Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week
Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week )
  February 4, 2005 
Contents In This Issue
    The Top 10 Elements of an Effective Strategic Alliance
    by Thomas Leonard

  • Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach
    Focusing your vision, achieving results

    Coaching for Corporations, Businesses and Individuals


    "One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born."

    -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    The Top 10 Elements of an Effective Strategic Alliance
    by Thomas Leonard

    1. Trust

    Trust is created when both parties are able to identify (and be completely upfront about) what they have to offer, what they don't have to offer and why they need the strategic alliance partner. If the teams are trying to use each other, without being fully informed about the realities and potentials, then each side is going to hold back and struggle for position, which creates distrust. Mutual respect is key.

    2. Faith

    It's essential that both parties believe that there IS something much bigger that can be created by both organizations by working/learning together. So, faith in synergy as well as faith in the notion of possibility is a bare minimum. If people doubt, they hold back key information and don't give the project enough juice to help it reach critical mass. Awe is key.

    3. Flow

    Constant discussion between both parties is essential, through e-mail and conference calls, as well as receiving input from key sources outside of the two teams such as from higher management and/or the ultimate consumer/user of the project. Flow is generated when there is a vacuum -- when team members are thrilled about learning and perfecting instead of just looking good to each other. Humility and an eagerness to build something awesome is key.

    4. Reporting

    Daily or weekly reports created by a separate/objective agreed upon/appointed person (called The Reporter) are essential to tracking what is REALLY being created between the two groups. If you let each team write up their progress, it will be slanted to impress people. If an outsider is writing it up each week (and managing/tracking the steps of the alliance project), then both teams are answering to a higher authority. Creativity and experimentation need help. Structure is key.

    5. Testing

    Whatever the outcome is that has been defined, the project needs to be continually tested to make sure it works in the real world and that the real world wants to buy the project/joint venture. Focus groups aren't enough; the product needs to be tested with current clients to measure effectiveness and desirability. In other words, turn current clients into the group's R&D Team from the very beginning. Clients are key.

    6. Ground rules

    A list of agreements, timelines, resources needed and ground rules between both the teams and the organizations are essential. Issues of confidentiality, non-performance, deadlines, scope, outputs, ownership rights, worst-case scenarios, mutual efforts and cost-sharing are wisely developed by the team members themselves -- this bonds both groups because they can honor promises. (And The Reporter -- referred to elsewhere in this Top 10 list -- can mediate/track compliance.) A thorough understanding of the ground rules is key.

    7. Measurables

    What exactly will be the outputs of the two teams? Who does what? By when? What are the measures of success? How will both organizations know they have a winner and that the project should be fast tracked? What are the tangible benefits? What are the intangible benefits? What will make it all worthwhile, even if it's not going very well? Phrasing/articulation is key.

    8. Vision

    The project or alliance needs to be a subset of a larger vision for both organizations. In other words, both organizations need to be big thinkers and tuned into current and emerging trends. In fact, the joint project needs to be designed in such a way that it also makes each firm more progressive in how it thinks/does business in general, in addition, of course, to whatever the specific benefits of the project/alliance are. Seeing something much bigger than the specific outputs of this alliance is key.

    9. Involvement

    Both firms should invite non-team members to join in the project or at least be kept up to date via e-mail. Many great folks don't have the time to become directly involved, but their comments/outside views can advance or ensure the project's success. Alliances/joint projects are like memes and need to be spread as they are evolving so that folks are aware of them all along instead of having to buy-in when it's fait accompli. Dissemination is key.

    10. Value added

    The project or strategic alliance must be something that will add value to the organization's ability to serve its customers or the marketplace. The focus needs to be on the ultimate consumer of the product/project, not just the organization's players. This grass-roots focus is key because it keeps everyone focused beyond the politics or organizational limitations.

    Thomas J. Leonard was the founder of CoachVille. Visit them on the web at


    In reading this piece on Effective Strategic Alliances, I was reminded of last week's Coaching Tip of the Week -- "What is Effectiveness?" Effectiveness was described as a combination of creativity and order. In Thomas' article this week, he carries forward the same thoughts -- "both parties believe that there IS something much bigger that can be created" and "tracking what is really being created." Once again we are seeing the value of using the left and right side of the brain. This week, review the Strategic Alliances you are part of. Do you need to add a creative or order component? Or, if you are considering a Strategic Alliance, use this article to make sure you cover the different aspects of a Strategic Alliance.


    February 5, 2005
    Empowering Yourself at the Simmons Club of Boston

    Andrea will provide her interactive 5-step program for reaching higher productivity and deeper levels of professional and personal satisfaction; identifying support systems for accountability, and the success formula to reach your potential. Learn and experience for yourself how this popular self-improvement seminar can change your life. This seminar is scheduled for Saturday, February 5, 2005, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Simmons College, Main Campus Building (MCB) Room C-101. To reserve your place click here to register online or e-mail Michelle Dannaher,

    February 9, 2005
    Andrea to Offer a Morning of Coaching in Celebration of
    International Coaching Week

    The Seventh Annual International Coaching Week is February 6 - 12, 2005. The event is designed to provide a week each year to educate the public about the benefits of coaching. This week is dedicated to sharing this process with others and to provide a public service as the coaching profession's way of contributing back to the community in which we live and work.

    As part of this event, Andrea is offering free 15 minute coaching sessions to Coaching Tip of the Week readers. Call in from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Eastern on Wednesday, February 9th, to discuss a business or personal issue and receive a free coaching session. No need to sign up. Just call in at the top of the hour or at 1/4 past, 1/2 past or 1/4 of the hour. Are you ready to add focus and accountability to your day? Do you want to crystallize issues and opportunities? Do you want to be more productive? This is what Andrea's clients say they get through coaching with Andrea. Come see what it's all about.


    Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week is brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach who provides Business and Personal Coaching to Corporations, Businesses, and Individuals. Andrea is a professional coach who partners with people to set goals and create momentum to produce effective results in their business and/or personal lives.

    Andrea is available for individual coaching. If you are serious about reaching your goals and living with greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at


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    Coach Andrea
    Focusing your vision, achieving results

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