Apr 07, 2016

RWJF: Strategic Alliance Toolkit

This guide takes the form of a practical toolkit, offering steps and recommended tasks on how to assess and strengthen existing institutional cooperative relationships; and, if it is found to be desirable, to move them toward a true strategic alliance for the broader benefit of all the parties involved. It is divided into the following sections:

PART 1: The Strategic Alliance as Part of a Comprehensive Strategy

This section discusses the following:

  • Best practices in diversity; management commitment and vision; the business case; diversity recruitment; and technical sustaining structures
  • The nature of existing and possible future institutional relationships, and the evolutionary course of such relationships—from ad hoc, temporary plans for joint efforts to truly integrated, ongoing strategic alliances

PART 2: Developing the Strategic Alliance

This section discusses the following:

  • Survey of the types of organizations that can help with your institutional needs
  • An objective assessment of your existing institutional or programmatic relationships
  • Identification of areas of shared interest and opportunities for strategic alliance
  • Identification of precisely what your organization hopes to gain from an expanded relationship, and what it can offer the other party in return: The Essential Transaction

PART 3: How To Get It Done

This section discusses how to:

  • Find the most appropriate contacts within the target institution for the purpose of negotiating an enhanced alliance
  • Develop a shared vision and related agenda
  • Identify effective ways each organization can carry out the shared agenda
  • Make the case for expanded and integrated cooperation in these areas of potential mutual aid
  • Plan for the administrative and relationship structures that will advance the strategic vision and the shared agenda as effectively as possible

PART 4: Managing the Relationship

This section discusses how to:

  • Foresee and plan for changes in each institution that may affect the relationship
  • Have administrative and problem-solving structures in place dedicated to maintaining communications and work together on solving institutional issues as they arise
  • Use metrics for assessing the costs and benefits of the relationship, and mechanisms for fine-tuning it in accordance with such assessments, to gain the maximum benefit for all parties