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Role of Networks in Partnership

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  1. Role of Networks in Partnership Barry T. Peterson, Ph.D. Director, Global Clinical Technology Pfizer Global Research and Development

  2. Percent Responses * Lists frequency of reasons for failure mentioned by 184 senior executives (VP level or above) surveyed. Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Adapted Reasons for Partnership Failure Focus

  3. Organization of Pfizer/Amersham Strategic Alliance How it was structured (hierarchical) Amersham Lead Pfizer Lead Pfizer/Amersham Steering Committee Helispin Group TA Group TA Group TA Group Pfizer Barry Peterson Amersham Göran Pettersson

  4. How the Helispin SA Actually Worked (network): Jim (U.Penn) Peter (Amersham) Bela (Boston U) Eeva (Lund U.) Göran (Amersham) Barry (Pfizer) Sandra (Lund U.) Theresa (Vivometrics) Patty (Pfizer) Ingrid (Lund U.) Per (Lund U.) Eve (Pfizer) (apologies to contributors not included in this illustrative diagram)

  5. Therefore, To maximize success and minimize losses in a strategic alliance (or any collaborative business project) you need an organization that: 1. Has enough hierarchy to make decisions 2. A functioning network to get the job done 3. The wisdom to know when to apply each We are all familiar with management in a hierarchy, but how do you….

  6. …manage this?!

  7. A closer look at the network that “got things done” in the Helispin project. Ref: Rob Cross and Andrew Parker: The Hidden Power of Social Networks-Understanding How Work Really gets done in Organizations, Harvard Business School Press, 2004

  8. pp29-30 (section on Alliances and Partnerships) “In this case, the lead representative from one of the companies turned out to be both the most sought-out person in the network and the person with whom most people wanted to communicate more. “Here, the one person held a great deal of decision –making power and by virtue of this had become a bottleneck in the network. She was working long hours just trying to keep up …. But…she had become a bottleneck.”

  9. Advantages and disadvantages of a dominant node in a network • Advantages • Everyone knows who has the information • May facilitate decision making (but not necessarily) • Disadvantages • Person may be a bottleneck if he/she doesn’t work hard enough • (or has been given too much to do) • 2. Person may not get good feedback on ideas/decisions because • no one else in the network has as much information • Project becomes that person • - career risk for the person • - risk of basing decisions on person rather than project

  10. CONCLUSIONS • Role of Networks in an partnership should be recognized • Networks can be good for: • Bring forth the best ideas • Getting the work done • Managing Networks is difficult • Beware of dominate nodes