About Norma Watenpaugh

Norma Watenpaugh is the founding principal and CEO of Phoenix Consulting Group (www.phoenixcg.com) which provides education and consulting services with expertise in go-to-market strategy, channel and alliance management, and ecosystem development. She was named a Woman of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for her work in advancing best practices in Collaborative Business Relationships and was inducted into the Forbes Business Council, an invitation only community of successful business leaders.

Partner Relief in Uncertain Times

Small businesses have been unusually hard-hit in these uncertain times. The dynamics of the partner ecosystem is that most of the partners are small business and they serve small businesses. Being a small business myself, I know how precarious cash flow can be. Many of these businesses are seeing their revenues shut down as their [...]

By |2020-05-12T18:58:05+00:00April 20, 2020|

Building a Culture for a Collaborative Ecosystem

Building a partner ecosystem is hard. But what's harder than building an ecosystem? Building a culture that supports an ecosystem strategy. I spoke with one executive who was responsible for building the partner ecosystem at a well-known payroll processor, and our discussion perfectly illustrated this challenge. The executive's decades-old company was expanding beyond payroll processing [...]

By |2020-03-27T20:14:14+00:00March 27, 2020|

Why Principles-Based Collaboration Is Essential For Agile Ecosystems

as published in Forbes.com. As we enter an "Era of Ecosystems," we need a different approach and thinking to manage these multi-dimensional and multi-lateral business relationships. I believe the partner management processes that have been developed as a profession are still relevant, but we do need to rethink how we apply them. Nine-way governance models [...]

By |2019-12-17T22:28:16+00:00December 17, 2019|

We Need All of our Alliances to be Agile!

In early 2018, my colleague Laura Powers, an Agilest Icon, and I held a workshop on Agile Partnering. One of our attendees was Kristina Scott, Sr. Director Partner Enablement, Marketing, Operations at Seclore. Seclore is an emerging security software startup with a broad ecosystem of channels, technology alliances and OEMs. A year after the workshop, [...]

By |2019-09-16T16:36:05+00:00September 16, 2019|

Sleeping with the Frenemy

or How to Build Successful Partnerships with the Competition as published in Forbes.com. In the complex landscape of today’s business ecosystems, it is almost inevitable that companies with a large network of partners are, in fact, competing with some of those same partners. This has given us "co-opetition," a term that is derived from "cooperative [...]

By |2019-09-16T16:34:10+00:00August 19, 2019|

It Takes an Ecosystem

or How to Build to Build Partner Ecosystems for Agility, Innovation and Growth in Your Business as published in Forbes.com. As someone who has been architecting and managing business partner ecosystems for more than 30 years in the tech industry, I am quite interested in the attention ecosystems have been receiving from management pundits of [...]

By |2019-07-24T19:58:40+00:00July 17, 2019|

Agile Collaboration – A Better Way to Partner

Or "Seven Steps to a Successful Agile Collaboration" as published in Forbes.com As organizations transform to more digitally savvy business models, I am seeing that it is more than business processes that need rethinking. I believe transformative digital business models require ecosystems of partners and a faster, more responsive way of working within these networks [...]

By |2019-05-04T23:17:24+00:00May 4, 2019|

The Profile of Successful Alliance and Partner Leaders

star performers The role of a partner manager is to enable innovation, growth and competitive advantage through partnerships. That’s quite a tall order and implies quite a skill set to deliver. There are defined skills, aptitudes and attitudes of a highly successful partner manager.  They are skilled at adapting to an ever-changing environment [...]

By |2019-07-24T20:01:21+00:00February 27, 2019|

Better Together – The Ten Ingredients to the Secret Sauce of Successful Partnering

As published in Forbes. com It’s no secret that companies of all sizes are facing some daunting challenges in digital transformation, globalization and the constant pressure to do more with less. More and more companies seek out partners to buffer the impact, gain skills and access innovation. More than half of CEOs, particularly those that [...]

By |2019-01-17T05:00:11+00:00January 16, 2019|

Balancing Trust and Control in Alliance Governance

Governance isn’t exactly the most exciting topic. Yet, it is essential in any partnership. At its heart, governance is a system for managing performance. Most of the partner managers I’ve known that positioned themselves as relationship managers are long gone from the profession, laid off in the one of the last economic downturns. Those who [...]

By |2018-12-04T02:03:35+00:00December 4, 2018|