Strategic Alliance Concept

Alliance Principles

  • Trust
  • Common Objectives
  • Mutual Need
  • Growing & Stretching Together
  • Long-Term Commitment
  • Continuous scanning for new opportunities
  • Win/Win/Win (1+1=3)

-- Jordan D. Lewis, Ph.D.

Jordan Lewis
The parable of the orange
Author and consultant Jordan Lewis tells a simple story to illustrate the power and potential of strategic alliances. Imagine two pairs of individuals, each with an orange, and both pairs anxious to make the most of it.

The first pair quickly strikes a 50-50 compromise and cuts the orange in half, each partner free to enjoy his half as he sees fit. While they are congratulating themselves on their reasonable approach, they see that the other pair, in talking things over, has discovered that one partner wants to make orange juice, while the other would rather have the rind for marmalade. So they use the whole orange for orange juice, and the whole orange for marmalade.

Put simply, a strategic alliance is a relationship between firms to create more value than they can on their own. A chance encounter with Jordan Lewis in 1992 eventually led to a transformation in the way TRA GSC does business. Inspired by Dr. Lewis’s insight that trust and cooperation should be the cornerstones of business strategy, we formed The Risk Authority Stanford, Global Service Center entirely from strategic alliances as we advanced from being simply a workers' compensation company to becoming a diversified corporation that provides South Carolina's healthcare industry a variety of services in risk management.

"TRA GSC shows the Sum is Greater Than its Parts" (SC Chamber of Commerce Member Spotlight article, June 2007)

Jordan D. Lewis, Ph.D. has written three books on strategic alliances. Dr. Lewis is an authority on alliances, partnering, and coalitions. He has taught at well-known business schools, is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum, is involved in an array of business ventures, and serves on the boards of major charities. Dr. Lewis has keynoted events for leading firms worldwide, and has consulted with TRA GSC and conducted educational programs on alliances for TRA GSC and its allies since 1994.

  • Partnerships for Profit : Structuring and Managing Strategic Alliances
    It “clearly was designed to be, if not a textbook, a blueprint for executives who might be thinking of establishing an alliance with another company”
    -- Chicago Tribune
    In Partnerships for Profit, Jordan D. Lewis provided the first full-scale analysis of the global phenomenon of strategic alliances. Drawing on the experiences of IBM, Ford, Dow Chemical, Intel, Sony, Apple Computer, and many other companies, Lewis brilliantly describes in detail how managers at these pioneering firms structure and manage various kinds of alliances. Through actual examples, he shows for the first time how alliance partners build trust, develop mutual understandings, and make joint decisions, and at the same time protect core interests and critical technology. The employment of strategic alliances, Lewis concludes, requires nothing short of a revolution in the conduct of business. Unlike arm’s length relations, in which initial commitments govern, alliances involve shared risks and ongoing mutual adjustments.
  • The Connected Corporation : How Leading Companies Win Through Customer-Supplier Alliances
    It “meticulously dissects customer-supplier alliances to reveal what makes the best ones tick”
    -- The Wall Street Journal
    Drawing on his hands-on experience and worldwide research in best-practice firms, Jordan Lewis divulges the specifics of how customer-supplier alliances enable companies to dramatically lower costs, raise quality, and boost value for customers without added expense.
  • Trusted Partners: How Companies Build Mutual Trust and Win Together
    “After helping corporations worldwide implement such alliances for more than three decades, (Lewis) explicitly shows in Trusted Partners how leading companies go about it.”
    -- Howard Rothman, Booklist
    Without trust, alliances fail. A comprehensive and multifaceted analysis of trust, Trusted Partners shows how to develop, manage, measure, improve, or repair this important dimension of every business relationship. “Trust must be constructed, one step at a time,” Lewis maintains. He breaks significant new ground by describing each of these steps -- including how to assemble the elusive interpersonal, leadership, political, organizational, structural, and governance components of trust.