RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – So just how do successful executives manage to take their companies to “the next level”?

That’s the subject of the next Exchange event being put on by Local Tech Wire on Aug. 14 at the American Tobacco Historical District on Aug. 14. If you want to know answers to the “next level” question, you will want to hear from our panelists.

We call these programs “Executives Edge,” and they are designed to do that – provide company leaders with information to help make crucial decisions.

Ron Williams of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill will lead the discussion about “next level.”

Three very successful Triangle entrepreneurs will participate in the discussion:

  • Al Childers, a co-founder of Magellan Labs which was sold to Cardinal health
  • Rich Lee, chief executive officer of Hosted Solutions, who recently sold his company
  • And Greg Pelton, chief development officer of a relatively new program at Cisco call IRIS.

“My research has taken me down the growth path of partnership or sourcing,” Williams explained in talking about the upcoming event. “The reasons for that are multi-fold but in a nutshell I would contend that there are a set of powerful global market shaping forces that are rendering old industry models obsolete. Those forces include shifts in regulation, new emerging technologies, and a growing shift to modularity in both products and processes. This means that all companies must build, buy or partner to gain new capabilities that will assure profitable growth. Following are the options and some issues:

“1. Buy – 70% of all M & As fails because companies frequently try to buy revenue instead of capabilities and waste a lot of time and resources trying to mesh to organizations that have different cultures, processes and technology. If you are going to buy growth, buy smaller companies with specific capabilities and make sure you have the capabilities to leverage those capabilities

“2. Build – In today’s fast changing world companies will have build some new capabilities to remain competitive but they do not have the time or resources to build them al and others have already perfected them. They must therefore be very selective in what they choose to build to assure they really generate value.

“3. Partner/Source – This becomes the logical alternative. With resources spread globally and across other industries that now become part of a company’s new ecosystem, a company has no choice but to not only partner to grow, but to learn how to do it well. This naturally required a new set of capabilities to create and manage these relationships.”

Williams presented these questions to our panelists. We’ll share their feedback in upcoming Skinny reports. But for the most complete explanations, be sure to attend the Exchange.