The book is designed as a step-by-step guide, which the participants can use to build network advantage for their companies.
To start the discussion about alliances and partnerships, the instructor can assign one of the two cases:
These cases can be used as a basis for discussing material in Chapters 1 and 3.
Most of the chapters have tools that help participants think through the rationale for forming individual relationships (Chapter 3), how to build an effective alliance portfolio (Chapter 4), how to manage organizational status (Chapter 7), whether a firm should build its own alliance portfolio or join the portfolio of another firm (Chapter 8) and which internal practices can help their company sustain network advantage (Chapter 10).
The instructor can present material from each chapter to the participants, and then ask them to fill out the corresponding tools to develop collaboration strategy for the firm of their choice. Executive education program participants or EMBAs often use these tools to develop collaboration strategy for the companies in which they currently work. MBAs can fill out the tools from the standpoint of a company they would like to work for (or any company assigned by the instructor).
The instructor can encourage the participants to fill out the tools individually, then to share the insights in small groups. Each group can pick the most interesting case to present to the rest of the class.