Strategic alliances are increasing at a rapid rate. It is
good for business, good for the consumer. A strategic
alliance is similar to a joint venture. Everyone remains in
his or her own entity, yet come together for a single
purpose or period of time to create something that could not
otherwise be created.
There are cautions and rightly concerns one must consider
before entering into a strategic alliance with other people.
For instance, evaluating each partner's value and
capabilities for alliance is mandatory before agreeing to an
alliance. The who, what, when, where and whys all need
clarification with failsafe boundaries.
There are many considerations when developing a strategic
alliance, here are six main areas along with questions that
you will want to answer to help you determine your own
readiness for an alliance.
1. Assessing contributions. What do you or each partner
bring to the alliance? What is each person's purpose and
2. Agreeing to the terms. This has three parts: (1) area
of interest, (2) net benefits, and (3) joint operations.
What interest is yours and what is theirs. Strategic
interests must be similar and materials or services
comparable. Economic interest must have enough benefits for
each to remain committed and minimize trade. There must an
3. Agreement on task and skills. Who is the apprentice on
what? Who will be name master on what? Who is going to
specifically be responsible to complete what task? Who is
going to learn what? What is the division of duties?
4. Defining and measuring progress. Who is going to define
or handle sales? What target market will be pursued and
when? What is the process chart for a new product or
service? How will the revenue be generated and distributed?
What will occur if the measurements aren't met?
5. Progress and time. Who is tracing the progress and the
time invested? Is the time to be contributed equal or is
there a trade-off for other resources? Who and when will
the progress reports be regularly discussed and completed?
Is there going to be a board that will monitor equality and
6. Points of tension. When there are points of tension, and
there always is so don't kid yourself that there never will
be, is an outside source going to be the arbitrator? When
tension occurs does it need to be expressed in writing first
and then discussed? Is there a cool-down period that is
required? Who is going to sign off on checks, balance the
checkbook, and monitor cash flow?
So many questions, so little time. Yes, I understand,
however, this one time you want to stop and open time,
address these questions, and any others might need to be
? Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.
Catherine Franz, a eight-year Certified Professional Coach,
Graduate of Coach University, Mastery University, editor of
three ezines, columnist, author of thousands of articles