Alliance Cases

The implicit understanding among Alliance members is that, in exchange for their willingness to share their own experience and knowledge, they gain access to the extraordinary collective wisdom of the Alliance community of CEOs. Our members do amazing things and we've been collecting some of their "lessons learned" in Case Studies that preserve and highlight the wealth of knowledge in our membership. We also interview our members from time to time on matters of interest, and you'll find their thoughts here as well.

To see only cases for a certain category, choose one from the following list:

How COVID-19 Is Affecting San Francisco Bay Area Companies - Week 2
March 30, 2020

The second week of a flash survey completed by members of the Alliance of Chief Executives taken on March 26, 2020, just 9 days after the local shelter-in-place order was issued, showed negatively impacted companies grew from 75% to 79%, while those who were extremely negatively affected grew from 24% to 30%. Bay Area CEOs grew more pessimistic in their projections of how long before we return to “somewhat normal.” In Week #2, the projected “new normal” is now early September vs. mid-August in Week #1.

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Case categories include: Health   Leadership   Trends   

How COVID-19 Is Affecting San Francisco Bay Area Companies - Week 1
March 20, 2020

In a flash survey completed by members of the Alliance of Chief Executives taken on March 19, 2020, just a few days after the USA’s first shelter-in-place order, 75% of the CEOs report negative impacts, while 9% are being positively impacted. Collectively, these Bay Area leaders believe it will be 4.9 months before we return to “normalcy.” The survey was completed by CEOs in the six Bay Area counties who were issued the shelter-in-place order on March 17. The State of California just expanded this order statewide on March 20, and more than likely, other states will follow. CEOs in other regions can look to this data to help make their own plans.

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Case categories include: Health   Leadership   Trends   

Leadership in a Digital Age
February 03, 2020

As Alliance members John Aisien of Blue Cedar, Linda Hand of Prealize Health, John Kelly of Zenreach, Johnny Loiacono of Movius, Alon Matas of BetterHelp.com, Rick O’Connor of Invicta Medical and Said Ouissal of ZEDEDA can attest, accelerated change has profoundly impacted the challenges they face–including how they manage, who they hire and how they communicate. It also forces business leaders to confront an almost impossible question: How does one lead when everything seems subject to change in today’s digital age?

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Case categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Are You Playing with an Infinite Mindset?
February 03, 2020

The world is changing at exponential rates and, as a result, the competition for talent, customers and investors is more intense than ever. Competitors are now global, and new entrants can appear at any time and from any place. So that others may feel they can make a meaningful difference in this dynamic new world, leaders must be able to communicate the opportunity of joining them in their cause. In this article, Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay, discusses some of the ideas behind Simon Sinek’s latest book, The Infinite Game, and the critical need to cultivate an infinite mindset.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

The Power of Collaboration
December 02, 2019

The Alliance creates private, safe environments where leaders have confidential conversations, exchange strategic insights, and challenge conventional thinking. Something magical often happens when talented leaders with diverse backgrounds and experiences come together. They find ways to collaborate on new strategies, extraordinary ideas and opportunities, and sometimes create entirely new companies. Here, we share a few of the many impactful connections made by our amazing community, with a spotlight on Alliance members Alex Ashton of Image Design Works, Nate Harding of FoxEye Robotics, Joe Heanue of Triple Ring Technologies, Lynn Heublein of SkinSpirit, Cal Lai of Ask.Vet, Phil Murphy of GNU Group, Dave Summa of Business Model Innovations and Dean Zikria of AsthmaTek.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Addressing Complexity Requires Fresh Approaches
October 04, 2019

Disruptive innovations are being announced almost every day. New technologies are enabling scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to create a constant stream of innovations designed to make our lives better. Inspired by his recent travels exploring the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, witnessing the amazing examples of how different species adapted to dramatic changes in their environments, Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay discusses the need to take advantage of all of our collective wisdom to identify fresh approaches to today’s increasingly complex challenges.

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Case categories include: Leadership   

CEOs Who Give Back
June 06, 2019

When it comes to finding ways to give back to our communities and the world at large, Alliance members contribute an enormous amount of their time, energy and passions to a wide range of worthy initiatives inside and out of their professional roles. Here, we highlight the impactful work of just a few of our Alliance members: Stéphane Bette of SpineGuard, Peter Cooperstein of Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, Ross Fernandes of Q Analysts, Marc Guillet of Agile Physical Therapy, Mark Johnsen of Wealth Architects, Rod Kalune of RK Logistics Group, Michel Lopez of e2f and Sandy Walker of the YMCA of Silicon Valley. We invite all Alliance members to share with us their stories of giving back so we may continue to engage, support, educate and inspire one another.

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Case categories include: Leadership   

Diversity Matters
June 05, 2019

It’s more comfortable to surround ourselves with people who share similar views and values. But we must learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. The world is changing more rapidly than ever and our ability to change typically happens when we think differently than we did before. Therefore, it’s imperative that we seek out as many intelligent people as we can with experience, knowledge and ideas different from our own. In this article, Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay, describes the need for CEOs to surround themselves with intelligent diversity so they will be better equipped to think creatively, and to make big, strategic decisions that move their organizations forward.

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Case categories include: Executive Development   Leadership   

Are Virtual Workforces Worth the Effort?
January 25, 2019

As Alliance members Evan Bailyn of First Page Sage, Ann Barnes of Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), Ross Fernandes of Q Analysts, Everett Harper of Truss, Paul Lipman of BullGuard and Bernie Tobin of Crescendo Bioscience will argue, leveraging a virtual workforce is definitely worth the effort. While the benefits can be significant, there are no guarantees of success. Only by planning properly, finding employees with the right mindset, focusing on culture and investing wisely in technology, can leaders ensure their teams are all on the same page, even when they aren’t in the same place.

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Case categories include: Culture   Operations   Organizational Design   Trends   

Strategic Intent in the 21st Century
January 22, 2019

We are now living in an age in which technology cycles outpace planning cycles. Undergoing an exponential pace of change, we can no longer depend upon creating a plan to be executed. Agility and speed will typically trump a larger competitor’s size or ability to scale. In this article, Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay, reflects on our current pace of change and the need for leaders to broaden and deepen their access to ideas, information and other leaders.

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Case categories include: Strategy & Planning   

Going ‘Live’ - Running a Business in Real-Time
October 03, 2018

With the increasing speed at which technology is fueling change, running a real-time business can be a huge difference maker. But as Alliance members Chris Beall of ConnectAndSell, Victor Chapela of Suggestic, Yvonne Linney of Transcriptic, Dennis O’Malley of Caliva, Rodney Pearlman of the Bluefield Project and Jack Peurach of Ekso Bionics can attest, theory and practice are two different things. One thing is certain, running a business in real-time can lead to incredible breakthroughs and achievements, but it also comes with a heavy set of challenges.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   Trends   

What is Good Strategy?
June 05, 2018

The key to creating good strategy is understanding that the world is constantly changing and that markets evolve in both predictable and unpredictable ways. To succeed, leaders must continuously review their current situations, challenge their assumptions and, when appropriate, be willing to change their strategic direction. In this article, Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay, reflects on his own indoctrination into corporate strategy in the late 1980s while working for Air Liquide America, and notes similarities mentioned by Richard Rumelt in his book, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy.

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Case categories include: Strategy & Planning   

Preparing for the Next Wave in Data Privacy
June 01, 2018

Alliance members Ian Cohen of Experian Consumer Services, Himanshu Dwivedi of Data Theorem, Ted Elliott of Jobscience, Ju-kay Kwek of Switchboard Software, Ersin Uzun of Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and Christy Wyatt of Dtex Systems, discuss the sweeping new Data Privacy and GDPR rules taking effect, and how organizations should reconsider the ‘what, where and why’ behind their data practices.

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Case categories include: Finance   Human Resources   International Business   Marketing   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   Trends   

Building Community in the Age of Exponential Change
March 23, 2018

Healthy communities of the future will need to not only foster trust but also life-long learning, as well as be socially and economically inclusive. Here, Alliance Founder & CEO Paul Witkay, shares his learnings from Thomas Friedman’s latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, and the value of local communities providing a solid foundation to help people adapt to inevitable progress.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Trends   

Tom Siebel, Chairman & CEO, C3 IoT

Tom Siebel: CEOs Must Take the Tech Reins
February 09, 2018

In an exclusive interview with the Alliance of Chief Executives, Tom Siebel, Chairman & CEO, C3 IoT, says a major “extinction event” is under way in the form of a multi-layered digital transformation that will crush organizations that aren’t prepared to survive. The technologies driving this transformation include cloud computing, big data, social media, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). And every CEO should understand them all.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Technology   Trends   

How Anyone Can Achieve Breakthrough Thinking
October 20, 2017

While the world is changing at an exponential rate of speed as industry after industry is being transformed, most CEOs are either seeking breakthrough ideas that will disrupt back, or are in fear of falling behind – or both. Here, Alliance Founder & CEO Paul Witkay shares four types of breakthroughs as learned from Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack’s latest book, The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking. The authors describe not only their findings based on neuroscience, but also provide practical tools one can use to increase the probability for creating breakthrough ideas.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Executive Development   Leadership   

The CEO Answers to Everyone, but How?
October 13, 2017

Accountability for CEOs can range widely depending on the structure, size, ownership and stage of the business. But the bottom line is that CEOs are accountable for delivering on their promises to all stakeholders and doing what is best for the organization. Learn how Alliance members Sunil Bhatia of Infogain, Christopher Burnley of Corefact, Jonathan Corr of Ellie Mae, Craig Goehring of Brown and Caldwell, JR Matthews of Tregaron Capital, Sean McCarthy of CytomX Therapeutics, and Doug Murray of Big Switch Networks, meet the complexities of accountability head on.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Executive Development   Leadership   

Peter Koshland

How To Avoid Throttling Your Startup’s Growth And The Burnout That Comes Next
July 24, 2017

New businesses that tap into large and severely under-met needs are destined to grow rapidly. But if the founders starve the company of capital, their conservativism eventually will kill growth. Even more important, it will burn out the founders. It is also avoidable. The story of Koshland Pharm and its Founder, Alliance member Peter Koshland, illustrates this well. In this Forbes article from Alliance Director and Founding Principal of CEO to CEO, Robert Sher, learn how the key to stability and long-term sustainability for growing, profitable businesses is increasing throughput.

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Case categories include: Executive Development   Leadership   Operations   Strategy & Planning   

Who Will Lead the Robot Revolution?
June 01, 2017

Automation will soon reshape the way we work in very profound ways, and present enormous economic and societal benefits. According to Alliance members Steve Cousins of Savioke, Irit Eizips of CSM Practice, Lisa Im of Performant Financial, Mike Jellen of Velodyne LiDAR, Jane Macfarlane of the Sustainable Transportation Initiative at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, John Pavlidis of Vytronus, Lizz Vilardo of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Christy Wyatt of Dtex Systems, embracing innovative technology may be the best way to not only survive tomorrow’s robot revolution, but actually lead it.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   Technology   

In Pursuit of Smarter, Better Leadership
May 30, 2017

Every successful CEO strives to be more effective, make better decisions and become more productive, which are key reasons why we bring leaders together at the Alliance of CEOs. Learned through Charles Duhigg’s new book, Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity, Alliance Founder & CEO Paul Witkay shares three valuable concepts for improving individual productivity.

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Case categories include: Executive Development   Leadership