Alliance Cases

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 we've been collecting some of their "lessons learned" in Case Studies that preserve and highlight the wealth of knowledge in our membership. We also interview our members from time to time on matters of interest, and you'll find their thoughts here as well.

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Operations - Search Results (26)

Going ‘Live’ - Running a Business in Real-Time
October 03, 2018

With the increasing speed at which technology is fueling change, running a real-time business can be a huge difference maker. But as Alliance members Chris Beall of ConnectAndSell, Victor Chapela of Suggestic, Yvonne Linney of Transcriptic, Dennis O’Malley of Caliva, Rodney Pearlman of the Bluefield Project and Jack Peurach of Ekso Bionics can attest, theory and practice are two different things. One thing is certain, running a business in real-time can lead to incredible breakthroughs and achievements, but it also comes with a heavy set of challenges.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   Trends   

Preparing for the Next Wave in Data Privacy
June 01, 2018

Alliance members Ian Cohen of Experian Consumer Services, Himanshu Dwivedi of Data Theorem, Ted Elliott of Jobscience, Ju-kay Kwek of Switchboard Software, Ersin Uzun of Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and Christy Wyatt of Dtex Systems, discuss the sweeping new Data Privacy and GDPR rules taking effect, and how organizations should reconsider the ‘what, where and why’ behind their data practices.

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Case categories include: Finance   Human Resources   International Business   Marketing   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   Trends   

Peter Koshland

How To Avoid Throttling Your Startup’s Growth And The Burnout That Comes Next
July 24, 2017

New businesses that tap into large and severely under-met needs are destined to grow rapidly. But if the founders starve the company of capital, their conservativism eventually will kill growth. Even more important, it will burn out the founders. It is also avoidable. The story of Koshland Pharm and its Founder, Alliance member Peter Koshland, illustrates this well. In this Forbes article from Alliance Director and Founding Principal of CEO to CEO, Robert Sher, learn how the key to stability and long-term sustainability for growing, profitable businesses is increasing throughput.

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Case categories include: Executive Development   Leadership   Operations   Strategy & Planning   

In Pursuit of Growth in a Gig Economy
January 30, 2017

Alliance leaders know that today’s labor force is experiencing fundamental, permanent change. Alliance members Laura Bergheim of Wordsmithie, Andy Berkenfield of Duncan Channon, Nathan Collins of SRI International, Ross Fernandes of Q Analysts, Glo Gordon of Cisco-Jasper, Kathy Zwickert of NetSuite, and Alliance Director Marion McGovern, share their strategies for growth in the gig economy. This transformation will create critical questions for today’s leaders, and their solutions will be customized for each unique situation. Given the track record of Bay Area innovation, we think it’s not a matter of if the answers will come, but when.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations   Strategy & Planning   Trends   

Todd Johnson

The Foundation of Trust and Transparency: Essential Executive and Internal Communications Topics
January 04, 2017

If trust is the foundation of all strong, positive inter-company relationships, then transparency is the primary path to achieving that trust. This article by Alliance member Todd Johnson, President of Kollective, identifies and describes the essential categories of content that form the foundation for best practices in employee engagement; content that builds trust and positively influences company culture long-term. Keep these ideas in mind as you build and fine-tune your own blueprint for internal communications success.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Strategy & Planning   Trends   

Sid Nandi

Stop (Frequently) and Think About the Big Picture
September 27, 2016

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.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Executive Development   Leadership   Marketing   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

An Innovation Straight From the Heart
July 01, 2016

Ebbe Altberg, CEO of the virtual reality pioneer Linden Lab, recently shared a curious facet of his company’s culture at an Alliance meeting. Called the “Love Machine,” this innovation sparked instant curiosity and captured the imaginations of the CEOs in the room. Just what is the Love Machine?

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations   Trends   

Neal Gutterson

Cross-Linking Supply Chains & Establishing New Value Allocations
April 13, 2010

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!

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Case categories include: Operations   Strategy & Planning   

Stepping on the Accelerator
November 23, 2009

Read how CEOs are viewing certain indicators for signs of improvement in the economy in preparation for their acceleration strategy.

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Case categories include: Operations   Strategy & Planning   

Ceil McCloy

Board Benefits
August 21, 2007

An entrepreneurial couple brought in outside board members to help bring in key accounts and to aid in their decision making. They diluted ownership's vote to 50%, but the payoffs far outweigh the lack of freedom. Important pros and cons are discussed, as well as some guidelines for adding outside board members.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   

Bob Brown

Selling through Education
June 23, 2007

If your prospects don't understand your value proposition, educate them. The company developed conferences to reinforce its solutions and position itself as a knowledge leader, which leads to higher sales. Learn the keys to creating a great educational setting.

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Case categories include: Marketing   Operations   Sales   

Uwe Druckenmueller

Shifting Gears from Startup to Scaled Enterprise
April 12, 2007

Every successful startup goes from an entrepreneurial stage to a professional enterprise. Learn how the entrepreneur also successfully made the crossing point without hitting the wall.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations   

Dave Kearney

Closing the Feedback Loop
February 10, 2007

Customer feedback is an important part of every successful company. After scaling up his business, a CEO struggles with his company's feedback system before closing the loop and improving response rates. Effective processes for handling feedback are examined.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Sales   

Tom Oliver

Brainstorm vs. Budget
December 12, 2006

A feature-rich product is designed, but after months of development work, it is discovered that it cannot be built. Key features are dropped so that it can finally go into production.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Strategy & Planning   

Jeffrey Morrison

Vision Vector
August 06, 2006

CEOs of startups must work very differently than CEOs of firms that have made their place in the market. They must be hands-on with prospective customers and with all the key decisions, from sales to marketing to engineering/product development, in order to keep the business on a straight vector towards its vision.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   

Bud Michael

The Courage to Fire
June 10, 2006

An incoming CEO fires the most senior technical expert because he won't embrace the new values that must take hold for the firm to survive. The bold move works without significant damage.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Operations   

Lou Parrague

The Need for Speed
May 10, 2006

Quick decisive action enables the firm to grab a nice piece of business before anybody else has the chance to compete. The speed at which your business and your team move is a critical element of competition, today more than ever. What does it take to make speed a competitive edge?

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Case categories include: Operations   Sales   

Jeff Rodek

Every Business Needs a Common Enemy
February 28, 2006

Identifying a competitor or two as an "enemy" to beat is a powerful leadership tool that CEOs should use to galvanize business improvement at every level.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Operations   Sales   

Karl Hansen

Growing through Referrals
February 23, 2006

Referrals are the least expensive way to bring in new business. An employee benefits company amazes their clients with incredible service, and for the past 18 years grows only through referrals, diverting all its marketing spending into operations.

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Case categories include: Operations   Sales   

Ed Kit

Intelligent Off-Shoring
February 06, 2006

A company finds an excellent way of managing off-shoring, taking advantage of the positives while avoiding the pitfalls. Blending the efforts of on-shoring with off-shoring and a commitment to close management are key.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   International Business   Operations