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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.