InterSolve Group... has made a business out of
promoting... alliances, working with chief executives to assemble teams from diverse sources to create new business opportunities."
– Reuters

September 1991

Perspectives on Leadership

Edward R. McPherson, President and CEO, InterSolve Group

As we begin our fourth year of leading important business assignments for chief executive officers through high-performing project teams, it is a pleasure again to share recent special experiences and perspectives on leadership with our clients and friends.

Recent Special Experiences

As you may recall, I have been committed for much of the past year to a single, unique relationship with Eli Broad, the prominent Los Angeles-based businessman. Eli continually creates successes in business, education, public affairs, and the arts as evidenced by the record earnings in the most recent quarter at Broad Inc. and his gift of $20 million to the business school at Michigan State in June of this year.

This special arrangement together will be completed this fall, and I am again serving multiple client relationships from our Dallas office.

The experiences of this initiative are invaluable. Many new relationships have been formed, thus expanding our network of resources, especially on the West Coast! In addition, innovative viewpoints have been gained on entrepreneurship, investing, and creating effective enterprises with one of America's top businessmen.

Perspectives on Leadership: "The Power of One"

One of the largest global corporations in the world is our client. Among the many strengths of this impressive company are the dedication of its people to meeting their customers' needs and the ability to move quickly on market and product opportunities.

As a result of the perserverance and leadership of a single corporate account representative among its several hundred thousand employees, the company is completing the sale of a multi-million dollar integrated information technology product which may well revolutionize how an entire service sector conducts business by changing how work is performed.

In this relationship, we played an important role in designing a selling strategy and facilitating the sales process. Coach your own people to have "The Power of One" to make a significant difference within your organization!

Furthermore, the information technology area is now widely recognized as a critical area involving many chief executive officers. The transforming of enterprises with more knowledge workers, networked organizational structures, flexible scope, economic partnerships, and global reach all bring emphasis to effective information technology.

Recently, we have seen significant advantages gained from minimally staffed data centers using robotic technology, terradata storage, and advanced image processing led by a second generation of chief information officers. Exciting progress is coming as well from breakthroughs in multi-media software and prefabricated object-oriented programming.

Ironically, as electronic applications advance rapidly, the human and cultural aspects of changing systems often do not keep pace. Several of our assignments in the past year involved ensuring that the human aspects of organizational and technological change are linked effectively!

Collective Regional Leadership

Travelling throughout the United States gives one a clear view of which geographic areas are assembling key ingredients for competitive leadership. For example, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy tri-city area in New York is combining good public education, a heritage in manufacturing and engineering, technology parks, incubators for emerging enterprises, and a high quality recreational lifestyle into a surprisingly energetic environment for businesses.

Similar characteristics are in place or emerging within the Research Triangle in North Carolina, parts of Florida, the upper Midwest, particularly Michigan, and central Texas.

Conversely, energies are waning - at least temporarily - in the Route 128 area outside Boston and the Baltimore Washington corridor in the Middle Atlantic region.

Southern California, a massive economy in itself, continues to exhibit pronounced extremes including the very rich and poor with few in the middle, weakness in real estate and defense industries, problems with infrastructure and social elements - especially water, affordable housing, increasing crime - all now compounded by state fiscal deficits. Positive aspects of this region include, of course, access to the Pacific Rim, lots of creative talent in business, technology, medicine, and communications, and a self-reliant sense that anything is possible!

And finally, keep in mind ...

One of the clear trends for success in business in this decade is that low cost, high quality is again fashionable. Gone are the limousines, offices with fireplaces, and high fixed cost structures!

Winning attributes are experienced small teams, purchasing services from outside the corporation, and "partnering."