Alliance Perspectives

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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Bob Klotz

Get In Their Faces!
October 10, 2007

Summary: Face-to-face prospecting creates strong and profitable business relationships. Without cold-calling skills, a CEO forms strong client bonds by using persistence, discipline and focus. The advantages of this technique are examined and explained.

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Case categories include: Sales   

Elaine Tajima

Don’t Let Success Destroy your Culture
October 06, 2007

This firm's success brought in so much business that it wasn't as much fun as it used to, and that endangered the quality of the work being performed. The CEO identified a customer in particular that was causing most of the problems and resigned the account, allowing her culture of fun and originality to survive.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   

Ceil McCloy

Board Benefits
August 21, 2007

An entrepreneurial couple brought in outside board members to help bring in key accounts and to aid in their decision making. They diluted ownership's vote to 50%, but the payoffs far outweigh the lack of freedom. Important pros and cons are discussed, as well as some guidelines for adding outside board members.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   

Bob Brown

Selling through Education
June 23, 2007

If your prospects don't understand your value proposition, educate them. The company developed conferences to reinforce its solutions and position itself as a knowledge leader, which leads to higher sales. Learn the keys to creating a great educational setting.

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Case categories include: Marketing   Operations   Sales   

Cal Lai

The Overly Optimistic Entrepreneur
May 23, 2007

Optimism is a natural part of entrepreneurship, but it can go too far. A bad string of luck nearly sinks the CEO's dreams before persistence starts to pay off.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   

Uwe Druckenmueller

Shifting Gears from Startup to Scaled Enterprise
April 12, 2007

Every successful startup goes from an entrepreneurial stage to a professional enterprise. Learn how the entrepreneur also successfully made the crossing point without hitting the wall.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations   

Dave Kearney

Closing the Feedback Loop
February 10, 2007

Customer feedback is an important part of every successful company. After scaling up his business, a CEO struggles with his company's feedback system before closing the loop and improving response rates. Effective processes for handling feedback are examined.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Sales   

Rand Morimoto

A Door to High Caliber People
January 30, 2007

Getting involved in non-profits opens doors and is good for business. Multiple benefits are reached when the CEO joins the board of a local charity. The right ways to go about getting involved in charity work are examined.

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Case categories include: Ethics   Leadership   

Recruiting through Mutual Respect
January 21, 2007

Sometimes the best teammates are the ones that worked before. A CEO digs through past connections to forge a "dream team" of talent. The challenges and benefits are examined.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   

Brent Meyers

Synchronizing Brand Image with Deliverables
December 21, 2006

Successful companies do not survive on brand alone. A CEO comes into a struggling company and rebuilds its brand by rebuilding the value proposition, and then delivers. The importance of building and maintaining brand is examined.

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Case categories include: Marketing   Strategy & Planning   

Tom Oliver

Brainstorm vs. Budget
December 12, 2006

A feature-rich product is designed, but after months of development work, it is discovered that it cannot be built. Key features are dropped so that it can finally go into production.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Strategy & Planning   

Brent Dusing

Identifying New Business Ideas Take Discipline
December 10, 2006

Great business ideas don't happen by accident. The CEO and his business partner spent months brainstorming, creating, and dismissing many ideas before connecting with one. The process of generating great ideas is explained.

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Case categories include: Strategy & Planning   

Ryan McGredy

From Service to Process to Product
October 21, 2006

Sometimes we sell more than a product or service. By learning his clients' businesses and modifying his own company's offerings, the CEO creates more value for everybody.

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Case categories include: Marketing   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Ron Johnson

Learning from Pure Innovation
October 06, 2006

Innovation leads to powerful results. A CEO fosters a rich culture of innovation by getting the most out of his top team.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   

Jeffrey Morrison

Vision Vector
August 06, 2006

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.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   

Robert Sher

Generalities about China
July 16, 2006

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.

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Case categories include: International Business   

Tom Friel

It is Never Forever
July 06, 2006

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.

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Case categories include: Exiting   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Rick Gaan

Managing Young Employees Yields Insights for All
June 21, 2006

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.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   

Alan Huttman

Re-Framing Price Increases Leads to Stepped-Up Profits
June 12, 2006

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.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Sales   

Bud Michael

The Courage to Fire
June 10, 2006

An incoming CEO fires the most senior technical expert because he won't embrace the new values that must take hold for the firm to survive. The bold move works without significant damage.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations