Celebrating 25 Years of Bringing Leaders Together


Founder’s Message

As we celebrate our 25th year as a thriving leadership community, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the contributions of our Alliance members who have shaped our community and strengthened our journey. I am very grateful for the opportunity to get to know and work with thousands of inspiring leaders who strive to create organizations that make a difference. Together, we have generated fresh approaches to address our most difficult challenges and transformed how we live and work. We have so much to learn from each other across a wide, global network of leaders.

I would like to thank our Alliance team of Directors and headquarters staff who bring so much creativity and passion to our community. I especially want to thank our amazing Alliance members. You enable me to learn every day and tap into your optimism so that we can create a better world. Our awesome members make the Alliance what it is today, and I am so excited to see what the next 25 years will bring!


Paul Witkay, Founder & CEO

Shared Experiences


The Alliance is truly grateful for all our members who have been willing to share their experiences, challenges, and insights with each other for the past quarter century. We spoke to our members to discover the many ways the Alliance has shaped their leadership journeys. Here we share some of their experiences from throughout the years.

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1996

The Alliance was founded during an inflection point when even the most experienced leaders needed to come together to learn how to overcome their challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. Netscape had recently gone public, and it was clear that the Internet was going to create massive change. And, globalization was restructuring supply chains and forcing us to compete on a global basis for customers and talent.

We’ve often viewed the world as a trillion-piece jigsaw puzzle and, although everything is connected, no single person has all the answers. Leaders have tough and lonely jobs, and leadership is critical if we are to address our most urgent and difficult problems and build sustainable organizations. Best-selling author Adam Grant commented:

"When you only listen to the smartest person in the room, you miss out on discovering what the rest of the room is smart about. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t – and has wisdom from experiences you haven’t lived. Every conversation is a chance to learn something new."

Adam Grant

Our first Alliance members were responsible for creating the unique culture of the Alliance, which was launched in the San Francisco Bay Area, arguably the most innovative and diverse community in the world. These leaders came together in safe, confidential environments where they could talk openly, candidly and directly about their biggest challenges and share their visions for the future. They valued input from leaders with different experiences and ideas. They challenged assumptions and supported their fellow CEOs. They were curious life-long learners who looked for ways to help other leaders.

In 1996, our members created the foundation of the Alliance – its culture, philosophy, methodology, which continues to drive our impact today.

2021

During the past 25 years, we have had the privilege to work with innovative leaders who built products and services that are enabling the transformation of every aspect of our lives in ways never imagined.

  • Moore’s Law resulted in semiconductors, IoT sensors, high-speed communications and cloud-based networks that are orders of magnitude faster, cheaper and more reliable.
  • Nanotechnology, 3D printing, robotics and advanced materials are changing how and where products can be manufactured, and these products can often be delivered within hours of being ordered.
  • Advanced software platforms employing AI/ML, big data analytics and blockchain technologies help us automate, customize, personalize, and optimize in real-time.
  • Scientists are cracking the DNA genetic code and creating new imaging technologies that have the potential to cure cancer, prevent disease and repair or replace most parts of our bodies.
  • We’re now venturing into space and exploring earth’s oceans, jungles and geology like never before.

The Next 25 Years

We believe the Alliance community is uniquely positioned to make a much larger difference in the next 25 years. Although we've built incredible technological tools during the past 25 years, we must address major global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, geopolitical risks, cybersecurity, talent wars, social equity and unrest and aging populations if our next generations are to live healthier lives with sustainable environments and meaningful work.

When COVID struck in 2020, we were all forced to communicate virtually. It was quite shocking, yet incredibly impressive, to see how effectively leaders adapted. This unexpected event expanded the opportunities for the Alliance to connect leaders in virtually every industry, market sector and geographic region. We plan to take advantage of this new opportunity to enable Alliance members to engage with other leaders both in-person or virtually when they’re traveling, ill or remote.
 

  • Global Alliance Community
    Our new ability to engage virtually has enabled us to engage with CEOs anywhere in the world. During the past year, CEOs from Europe, Canada, Australia & New Zealand have joined our Alliance community, adding a wealth of new experiences, ideas and collective wisdom. We plan to continue creating new ways for Alliance members to connect with other leaders no matter where they are in the world.
  • Creating the Future Together
    In 1996, a few major competitors dominated the largest industries such as automobiles, banking, chemicals, semiconductors, software and steel. Today, we are living in a volatile, uncertain world and the pace of change is accelerating at exponential rates. Although the largest companies are still incredibly powerful, no company has a permanent advantage to control all aspects of the future of major "ecosystems" such as:
    • Health & Wellness
    • Transportation & Mobility
    • Food & Agriculture
    • Energy & Environment
    • Finance

In addition to executing on our current strategies to build profitable, sustainable, growing companies, leaders must think deeply about how industries are transforming in unprecedented ways and how we must adapt our strategies to succeed in the future. We plan to bring leaders from various "ecosystems" together to discuss our collective visions of the future, and enable interactive discussions about the challenges we face to achieve them.