"If a partner understands better the role alliances play in business strategy, is able to engage in a strategic conversation around the needs for and benefits derived from an alliance, and has a more sophisticated approach to partner selection, there should be fewer conflicts down the road." -from Alliance Competence Dell Computers revolutionized the PC market when the company formed an alliance between Intel and FedEx. Through this partnership, Dell was able to mass-customize and deliver computers faster than most of its competitors. With monthly losses around USD1 million, USAir decided to join forces with British Airways. Through this alliance, USAir became a global player in the airline industry, and gave both companies the ability to save millions in annual costs by incorporating joint purchasing of services, fuel, aircraft, and more. Strategic alliances are becoming more and more essential to the viability of a company. These alliances are pervasive throughout the corporate landscape and have a big impact on the way business is conducted across the globe.
Written by strategy experts from the University of Virginia's prestigious Darden School, Alliance Competence combines the latest research and case studies to explore the key aspects necessary to develop a successful alliance. Enhanced by a five-year study of global companies, this book offers unique insights about building the foundations of alliance competence. These competencies provide firms with a source of sustainable competitive advantage that will help them compete more successfully in global markets. Through actual "war stories" the problems and challenges that alliances tend to face are revealed, as well as concrete suggestions for managing through the evolutionary cycle. After examining all the research available, the authors introduce a process they've developed called The No Blame Review? (NBR). This collaborative, nonjudgmental process helps alliances constructively confront times when the alliance seems off track. The NBR creates an objective, nonthreatening, and non-value-laden opportunity for alliance managers and strategic sponsors on both sides to raise, investigate, and review serious issues.
It also allows partners to check the alliance's vital signs and to make a determination that all systems are in alignment. This process provides the most positive approach to conflict resolution. The insight, real-world examples, and research featured in Alliance Competence will give you the tools and diagnostics necessary for locating potential allies and creating a successful alliance. "A thoughtful, experience-based exploration of the subtleties and nuances that must be addressed when entering into complex alliance relationships. Required reading!" -Lawrence M. Small, President and COO, Fannie Mae "From global service enterprises to e-business start-ups, firms in the future will win or lose by how well they manage their alliance strategies. This book is a gold mine of valuable perspectives, useful advice, and practical checklists that will help you tilt the game in your favor. Read it and, more importantly, use it to develop your own alliance competence." -Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, Director, MBA Program, Brandeis University and author, The Alliance Revolution