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 Joe Budelli Speaks: For Strong Partnerships, Engage Your Tactical Players!

Here's what Alliance Top Team Member, Joe Budelli, Senior Vice President, Sales for ABBYY USA, shared with his Alliance peers during a discussion brought by a CEO looking to establish a channel partner with a bigger player, nominally in the same space. Read the insights Joe provided, including incentivizing the tactical players involved.

Read More

Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Peter Bailey Speaks: Be the White Knight, Not a Kamikaze

Alliance Member, Peter Bailey, President & CEO of Vertical Communications, shares his insights on a case brought by the CEO of a technology company that was disrupting a traditional market by replacing hardware with a much cheaper software solution.

Read More

Insight categories include: M&A   Marketing   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   Trends   

Member Rob Conant Speaks: External Skills Solving Internal Problems

Alliance Member, Rob Conant, CEO of Cirrent, shares his insights on a case brought by the CEO of a recently purchased company, whose parent seemed unwilling to loosen the purse strings and invest in growing his company.

Read More

Insight categories include: Leadership   M&A   Strategy & Planning   

Member Burt Cummings Speaks: Sell Yourself Through the Pain You Solve

Read what member Burt Cummings, CEO of Versaic, shared with his Alliance peers during a brainstorming session with a CEO who was challenged to more clearly explain his company’s value proposition.

Read More

Insight categories include: Marketing   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Brad Freitag Speaks: Go Direct, Go Small, Learn Lots

Alliance Top Team Member, Brad Freitag of FileMaker, shared his thoughts on a case brought by an SVP whose company was reinventing itself as a cloud provider offering SaaS in place of their current hardware/software package.

Read More

Insight categories include: Boards   Leadership   Marketing   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member John Maydonovitch Speaks: Inspire with Breakthrough Objectives and Stretch Goals

Here’s what member John Maydonovitch, CEO of MCE, shared with his Alliance peers following a case presented by a CEO who had prepared a very detailed business plan to guide his management team through the next fiscal year.

Read More

Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Insight categories include: Boards   Strategy & Planning