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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Lori Bonn

From Brand to Icon
June 21, 2005

Most decisions in our world stem from emotion. Jewelry firm Lori Bonn Design turned its founder into a public personality - an icon, as part of its branding strategy and as a result, hit it big on TV. Take branding to the next level.

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Case categories include: Marketing   Sales   

Rick Sutherland

Compensation Systems: Giving and Getting
June 15, 2005

Read about an executive compensation system that really worked. By generously sharing the bottom line, the owner quadrupled his take home. The concept is laid out, and critical elements to successful implementation are detailed.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   

Not all Clients are for You
June 09, 2005

Summary: A new architectural firm discovers that some clients just aren't for them, and don't contribute to profits. Based on their strategic objectives, they develop of prospect profiling system to avoid likely problem clients and focus on business that is most useful for growing the firm.

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Case categories include: Marketing   Operations   Sales   

Partha Sarathy

Planning for Passion
June 08, 2005

As part of a going public strategy, the founder brings in a new CEO, but it doesn't work well. After two years, the founder steps back in, but the passion is gone. A new replacement is successful. Explore issues surrounding maintaining a founder's passion over time.

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Case categories include: Exiting   Leadership   

Cut Customer Costs Instead of Prices
June 06, 2005

Low-tech concrete meets high-tech logistics when RMC Pacific Materials acts to save their customers money through integration and technology, rather than price cutting. The result: industry leadership and a choice contract: The new Oakland -San Francisco Bay Bridge.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   

Gene Miller

Face to Face with Your Important Clients & Customers
June 06, 2005

It's easy for to get wrapped up in all sorts of organizational issues and drift apart from our clients and customers. This story highlights how Gene Miller, Chairman and CEO of a major law firm, invests time with his key clients, and the benefits to all CEOs if they do likewise.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Sales   

Rob Wrubel

Purist to Populist
May 06, 2005

Great business ideas are often borne by finding the mainstream's interest in little-known products and services and making them more popular. Serial entrepreneur Rob Wrubel has a track record of doing just that, although it didn't happen overnight.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Marketing   Strategy & Planning   

Rich Jepsen

Sailing Beyond the Small Business Mindset
May 06, 2005

A small business struggles along staying small for many years. Its owners grow tired of the struggle and recommit to building a bigger and healthier business. Key signs of being stuck in the small business mindset are identified, and steps that can be taken to get your business to the next level.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Strategy & Planning   

Tom Engdahl

The Pain Doctor
February 24, 2005

Tom Engdahl is the pain doctor of business. He looks for pain in an industry then develops the cure. He's done it over and over again, each time with a business success and a liquidation event.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Strategy & Planning   

Showcasing Your People
February 06, 2005

Your customers want to know that your firm can satisfy their needs. At K/P Corp, it's the people on staff that deliver, with the help of equipment. When Rich Barbee was appointed CEO he found that the equipment was being marketed, not the people. That was fixed, with excellent results.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Marketing   

Tom Oliver

In Charge but Not In Control
January 12, 2005

New CEO steps in ready to ramp up, but discovers serious product problems and has to re-engineer and refinance to save the firm. Read how to avoid these kinds of surprises.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations   

It’s No Longer Product vs. Service
December 24, 2004

A software developer is confident that he understands making products and selling them over and over again. But when customers ask him to start a new business -- providing a service of paperwork processing for clients, he hesitates because it's a service. Can this product-driven firm succeed in low-tech services?

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Case categories include: Strategy & Planning