- IMD Business School
Alumni Stories · Strategy

Insights into developing and nurturing Strategic Partnerships

A participant in the Strategic Partnerships program says it quickly led to him successfully applying his new knowledge with a key strategic partner. He believes the TransformTECH program he also attended is a good complement to Strategic Partnerships and has helped him with his career aspirations.
March 2019

Georgios Sioutis was preparing for a new career challenge and was therefore looking for a focused program in Strategic Partnerships. “The IMD program clearly stood out in terms of content, structure and caliber of instructors/fellow participants,” he says. “Moreover, the online format suited me perfectly by providing flexibility with the prospect to apply the learnings next day at work.”

The Strategic Partnerships program explores the opportunities that can be found in creating an alliance to support your company’s strategy. The eight-week online course, comprising of four to six hours per week, looks at how best to set up these strategic partnerships and then how to nurture them to reap maximum rewards.

Georgios has been working at a leading pharmaceutical company for over six years, most recently as Supplier Manager, IT Operations and Technology Architecture & Digital. When asked to name his biggest professional challenge so far, he says that in terms of Strategic Partnerships, there are three.

The first challenge has been to scale business adoption of strategic suppliers – that are core to the digital transformation strategy – in a more efficient way.

He says it has also been challenging to apply a common method for structuring and launching partnerships across different organizational domains.

Finally extracting added-value from non-equity partnerships that are primarily focused on productivity savings has also been a big challenge.

Georgios explains that these have affected his workload, due to him having to spend time on activities that were not necessarily adding value to the business.

Attending the IMD program, says Georgios, helped him “to find new perspectives and approaches, complemented with sound advice from my program coach on a weekly basis for the duration of the program.”

He adds: “My investment with IMD has already shown benefits. From a personal perspective, I have gained confidence and a sense of community with like-minded professionals in a variety of industries and domains.

“From a professional perspective, it has also helped my thought leadership in this area and put me in a position to apply a best practice end-to-end method for Strategic Partnerships in any organization.”

Furthermore, Georgios was quickly able to apply what he had learned during the program in his work. “I managed to apply program learnings with a key digital transformation strategic partner, which was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as the most innovative company and received excellent feedback within my organization and from the strategic partner representatives.”

Georgios has also attended IMD’s TransformTECH, a program delivered in partnership with EPFL. It takes a detailed look at upcoming technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) or Blockchain, exploring how they are likely to affect the business landscape and how business leaders can best face the challenges that these technologies will inevitably bring.

Georgios says that both the Strategic Partnerships and TransformTECH programs complement each other and provided the best combination for his career aspirations.

“The impact to business models that technologies ­– such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Blockchain, Robotics and IoT – will have in the foreseeable future can best be tackled with the right strategic partners and professionals that can help organizations to transform, innovate and collaborate within and outside the business.

He adds: “In a competitive and demanding job market I found in IMD a ‘strategic partner’ that will help me in my career and professional development as an alum for years to come.

Finally, says Georgios: “I am very grateful for the excellent support I received from my program coach, the valuable learning experience and the ability to expand my network.


Find out more about Strategic Partnerships

Find out more about TransformTECH

Georgios Sioutis, Supplier Manager, IT Operations and Technology Architecture & Digital