Session 105
Master Class: Operational Excellence for Consensus Decision Making in Hybrid Environments

Managing the inherent inefficiencies in alliances and preventing those inefficiencies from overtaking the intended value of partnership has never been more crucial. Alliances are a core pillar of nearly every company's growth and innovation strategy. The demand for qualified biopharma alliance professionals has never been greater. Yet obstacles exist–largely in the form of overwhelming workloads, and a failure to clearly articulate, differentiate, and communicate the value of professional alliance management.

This necessitates a renewed focus on operational excellence in alliance management: How to deliver the services stakeholders value the most and that facilitate alliances achieving their objectives as efficiently and effectively as possible.

And oh yes, we have to do this in a hybrid environment, with some people in a room physically together and others remote. Hybrid environments aren't new, but they now involve everyone participating in a meeting, not just remembering to include the one or two folks on the other side of the speaker phone.

This master class defines operational excellence and focuses on consensus decision making, the default for most complex alliances, layering on the challenges of hybrid working. Participants will analyze a realistic case study in which just such a decision is to be taken, applying the instructors' frameworks and learning from one another. A few of the expected learnings include:


Jeffrey C. Shuman CSAP, PhD
Principal, The Rhythm of Business
Professor Emeritus of Management, Bentley University

Jeff is an educator and trusted advisor to executives who are building, leading, and managing alliances and partner networks. His mix of operational, consulting, research and classroom experiences allow him to blend the theoretical with the practical, providing useful, easily implementable and repeatable advice.

At The Rhythm of Business he partners with global companies in multiple industries to advance their alliance and collaboration management capability. Consulting engagements focus on driving results through enabling all functions of the business to work effectively with their partners throughout the lifecycle. He works with senior executive teams to shape partnering strategy, enable operational and organization readiness, and implement overarching governance. Partnering professionals benefit from his ability to quickly diagnose underperforming alliances, and accelerate the path to profitability. Customized education and training bring alliance and collaboration skills to all who interact with partners.

Jeff has been a member of ASAP since 2002. He was involved on the teams that developed the Certificate of Achievement – Alliance Management (CA-AM) certification and the CSAP certification and contributed to The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management. He frequently presents at ASAP and other organization's conferences and events. Together with business partner Jan Twombly, he has a rich history of developing and publishing strategic and practical thinking that advances the art and science of partnering and alliance management.

Jan Twombly, CSAP
The Rhythm of Business

Jan Twombly, Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP), is president of The Rhythm of Business, a consultancy and advisory firm with core expertise in partnering, strategic alliances, and collaboration. For more than 20 years, she has been developing and sharing thought leadership to enable more collaborative ways of working and to achieve success through partnering and alliances.

Jan is a trusted advisor to leaders in both industry and academia, helping to develop their organizations' ecosystem partnering and alliance strategies. She offers education and training services to build the mindset, skillset, and toolset needed to succeed. Her clients count on her to advise on establishing new alliances, develop alliance management process and procedures, and to step in when alliances are in trouble. Data-driven, contextual assessments of complex alliances provide deep insights that solve problems and drive measurable improvement.

Her current emphasis is on working with alliance professionals to reimagine how alliance management is implemented in an environment of increasing demand and digitizing its workflow and reporting.

Jan serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), overseeing their editorial and content strategy. She is a frequent contributor to Strategic Alliance Quarterly, regularly speaks on collaboration and partnering, and together with Jeff Shuman, CSAP, PhD authors The Partnering Guide blog and numerous whitepapers at