1. Pick a compatible partner; take the time to build strong bridges of communication and trust and don't expect immediate payoffs.
2. Choose an ally whose products and market strongholds complement rather than compete directly with the company's own product and company base.
3. Learn thoroughly and rapidly about a partner's technology and management; transfer valuable ideas and practices into one's own operation promptly.
4. Be careful not to divulge competitively sensitive information to a partner.
5. View the alliance as temporary (5 to 10 years); continue longer if it's beneficial but don't hesitate to terminate the alliance and go it alone when the payoffs run out.