All for One

For weeks, the publishing industry has been abuzz about a possible deal between News Corp. and Microsoft, which would squeeze out Google and effectively make Microsoft’s Bing the main portal for finding online content from major newspapers. Although the prospects of such a partnership appear to have dimmed in recent days, the talk underscores the vital importance of business alliances in an increasingly complex world. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools to help you understand why strategic alliances are growing, why some executives nonetheless resist such partnerships, how joint ventures can be the key to corporate agility, and what steps need to be taken to ensure that a successful alliance doesn’t blow up. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

Dangerous liaisons

“Today businesses grow through alliances, all kinds of dangerous liaisons and joint ventures, which, by the way, very few people understand.”— Peter F. Drucker, Classic Drucker

  • Why the traditional multinational corporation is “becoming an endangered species.” Read more here.

Managing out, not down

“Very few of the big boys know how to manage an alliance. They’re used to giving orders, not working with a partner, and it’s totally different.”— Peter F. Drucker, Managing in the Next Society

  • The two most important questions the “big boys” should be asking. Read more here.
  • Watch consultant Larraine Segil of Vantage Partners explain why strong leadership is essential to a successful alliance. Segil has established a scholarship fund to promote the study of strategic-alliance competency as part of a concurrent degree program between the Drucker School of Management and Southwestern Law School

The power of partnership

“A mature industry shifts from one way of satisfying wants to another. A mature industry therefore needs to be managed for alliances, partnerships and joint ventures to adapt rapidly to such shifts.”— Peter F. Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century

  • How corporate alliances can foster flexibility. Read more here.
  • Hear Jeffery Krames, author of Inside Drucker’s Brain, discuss how Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has taken a page out of Drucker’s book.

The pitfalls of success

“While their failure rate in early years is no higher than that of new ventures, alliances tend to get into serious trouble—sometimes fatal—when they succeed.”— Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

  • Drucker’s five rules for effective alliances. Read more here.
  • Listen to Steve Steinhilber, Cisco’s vice president for Strategic Alliances, discuss how corporate partnerships must continually evolve.