The Soft Skills Every Alliance Professional Need Are Often Taken For Granted
The soft skills are often taken for granted, but these are what enable an alliance manager to drive results through influence and persuasion. Also, soft skills allow you to align the strategies of the organization and the objectives of the alliance. (Norma wrote a fascinating blog here, that discussed in detail the soft skills managers need.)
Norma noted one study on the industry, that gave a 3-hour assessment to alliance managers. The results were very telling: The highest performing alliance managers scored very high in these areas:
Critical and analytical thinking
Creativity and resourcefulness
(Interestingly, this list matches what most companies look for in high-level executives.)
Newer Trend: More & More Partnerships in an Alliance
Nowadays, alliances are not 1-to-1 partnerships anymore; Now, alliances require an entire solution stack. Particularly in more complex tech deployments, most relationships require more than 2 alliances.
Tech and digital transformation are the main reason for this expansion: Every industry is touched by technology now, from pharma to manufacturing.
New(ish) Trend: Alliance Management Standards With ISO
Norma is also one of the co-creators of the ISO standards for alliance management. The standard came out in 2017 and was written by almost a dozen different alliance professionals from a variety of sectors, across government, nonprofits, and the private sector.
Originally, the standard had 128 requirements.
Recently, though, Norma released a newer document that has 12 basic principles that all companies should adhere to when forming strategic alliances.
One of the benefits Norma highlighted was the common vocabulary: As many of us in the profession know, when 2 or more entities are debating the word “governance,” little to no strategic work is able to move forward.