The Benefits of Professional Development

Posted: 7/1/2010 by Ann Trampas

When I first began my career -- fresh out of college -- I didn't have a clue about the value of professional development.  After all, I had a few degrees, a little experience, that's enough, right?

Wrong.  Oh, so wrong.

Like many alliance professionals, I worked in a variety of roles before I found myself in alliance management.  As a sales person, I learned the value of networking, closing the deal, and the impact of making that quarterly number.  As a marketing person, I gained an understanding of product marketing, new market development, value propositions, go to market strategies and outreach.  As a manager and consultant, I applied practical people and negotiations skills on a daily basis.

But none of it compared to the complexity of the alliance management role.  As an alliance manager, I utilized all these skills, and more.  It was the "and more" part that had me stumped.  I saw that there were alliance managers who excelled, those who failed, and those who merely "got by."  What was the difference between them?  What were the alliance "competents" doing that the others weren't?

Alliance management is an emerging field, so finding best practices was tough.  All I could do, really, was take the great alliance managers out to lunch and learn what they did and how they did it.  Luckily, I came upon the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), and it opened up a new world of best practices and professional development resources.

I was priviledged to be the first Certification Program Director for ASAP, where I was actively engaged in the development of the alliance certification program that they have launched.  Alliance managers can earn a Certification of Achievement in Alliance Managment (CA-AM)  or can become a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP).

Phoenix Consulting Group offers a host of professional development services that you can use to hone your professional alliance skills or to prepare you for the certification testing.  Anyone can learn facts -- you can learn the stages of the alliance lifecycle pretty quickly, for instance -- but it's another thing to learn to apply what we've learned to tough, real-world situations.  That's why the workshops and programs that PhoenixCG offers not only review the essentials of alliance best practices, but also provide multiple case scenarios that give you the opportunity to immediately apply these new skills and master them.

So what kinds of skills do we teach?  They run the gambit of alliance management:

  • Alliance Strategy
  • Partner Selection and Qualification
  • Governance and Metrics
  • Joint Product and Market Development
  • Collaborative Capability
  • Ecosystem Development and Alliance Lifecycle

With these skills and practicum, you too can be an alliance "competent"!  Contact me if you have any questions about alliance professional development at annt@phoenixcg.com.

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