The Strongest Link: Forging a Profitable and Enduring Corporate Alliance

The Strongest Link: Forging a Profitable and Enduring Corporate Alliance

The Strongest Link: Forging a Profitable and Enduring Corporate Alliance

The Strongest Link: Forging a Profitable and Enduring Corporate Alliance

Synopsis

"What does it take to build a successful corporate alliance? The dramatically high failure rate -- estimated at 60 to 75% -- suggests that alliance managers often lack the knowledge and skills to determine strategic fit, negotiate win-win agreements, align organizational cultures, and -- perhaps most important of all -- get people to work together productively. This book provides the practical guidance needed to make alliances work. In The Strongest Link, strategic alliance experts Slowinski and Sagal draw on over 40 years of experience working with companies to form strong, profitable collaborations, including AT&T, NEC, Battelle, Eli Lilly, and Procter & Gamble. Packed with stories of these and other companies, the book features exclusive, proven methodologies for planning, structuring, and negotiating an alliance, as well as strategies for training participants in collaborative management.

The Strongest Link is a true field guide, a down-in-the-trenches look at how to avoid the troubles that plague so many alliance efforts and how to forge a collaborative link that adds value to all participants."

Excerpt

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement that surrounds alliances. During the 1990s, American corporations binged on collaborative relationships. Technologybased companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer, Dow Chemical, and ibm created collaborative R&D alliances to access technology quickly and at lower cost. United Parcel Service and Pepsi-Cola used alliances to access channels and markets that were too costly or too geographically distant to serve efficiently. Internet firms such as Amazon.com and brick-and-mortar companies such as Toys “ᴙ” Us created portfolios of alliances to cope with relentless technological change and to build the foundations of Internet commerce.

The purpose of this book is not to sell the reader on alliances. Quite the contrary, numerous studies show that 70 percent of alliances fail! Rather, our purpose is to introduce a set of tools that will allow the reader to join the successful 30 percent. the high failure rate has two origins: design and implementation. Often, managers with little or no experience are asked to plan and negotiate an extremely complex business structure. When they do not understand the complexities of intellectual property rights, the subtleties of exclusivity, the traps of termination provisions, and the nuances of financial models, these managers craft deals that are fatally flawed. To fur-

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