Alliances & Partnerships – The Red Bull in today’s business environment, as it gives you wings.
Today’s business world has been thrown into a huge downturn, with a sharp recession and with consumer behaviours and habits changing massively, thanks to COVID-19. Businesses need to address the following in this period and beyond (amongst a raft of other things too) in order to accelerate away from this situation:
· Business Resilience
· Digital Transformation
· Customer Centricity
· Lack of capital finance to grow
The vast plethora of advisory reports that I read plus some of the CEO interviews that I have seen all point to the fact that the most effective strategy to leverage to address the above is that of a partnering strategy and approach (whether that be Alliances, Partnerships, Ecosystems, or even through Supplier partnering).
The Alliances & Partnerships approach is no longer a “nice to do” but a “must do”! No company can do this alone!
In 1998 Yves Doz and Gary Hamel already wrote “No Company can go it alone” as the opening statement of their book “Alliance Advantage”. Today this is more applicable than ever. The challenge is to do alliances in a successful way. They bring a different dynamic than organic growth, with less control and more need for trust.
In a recent Harvard Business Review, the authors of this article talk about Joint Ventures & Partnerships in a downturn (https://hbr.org/2020/09/joint-ventures-and-partnerships-in-a-downturn?). Although there is a key focus on JVs, as that is the specialism of the authors, what they say is very applicable to Alliances & other types of Partnerships.
“Companies will need every tool they’ve got to survive the downturn and rev up their businesses as the economy rights itself. ... At many firms, joint ventures and partnerships will play an outsize role in those efforts ... “
In terms of Partnerships & Alliances, you can look to partner within your own industry vertical or supply chain, or you can look cross sector partnerships, or partner between private companies and academia, or even look at public-private partnerships. You can also look at partnering with your competitors (coopetition) which is happening quite a bit today. However you need to know how to do this successfully.
Alliances & Partnerships is the Red Bull for things like business resilience, digital transformation, Innovation etc, as that will give you “Wings”.
Alliances & Partnerships is the new Innovation.
What are you going to do to accelerate away from the current business environment?