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 Doug Dooley Speaks: Speak to Your Audience’s Language and Viewpoint

Alliance Top Team Member, Doug Dooley of Venrock, shared his insights on a case brought by the top leader of a software subsidiary of a global technology giant who was preparing for a meeting with the CFO of the multi billion-dollar parent company. 

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Shane Buckley Speaks: Reaffirming Executive and Non-Executive Function

Here’s what Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus, shared with his Alliance peers following a discussion from a CEO who was seeking clarification between executive and non-executive board member functions to help clarify precisely what is expected of a CEO.

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Insight categories include: Boards   Leadership   

Member David Traversi Speaks: When CEO Passion Ebbs, Discipline Is Required

The case at hand was brought by a CEO, who was in the middle of a taxing M&A deal. He was feeling intense CEO fatigue and looked to his Alliance group for advice. In response, here’s what David Traversi, former CEO of Traversi Capital Advisors, shared with this Alliance peer.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   M&A   

Member Praful Saklani Speaks: Technology in a Luddite’s Industry

Read what Praful Saklani, Co-Founder & CEO of Pramata, shared with his Alliance peers regarding a case presented by a CEO in an industry with weak technology adoption and a history of poor employee retention. The CEO was looking for strategies to differentiate himself from his competitors and better retain his sales force.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Pat Lashinsky Speaks: Hire Fresh Talent from Outside Your Industry to Drive Innovation

When a CEO was looking for ways to innovate in a commoditized market, he felt discouraged by the consumer perception that their industry’s products are “all the same” and wondered how he could find the right people to innovate his product portfolio. Here’s what Pat Lashinsky, CEO of RealMassive, shared with his Alliance peers.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Lesley Stolz Speaks: Build a Shared Vision

Lesley Stolz shared some well-seasoned insights regarding a case brought by a fellow Alliance member who planned to eventually sell their company and own the critical technology it then only licensed. 

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Insight categories include: Finance   M&A   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Rick Martig Speaks: Get a Product Marketing VP

When a fellow Alliance member's product management efforts were stuck in research, Alliance Top Team Member, Rick Martig, CFO of Nexenta Systems, suggested jumpstarting their marketing initiatives in a way that tied its R&D with market needs.

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Insight categories include: Marketing   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Russ Harrison Speaks: Change the Nature of the Conversation

When a fellow Alliance member wanted to acquire a company that would not allow any due diligence on its critical technology, Russ Harrison, President and CEO of The Leadership Group and an Alliance Director, shared the following insights with his Alliance peers.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   M&A   Strategy & Planning   

Member Sudhir Aggarwal Speaks: Not All Companies Are High-Growth

Read what Sudhir Aggarwal, Managing Partner of Transition Management, shared with an Alliance member who wanted to know how to double his company's sales in five years in order to sell it, even though the company had limited cash to put into growth efforts.

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Insight categories include: Exiting   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Anthony Sperling Speaks: Let Your Hunters Hunt

Here's what Alliance Top Team Member, Anthony Sperling, former SVP & General Manager of Advent Software's Asset Management Group, shared with his Alliance peers after a fellow Alliance member presented a sales team structuring challenge.

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Insight categories include: Operations   Sales   Technology   

Member Jerry Turin Speaks: Try Being More Subtle First

Here's what Alliance Top Team Member, Jerry Turin, CFO of Intematix, shared with an Alliance member, a GM of a business unit, who had been asked by his CEO to contribute more at the corporate level. The member decided the firm needed a more formalized planning structure, but his efforts received a lackluster support from the CEO and mixed signals from other executives.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Operations   Strategy & Planning   

Member John Weber Speaks: Be Honest With Yourself

The case at hand was brought to a recent Alliance meeting by an Alliance CEO who was considering whether or not to take the company public, but was concerned about his responsibility to employees who have been issued equity. Here's what John Weber, then President of CooperVision, shared with the Alliance member.

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Insight categories include: Finance   Leadership   Organizational Design   Strategy & Planning   

Member Israel Niv Speaks: Create a Fuller Solution

An Alliance CEO believed his company's stock price was extremely undervalued because of past missteps by prior management. Here's what Israel Niv, CEO of DCG Systems, Inc., shared with the Alliance member.

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Insight categories include: Finance   Organizational Design   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Mike Kamm Speaks: Have an Expert Help Make the Case

When a fellow Alliance member had an issue with his company's board, the company needed to make investments to ensure long-term growth. However, the board was more concerned with quarterly growth and meeting the expectations of Wall Street. As a result, the Alliance member was having difficulty making his case. Here's what Mike Kamm, former President of Cassidy Turley, shared with his Alliance peers.

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Insight categories include: Boards   Strategy & Planning   

Member Alain Couder Speaks: Wait, Then Make the Call

The case at hand was brought to a recent Alliance meeting by an Alliance CEO whose company had a major acquisition in the works. As a result of the acquisition, the CEO believed that the company needed to change from a functional structure to a business unit structure. In response, here's what Alain Couder, then CEO of Oclaro, a global provider of optical products for the telecommunications market, shared with the Alliance member.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   M&A   Organizational Design   

Member John Senaldi Speaks: Start Small Before Going Big

Read what John Senaldi, CEO of Freeslate, shared with an Alliance member whose investor-backed firm was considering whether to gamble big by going after a difficult segment of the market, which would take major investment and take years, but could yield big results.

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Insight categories include: Boards   Finance   Strategy & Planning   

Member Prem Uppaluru Speaks: Be Careful About Switching to Product Business

Read what Prem Uppaluru, CEO of Transera Communications, shared with an Alliance member whose consulting company was considering whether to create a successful new product or transform itself into a product company.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Marketing   Organizational Design   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Ittai Bareket Speaks: You Need Someone You Can Trust

When a fellow Alliance member was preparing to enter Japan with a huge partner that would resell its software, the member wanted to know what to do to succeed and whether to hire locally or not. Here's what Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, shared with the Alliance member.

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Insight categories include: Culture   International Business   Leadership   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Dan Peterson Speaks: When Picking a Team, Put Values First

Read what Dan Peterson, Founder & Chairman of Loyale, shared with an Alliance member whose early stage startup company was about to close a B round of financing. The CEO was preparing to build the executive team with some key hires.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Finance   Human Resources   Leadership