliance Partners, John teaches Alliance Management at the Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University and is on the Board of the Toronto Chapter of ASAP (Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals).