There any many moving parts in any organisation, but when two or more form an alliance, these moving parts must align if the venture is to be successful. This short article examines ten essential macro-level elements that must align to ensure a successful alliance.
What is an alliance?
Having Googled this question, I have adapted what I found to define an alliance as a formal agreement between two or more organisations to cooperate for specific purposes.
The perfect alliance (if one exists) must be perceived and operate as a single entity: the alliance. For this reason, it should be noted that whilst many of the ten essentials outlined below apply in singular organisations, they are harder to achieve and maintain in an alliance.
1. Alliance Purpose
The intended purpose of the alliance must be defined and agreed at the highest level, and then be widely communicated, understood and accepted for the alliance to be successful.
2. Alliance Strategy
The agreed purpose of the alliance must be underpinned by an overriding alliance strategy, including the plan to execute it, and metrics to measure success.
3. Go-to-Market Strategy
A clearly defined, robust, well-communicated and fully understood GTM strategy is essential for the alliance to deliver on its defined purpose and strategic outcomes.
4. Business Value
The value the alliance delivers to its target market and customers must be recognised and quantified, and then communicated and understood internally and externally to ensure the success of the GTM strategy.
5. Roles & Responsibilities
To avoid chaos, confusion and conflict, everyone working as part of the alliance, either directly or indirectly, must understand their role, and the responsibilities that brings.
6. Trust, Communication & Collaboration
Building trust between people from the different member organisations is essential for ensuring the communication and collaboration needed to make the alliance successful.
7. Shared Vision & Values
One of the biggest challenges when trying to get member organisations to operate as a single entity is creating and maintaining a shared vision and values, as each will have its own culture and loyalties.
8. Motivating & Recognising Success
A single approach to motivating and recognising people contributing to the alliance, either directly or indirectly, will greatly improve the delivery of the overall strategy and success.
9. Senior Management Commitment
Visible, long-term, top-down senior management commitment to the alliance and its customers by each member organisation is essential in delivering the intended purpose and desired success.
10. Personal Commitment
The personal commitment, contribution, input and effort of everyone working as part of the alliance, either directly or indirectly, will only be achieved if the other essentials outlined above are in place.
There are numerous micro level considerations under each of the headings above. Understanding the level of maturity in each will enable better alignment of the many moving parts, leading to a more successful alliance.
Get to Great offers on online 360 (survey) that enable all parties with a vested interest in the success of an alliance to voice their opinions on these ten essentials. It’s anonymous and takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. The findings will provide qualitative and quantitative insights that will enable you to prioritise things that need to change for the better.