To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Business alliances at Eli Lilly: a successful innovation strategy

Gary Stach (Heads the Eli Lilly and Company, Office of Alliance Management, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 September 2006



Eli Lilly's director of alliance management tells how the company has learned to make a success of its partnership strategy.


The author describes best practices and key principles.


The Lilly process has proven successful – of the last six products the firm has launched, four are promoted with a partner.

Practical implications

Lilly has developed a “three‐dimensional fit” analysis that helps the firm identify elements of strategic fit, cultural fit and operational fit between Lilly and a partner company.


Lilly describes how the elements of their alliance program increase the likelihood of success for individual partnerships and how a continuous learning process contributes to the success of future alliances.



Stach, G. (2006), "Business alliances at Eli Lilly: a successful innovation strategy", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 28-33.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited