Article Listing by Number

Quick Summary: A listing of articles alphabetically and by number


Articles are added to this collection on a regular basis. Clicking on the What’s New tab in the footer of the site’s home page will list articles with the newer articles listed first.  The table below list articles sequentially by article number (Volume.Chapter.Section.Sequence)

1.010101 Introduction to CxO-Atlas Website CxO-Atlas is a free website that contains hundreds of articles on a wide variety of business issues.
1.010102 Frequently Asked Questions The contents, use, and Genesis of the site are described in FAQ format.
1.010103 Target Audience This site contains information that can help the 100 million managers in business today.
1.010104 Site Content and Organization The content in this site is arranged by subject and company stage for quick and easy access.
1.010105 How to Use this Site Multiple, simple search methods provide access to all content quickly.
1.010201 Site Genesis This collection captures many of the good, bad, and ugly business experiences from the past.
1.010202 Site Name Meaning The site helps to relieve the weight of issues on managers by identifying solution routes.
1.010203 Content Availability Site content is believed to be original except as noted with more content planned to be added.
1.020101 Introduction to Volume 1 Overview Volume 1 provides a description of the intent, scope, and use of the CxO-Atlas web site
1.030101 Stage 1: Thinking of Starting a Business Thinking of starting a business requires answering some tough questions objectively.
1.030102 Stage 2: Committed to Starting a Business Making the commitment to start a business needs to be a conscious, objective decision.
1.030103 Stage 3: Working Full Time in a New Business Carefully deciding what does not have to be done now, is the key to a successful start.
1.030104 Stage 4: Have a Demo Product The ability to demonstrate a new offering represents only 10% of the total effort required.
1.030105 Stage 5: Needs to Raise Money Many steps must be taken before a company should attempt to raise money.
1.030106 Stage 6: Has Some Customers The commitments from customers is exciting but it starts an entire new set of challenges.
1.030107 Stage 7: Ready to Expand Internal expansion to address increased customer demand requires careful planning.
1.030108 Stage 8: Having Operational Problems Planning for the unexpected is an effective method of dealing with operational issues beforehand.
1.030109 Stage 9: Pursuing Revenue The continuous receipt of revenue is the life blood of every enterprise.
2.010001 Introduction to Seven Principles Establishing specific guidelines of behavior are critical for every organization.
2.010002 Intolerance for Intolerance Somehow, we have lost civility and stopped treating everyone with dignity and respect.
2.010101 Description of the Seven Business Principles Vision and mission statements need to be augmented by operational tenants embraced by all.
2.010102 Summary of the Seven Business Principles Continuous exposure to the Seven Principles will heighten awareness and compliance.
2.020101 Overview Chapter 2.02 Principle One Business survival is the exception not the norm. Usually through a self inflicted wound.
2.020102 Introduction to Principle One Business failure not success is the norm for businesses of all sizes and stages.
2.020103 Someone Will Put You Out of Business If your business fails, it was probably caused by your unwillingness to act upon likely events.
2.020104 Avoid the Slippery Slope “Faking it just this once” leads to faking it for the long term as well, with disastrous results.
2.020105 Staying in Business by Staying Out of Some Businesses Give as much thought to product and market extensions as was given to the original business.
2.030101 Overview Chapter 2.03: Principle Two Treating people with dignity and respect must be applied to all internal and external relationships.
2.030102 Introduction to Principle Two The Golden Rule is right on the money and should be followed by everyone, all of the time.
2.030201 All Individuals Means Everyone You play like you practice, be consistent when treating all others with dignity and respect.
2.030202 Trust: The Dignity and Respect Lynchpin Trust is built by first making and then keeping commitments consistently.
2.030203 There are only Two Kinds of People Based on circumstances, people will fall into one of two categories: critics or creators.
2.030204 What is Success Each of us may define success differently; think about the other person’s point of view.
2.030205 It is Hard to Hate People that You Know There is no substitute for real time, interactive dialogue to avoid accidental misinterpretations.
2.030206 The Not So Subtle Threat We cannot tolerate those who ignore respecting others for their beliefs or positions.
2.040101 Overview Chapter 2.04: Principle Three There are four categories of investors; employees, business partners, customers, and financial.
2.040102 Introduction to Principle Three Defining an acceptable return will vary from one investor group to another.
2.040201 Keep Different Score Cards Each investor group will define success differently, ask each of them what they feel is important.
2.040202 Write to Know As events occur, take time to keep investors informed with our interpretation of the information.
2.040203 Expectations verses Excuses Discussing possible variations beforehand helps set proper expectations.
2.040301 Overview Employee Investors Of the four investor categories, employees are the most important.
2.040302 You Can't Do It Alone You must learn to rely on others and give them responsibility and authority to grow.
2.040303 Employees Wants to be Successful Clearly establish both goals and responsibilities for everyone to avoid both cracks and overlaps.
2.040304 Take Time for People It is easy to get caught up with tactical business issues and forget that employees are human.
2.040401 Overview Business Partner Investors Relying on the core competence of partners significantly helps the chances of success.
2.040402 Business Partner Investor Introduction Working with other companies that have unique core competences is required for success.
2.040403 Partner Secret Sauce Ingredients Partners need to share similar characteristics to maintain a successful relationship.
2.040404 Partnerships: The Beginning, Not the End Once a partnership arrangement is finalized, the real work begins to make it successful.
2.040405 Why Are You Interested in Each Other Jointly determining “what’s in it for me” and discussing the answers is critical in partnerships.
2.040501 Overview Customer Investors Customers make financial investments in the company by purchasing their goods and services.
2.040502 Customer Investors Introduction Customers through their continued purchases is the key element for long-term company success.
2.040503 Customer Investor Trust Customer investment in a company by making purchases based on trust which offsets risk.
2.040601 Overview Financial Investors Financial investor commitments provide objective validation of a company’s future value.
2.040602 Financial Investors Introduction All investors expect at least an acceptable return on their investment as they define it.
2.040603 CEO and Investor Interaction Financial investors do not have the time or skills to manage a company, they rely on the CEO.
2.040604 Updating Financial Investors Investors cannot continuously focus on each company; CEO’s must update them regularly.
2.050101 Overview Chapter 2.05: Principle Four Merely satisfying customers is no longer adequate to maintain or increase market share.
2.050102 Introduction to Principle Four Exceeding customer expectations has become table stakes to retain customers.
2.050201 Customer Satisfaction Levels There are nine general levels of customer satisfaction that range from Amazed to Dismissive.
2.050202 Don't Survey Your Customers Talk to your customers, don’t survey them to find out how they really feel.
2.050203 Developing a Customer Satisfaction Strategy Develop a company-wide customer service strategy while developing your offering, not later.
2.050204 Customer Expectations You can only set the stage; the customer will form their own expectations.
2.050205 A Simple Definition of a Defect Accept all customer complaints as valid and objectively determine an appropriate response.
2.050206 Don't Focus on the Customer Many customers have customers; understand what your customer’s customer wants.
2.060101 Overview Chapter 2.06: Principle Five Metrics are the cornerstone to improvements and need to be embraced across the organization.
2.060102 Introduction to Principle Five Customer demands are ever increasing; metrics allows measurement of progress.
2.060201 Measure Everything That Matters Many individuals are reluctant to being measured but it is essential to improving performance.
2.060202 Metrics are the First Step Begin by asking everyone in determining how to measure performance to meet established goals.
2.060203 Manage Like You Drive Measure constantly, making incremental changes as required; immediately.
2.060204 Making Metrics Work Metrics reviews need to be part of the normal course of business not reviewed only monthly.
2.060205 Cycle Time: A Universal Metric Reducing the overall time to complete a task usually provides improved quality and efficiency.
2.070101 Overview Chapter 2.07: Principle Six Change is constant and must be embraced by all companies and employees.
2.070102 Introduction to Principle Six Technology, customers, and competition are constantly changing, responding is mandatory.
2.070201 No Time to Rest Change by definition causes disruption, the knee-jerk reaction is that there is no time for it.
2.070202 Five Number One Priorities Re-prioritizing activities based on the latest seemingly crisis situation is rarely appropriate.
2.070203 It's Not Fun Anymore It is natural to be fearful of the unknown future and look back at the “good old times”.
2.070204 Change Needs Constant Attention Proposed changes need more than an initial, enthusiastic push out of the starting gate.
2.070205 Rumors, Fridays, and Trust Quickly inform others of proposed changes to minimize the ever present negative rumor mill.
2.080101 Overview Chapter 2.08: Principle Seven Companies depend on the communities in which they operate and need to payback accordingly.
2.080102 Introduction to Principle Seven There is always enough time; take it to help in the community.
2.080201 Start But Don't Lead The CEO can start but employees need to embrace community involvement programs.
2.080202 What Can You Do? CEOs should lead the discussion regarding which activities to support and then get out of the way.
2.080203 Payback for Paying it Forward Cross-organizational involvement in community activities leads to the formation of tight bonds.
2.080204 Individual Efforts Count Too Recognizing individual efforts in supporting community-wide activities will inspire others.
3.010001 Introduction to Starting a Company From the idea stage to the on-going operations period, challenges are everywhere.
3.010002 A Quick Blink Test Focus on what customers are likely to do not what you want them to do.
3.010003 Tidbits of Advice for Early Stage Companies There are a handful of key issues an entrepreneur should keep in mind.
3.010004 What is Next Identify definitive six-month success goals to keep focused and avoid diversions.
3.010005 Do Differently Carefully and regularly review errors and traps you and others have made to avoid them.
3.010006 Things to Think About Ask and answer a broad range of questions before committing to starting a business.
3.010007 Avoidable Gotchas Once aware, there are several pitfalls that an entrepreneur can easily avoid.
3.010101 Introduction to Opportunity Identification Ask a few basis questions before you start and answer them objectively.
3.010102 Works for Non-Profits Too Sound business practices should be followed by both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
3.010201 What Is Your Goal For The Business Do you want to run or sell your business in the long term?
3.010202 Just Because You Can Many creative ideas are nice to talk about but should not be pursued.
3.010203 Are You the Right Person There are different skill sets required for an entrepreneur and a CEO.
3.010204 Can The Business Ever Scale, Should It Doing more of the same is usually not an effective method to grow a business.
3.010205 Show Your Commitment First Employees and investors need total confidence in you.
3.010301 CEO Means Chief Everything Officer There are many roles that an entrepreneur must fulfill before becoming a Chief Executive Officer.
3.010302 Is it a Feature, Product, or a Company Before you start a business, ask yourself what is next.
3.010303 Misplaced Encouragement Truthful feedback, even if it hurts others feelings, may be appropriate in the long run.
3.010304 It is Tough to Get Real Step back and take a practical look at your business’s potential from the customer’s perspective.
3.010305 Firing Your Brother-In-Law Hire only people that you need and not friends and relatives that you may have to terminate.
3.010306 What Does the Customer Really Want Your perception of what the customer wants may be very different than the customer’s.
3.010401 Business Variables are the Same Planning ahead to address all of the elements required for the company to be successful is crucial.
3.010402 Always Dance the Investor Dance Carefully build a business plan that can stand up to the evaluation of independent investors.
3.010403 Everything is Easy Until You Start It is easy to envision the future, but it is hard to reach.
3.010404 Start Before You Start Divorce yourself from your new idea and ask some fundamental questions before you commit.
3.010405 Starting Versus Beginning The real issues only appear after you actually begin to develop a product or service offering.
3.010501 Problem, Prospect, and Customer Discovery Customer discovery involves far more than socializing a plan with others.
3.010502 Two Critical MVPs An entrepreneur needs to obtain candid and objective advice as early as possible.
3.020101 Introduction to Chapter 3.02 Focusing on raising money at the start is the wrong approach.
3.020102 Seeking Investors: Don't Even Try “Don’t even try” is the best advice to those who want to raise money from financial investors.
3.020103 Dancing For the Stars Time is your most precious resource; spend it on building a business not investor slides.
3.020104 One Million: Too Much or Not Enough Entrepreneurs should first focus on investors that invest amounts similar to their request.
3.020201 You Can't Raise Money With An Idea Demonstrable market acceptance is the key to raising money; not a good idea.
3.020202 Asking For Money Or Advice Solicit candid opinions from seasoned startup veterans to avoid quick rejections from investors.
3.020203 Wait As Long As You Can To Raise Money Focus on minimizing the market and product risk before seeking investment.
3.020204 Bootstrap Wisely Focus on the core competencies of your business and seek outside help for other tasks.
3.020205 Five Times Two is Better The true mark of success is when customers purchase from you the second time.
3.020301 Company Success Versus Investor Returns Investors invest to make money which may not be the same motivation as the entrepreneur.
3.020302 All Money Is Not Equal Different investors can offer significantly different expertise in addition to their financial support.
3.020303 Investment Instruments There are a number of different types of investment instruments that should be considered.
3.020304 Investor Categories: A Baker's Dozen There are more investor options than angel or venture capital investors that are available.
3.020305 Select Investors Before They (De)Select You Focusing on specific investor categories that fit your model and long term goals.
3.020306 The Three R's For Investors Establishing a mutual satisfactory relationship between the company and their investors is critical.
3.020401 Because the Model Says So In reality, business models accurately predict what most likely will not happen.
3.020402 Business Plans Are For You Business Plans should be thought of as your internal reference guide to validate your plan.
3.020403 Creating The Financial Model: The First Step Identify the key elements and variables before you begin to build the financial model.
3.020404 Do You Need Three Models Build the financial model based on the revenue phases that the company will go through.
3.020405 Building The Financial Model: The Second Step Your financial model will grow and become more complex; initially build in flexibility.
3.020406 The Three Most Important Forecast Numbers The time and cash it requires to break even and the revenue growth are the key metrics.
3.020407 Use or Misuse of Funds Develop a clear planned use of funds for the investors; include amounts, timing, and milestones.
3.020408 Forecasting Market Share: Too Big or Too Little Set realistic expectations about gaining market share in a large, expanding market.
3.020409 The Numbers Do Not Speak For Themselves You cannot expect investors to study your financial model; provide summary conclusions.
3.020501 Evaluation and Valuation are Very Different The Valuation of a private company is an opinion that may or may not be based on an evaluation.
3.020502 The Valuation Trap A private company’s valuation are nothing more than a person’s opinion and may vary widely.
3.020503 Shark Tank: Entertainment and Reality What television viewers see is only a fraction of the investor-entrepreneur interaction.
3.020504 A Framework for Evaluating A Company Emotional biases can easily occur, develop an objective method to evaluate a company.
3.020505 Company Evaluation Suggested Factors There are many factors that can be used to evaluate a company, here is one such list.
3.020506 The Good, Bad, and Ugly Assessment Objectively evaluate where you are and what you can control and what you cannot.
3.030101 Introduction to Pitching the Opportunity Focus on what investors want to hear, not what you want to say.
3.030201 Elevator Pitches Should Work In Two Story Buildings Be concise to be memorable. Investors are busy and memories are short.
3.030202 Design Before You Build Clearly define the desired end message before you start creating your investor pitch slides.
3.030203 No Competition?  Really? If you believe you have no competition, there probably is no market.
3.030204 Don't Have Your First Meeting Be more than skin deep; be ready to provide detailed data to potential investors quickly.
3.030205 Consistency Through FAQs Document answers to common questions in order to provide cross the board consistency.
3.030206 Pitches, Home Runs, and Strike Outs The same, universal pitch universally does not work for all audiences.
3.030301 Getting To NO Before Getting to KNOW People naturally eliminate the bad before focusing on the good.
3.030302 One Goal For Your First Investor Meeting Nothing happens until investors get excited about a potential investment opportunity.
3.030303 Passion: The Fuel for Your Business Engine Be passionate not emotional to show you can make logical business decisions.
3.030304 Focus on What You Provide Focus on what you do for the customer and what it means to them; not how you do it.
3.030305 The Biggest Word I Know Is Delicatessen Use term of art words and abbreviations only when absolutely necessary.
3.030306 When And What To Say Saying too many things may  communicate nothing; less is more.
3.030307 Why You Will Win What makes you think a competitor will not or cannot close the gap between you and them.
3.030308 Don’t Have All The Answers Even If You Do Some people ask questions to show you what they know or to try to trick you.
3.030309 Be Ready For Left Field Questions Expect unexpected questions and do not get flustered; it’s all about handling pressure.
3.030310 Hand Waving: A Smile or a Frown Investors are interested in specific, verifiable facts, not generalizations.
3.030311 First Mover Advantage or Disadvantage Being first also means being the first to make mistakes.
3.030312 Why the "Why" Explaining Why you started the company can establish a relationship with potential investors.
3.030313 Music to an Investor's Ears There are a series of common messages that are sure to get an investor's attention.
3.030314 Sour Notes to an Investor's Ears A slip of the tongue or an obviously incorrect statement can quickly turn off potential investors.
3.030401 It's Old Hat to You It’s tough getting rejected repeatedly, but that one “yes” can make it all worthwhile.
3.030402 How Did You Do? An Investor Quiz Pretend you are the investor; ask yourself a series of questions that they might ask.
3.030403 Don't Share Your Presentation Presentation slides without narration can lead to erroneous conclusions.
3.030404 Why Did They Say "No"? Ask for candid feedback if investors say no to you; do not argue or defend.
3.030405 What If They Say "Yes"? Follow the Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared” for the next investor meeting the next morning.
3.030406 The Term Sheet is Only the Beginning A term sheet is like the beginning of a wedding engagement with many issues to discuss.
3.040101 Introduction to Chapter 3.04  Beginning Execution In hindsight, carefully developed definitive plans typically document what did not happen.
3.040201 Revenue: The Wonder Drug A continuous, growing supply of profitable revenue is all that matters.
3.040202 Three Kinds of Revenue Revenue develops in stages; understand where you are and what you want.
3.040203 Referenceable Revenue: What Others Do It is not what you say that counts; it is what paying customers say to others.
3.040204 Scalable Revenue: Repeatedly Sold by Others After initial orders are received scaling may require significant changes.
3.040205 Profitable Revenue: More Than Margin Positive gross margin is only the first element in determining profitable sales.
3.040206 Distribution is the Only Thing That Matters Identifying prospects and turning them into customers on a large scale can be quite difficult.
3.040207 Find a Popcorn Business Build a recurring revenue base through anonymous sales that occur without direct engagements.
3.040301 When Things Go Wrong Do not try to control situations; instead choose how to respond and not react.
3.040302 The Could Versus Should Trap Creeping feature requests can easily add undue complexity and lengthen the time to market.
3.040303 Time: Is it a Friend or Foe Break up serial events and address them in parallel to minimize overall cycle time.
3.040304 Who is Not in the Room With today’s fast pace, it is easy to inadvertently leave people out of critical discussions.
3.040305 Tiny Goals for Maximum Results Define and focus on very short, easily attainable goals, following the adage of one step at a time.
3.040306 Ask Someone Who Doesn't Know As they say “you can’t see the forest for the trees”; ask an outsider for help.
3.040307 Quick and Easy Seldom Is Don’t replace thoughtfulness with speed; rework is always time consuming and expensive.
3.040308 Moving Out of the Garage Moving a home-based business to a professional setting requires careful consideration.
3.040401 Selective Scalability As you grow, focus on investing in your core competence and outsource everything else.
3.040402 Focus And Time: The Almost Unavoidable Landmines It always seems to take longer to receive orders; especially if you are not focused.
3.040403 Patents: The Reality Patents take time and money; it might be better to focus on other things.
3.040404 Legal Counsel: Necessary or Evil? Attorneys sell their time, buy it wisely and only when necessary.
3.040405 Prepare for an Exit When You Start Start a document archiving process on day one to avoid significant lost time searches later.
3.040406 Prepare the Soil Do not hire a sales rep until well-documented customer responses are available.
4.010001 Introduction to Managing a Company Virtually every article in this collection is about management, this volume only skims the surface.
4.010101 Introduction to Growing Pains Company and business expansion invariably leads to growing pains and uneasiness at all levels.
4.010201 It's Different Now Change is constant, often moving us out of our comfort zone, we all must get used to it.
4.010202 Changing Attitudes Changes cause disruptions and can result in negative attitudes that left unchecked can spread.
4.010203 Emergence of Rigidity New employees without the benefit of past experiences can quickly become rules based.
4.010204 Silo is a Four Letter Word As organizations grow, more specialization occurs and communications can become ineffective.
4.010301 Frustration with Colleagues Individual and department goals vary which cause a seemingly purposeful non-cooperation.
4.010302 Employee Departures Changing expectation by the company or the employee is a major cause of employee turnover.
4.010303 Dealing with Growing Pains Open individual and group two way dialogue is the most effective way to combat growing pains.
4.010304 Bi-Directional Frustration CEOs must provide a “brain drain” to new employees, especially sales reps.
4.020101 Introduction to Responding versus Reacting Near instant access to events causes many of us to react instead of responding to it
4.020201 Reacting and Responding Differences We often react without considering factors; when we do we are more likely to respond.
4.020202 Responding or Reacting: How Do You Know? Reacting can become addictive and inappropriate; can you ignore your cell phone for an hour?
4.020203 Interrupt Driven Impacts Jumping from one activity to another is inefficient; there is really no such thing as multitasking.
4.020301 Stop, Look, and Listen Taking a deep breath implies, stopping for a moment to think, not to fill up the lungs to scream.
4.020302 Fast But Thoughtful Many times speedy responses are made without reasonable deliberation of facts.
4.020303 Is Culture the Problem? Practice makes permanent, consistent reactive behaviors can become the norm.
4.020304 Deliver Bad News Quickly When the answer is clearly known, in most cases it should be delivered quickly.
4.020401 Response Formulation Take the time to ask a few others to help you develop a reasonable response.
4.020402 Jog Don't Sprint Slow and deliberate may be much faster than quick if is avoids false starts.
4.020403 The Root Cause and The Route Find the route that led to the root cause and eliminate it.
4.030101 Introduction to Chapter 4.04: Human Capital Management Every manager in every organization is responsible for the proper management of all employees.
4.030201 Employees' Points of View Management needs to be aware of how employees judge the company’s overall actions.
4.030202 Three Words: Almost the Same But Different Employee morale can be significantly impacted by what is considered to be acceptable behavior.
4.030203 Be Human Consciously take time to show employees that you care about them as people.
4.030204 Be Friendly As organizations grow, they, naturally, can become less friendly unless simple actions are taken.
4.030205 Everyone is Important Avoid actions or segmentation that can inadvertently divided the employee population.
4.030206 Perceptions Are What Count Other’s perceptions not company or management intentions determine morale.
4.030301 Org Chart Messages Organization charts can easily send some inadvertent negative messages.
4.030302 The Walls Speak The use of walls or open spaces and other environment factors can have significant impacts.
4.030303 Accountability Company success is determined by the performance of individuals who must be held accountable.
4.030401 Open Dialogue, Really? Effective communications requires the sender insures that the receiver hears and understands.
4.030402 Issue Identification Exercise Providing a non-threatening open environment to identify business impediments is easy.
4.030403 Communicate Consistently and Regularly Management must go out of their way to keep all employees informed of events as they occur.
4.030404 The Same and Consistent Message Written FAQs document dramatically help insure what was heard aligns with what was said.
4.030405 Are the Doors Really Open? Open door policies only work if employees truly feel that mangers are approachable.
4.030406 Communications Effectiveness Texting and emails may only be appropriate for certain types of communications.  Be careful.
4.030407 Emails: Disconnected Dialogue Emails are convenient but are often simplistic communication tools with negative consequences.
4.030408 No Joke Jokes Humor to some may be offensive to others; establish company norms accordingly.
4.030501 Whom to Hire Thoroughly developing and documenting the expectations for a new hire are critical to success.
4.030502 When to Hire Often, if you wait to hire people when you need them it is too late. Plan accordingly.
4.030503 Finding People Referrals, internships, job boards, and retained searches need to be considered when recruiting.
4.030504 The Big Day Plan the candidate interview day considering the wants and needs of the candidate.
4.030505 Recruiting the Family Companies need to understand that a candidate’s loved ones will influence their decision.
4.030506 Thunder in the Distance There are advantages and pitfalls in recruiting individuals with vastly different work experiences.
4.030507 Hire the Right Person the First Time Use newly available tools to identify qualified candidates that fit into the organization.
4.030601 The First Day Carefully planning the first day’s activities for a new employee makes a lasting impression.
4.030602 Check Early and Often New employee managers need to provide special help and attention well past the first day.
4.030603 Tame the Fire Hose Ask newly hired employees to develop their own training material as they learn it.
4.030604 Delay Setting Goals Goals for newly hires should only be established when the employee can meaningfully participate.
4.040101 Introduction to Chapter 4.04: Employee Recognition Showing others you appreciate their efforts will return significant rewards for everyone involved.
4.040201 Unexpected Thanks Taking time for people and say thank you can have instant and dramatic positive impacts.
4.040202 Peer Thanks A peer recognition program can be a powerful motivator that can impact the entire organization.
4.040203 Five to Eight Activities Company support of employment involvement in outside organizations benefits everyone.
4.040204 Victories Lost in the Noise Positive events happen every day, take the time to capture and share them.
4.040301 Compensation Overview Determining the appropriate level of compensation involves far more than salaries.
4.040302 Keep it Personal Announcing salary adjustments individually rather than collectively is a major motivation factor.
4.040303 Make it a Family Affair Buy a memory with part of the salary increase or bonus you receive.
4.040304 Fair versus Equal Treating people fairly is often more difficult but is more important than treating them equally.
4.040305 Variable Compensation Alternatives Supplementing salaries with variable performance based programs provide substantial benefits.
4.040306 Sales Commission Programs Paying sales reps for achieving sales targets is an accepted practice that requires careful design.
4.040307 MBO Overview Goals in an MBO program can be crafted for individuals at every level to reward performance.
4.040308 MBO Goal Comments Effectiveness of an MBO program is dependent on the establishing of mutual acceptable goals.
4.040309 MBO Goal Grading Example Goal performance grading should be a simple exercise to help motivate participants.
4.040310 MBO Program Mechanics Implementing and managing an MBO program requires the use of a well-defined process.
4.040401 Effective Performance Reviews: Hmmmm Provide timely feedback, both positive and negative to employees as events occur.
4.040402 Performance Review Comments Make performance reviews a continuous, thoughtful process for everyone’s benefit.
4.040403 Performance Review Contents Using a standard template for performance reviews can greatly improve the review’ effectiveness.
4.040501 Don’t Plant Poison Ivy by Mistake Employee perks today can become problems tomorrow as an organization grows.
4.040502 Put the Fire Out Early Management needs to quickly address performance issues as soon as they become aware.
4.040503 Scratch the Itch Address disappointing results with others in a nonconfrontational way to help resolve the issue.
4.040504 Duck Out of Water New positions usually require the use of different skill sets to accommodate the new setting.
4.040505 Sugar Coating Causes Cavities Telling people what they like to hear instead of the truth can create damaging misconceptions.
4.040506 Disagreement versus Contrarian Views Discussing disagreements leads to effective decisions while contrarian views can be destructive.
4.040507 Cutting the Cord Minimize the time between announcement and the departure of an employee.
4.050101 Introduction to Chapter 4.05: You: The CEO Only a select number of people in business get the opportunity to run an organization.
4.050201 The Buck Starts Here Focus on vision, strategy, and tone to move the organization in the desired direction.
4.050202 You Wear Two Hats Leading and managing are two different activities that the CEO must perform simultaneously.
4.050203 Always on Stage An audience is always present, filled with supporters and critics, that interpret your every action.
4.050204 What Others Think Performance consistency, compliance and longevity are critical elements for meeting all goals.
4.050205 Your Balancing Challenge A CEO must balance the needs of employees, partners, customers, and financial investors.
4.050206 Your Top Priority Spending the right amount of time on the right things must be every CEO’s top priority.
4.050207 Be Visible and Approachable Take time for people instead filling your time with activities that are not truly important.
4.050208 They Are Not You As the CEO, you have a unique perspective on the business, do not expect others to share it.
4.050209 Throw Away Your Notes Find individuals that you can ask to do something, confidently knowing it will get done.
4.050210 Look in the Mirror Companies at different stages require different leadership and management skills.
4.050211 Making Time Versus Taking Time Show others that you are human and truly care about them and not just the work they do.
4.050212 Hiring Number Two Hiring someone to help shoulder the load of the CEO in a new company is critical to its success.
4.050301 Set the Tone Lead by example, showing the attributes that you believe in that need to be embraced by all.
4.050302 Be the Sage Focus on asking questions to allow others to discover answers on their own.
4.050303 Parachuting In Joining an existing company as the new CEO always involves responding to incredible demands
4.050401 Culture Just Happens Culture develops on its own over time but takes its direction from early nurturing by the CEO.
4.050402 Politics is not a Dirty Word We are constantly deluged with different ideas that we have to decide to embrace or not.
4.050403 Fair Does Not Imply Equal Treating everything the same or equal can result in unfair and resentful feelings and behaviors
4.050404 Consensus versus Confrontation A recognized, repeatable process for decision making is critical to a company’s success.
4.050405 With or Without You Does your company run on cruise control or, do you have to be constantly behind the wheel.
4.050406 Good Intentions But Bad Advice Listen to the advice from individuals with applicable experience, then decide to follow it or not.
4.060101 Introduction to Management The term management is an all-encompassing word that touches every aspect of our lives.
4.060201 Why Are We Here? Establishing clear meeting expectations can dramatically improve meeting effectiveness.
4.060202 Make Meetings Work Establishing simple meeting “rules of the road” is the best way to make meetings effective.
4.060203 Managing Meeting Time Implement some common meeting process techniques will improve meeting effectiveness.
4.060204 Reports -- Ugh The need for reports seems to grow without bound in an organization, are they necessary?
4.060301 Ground Rules View problems as opportunity and make sure the 7 business principles are applied to decisions.
4.060302 Not Too Wide Angle Views Too many points of view can be just as problematic as too few when making decisions.
4.060303 No Decision Decisions Make decision quickly and crisply to survive, thrive, and create a competitive advantage.
4.060304 Wear Big Hats Ask individuals to focus on what is good for the organization rather than their self-interest.
4.060305 Good Enough is OK Good enough performance or outcomes should be considered in all decision-making activities.
4.060306 Decision Acid Tests Develop a standard process to re-consider decisions to help insure that they are correct.
4.060401 Difference Between Managers and Leaders Some individuals are managers while others are leaders and some are both.
4.060402 Be Willing to Let Go Explaining why a task needs to be performed is as important as explaining what has to be done.
4.060403 Set the Example “Follow my lead” when acutally done, shows commitment and inspires others.
4.060404 Leaders versus Loudmouths Openness and tolerance are worthwhile traits to support up to a point.
4.060501 Measure Someone Else Focus on how and not if individuals will be held accountable
4.060502 Elephant versus a Fly Following the same accountability rules is necessary regardless of setting or observation.
4.060503 Empowerment To be successful, empowerment relies on the simple principle of trust, commit, and perform.
4.060504 Execution versus Execute Fear of retribution usually results in less than expected performance.
4.060601 Change the Future Use forecasted performance to determine if actions are required to meet goals.
4.060602 Keep Them Informed Focus on sharing and explaining information instead of simply posting data.
4.060603 Ostrich Goals Consciously consider events that could hinder goal progress and develop plans accordingly.
5.010001 Introduction to Volume 5: The Top Line The “Top Line” or revenue is the life-blood of the organization and must be continually available.
5.010002 Different Top Line Revenue Goals Meeting top line revenue goals requires a company-wide strategy led by the CEO.
5.010101 Introduction to Managing the Sales Effort Understanding and managing the overall sales process often does not receive enough attention.
5.010201 Forecasting is Tough Increase forecast accuracy by understanding why past forecasts were correct or not.
5.010202 All Probabilities are the Same Sales probabilities are always 50%, an order is received or not.
5.010203 Progress as a Predictor A sales process consists of a series of definitive steps that can easily be measured.
5.010204 Progress Predictor Questions Predict sales through the use of a series of simple yes/no progress progression questions.
5.010205 Creating the Predictor Questions Use actual experience to identify the 5 or 6 milestones in each level of the sales funnel.
5.010206 Forecast Pushback Sales reps should follow a standard process like airline pilots with a pre-flight checklist.
5.010207 Learn by Flushing, Not Filling A stagnant sales funnel consumes valuable resources.
5.010208 End-to-End Control Customers focus on how a new product can be integrated into their entire business.
5.010209 Time is Always the Enemy Sales opportunities need to take advantage of initial enthusiasm.
5.010210 The Sales Cycle is Non-Cyclical Sales cycles vary considerably based on the company’s stage and market acceptance.
5.010211 Tomorrow Will Be Different: Why? Past performance IS indicative of future results unless changes are made.
5.010301 One Question: Multiple Parts One seven part question provides an accurate assessment of a sales opportunity.
5.010302 The WHO in the Question The customer is really a person, not a company.
5.010303 The CUSTOMER in the Question The actual customer is the person responsible for the deployed success of the product.
5.010304 The SINGLE in the Question There is always one single reason to buy that resonates with the customer.
5.010305 The MOST COMPELLING REASON in the Question One Must Have versus many Nice to Have reasons will drive the purchase decision.
5.010306 The BUY in the Question A transaction needs to produce recognized revenue to be considered an “order”.
5.010307 The NOW in the Question Although many buying signs may be made, the actual receipt of the order is all that matters.
5.010308 The YOU in the Question Understand if a customer is buying from you, as a person, or from your organization.
5.010309 Almost the Same Question Understanding how both you and your business partner can be successful is critical.
5.010401 Buying Motives There are only a few true root buying motives. Take time to determine your customer’s.
5.010402 Consensus is What Counts Decisions require consensus not just the action of one individual no matter at what level.
5.010403 Be Like Sand Enlist the entire organization to sell throughout the prospect’s organization.
5.010404 Sand and Stand for One Thing Select one message and demonstrate it often.
5.010405 Sales Aren't Happening There are a dozen major activities that can impede the flow of sales that are often missed.
5.020101 Introduction to Supporting the Sales Team Positioning the sales team is as important as positioning the company’s product or service.
5.020201 First, Have Something to Sell Completing development is only one part of having an offering that can be sold and supported.
5.020202 Hire the Second Best New companies or when entering new markets, sales reps need to be scrappy.
5.020203 Establish the Rules Sales reps are creative and will naturally push the rules, set them clearly first.
5.020204 Cooks in the Army People have to unlearn old habits before they can learn and embrace new ones.
5.020205 Prospects are Everywhere Focus on serving one segment instead of the total imaginable market.
5.020206 Unleashing the Team Develop a strategy and plan for the sales team and then get out of their way.
5.020301 The CEO Sales Rep There are significant upsides and downsides for the CEO to act as a sales rep; timing is everything.
5.020302 The Cost of a Win Not all orders are in the best interest of the company or the customer.
5.020303 Ask Before You Sell Ask prospects early and often about upcoming product features and capabilities.
5.020304 The Biggest Challenge Customers are reluctant to make fundamental changes to use your product.
5.020305 Sell Before You Sell Make sure the customer knows they have a problem before you offer a solution.
5.020306 Provide More Than You Sell Maintain the relationship long after the sale by keeping in contact with the customer.
5.020307 Annual Reports and Other Hidden Sources You can learn intimate information about your prospects through public information.
5.020308 The Gonna Factor It is easy to make commitments about the future that we quickly forget.
5.020401 Are You Ready Be sure to be ready with all of the support mechanisms in place before you launch a product.
5.020402 A Few Finishes Versus Lots of Starts Focus new product field trials with respected customers who will allow public references.
5.020403 A Trial Blink Test Suggest Conditional Sales instead of Free Trials to move the buying decision forward.
5.020404 A Trial Final Exam Ask the customer at the end of the trial for a candid assessment.
5.020501 There is Always a Reason Thoroughly understand sales impediments and develop plans to avoid or resolve them.
5.020502 Analyze Don’t Rationalize Maintain objectivity when prospects question new product capabilities.
5.020503 Impediments: A Great Sales and Marketing Tool Objections from prospects can help to optimize products
5.020504 Learning From Losses There is an outcome for every prospect that starts the sales process.  Understand them.
5.030101 Introduction to Customers There are a few seemingly universal customer concepts that should always be considered.
5.030201 The Drug Supplier: Customers Customers supply the wonder drug: Revenue
5.030202 Customer Categories Take time to understand your customer relationships.
5.030203 Key Decision Makers Don't KDMs do not make decisions without underlying support.
5.030204 The Power of Incumbency Overcoming the resistance to change is difficult.
5.030301 Characterizing Customers Take time to identify the characteristics of an ideal customer.
5.030302 Unqualify Fast Conserve resources by unqualifying sales opportunities early
5.030303 Small Customers, Big Problems Small customers may not be equipped to support your offering.
5.030304 Tire Kickers Can Cause Flats Don’t mistake interested individuals for customers.
5.030305 Firing a Customer Terminating a customer relationship may be the best option.
5.030401 Customers Are Always Testing Every interaction with a prospect is a pass or fail test.
5.030402 Customer Checking Accounts Bank multiple positive experiences to offset negative events.
5.030403 Transferring Customer Risk Assuming some of the customer’s risk can help close a sale.
5.030501 Our Product, The Customer Without direct contact, it is easy to develop an impersonal attitude.
5.030502 Building Customer Trust It takes consistent performance over time to build trust.
5.030503 Hearing Versus Broadcasting It is natural to focus on what we are saying instead of what is being heard.
5.030504 Saving Face and the Order When a stalemate is reached, the game has to be changed to recover.
5.030505 Say Thank You and Mean It Email and mechanized responses do nothing to build relationships.
5.030506 The Customer May Not Be Right Determine the customer’s issues as they perceive them before trying to resolve them.
5.030601 Hire Local Guides Distant views are usually deceiving; activities need to up close and personal.
5.030602 Speak English, Think English Strengths can become weaknesses when approaching customers in different markets.
5.030603 Customer Distractions May Be OK Staying focused is critical but examining potential distractions may be a game changer.
5.030701 A Great Investment Opportunity Some companies assume other companies will fill the gaps that they ignore. It seldom happens.
5.030702 No End Without an End-to-End Sales are dependent upon a clear understanding of the availability of a solution to a problem.
5.030703 Center of the Universe The market and customers do not revolve around you; the opposite is true but often missed.
5.030704 No One Has Total Control In any relationship, neither party has total control; either party can terminate it at any time.
5.040101 Introduction to Marketing First aim for your initial market and then get ready for it. 
5.040201 Aim, Ready, Fire First aim for your initial market and then get ready for it. 
5.040202 Ask Some Tough Questions Marketing needs to ask some tough basic questions before prospects do.
5.040203 Look Outside Too It is easy to fall into the trap of “group think” and miss issues until after product announcement.
5.040204 Bigger Pies are Better Long-term growth is more easily achieved by focusing on expanding served markets.
5.040301 The Middle is Nowhere Do not attempt to serve every segment in a large market.  Instead focus on a segment. 
5.040302 Turn the Tables Develop strategies to offset potential negative comments before they even occur.
5.040303 Keep it Simple Keep the buying choice simple and straightforward to avoid confusing the customer.
5.040304 Table Stakes or Options Premium features quickly migrate to today’s standard features requiring constant repositioning.
5.040305 Make a Claim Make realistic claims about your company to help customers make favorable comparisons.
5.040401 Saturn Five or Bottle Rocket Launching a new product can be very exciting but can also have significant negative impacts.
5.040402 Tarzan was Smart New product announcements can cause short-term revenue slumps
5.040403 Beware of New Products Attraction A successful product launch can result in delayed revenue.
5.040404 The Launch is the Middle A successful product launch only sets the stage for the revenue producing follow up activities.
5.040501 It's the Forest, Not the Trees Don’t’ initially confuse your audience with details, sell the fundamental value proposition first.
5.040502 What Not How Don’t waste your time telling customers how good you are. Explain how you provide them value.
5.040503 What Will They Remember Paint a simple picture that encapsulates the value that you provide.
5.040504 They Know You First Provide the means for prospects to educate themselves instead of just informing them.
5.040505 The Name is Not the Game Naming companies and products can be an arduous process.  Providing value is more important.
5.040506 Your Message: Crystal Clear or Foggy Make sure that your intended message is what the other person heard – it can be very different.
5.050101 Introduction to Business Partners Finding and working with business partners is a mandatory activity for every business.
5.050201 David or Goliath Partners Partnering with either small companies or large companies has different advantages.
5.050202 Partnerships: Start with a Story Provide a description of how customers will benefit from the partnership first.
5.050203 Not Too Fast: Delay the Engagement It is easy to look longingly at big potential partners but are you ready for them?
5.050204 Partnership Risks and Pitfalls Partners require mutual benefits but are always subject to some level of friction.
5.050205 Incompatible DNA Different core capabilities may make a partnership look attractive but may backfire.
5.050301 Finding Prospects and Reaching Customers Leveraging existing distribution channels can significantly jump start a business.
5.050302 Exclusivity: Always Requested, Carefully Given There can be positive benefits in agreeing to exclusivity and some significant downsides as well.
5.050303 Near Term Opportunities Drive Partner Deals Nothing speeds up partnering discussions than a short-term revenue opportunity.
5.050304 Avoiding Partners From Becoming Competitors Constantly increasing your value to your partners will help to keep the relationship intact.
5.050305 Channel Partner Arrangements There are many different channel partner arrangements; all required detailed definitions.
5.050306 Setting Channel Partner Expectations Minor bad news or even good news can have an adverse reaction to your partner if it is a surprise.
5.050401 Dancing with Goliath Introduction Forming a relationship with a large company first requires careful dancing.
5.050402 Meeting Goliath One never knows when an opportunity to meet a Goliath will occur; be ready.
5.050403 Do Your Homework Prepare carefully and thoroughly before initially meeting with a potential business partner.
5.050404 Getting Goliath's Attention Get Goliath’s attention by talking about increasing their revenue and market share.
5.050405 Why You, Why Us, Why Now What’s In it for You and Me are obvious relationship questions that need to be clearly answered.
5.050406 Whom Are You Dancing With Your Goliath contact needs to act as a local guide that helps you through the corporate maze.
5.050407 Watch Your Ps and Qs You are on-stage, in full view, during your first meeting with a Goliath act accordingly.
5.050408 Hidden Goliath Enemies Individuals within a Goliath can easily sabotage your efforts; don’t be surprised but plan for them.
5.050409 Goliath Landmines Potential land mines that can derail a David-Goliath relationship are everywhere; be careful.
5.060101 Introduction to Strategy Topics Clearly developed and implemented strategies is the key to the success of every business.
5.060201 It's a Continuum Think about the strategic implications of every tactical activity and vice versa.
5.060202 Equal But Not Separate Separating but treating tactics and strategy as equal generally causes severe consequences.
5.060203 Methodical Strategic Innovation Use a methodical approach when strategic planning to help make conscious business decisions.
5.060204 Set the Stage Ask some basic questions before formulating this year’s strategy.
5.060205 Strategy Blink Test To avoid envisioning a bright but unrealistic future ask hard questions during strategy formulation.
5.060206 Don't Watch the Kernels Pop Let others worry about keeping the trains running on time while you plan other destinations.
5.060207 It's Strategic Isn't Strategic plans need to be based on some simple, objective, and consistent criteria.
5.060301 The Most Important Factor Strategies need to focus on insuring that customers actually experience value. 
5.060302 What Customers Want Build your strategy on what the customer clearly wants, not what you want.
5.060303 What You Want Build your strategies on what the customer wants but also take your needs into account.
5.060304 Movin On Up The keys to success for larger clients and smaller clients may not be the same.
5.060305 Awareness and Urgency Prospect awareness of what you offer is not enough; they must have a sense of urgency.
5.060401 Avoid Fair Fights Fair fights imply equal odds of winning and losing.  Figure out how to tip the odds in your favor.
5.060402 Be Careful of Game Films Studying the past is useful but remember future events will unfold differently than expected.
5.060403 The Same But Different Build optional capability into your offerings but then carefully release it.
5.060501 Share the Vision Explaining why you intend to follow a particular path is critical to gain support.
5.060502 Work Backwards Starting with the end goal, look backwards to determine what is needed by when.
5.060503 The Resource Battle Resources are always in short supply.  Focus on de-risking your approach to gain acceptance.
5.060504 Feed the Weak Reallocate resources from stronger elements to the weakest element to increase overall resilience.
5.060505 Match Don't Build Examine outsourcing tasks first and only apply internal resources if no alternatives can be found.
5.060506 Jump Start Your Business with EMBAs The unique skillset combination of EMBAs can help a company meet current and future challenges.
5.060601 What Just Happened Unplanned events invariably occur.  Think about what could happen and how you will respond.
5.060602 44 Weeks in a Year Take into account that with a few exceptions, purchases are not made linearly throughout the year. 
5.060603 A 4 Week Slip Always Impacts December Identifying potential alternative actions to avoid missing a forecast should be part of the strategy.
5.060604 Blindsided Confidence in your core assumptions and position may be misplaced leading to negative surprises. 
5.060605 Bob and Weave Game plans and strategies need to be flexible to accommodate variations that are likely to occur. 
5.060606 Failure Root Causes Ego, timing, and execution are three major root causes of strategy failures that can be avoided.
5.060607 Off-Site Can Be Off-Base Well-intentioned strategic activities always have a lower priority than daily routine activities.
5.060608 A Voice Crying in the Wilderness Strategic plans often are viewed as putting the status quo at risk causing resistance.
5.070101 Introduction to Competition Competition is everywhere and relentless and needs to be considered in every aspect of the business.
5.070201 Your Biggest Competitor Gaining a prospect’s attention is the most challenging competitor you will face.
5.070202 Don't Be An Ostrich Be careful not to ignore potential negative outcomes because it may be uncomfortable.
5.070203 Don't Be Rip Van Winkle From a business perspective, you are driving on ice and fast, anticipate events to survive.
5.070204 Encroachment By Others Many companies fail due to their unawareness of new competitive threats from unlikely sources.
5.070301 What's Behind the Curtain The Internet is truly only two dimensional exposing only what site authors want you to see.
5.070302 Size Doesn’t Matter or Does It? The same facts can be used for or against you.  Interpret them for others first.
5.070303 Disarm Them Avoid fair competitive fights by finding ways to disarm your competitors.
5.070304 Speed Kills Stay buried in the pack and then, when the timing is right, sprint for the finish line.
5.070305 Beware of the Blender Avoid attempting to meet all competitive challenges at the same time with the same offering.
5.070306 Make it Easy Set your company apart by being easy to do business with.
5.070401 Pick the Field and Time You may not be able to control the sales opportunity but you can choose how to compete.
5.070402 The Logic of Illogical Acts A competitor’s seemingly illogical acts may be totally logical to them based on their motives.
5.070403 Avoid Black Eyes Look carefully for root causes in all encounters to identify subtle but serious weaknesses.
5.070404 Don't Go Quietly When in a losing competitive situation focus on what is best for the customer not you.
6.010001 Introduction to Support and Development Volume Take into consideration “later” activities “earlier” in the process.
6.010101 Introduction to Chapter 6.01: Customer Service Customer Service should be viewed as a revenue enhancer not a cost that should be minimized.
6.010102 What Is Customer Service Customer Service activities need to focus on resolution not merely helping customers with issues.
6.010201 Department or Activity All groups need to support Customer Service Departments as part of their normal activities.
6.010202 A Cog or COGS Customer Service is the most significant element in the overall process of satisfying customers.
6.010203 The Indirect Force Think of customer service as a force multiplier that can help generate sales.
6.010301 Head or Heart Customer service’s primary goal should be to exhibit a caring attitude while addressing issues.
6.010302 Metrics Drives Behavior Measuring the right or wrong items equally creates awareness which influences behaviors.
6.010303 Who Sets the Rules Make sure that company policies and rules for customers are reasonable and appropriate.
6.010401 Are You Really Ready? Murphy’s Law certainly applies to new product releases.  Customer Service needs to be prepared.
6.010402 When Does It Start? Taking customer service perspectives into account needs to occur early in product development.
6.010403 When Does It End? Customer support is continuous process that needs to occur even when no issues are present.
6.010404 If We Only Knew Sharing customer issue information can result in resolving issues before they reoccur.
6.020101 Introduction to Chapter 6.02: Development Product Development activities need to extend well before and well after work has begun.
6.020201 Butterflies and Development Detailed requirements and their management are critical factors for development success.
6.020202 One Degree of Freedom Adjusting feature content is the only viable method of maintain product development success.
6.020203 No Fences Functional elements within an organization must develop fluid boundaries.
6.020204 PM Always Occurs Planning activities can occur before-the-fact or involve recovery activities after-the-fact.
6.020205 Sunk Costs Can Sink You As they say, “what’s done is done”.  Focus on the future, not the past.
6.020301 The End State Clearly develop and communicate the expected customer’s experience before starting.
6.020302 The Best in Another Class Clearly develop and communicate the expected customer’s experience before starting.
6.020303 What's Next Think past the current development plan to provide decision guidance for current activities.
6.020401 Forecasting Expectations Planned schedules invariably change as details emerge; plan accordingly.
6.020402 The First Scheduling Step Establish clear milestones and metrics for all elements involved in product development first.
6.020403 Good Path, Wrong Destination Successful early lab demonstrations can lead to overly optimistic schedules.
6.020404 Phased Releases, Plan for Them Planning for unforeseen potential delays should be part of the planning process.
6.020405 Fix it Later Impacts The removal of features to adhere to schedules must take into account the delay impacts.
6.020406 Buffers are Self-Fulfilling Unrealistic schedules can occur based on each element including worse-case estimates.
6.020407 Fast, But Not Too Fast Time to market has become a major goal for product releases; be sure to spend enough time.
6.020501 Who is Leading the Charge? Internal product requirements documents need to be driven by customers.
6.020502 Who Needs to be Plural Seek many diverse opinions in determining applicable product requirements.
6.020503 Creeping Features Creeping features, although well intended, can cause serious consequences.
6.020504 Empty Spaces Provide developers with as much insight as possible to help them make better design decisions.
6.020505 Remember Yesterday New product requirements need to carefully consider past product compatibility.
6.020506 Good Today, Bad Tomorrow Carefully consider the long-term impacts of providing special products at customer requests.
6.020601 Plan for Mere Mortals Developers need to carefully consider the capabilities of their product’s end users.
6.020602 Plan for It Early Practical implementation methods need to be considered in the earliest stages of development.
6.020603 Write It Down Document design decisions and parameter limits as they are incorporated into the design
6.020604 Documentation: Sooner Not Later Documentation plans and timing are as important as the product development plan itself. 
6.020605 Soup to Nuts Testing Product testing encompasses a broad spectrum of activities that need to be carefully considered.
6.030101 Introduction to Quality and Process Topics High quality can only be maintained through the implementation and following processes.
6.030201 Quality is Not a Principle Quality needs to be a fundamental component of every principle and every activity, every time.
6.030202 Quality Principles There are some fundamental quality principles that need to embraced by all company elements.
6.030301 Three Variables and One Constant Flip Flop Quality should never be compromised when meeting Features, Time, and Resources demands.
6.030302 Later Never Happens Plans to address compromised quality standards to meet schedules can be a ticking time bomb.
6.030303 Have a Customer in the Room It is easy to lose sight of the point of view of others that do not participate in discussions.
6.030304 Fitness for Use Decisions The development or any product or service requires tradeoffs that need to be made consciously.
6.030401 What is a Process? At the most basic level, a process is an ordered set of repeatable steps to create a desired output.
6.030402 Processes: Why Bother? Take time to explain the advantages of implementing process to avoid resistance.
6.030403 The Pre-Process Explosion Re-work and inefficiency due to a lack of processes can be tolerated -- until they can’t!
6.030501 Processes: When to Start Unexpected results are a key indicator of when to implement processes.
6.030502 Starting the Process Process Start process implementation in a small way with an easy projected victory to gain acceptance.
6.030503 Common Process Elements Utilizing a common process format will help implementation across the organization.
6.030504 Documenting a Process Divide the process of a creating process into well defined discrete steps.
6.030505 The Object Model Approach for Processes Let the actual implementers define how they perform their tasks within a process.
6.030506 Step Back Process Guidelines Process development can easily get off track by well-meaning but misguided activities.
7.010101 With a Little Help From My Friends Work closely with Boards of Directors, Advisors, and Customers and others as the business grows.
7.010201 Your Best Friend An entrepreneur needs to develop a strong relationship with a mentor when they first start.
7.010202 Who Shoud Sit Around the Table Deciding who to add to the new company’s ecosystem is critical but not easy.
7.010203 Legal Counsel: Changing Chairs Legal counsel will shift from providing advice to the entrepreneur to representing the company.
7.010301 The Inside Table Roles There are many indirect or support functions that need to be added sooner rather than later.
7.010302 Part-Time Employees, Fulltime Experts The market is filled with individuals with outstanding expertise available on a part-time basis.
7.010303 Outsourcing - Force Multiplication Outsourcing allows a company to focus on its core competencies while leveraging others.
7.010304 Fulltime (but often delayed) Seats at the Table Critical functions are often ignored with severe consequences encountered later.
7.010401 Company Boards Overview To be successful, recruit and engage with experienced individuals in different Board capacities.
7.010402 Board of Advisors The use of domain expert advisors can be the difference between success and failure of a startup.
7.010403 Customer Boards Customer Boards can provide unique insight into what to do now and in the future.
7.010404 Board of Directors Understanding how to operate under the supervision of a Board of Directors is critical.
7.020101 BoD Interaction Introduction Maximizing the effective interaction with the Board is the CEO’s responsibility.
7.020102 BoD Dynamics The CEO is responsible for the cohesiveness and effectiveness of the Board of Directors.
7.020103 BoD Potential Friction The CEO and the Board Members should be aware of some common potential areas of conflict.
7.020201 BoD Meetng Preparation Develop a simple, replicable template for Board Meetings to minimize the preparation effort.
7.020202 BoD Meeting Logistics Coordinate Board Meetings early to avoid conflicts and follow a standard format.
7.020301 What to Cover Develop a standard Board Meeting template to minimize prep time.
7.020302 CEO BoD Assessment To provide effective guidance, Boards need the CEO’s objective and candid assessment.
7.020303 BoD Presentaton Tips It is the CEO’s responsibility during Board Meetings to set a positive, open dialogue tone. 
7.020304 During and After the Meeting Successful Board Meetings require detailed preparation and management of the meeting flow.
7.030101 Introduction to Mergers and Acquistions Pre-merger communications often averts poor post-merger performance.
7.030201 Match Making an M/A Transaction Try to form a business partner relationship before pursuing a transaction.
7.030202 M/A Transaction Types Each type or merger or acquisition will have a lasting impact on the new organization.
7.030203 M/A Motivation Understanding each party’s motivation for pursuing a transaction is critical.
7.030204 Starting the M/A Process Each controlling entity needs to ask and answer some basic questions about the transaction.
7.030205 M/A Positioning Spend time in a detailed “get to know” session early in the M/A discussion.
7.030206 Why Mergers Fail Poor employee communication during early transaction discussions usually results in failure.
7.030301 Management M-A Buy In Employee communications with first level supervisors or managers is critical.
7.030302 Merging Realities Management must recognize the negative employee feelings when merger discussions begin.
7.030303 Acknowledging the Obvious Management needs to address employees as soon as any M/A discussions begin.
7.030304 Employee M/A Anxiety Increased levels of anxiety will be ever present until merging activities are complete.
7.030401 M/A Communications Develop an overall communications plan to ensure consistency of Consistent Communications. messages.
7.030402 M/A FAQs for Employees Provide an FAQ document to employees replace rumors with factual information.
7.030403 What It's Worth The valuation of a company discussed in an M/A transaction can vary widely.
7.030501 Likely M/A Show Stoppers Identify issues that could stymie an M/A transaction as early as possible in the discussions.
8.010001 Introduction to Volume 8 This volume contains tools and presentations referenced in the articles in this collection.
8.010002 Released Tools and Presentations This article lists the released tools and presentations included in this Volume .
8.020101 Company Assessment Tool Basic Version Use a numeric rating system to help determine if an investment should be made in a company.
8.020102 Company Assessment Tool Advanced Version Use a numeric rating system to help determine if an investment should be made in a company.
8.020103 Risk Assessmeent Tool Basic Version Identify and then assess the risks the company may experience and then plan accordingly.
8.020104 Risk Assessmeent Tool Advanced Version Identify and then assess the risks the company may experience and plan accordingly.
8.020105 Investor Messages Evaluation Tool Evaluate your company with statements that are likely to be important to investors.
8.030101 Process Examples: Overview Using simple tools can make process implementation quick and easy.
8.030102 Process Example: Ordering Lunch This is an example of the use of five simple tools to create a process.
8.030103 Process Example: Customer Fulfillment This is an example of the sequential use of five simple tools to create a series of processes.
8.030104 Process Example: Inflection Point Sequential Processes This is an example of using only two or the five available tools to create a series of processes.
8.030201 Limited Partner Returns Model Adequate Limited Partner returns require VCs to find Grand Slam company exits.
8.030202 Term Sheet Example The deal terms, not the valuation, determine the outcome of a company sales transaction.
8.030203 Sales Compensation Workbook Develop a sales compensation tool that is easy to use by the sales rep and the company.
8.040001 Introduction to Presentations This is a series of presentations created from the contents of the CxO-Atlas article collection.
8.040201 Seven Business Principles There are seven business principles that need to be the foundation for every business.
8.040301 Business Plans versus Planning a Business Business Plans are a document while Planning a Business is an Activity.
8.040302 Three Questions to Answer Ask others for their objective opinions about your idea and potential customer acceptance. 
8.040303 Avoidable Gotchas Presentation Think of these issues as a checklist of what not to do.
8.040304 Who Should Do What, When Presentation Defining the required activities by revenue stage is the key in developing a realistic business plan.  
8.040305 Early Stage Pitfalls Continually review a list of pitfalls that others haCommon Traps, Entrepreneur Errors, Misstepsve made to avoid them.
8.040306 An EMBAS for EMBAs With some additional areas of study, EBMAs are uniquely qualified to start their own business.
8.040401 Guidance from Gurus Part 1 Learning from others is probably the most important attribute that one can have.
8.040402 Guidance from Gurus Part 2 Learning from others is probably the most important attribute that one can have.
8.040403 Guidance from Gurus Part 3 Learning from others is probably the most important attribute that one can have.
8.040404 Management by Objecitives: Incentive-Based Compensation Develop specific goals and metrics to help ensure stakeholders are motivated.
8.040405 Sales Compensation Presentation Developing a fair and equitable sales compensation plan must consider many factors.
8.040501 Your Message: Less is More Create your messages on what you want your audience to understand and remember.
8.040502 Force Multiplication Through Partner Developing mutually beneficial partnerships is essential to businesses of every size. 
8.040503 Sales Strategies: Myths and Insights A rigid, robotic approach to sales does not work. Sales adaptability is key.
8.040504 Selling: It's all about Matching First A rigid, robotic approach to sales does not work. Sales adaptability is key.
8.040801 Where Are You Spending Your Time Customer revenue is a far better way to raise money that a fancy slide deck.
8.040802 Funding Alternatives Developing a funding roadmap, considering all alternatives is well worth the effort.
8.040803 Inside the Head of Investors Understanding the thought process and goals is critical to receive funding from investors.
8.040804 Early Stage Investor Questions An investor pitch should be a summary of the details that address obvious investor questions.
8.040901 Landing a Job Proper planning and execution are imperative in securing a new position.
8.041001 Startup Insghts Forum Overview Share and solicit opinions in an informal atmosphere from others to avoid costly mistakes.
8.041002 SI Forum: Company Focus The lack of market focus is probably the number one reason that startups fail.
8.041003 SI Forum: Internal Issues ignoring day-to-day and growing pain details are always a threat to long-term success.
8.041004 SI Forum: Investor Considerations Pursuing financial investors most likely is a bad idea for entrepreneurs.
8.041005 SI Forum: Sales and Revenue Revenue is the wonder drug; it fixes almost everything.  Focus on it accordingly.
8.041006 One Million Cups Presenter Questions To show an understanding of their business, presenters need to answer three core questions.
8.041101 Tiny Goals for Maximum Results Divide major tasks into bite-size pieces to better monitor overall progress.
8.041102 Elevator Pitches Should Work in 2 Story Buildings Less is More: Give your audience bite-size pieces of information about your business.
8.041103 David and Goliath Business Partners Working with established partners than compliment your company is a key to success.
8.041104 Navigating Thru Uncharted Waters During unsettling times, it is essential to think through the current situation and plan accordingly.
9.010001 Introduction to Volume 9 This volume’s contents do not fit nicely into the structure of the site but may be of interest.
9.010101 Site Statistics Articles average two pages in length and 785 words and can be read in three minutes or less.
9.010102 Article Listing by Number A listing of articles by number.
9.010103 Article Listing - Alphabetically A listing of articles alphabetically.
9.010104 What's New and Coming This collection will never be completed; more material will be added regularly.
9.020001 Landing a Job Overview Landing a new job requires planning, alignment, and execution, just like landing an airplane.
9.020101 Running To or Away It is easy to rationalize any new position if one is focused on running away from where they are.
9.020102 Breadth or Depth Value Does the candidate and the company want subject matter expertise or general knowledge? 
9.020103 DNA Match It is important to explore the different characteristics of a candidate and the company. 
9.020104 Large or Small Company Support Some individuals cannot adapt to the differences between large and small company support.
9.020105 Long-Term Value Both the candidate and the company need to assess the long-term value in the recruiting process.
9.020106 Hidden Information in Plain Sight Examine all available sources of information during the interview preparation process.
9.020107 Bring and Ask Questions Interviews need to be two-way dialogues in which both parties ask and answer questions.
9.020108 They Know All About You Online information about you will be reviewed during the hiring process; plan for it.
9.020109 Prepare for Three Questions Prepare answers to what your past boss might say about you and a mistake you made.
9.020201 One-Page Resume Nonsense Providing relevant information should dictate the length of a resume.
9.020202 Ampersands Shoukd Stay on the Keyboard Prepare a resume as if it was a paper for a Language Arts class, not as a quick SMS to a friend.
9.020203 Make it All About Them, Not You The topline statement of your resume should focus on how you can help the company.
9.020204 Tell a Story Show who you are with stories in your resume.
9.020205 Research by Both Both the candidate and the company should expend the same effort in researching each other.
9.020206 Education, Experience, Wisdom Demonstrating sound business judgment sets candidates apart.
9.020301 Always On Stage Assume that everyone you meet or see is evaluating you as part of your job interview.
9.020302 There are Stupid Questions Ask appropriate and well-thought-out, relevant questions during the interview.
9.020303 Talk Less and Listen More Engage the interviewers by asking probing and follow-up questions.
9.020304 Never Say “That is a Good Question” It is OK to pause while you are formulating a thoughtful response to a question.
9.020305 Know When to Stop Asking for the job at the appropriate time is OK but asking too early or continually asking is not.
9.020306 Meet Your Boss’s Boss Your boss’s boss, is the likely person to help your career advancement.
9.020307 What You and Others Learned List what you learned during interviews and what you think the interviewers learned about you.
9.020308 Say Thank You and Mean It Send non-self-serving information to interviewers to keep you top-of-mind.
9.020401 EMBAs and Private Equity EMBAs have unique skill sets that make them valuable to Private Equity firms.
9.030101 Turning Off Financial Investors Due to the volume of requests, investors focus on quickly saying “no” for the smallest reasons.
9.030201 Three Elevator Pitch Mistakes Develop 12-word statements that will resonate with specific audiences.
9.030202 Three Most Important Aspects of Communications Effective communications require the message to be clear, concise, and compelling.
9.030203 Three Marketing Missteps Early-stage companies need to plan their marketing strategy, thinking about “not yet.”
9.030401 Three Kinds of Revenue Different strategies are required based upon the type of revenue being pursued.
9.030402 Forecast Sales Events, Not Revenue Sales during a company’s life cycle will involve different costs—forecast sales events not dollars.
9.030501 Three Levels of Customer Discovery Customer discovery involves far more than socializing a plan with others.
9.030502 Three Questions to Answer Seek external validation of the problem, solution, and customer’s motive for purchasing.
9.030601 Three Types of Customers Base your business forecasts on anonymous customers that make objective decisions.
9.040101 Entrepreneur’s Roadmap Introduction Answer some basic questions and plan your overall journey before you start.
9.040102 Stakes in the Ground Part 1 Think hard about the entrepreneurial path that you are about to begin.
9.040103 Stakes in the Ground Part 2 Think hard about the entrepreneurial path that you are about to begin.
9.040104 Nine Startup Stages Introduction : Understanding the nine stages along the entrepreneur’s journey helps set proper expectations.
9.040105 Startup Stages One thru Three Solidifying the vision involves peeling the layers back through thoughtful planning.
9.040106 Startup Stages Four thru Six It’s not what entrepreneur’s say that counts, it’s what others do.
9.040107 Startup Stages Seven thru Nine Scaling operations, revenue increases, and operational problems are all part of success.
9.040108 The Could versus Should Trap Falling into the could versus should trap can quickly lead to startup business failure.
9.040109 Three Levels of Discovery Understand the problem first, then validate it with prospects, finally focus on your solution.
9.040110 Three Questions to Answer Validating the problem, your solution, competition, and the market requires careful thought.
9.040111 Avoidable Gotchas Hazards along the journey commonly appear, learn from others to avoid them.
Article Number : 9.010102   

A Handy Reference Guide for Executives and Managers at All Levels.

9 Volumes 42 Chapters ~659 Articles

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The weight of your world does not have to be on your shoulders.
The articles in this site will help to lift that weight from your shoulders.
Pick an article similar to how you pick a route on a page of an atlas.
There is no need to look at other articles, just as you ignore other pages in an atlas.
It is easy to start a business but it is hard to run. Bumps and unexpected sharp turns in the road are always present.
Others have traveled the road before you; learn from them. This site may help.