Blog Postings


You Have Been Hacked –
Now What

shortened version of this article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US.

The CEO of a regional retail chain is preparing for his board meeting. His cell rings with an urgent call. The chain’s customer data and their credit card information are for sale on a website used by Russian hackers. The first question his board will ask is “what will you do about your customer’s private data?” The second question will be “what did you do to prevent the attack from happening?” What to do now? And what should have been done earlier? Read More

Why Are We Doing This?

shortened version of this article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US.

Why Am I Doing This? is a core question for virtually every leader. The question is about our own motivation. But the question is also about why our customers, investors and employees should care about what we are doing. You as a leader must be clear-minded about your own motivation, but you are also responsible for articulating “why we are doing this” on behalf of your team and your organization. Read More

Growing to Scale: Overcoming Barriers to Success

shortened version of this article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US.

Few successful small companies are able to grow significantly larger. The strengths of the $5 to $15 million revenue company usually do not translate to a successful larger company. The founding CEO and key partners must first decide if they want, in effect, to re-launch the company and change it dramatically—the way it is run, the way it is financed, the way it connects with its customers and possibly its leadership. Creating a Growth to Scale Profile™ and a realistic plan for overcoming the barriers to growth are the next steps. Read More

Board’s Role in Cyber Security

Cyber security is a serious challenge for companies of all sizes. Boards of directors have an important role in preparing companies for cyber attacks and responses when attacks occur. Read More

Maximizing the Value of Your
Company for Sale

This article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US.

Selling a company – large or small – is a long, complex process. Value is established well before the company is offered for sale. Getting a high sale price requires understanding the firm’s potential value to the most likely buyer and preparing the company to be as close as possible to the High Value Profile™ most valued by that buyer. Preparation – over 1 to 3 years – will maximize the selling price. Read More

Raising Equity Capital – Getting Started

This article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US .

Equity capital — not debt — is the life blood of emerging and growth companies. Raising equity for your venture is selling part of the company and giving up some control. You are also taking on new partners. As CEO, your challenge is to find investors who understand and share your vision for the company, whose investment objectives are a match for your company and who will commit to a long term relationship with you and the company. For these investors, the bottom line question will be whether you have a plan for creating a profitable business that will adequately reward them for the risks they are taking. Read More

Your Patents – An Asset or Liability

This article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US .

“Do you have patented Intellectual Property (IP)?” is a frequent investor question to early stage technology companies. Patents are believed to be a barrier to competition creating a pricing and profit advantage over competitors.  But patents only have value if they are carefully prepared and the owner of the patent has significant funding to defend the patents.  Innovation creates value. Smart protection and commercialization of innovation captures the value. Read More

Your Customer is Never Right

This article was first published in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US and in Upstart Business Journal.

To be successful in the marketplace, companies must balance the desires of current customers with a bold vision of where their technology and service could take their customers.

The sign in my usual coffee shop says, “The customer is always right!” How many courses and seminars have told us how to design our product or service to what the customer wants? Yet Steve Jobs built one of the world’s largest companies on the opposite principal saying, “The customers never know what they want until we show them.” If Henry Ford had asked his customers what they wanted, he would have been told to design a faster horse. Read More

Founding Team: Can You Grow Your Company to Scale?

This article was first published as “Firing Your Best Friend” in the 43 Biz Journal city publications across the US.

Crossing the threshold from initial success to growth to scale is one of the most difficult barriers company founders face. Growing to scale requires changing from a culture of loyalty to a culture of performance as the essential qualification for leadership in the company. The founding team is often not able to make that transition. Read More

How Companies Succeed – Why Many Don’t

Successfully launching and then growing a company to scale is rare. The companies that succeed are those that innovate, build a strong foundation, create a culture of performance, establish a successful financial model, gain access to capital, and align all stakeholders. These are the rare companies that make the transition from initial success and re-launch themselves to significant scale. Read More