Category Archives: Business Model Evolution

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High Ranking Attributes – Six Pillars Essential for Leading Your Enterprise

Please find below high ranking attributes of the Six Pillars Essential for Leading Your Enterprise.


Am I aware of the value of Emotional Intelligence for career success? 

Emotional Intelligence is catalytic for whatever other abilities we have; it allows us to make best use of them,” Daniel Goleman speaking at Google.  “Whatever Emotional Intelligence contributes to success, it matters more per unit than IQ.”

Learn from Daniel Goleman speaking at Google Headquarters


Do I genuinely know what our customers value and am I improving how we deliver value in these areas?  


Do I understand what financially successful enterprises look like? Am I helping drive our organization toward these frameworks?

A Key Ratio – After-tax profit margins for Leading Publicly Held Companies currently considered successful:

Walmart – 3.6%

Tyson Foods – 2.3%

J.B. Hunt Transport – 16.3%

Apple – 21.6%

Google – 21.5%

Cerner – 13.7%

Amazon – 0.36%


Do I lead my organization so that we can bring the very best out in our co-workers?   

Example: I do all I can do to create an open, trusting, non-defensive &  non-political environment.  (Taught to all of us by the founder of the CEO Forum, Sir Jim Myers!) 


Has our organization defined the three to eight principles or beliefs that others can depend every person in our organization to follow?

“Culture trumps strategy every time,” Jeffrey K. Schomburger, President, Global WalMart Team, Procter & Gamble.


Does every team member in my organization know our goals and know precisely his or her role in achieving these goals?

“Winning companies have simple goals with clear targets and strong follow-through.  All team members know what to do about the goals and they execute precisely,” learned from Donnie Smith during presentation at The Summit who learned from Stephen Covey and Bob Whitman, Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times.  

Learn from Donnie via this Summit Presentation

About Our Firm 

Elevate Performance LLC operates peer advisory groups including CEO Forums, Elevate Forums and Emerging Leader Forums.  We deliver  Advisory Services, Executive One-on-One’s, the Elevate Speaker Series, Tools and Content.

To learn more about whether one of our forums is a fit for you or how our services can deliver value to you, please contact Tim McFarland at or by calling 479-310-5570.

In all we do, our firm is dedicated to helping you Elevate your Performance.


Learning from Rockline Executive Nick Santoleri

Please enjoy learning from Nick Santoleri, executive of Rockline Industries.  Nick was a recent speaker at the Elevate Speaker Series by CEO Forums.  This post highlights the first three clips of Nick’s presentation via the “CEOForums” channel on YouTube.

Who is Rockline?

Rockline is a global, world class manufacturer of premium quality products for both branded and private label categories. From coffee filters to wet wipe products, Rockline offers a comprehensive line of products for your everyday lifestyle. Rockline is a recognized leader in innovation, product development, research, design, and manufacturing.  Learn more here:

What Can We Learn?

Nick’s topic is “Growing with Underdeveloped Resources.”  This is the challenge for all growth companies as at each stage the larger company needs new resources and desires to respect the talent and resources that got us to where we are today.

Part One, learn about:

  • How to think about Space
  • Growing with underdeveloped resources
  • Facilities around the globe
  • Unique Vision

Click here to watch:

Part Two, learn about:

  • Recruiting
  • Driving without a spare tire
  • Defining Stakeholders
  • How Can Companies Grow?

Click here to watch:

Part Three, learn about:

  • example comparing people and the train
  • clarity
  • how to work smarter – example starring Tom Porterfield
  • high performance organizational chart / high performance teams

Click here to watch:

We will highlight part’s four through six in a different post but they also are now available for your viewing and learning.  Thank you Nick for investing the time to prepare and present such valuable content for those leading organizations.   

Elevate strives to create the best learning environments for leaders through Peer Group Forums, the Elevate Speaker Series, Advisory Services & Toolboxes / Content important to your success.

12 Leaders | 1 Board Room | 6 Peer Group Forums

Elevate is expanding its Peer Group Forums.

Each member gets the opportunity to:

  • invest three hours a month of “theta” time in a trusting setting with peers to process issues and opportunities and learn new and better ways to execute.
  • benefit from the collective wisdom of the experienced leaders whose combined value is estimated to be over $2,000 per hour, your alternative board of directors

Let us know if you or someone you know might benefit from joining a Peer Group Forum. Membership is by invitation.

Ten Ways to Break Through & Develop a Sustainable Growth Strategy for 2013

Think New Thoughts



Emily Knight “Elevating!” Full Handstand

So you are leading an organization with annual revenues between $1 and $40 million and you desire to break through to the next level.       

The below recommendations assume that leadership can see growth opportunities and understands how the organization can / will finance the new growth.  Growth isn’t for everyone and sometimes it is better to optimize our existing customer mix and not grow.  If you are not sure how to finance your growth but see growth opportunities, contact us and we can determine how appropriate growth is for you financially and how / if it can be financed.  Should you see growth opportunities and know how to finance such growth, yet the organization can’t quite seize these opportunities for one reason or another, some or all of the below recommendations will likely help either in execution or how you are viewing the future.  Even if we are optimizing our existing customer mix, you may find these recommendations helpful to how you improve the performance and value of your organization.

“Think New Thoughts” was one of several “lessons learned” nuggets of advice shared by John Lewis in April of 2007 when he was the speaker for CEO Forum I.   As 2013 begins, let’s consider what new thoughts will allow us and our organization to break through!

  • Steve Blank refers to a CEO as being a conductor of a symphony. 

Embrace this! How do we prepare each person to be the best they can be for the role they play in our organization?  How do we help others become better than they ever thought they could become? How do we come together and execute like a high performing orchestra?

  • First who, then what.[i]

Develop a group of A Players & B Players; move B Players to A Players and C Players to B Players.  Remember, a leader is not to be served but to serve others helping our team grow and have a meaningful career / life.

  •  In order to achieve smart & sustainable growth, we must look at our portfolio of talent differently.

If we are going to pursue growth, we all must delegate more and prepare others to take on more responsibilities.  We don’t want to overpromote yet we want to prepare as many people as possible to take on new responsibilities and receive promotions.  If some are unable to take on responsibilities needed to execute at the next level, we will need to add new people.  When adding new people, consider their talent based on their capacity to take on not one but two promotions over, say the next two or four years. If you don’t desire to grow or see growth opportunities, obviously, one can manage this  differently yet A players and B players want to grow in their own career, requiring a growth strategy by the leadership of their employer.

  • Develop clear organizational alignment both for today and for the future. 

Develop an organizational chart that not only speaks to today’s organization but how the organization will look next year and the next.  This means for future year planning, some boxes will be empty.  This also allows others to see where promotions are possible & how we can help them “career plan” so that they can be considered for new openings as that time comes.

  • After organizational alignment, assure that one person owns every detailed task that the organization can define. 

One person should own each and every task of the company.  Another person can be on their team or be there backup but one person needs to own the responsibility.  The ownership tasks and the backup tasks can be established by detailed job descriptions with each person having primary and secondary responsibilities.

  • While impatience got us to the top, patience is now essential.  Push the organization forward, then stop and iterate[ii].

 Determine how this new push is working and modify for improved performance.  In order to innovate, we are going to make mistakes.[iii]  In order to move at a more rapid pace, we are going to “break things.”[iv]  It is part of the necessary price of progress.  Have belief and a positive attitude and give your team confidence that after a series of iterations, we will move our organizations to a new level.

  •   Conduct autopsies without blame.[v]

This is a great way to assure we are staying patient.  And it helps us get to the issues sooner and better.  Conduct these autopsies without blame and if we find during our iterations that it is more of a person or an employee issue, begin to then focus on how to help that person.  Should under-performance continue, it is sometimes best for all to invite the person to their future elsewhere optimally with dignity, respect and compensation.[vi]

  •  Consider the speed of change, the fact that someone is working right now to disrupt your market.

Moving fast to advance innovation or ways to add more value to how you serve your market has a risk / reward payoff.  The faster you move to advance your value proposition, the less impact a new competitor can have if they in fact find a way to disrupt your market.  The market will be disrupted but the impact will be less on you and your organization.

  •  Every one of us, every leader must be more positive!  And remember that if we get angry, we give our power away. 

By focusing on how we lead, focusing on ourselves, we can likely make as much or more impact on how the organization performs as anything.  As we know we are doing our very best and doing all we can to help others be there very best, we will be more comfortable in our own skin and can lead people exponentially better.

  • Contact us and see if joining a CEO Forum might be right for you and you might be right for a CEO Forum.   or 479-310-5570

[i] Jim Collins, Good to Great

[ii] Iteration means the act of repeating a process with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration,” and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.

[iii] Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, Principles and Culture

[iv] John James, CEO of Acumen Brands, Speaker of the Elevate Speaker Series; “Move fast and break things!”

[v]Jim Collins, Good to Great

[vi] Jim Myers, Founder of the CEO Forum

Evolving Our Business Model – from the CEO of

Old business models are becoming obsolete and great new ones are being created!  Our CEO Forum Surveys indicate that one of a leader’s highest priorities is how he or she evolves an organization’s business model so that it can continue to deliver or improve on the degree to which it delivers a high value proposition.  While it is true that this will take some time, there is a growing belief that it also must be sped up.  So how do we go about this?

In August, Forbes named the most innovative company of the year.  What can we learn from  Might it be a source to inspire CEO’s who are seeking to evolve your business model?

Sometimes we can go to school on the winners, consider what they are doing and use common sense to figure out how to apply what they are doing to what we might be done to improve our own business.

One can listen to Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of in another insightful interview by Charles Rose.  We highly recommend it!

As an example, the difference in how Steve Jobs looked at the world vs. Bill Gates:

>Steve Jobs looked at projects with a beginners mind.

>Bill Gates looked at the world as how he could advance windows into it.

Marc reminds us that:

>consider that the i-pad was only launched 18 months ago

>things are going faster than ever before

>there is a thurst for more transparency; organizations that don’t become more transparent can become obsoletedly

>Marc developed a 1/1/1 philanthropic platform for his organization.

> agreed to place 1% of their stock, 1% of their profits and 1% of their time into a 501c3 to do philanthropy

We hope and trust that you find this information of value.

Should you or someone you know want to learn more about joining a CEO Forum, please e-mail us at  Thank you.







The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy by Michael Porter, HBR

As you work to complete your strategic plan for 2012 and beyond, we thought we would provide this post from strategy guru – Michael Porter, Harvard Business Review.

Enjoy both the article and a 13 minute video at this link.  Standing the test of time, Michael Porter.  Great post, Michael and HBR!  Thank you!

Jeannette Balleza’s Rockstar Apps

At this month’s CEO Forums, we had the good fortune to hear Jeannette Balleza’s presentation Using Technology to Support Free Style Productivity.  Jeannette is the owner and Creative in Chief of Scribe Marketing.  She is a brilliant lady that anyone would want on their team.  She is as knowledgeable on technology, website development and social media as anyone to whom our CEO Forum members have been introduced.   She is a member of CEO Forum II.

Jeannette’s presentation received excellent reviews.  She is working on a presentation that we will soon be able to post on the CEO Forums website for all of you to review.

And while it is best to hear Jeannette’s presentation and her views of how each App is utilized for increased productivity and business oriented purposes, several have asked for a list of Jeannette’s Rockstar Apps.

Look for more updates soon on Jeannette’s presentation.  Until then, here is a list of Jeannette’s Rockstar Apps.

FTP on the Go
LogMeIn Ignition
G-Whizz! Free
Docs to Go
Kindle Reader
Remember the Milk
Bamboo Paper

Since the presentation, we have adopted two more of these apps, JotNot and Card Munch.  This App world is pretty amazing!

Jeff Amerine, Innovate Arkansas, member of CEO Forum II, reminds us that Staying Current is a competitive imperative!  So here is a presentation that will help each of us Stay Current.  Staying Current, a Competitive Imperative, is now a new category for our CEO Forums website.

Thank you Jeannette Balleza!   And thank you Jeff Amerine!

We welcome your comments on Apps that you value and utilize to help you be more productive.

CEO Forum Survey – Top Five Attributes of High Performing Business Models

We’ve all come to realize that some old business models are becoming obsolete and some great new ones are being created.  It seems appropriate and compelling for leaders to work every day to try to evolve your business model so that it stays toward the front of creating value for your marketplace.

Recently, we surveyed our CEO Forum members to rank what might be the Top Five Attributes of a Business Model that is positioned to create sustainable shareholder value.  This is what we found among the CEO Forum members:


Top Five Positive Attributes of Business Models Most Likely to Create Long-term Shareholder Value

  • Recurring Revenues
  • Proprietary Position in the Marketplace  (intellectual property, patents, abilities others can’t easily duplicate)
  • Strong Value Proposition (as defined by the customer; what does the customer say about the value you create compared to your competitor?)
  • Within a Growth Industry (sometimes, we must move our business away from a stagnate sector or industry and toward a growth industry)
  • Solves a Real Problem (this is especially true of earlier stage enterprises but is also a way to look at how to update an old business model; what new real problem is out there that an older business may want to attack and create new value for their customer)

It often takes years to evolve a business model, yet depending on the speed of change within your industry, it may take some careful and highly responsive strategic initiatives to accelerate your organization’s speed to significantly change your business model vs. slowly find your enterprise become obsolete.

In today’s rapidly changing markets, nothing is more important for a CEO than to work every week on updating and evolving your business model so that you remain in the front of market movements and you are able to maintain a strong value proposition as defined by your customers.

Survey of What We Learned from the Prior Decade

The prior decade certainly offered a target rich environment for CEO’s and organizational leaders to learn a great deal about free market behavior and how well our organizations were positioned for such large swings in the economy.  Today, there are some tremendous case studies that were born from this decade of activities represented by growth and easy capital markets turning to the great recession and a retraction of markets and capital that hasn’t been as severe since the 1970′s.  We thought we would stop and reflect on this learning opportunity and see what we find among the CEO Forum members.  This is what we found.

Survey Results of our CEO Forum Members

Learning from the Prior Decade


How We Strategically Drive Our Organizations in the Coming Decade

28 Perspectives Nominated by the 37 members of three CEO Forums

 Those receiving the most votes from our members are:

 What might we have learned from the prior decade?

 1. Some business models are becoming obsolete; great new ones are being created

2. Be humble / considerate

3. Quality even slower growth is likely better

4. Target our customers / prospects based on financial risk and ability to grow

5. Learn to say no

 Have we fully comprehended what
adjustments must be made moving forward?

 1. We must develop plans that address financial weaknesses, establish how and when, if not already, our organization can return to growth while also building more liquidity than what was thought to be necessary in the past

2. Risk of shorter cycles between downturns

3. Limited increase in real estate values

4. Ongoing uncertainty of global events

 How will we strategically drive our
organization in the coming decade?

 1. Stronger drive for greater efficiency (using technology and improved processes)

2. Work to try to give more meaning to the work that our co-workers perform; be reminded that as the economy heats up, others will come after our A Players

3. Enhanced / More dynamic strategic planning process

4. Drive to create a higher value proposition as viewed by our customers