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 here we've collected some of their lessons learned to preserve and highlight the wealth of knowledge in our membership. Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay, also shares his perspectives on topics such as leadership, strategy and innovation.
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CEOs of startups must work very differently than CEOs of firms that have made their place in the market. They must be hands-on with prospective customers and with all the key decisions, from sales to marketing to engineering/product development, in order to keep the business on a straight vector towards its vision.
Summary: CEO travels to China for the first time and sees the richness and complexity in the business environment there. With an excellent guide and clear objectives, he came back with four key lessons.
Planning for succession is a difficult topic, but an essential one. Clarifying the line between dependency and leadership is critical, and much of the work of succession is reducing dependency on the CEO.
Showing genuine concern for your employees is good for business. The founders buy a troubled business with young, troubled employees, and turn it around by deeply engaging and tapping the potential in each employee.
A CEO in an old-line, low-margin business finds a way to re-frame his pricing model to get his team and his customers to accept it. He modified his sales incentive package to better target the results he was looking for.
Summary: Keeping its area of core competency strong is just what Sensory Inc. did, and sales have more than tripled as a result. Every company must pay rapt attention to how and when it invests in its core competency.
Quick decisive action enables the firm to grab a nice piece of business before anybody else has the chance to compete. The speed at which your business and your team move is a critical element of competition, today more than ever. What does it take to make speed a competitive edge?
The process of making good decisions is critical. Some firms/teams are bad at decision making, and the results can be ugly. Four decision making illnesses are discussed along with some suggestions about improvement.
Referrals are the least expensive way to bring in new business. An employee benefits company amazes their clients with incredible service, and for the past 18 years grows only through referrals, diverting all its marketing spending into operations.
A company finds an excellent way of managing off-shoring, taking advantage of the positives while avoiding the pitfalls. Blending the efforts of on-shoring with off-shoring and a commitment to close management are key.
Keeping your lender updated about your business is critical, especially when your financial performance is less than stellar. Understand how banks view loans, some signs that a bank is worried about you, and when to take action.
A software firm was hurting its sales by telling every prospect about all the features of its powerful software. Instead, they now ask questions first to understand their prospect, then present only the aspects of the software that solve the client's problem.
CEOs often don't do enough research on private equity investors offering money. The result is that they bring into the ownership group powerful people with different agendas and styles, and thus, lots of conflict. A number of key checkpoints are delineated.
A semiconductor equipment manufacturer was in deep trouble, and replaced its founder with a new CEO, Dave Dutton. He created a new leadership culture amidst the transition chaos. The new top team prospered as did the company.
A seasoned global executive intentionally cultivates the friendship of a company president in Asia and pulls down the big order. When problems crop up, the President relies on the friendship to save his job and his lifestyle. The Asian custom of entering friendships for profit is explained.