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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With so many demands on their time, CEOs often struggle to take pause and give unfettered thought to the long-term plan. In a recent Alliance meeting, the gathered CEOs were inspired by the approach of Alliance member Sid Nandi, Founder & CEO of TeqTron. This case study focuses on his successful steps to set aside time, think about goals, plan for the long-term, and keep on track for success, all while maintaining transparency and accountability to his greatest assets – his employees.
In this feature story, Alliance members Kirsten Bay of Cyber adAPT, Rachel Haurwitz of Caribou Biosciences, Nadim Maluf of Qnovo, Sameer Padhye of FixStream Networks, Chris Rivielle of Plant Construction and Timothy Robertson of Vium, talk about the expectations and challenges that came with sitting in the top chair.
Marco Marini and Bart Schaefer, both executives in the email marketing industry, were fellow Alliance group members for years, and built a solid rapport of delivering straightforward feedback and comparing notes on their industry. But, when Bart decided it might be time to sell his company, Marco had much more to offer him than his opinion.
A maturing industry requires its leaders to act differently. As industry players grow larger to manage compliance burdens and to gain access to capital, leadership styles that worked in the past can become dysfunctional. For midsized mortgage businesses to continue growing, they will need to upgrade their leadership teams through coaching, mentoring, and recruitment. Learn how Alliance member, Craig Sardella of Comstock Mortgage grew its volume to $750 million during a downturn in the industry, even while competition continued to be a drag on growth and profitability.
As a CEO, restrain yourself from tinkering with your core strategy. Instead, funnel those great ideas through a process that helps vet the ideas without distracting your team from executing the current strategy. Once your winning ideas are confirmed and proven, then adjust the business plan to incorporate them. Read how Rodan + Fields grew 10-fold by avoiding top-level tinkering.
Knowing about the seven growth killers certainly is a good start to defending against them. When each rears its ugly head, you can spot it sooner and whack it into submission. But playing whack-a-mole every day is both exhausting and unrewarding. And while you’re whacking, you’re not growing. Midsized company leaders should look at their company’s needs for leadership infrastructure holistically to try to picture what the company will need in one or two years. Then tackle the work in phases.
Growing through acquisition is an enticing prospect for many mid-market companies, but many deals fail to reach their potential. In this article, several Alliance members and alumni illustrate how to "prepare the soil" for M&A success by building the proper bandwidth to handle due diligence and integration.
Nearly every successful middle-market company eventually faces a swarm of competition. When their core business contracts, single-product companies can find themselves fighting for their lives. But the companies which plan highly-related diversifications before such downturns grow in good times and bad.
Companies that make a big shift in strategy need to start early, long before a crisis envelopes them. That will increase the odds that they plan carefully. Success on short-term execution is no guarantee of longer-term stability and growth.
Before you lay down a significant bet, spend time and effort on assessing market predictability, execution competency and your team’s forecasting acumen. Then make the decision about your spending velocity and the level of risk that is prudent.
How important is it for mid-market companies to have employees who consistently strive to perform at high levels? Should mid-market CEOs worry when some employees are unenthused with their work? The answer is an emphatic yes - if strong company growth is crucial. Find out the causes of a disengaged workforce and the keys behind creating a high-performance culture that can make a real difference for the mid-market firm.
Andy Ball of Webcor Builders had a gut feeling technology held great promise for his industry, so he invested millions toward developing software that would reduce building costs and speed up construction. Today, Webcor has a second core competency that has fueled enormous growth and provided the company with a unique competitive edge.
David Gensler of global architecture and design firm Gensler shares his strategy on building thriving, high-performance offices in developing countries. Though the firm's initial foray -- into China -- proved difficult, it sparked unique ideas that have benefitted future efforts.
While some companies operate with a simple ownership structure, others operate with multiple overlapping constituencies. Jim Harrison, CEO of MLSListings, demonstrates how listening, building relationships and the ability to connect interests are key to creating positive outcomes for everyone.
Summary: Finding a way to reach people at the top levels of a government bureaucracy requires time and planning, and is one of the most important roles for a CEO. Eric McAfee, CEO of AE Biofuels, had been waiting for more than a year for his business to get funding from a grant program until he launched a three-step campaign that eventually pushed bureaucracy into action.
We CEOs tend to look at our suppliers on one hand and our customers on the other. What if there were no suppliers or customers yet...if the supply chain hasn't been formed? Read how one Alliance member is building a new supply chain by cross-linking three existing supply chains!
CEOs are facing the growing presence of government involvement in their day-to-day business lives, particularly the financial industry and real estate business. Read what certain CEOs have to say about how they are dealing with the positives and negatives of government programs.
One way to innovate is to observe practices in other industries and adopt those that will be powerful and new to your industry. This article discusses two examples of this, and how you can innovate in this fashion.