Nuggets from Behind Closed Doors

Inside every private Alliance meeting, there are hundreds of years of experience. While keeping confidentiality of the member who provided the challenge to their group, we’ve captured (with permission) just some of the insightful comments from a handful of members. Read what these members had to say to get a glimpse of what it is like to be an Alliance member.

To see insights for a certain category, choose one from the following list:

Member Jim Flatt Speaks: Scaling? Dust Off That Organizational Chart

When companies undergo rapid growth, their leaders often struggle to implement organizational structure and personnel in such a dynamic environment. Alliance member Jim Flatt, Co-Founder, CEO and President of Brightseed, shares his insights into creating an effective scaling process.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Organizational Design   Strategy & Planning   

Member Virginia Irwin Klausmeier Speaks: ‘Gamify’ Fundraising to Heighten Success & Increase Stamina

Fundraising is always harder and more time-consuming than it looks. Alliance member Virginia Irwin Klausmeier, Founder & CEO of Sylvatex, Inc., recommends ‘gamifying’ the process by setting incremental, measurable goals, so there are successes along the way—and a better shot at getting what you really need.

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Insight categories include: Finance   Strategy & Planning   

Member Skip Hilton Speaks: Become a Better Listener

Business leaders often hear from their reports that they could be better listeners. Alliance member Skip Hilton of Jobvite suggests practicing active listening using elements of the Alliance methodology.

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Insight categories include: Executive Development   

Member Gabriel Fairman Speaks: Everyone Should Be Thinking Sales

It can be difficult to scale a company while having to depend on the limited resources of one sales team. Alliance member Gabriel Fairman, CEO of Bureau Works, suggests aligning the entire company with a sales mindset.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Sanjay Bonde Speaks: In Order to Scale, Delegate and Empower Key Players

Companies experiencing accelerated growth often face organizational bottlenecks created by founders who may not be eager to relinquish control of large accounts. Alliance member Sanjay Bonde, CEO of Wintec Industries, suggests delegating client accounts to a sales team led by a high-potential leader trusted by the company’s founders.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Sales   

Member Paul Sechrist Speaks: In Acquisition, Lead Actively and With the Customer in Mind

Acquiring a company presents unique challenges as the acquirer seeks to maximize cohesive branding and functional efficiency. Alliance member Paul Sechrist of Coherent suggests, while every integration of a company is unique, active leadership and the establishment of key driving principles help achieve successful integrations.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   M&A   Strategy & Planning   

Member Bill Newell Speaks: Establish a Core Technology, Not Just a Single Offering

Perhaps a company has developed a stellar product. Or maybe, luck has it that the company has more than one promising product. That’s good, but what really creates value in the long run? Bill Newell, CEO of Sutro Biopharma shares insight into establishing a core technology platform to build upon for long-term value creation.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Edmundo Costa Speaks: You Can “Win” While Holding Second Place in Your Market

Raising millions in a Series B funding round is an admirable accomplishment that any entrepreneur should be proud of — but what if your competitor raised four times more? Alliance member Edmundo Costa of Automation Anywhere shares some well-seasoned insight into making your dollars go further as a second place fundraiser in your market.

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Insight categories include: Finance   Leadership   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member David Earp Speaks: Convene the Board to Consolidate Strategy and Introduce New Members

Integrating a newly hired board member often comes with both changes and challenges. David Earp, President and CEO of Circle Pharma, shares some effective approaches for successfully bringing new board members up to speed.

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Insight categories include: Boards   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Erin Mendez Speaks: Involve (All) Your People in Strategic Decisions

Whenever major changes occur within a company, there is a risk that employees won’t jump on board with the new plan. Erin Mendez, President and CEO of Patelco Credit Union, shares her insights into the benefits of involving every level of the company when executing major strategic changes.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Peter Koshland Speaks: Share Fears, Empathize and Negotiate

Navigating a fifty-fifty percent ownership structure is difficult, and perhaps even impossible. Alliance member Peter Koshland, Founder of Koshland Pharm, describes the inherent difficulties in this arrangement and strategizes approaches to mitigate dysfunction.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Organizational Design   Strategy & Planning   

Member Mark Johnsen Speaks: Fulfillment Doesn’t Rest on the Bottom Line

If you weren’t paid for your work, would you still do it? Alliance member Mark Johnsen, Chief Wealth Architect & Executive Officer at Wealth Architects, explores the importance of finding meaning in our work beyond earning money.

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Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Ethics   

Member Paul White Speaks: Instead of Diving In, Consider Zooming Out

More often than not, CEOs are hyper focused on the here and now. Paul White, Founder and CEO of Muir Services, advises that while it is hard to step outside and look down upon a business holistically, doing so can reveal transformational opportunities.

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Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Sheeroy Desai Speaks: Don’t Forget The Troops. They Win The War.

CEOs spend a lot of time in the C-suite and sometimes that warps perspective on strategic priorities. Alliance member Sheeroy Desai, Co-Founder and former CEO of Gild, suggests paying more attention to employees on the ground as the company ramps up for serious growth.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Operations   Organizational Design   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Katy Spink Speaks: Turn the Battleship by Planting Seeds

Proposing a major alteration to strategy is tricky business. Alliance member Katy Spink of Asterias Biotherapeutics suggests a measured and gradual approach to changing minds.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Everett Harper Speaks: Exit Patterned Thinking

Companies inevitably arrive at critical strategic crossroads as they strive to manifest themselves in the business world. Alliance member Everett Harper, CEO and Founder of Truss, elaborates on an inclusive, structured process to identify options and evaluate the optimal path forward.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Raj Raman Speaks: How to Find Superstar Employees in Your Backyard.

Executives often search the firmament to hire superstar employees that can deliver outsized results. Alliance member Raj Raman of Minjar suggests an alternative path to success if your dream team isn’t forthcoming.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Human Resources   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Jason Petralia Speaks: You’re Sitting on a Gold Mine. Mine It!

CEOs are under constant pressure to increase revenue and profitability. Alliance member Jason Petralia of Raizlabs suggests that an established company could dramatically increase its revenue by prioritizing current accounts rather than finding new ones.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Gil Ben-Dov Speaks: Optimize Yourself Holistically

CEOs can lose touch with the needs and responsibilities beyond work, in areas like family, community and self. Alliance member Gil Ben-Dov, CEO of Total Phase, shares a simple framework in which to holistically evaluate and manage top-line priorities to achieve greater balance and overall effectiveness.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Work/Life Balance   

Member Andy Barrons Speaks: Build on Your Reputation of Independence

No CEO likes lumpy revenue. Alliance member Andy Barrons of Navis offers a cautionary tale and intriguing idea for smoothing out revenue and opening new lines of business.

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Insight categories include: Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology