Finding Allies, Building Alliances: 8 Elements that Bring--and Keep--People Together
September 2013, Jossey-Bass
Your business challenges extend far beyond you and your firm, to the competitors within your industry and the regulators outside it. Finding solutions to larger issues requires cooperation between diverse stakeholders, and in this rapidly changing world, only those able to adapt and network successfully will produce fast, competitive solutions.
How can leaders successfully bridge divides and turn competitors into collaborators? Leavitt and McKeown explain how a well-chosen network can become a powerful alliance. Whether you're launching a new partnership, or rehabilitating one already in progress, Finding Allies, Building Alliances will help you find workable solutions to the most complex problems.
- Written by Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah who brought the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City, former US Secretary of Health and human services, and former head of the EPA; with his former Chief of Staff and business partner Rich McKeown, co-founder of Leavitt Partners
- Includes a framework of 8 elements that will help any leader foster and maintain an effective, productive collaborative venture
- Shows how better collaboration can not only solve problems, but boost the competitiveness and resilience in all sectors
Finding Allies, Building Alliances is essential reading for any business leader looking for transformative solutions and a sustainable future.
Foreword by Clayton M. Christensen ix
1 The Collaborative Foundation: What It Is and Why It’s Essential Today 7
2 A Common Pain 27
3 A Convener of Stature 41
4 Representatives of Substance 55
5 Committed Leadership 67
6 A Clearly Defined Purpose 83
7 A Formal Charter 101
8 The Northbound Train 113
9 Defining Common Ground 125
10 Collaborative Intelligence 145
11 Alliance Enterprises: When and How to Create Ongoing Collaborations 163
12 Collaborative Competitive Edge 173
Appendix: WRAP Charter 189
About the Authors 205
Mike Leavitt was elected governor of Utah three times. He then served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as Secretary of Health and Human Services and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He has since returned to the private sector to found Leavitt Partners, which advises clients in the health sector. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rich McKeown is cofounder, president, and CEO of Leavitt Partners. He served as chief of staff during Mike Leavitt's terms as governor of Utah, administrator of the EPA, and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Before working in government, he was an educator, a lawyer, and a mediator. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Leavitt... and McKeown show readers how to forge
connections that solve problems and lead to new opportunities.
Their eight strategies apply to both individuals and organizations.
Finding Allies, Building Alliances is for any business
leader who has ever felt like an island, or for those who have 500
LinkedIn connections but don't know whom to turn to with a
—Beth Cabrera, T+D Magazine
“I've seen first-hand how collaboration is crucial to success—not only within an organization, but between multiple organizations. In Finding Allies, Building Alliances, Leavitt and McKeown provide a clear, simple roadmap for how to approach collaboration and the necessary elements for groups and people working together to succeed.”
—Eric Schmidt, chairman, Google
“Highly collaborative teams with a common challenge,
committed leadership, and a clearly defined purpose are essential
to creating solutions in an increasingly chaotic world. Governor
Mike Leavitt and and RichMcKeown have led, facilitated, and
participated in many successful collaborations—and a few
less-than-successful ones—and have written a clear, concise
roadmap to building the best. Finding Allies, Building
Alliances is for anyone who wants to be successful in
today’s complex, connected global economy.”
—George Halvorson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente
“As companies globalize, reaching across national,
cultural, and technological borders, Governor Leavitt and Rich
McKeown have developed a realistic and applicable blueprint for
building and harnessing the value of collaborative
alliances. As Walgreens itself establishes a
global pharmacy-led health and wellbeing
enterprise, Finding Allies, Building
Alliances could not be more timely—or
—Gregory D. Wasson, president and CEO, Walgreen Co.
“I wish all our leaders in and out of Washington would
read Finding Allies, Building Alliances. Leading is a
team sport and Governor Leavitt and McKeown are masters at telling
us how to do it.”
—Donna E. Shalala, president, University of Miami, and former secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“In today’s highly matrixed organizations, the only
way to drive transformative change is to build the right alliances,
both internally and externally. In Finding Allies, Building
Alliances,Mike Leavitt and Rich McKeown show you how to make it
—Mark T. Bertolini, chairman, CEO, and president, Aetna
“Given their remarkable success as leaders in both
business and government, Mike Leavitt and Rich McKeown have written
the ultimate how-to on collaborative leading in business,
government, and virtually any organization. In these
transformational times, when organizational challenges have never
been greater, bringing and keeping people together has never been
more critical. The eight elements described in Finding Allies,
Building Alliances create a playbook for success for every
reader. I couldn’t recommend it more
—Senator Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader
“I observed firsthand Mike Leavitt's skill at bringing
people together and building coalitions in government, politics,
and international affairs. Finding Allies, Building
Alliances explains how successful managers cooperate to achieve
goals and get things done in an environment brimming with
complexity, uncertainty, and a multiplicity of actors.”
—Robert B. Zoellick, Former President of the World Bank Group, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, US Trade Representative
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mike Leavitt
and Rich McKeown and see first-hand their skills as problem solvers
that made them so effective at finding solutions on the ground in
China. Through vivid examples here, he lays out how to get
individuals with seemingly competing interests to work together
towards solving a shared problem.”
—Henry M. Paulson, Jr., chairman, The Paulson Institute, and former secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury
“In our increasingly interconnected world, organizations
face a growing number of challenges—disruptive technologies,
regulatory reform, environmental issues—they cannot tackle in
isolation. In Finding Allies, Building Alliances, Leavitt
and McKeown advocate for formal, process-driven collaborations
between organizations facing collective problems, explicitly
designed to achieve an outcome with value for each of them. Great
collaborations cannot be undertaken casually—they require
effort, leadership, structure, process, and commitment. Finding
Allies, Building Alliances offers a unique and practical
approach to co-opetition in the 21st century.”
—Craig Mundie, senior advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
“In Finding Allies, Building Alliances,
Leavitt and McKeown lay out practical steps any leader can follow
to convene collaborators, gain consensus, and craft lasting
solutions. Here is the recipe for any organization to solve
problems more efficiently.”
—Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD,president, Institute of Medicine
“Having worked closely with Governor Leavitt and Rich
McKeown to create Western Governors University, I can testify that
they are masters at bringing together diverse interests into
powerful alliances. Finding Allies, Building Alliances
will benefit anyone in business or non-profit leadership, since the
right alliances with the right partners are a key to
—Robert W. Mendenhall, Ph.D., president, Western Governors University
“I've seen first-hand how collaboration is crucial to success—not only within an organization, but between multiple organizations. In Finding Allies, Building Alliances, Leavitt and McKeown provide a clear, simple roadmap for how to approach collaboration and the necessary elements for groups and people working together to succeed.”—Eric Schmidt, chairman, Google
Finding Allies, Building Alliances:
8 Elements that Bring – and Keep – People Together
By Former Governor and White House cabinet member Mike Leavitt
Your business challenges extend far beyond you and your firm, to the competitors within your industry and the regulators outside it. In our in increasingly interconnected world, it’s the best networked groups that triumph. However, some problems are too complex for an individual agency to handle alone and few know how to collaborate in a high performance way.
Leaders in every sector of the economy intuitively see the value of bringing together competitors, scientists, activists, government representatives and others to forge solutions to problems they can’t solve on their own. Whether it’s an auto company executive seeking to increase the percentage of alternative fuel vehicles manufactured or an educational leader trying organize a charter school in an inner-city neighborhood, collaborations are essential, and a viable collaborative process is critical.
As the former Governor of Utah and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt has first-hand experience with building these kinds of high-level collaborations. In his new book, Finding Allies, Building Alliances: 8 Elements that Bring – and Keep – People Together (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-24792-1; September 2013; $29.95; e-book available) Leavitt and co-author Rich McKeown help find workable solutions to the most complex problems by introducing 8 elements that will help any leader foster and maintain an effective production collaboration venture.
These 8 elements include:
- Common Pain – a shared common problem or opportunity.
- A Convener of Stature – a respected and influential presence.
- Representatives of Substance – collaborators with the right mix of experience and expertise.
- Committed Leaders – to keep a collaboration moving over the rough patches.
- A Sense of Movement – towards an important destination.
- A Formal Charter – established rules that help resolve differences and avoid stalemates.
- A Clearly Defined Purpose – a driving idea that keeps people on task
- A Common Information Base – to avoid divisive secrets and opaqueness.
Finding Allies, Building Alliances shows how better collaboration can not only solve problems, but boost competitiveness. It is essential reading for any business or community leader looking for transformative solutions and a sustainable future.