Strategic alliances and joint ventures: Have you considered talent?

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Alliances bring about unique considerations for talent. Transparent communication along with upfront planning can be helpful in eliminating surprises.

It is critical for the alliance partners to quickly identify leaders and design the alliance structure to create a high performing culture. Once leaders are identified, they will need to ensure that alliance employees are engaged – this is done through communicating expectations and developing a compensation program that motivates employees. Compensation programs may be complex and result in challenging accounting considerations. All of these items must be considered at the onset to ensure the alliance starts off on the right path.


Talent identification and planning: Identify leaders of the alliance

Leaders of the alliance should be identified early in the process so they can help understand its mission, design its structure, understand its operational goals, and determine how it will operate. Observing how executives interact during the planning process of the alliance can provide insight about who the best candidates may be for leadership roles of the alliance. Indicators of leadership potential include: 

  • business acumen 
  • the ability to deliver against milestones with speed and a sense of urgency 
  • the ability to work collaboratively with people from different backgrounds and organizations 
  • an ability to anticipate issues and create action plans to resolve them 
  • the ability to manage critical resources between business-as-usual activities and the alliance effort 
  • the ability to clearly and effectively communicate with others 
  • the ability to change and evolve as the alliance does 

Leaders from both organizations generally should be involved in determining the leadership team of the alliance. This can have a positive impact on productivity and retention, reassuring employees from both companies of the importance of the alliance.

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Gregory McGahan

Partner, Deals, Alliances Services Leader, PwC US

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