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Achieving Business Success Through Alignment

Abstract vector graphic depicting unity and strategy for business success

Summary Keywords

business alignment, collaborative success, customer-centric alignment, strategic goals, team productivity

In the realm of business growth and sustainability, the concept of alignment has emerged as a cornerstone for achieving success. Ellen Grace Henson, an expert in product management and strategy, sheds light on this pivotal topic, revealing how focusing on the customer and ensuring alignment within teams can significantly enhance organizational performance. This article delves into Ellen’s profound insights on “Achieving Business Success Through Alignment,” showcasing her methodologies and experiences that have led numerous companies to thrive.

Introduction: The Importance of Alignment in Business

In today’s competitive business environment, achieving success through alignment has become more than just a strategic advantage; it’s a fundamental necessity. Ellen Grace Henson’s extensive experience in fostering customer-centric alignment and overcoming the hidden costs of misalignment provides a blueprint for organizations aiming to enhance their team productivity and drive revenue growth. By prioritizing the customer and ensuring every facet of the organization is aligned with this focus, businesses can unlock unprecedented levels of success.

Focus on the Customer

At the heart of Ellen Grace Henson’s approach is a deep focus on the customer. This customer-centric perspective is essential for developing human connections and relationships that are crucial for collaborative success. Understanding the value that customers seek and the roles that individuals and teams play in delivering this value is the foundation of everyday alignment. It’s not just about meeting needs but about embedding the customer’s perspective into every decision and strategy, thereby aligning all efforts towards a common goal of customer satisfaction and business success.

Attaining and Sustaining Alignment

Achieving alignment within an organization is a significant milestone, yet sustaining this alignment is where the true challenge lies. Ellen has developed proprietary methodologies, frameworks, and workshops that offer a structured yet highly adaptable approach to meet various business challenges. These tools help team members develop an awareness and skill set that contribute to attaining and sustaining alignment daily, ensuring that the company’s purpose, vision, mission, and strategy are not just aligned on paper but deeply integrated into every action and decision.

The Hidden Costs of Misalignment

Misalignment within teams and processes often remains concealed until it surfaces as glaring issues, such as customer attrition, employee disengagement, and revenue underperformance. Ellen Grace Henson’s expertise comes to the forefront in identifying and addressing these misalignments. Whether it’s product development not aligning with sales strategies or a lack of cross-functional collaboration, Ellen’s strategic interventions have successfully reoriented companies towards growth, highlighting the critical need to maintain alignment to avoid these costly pitfalls.

Experience and Education: A Foundation for Success

Ellen Grace Henson’s illustrious career and educational background lay a solid foundation for her expertise in alignment and customer-centric strategies. With experiences ranging from driving revenue growth for Fortune 100 companies to lecturing at Santa Clara University, Ellen’s diverse skill set and knowledge base have equipped her to tackle complex business challenges. Her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Architecture and Urban Planning further enriches her approach, blending analytical rigor with creative problem-solving.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for Forward-Thinking Leaders

For business leaders and teams eager to delve deeper into achieving business success through alignment, Ellen Grace Henson’s insights offer invaluable guidance. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of her strategies and how they can be applied to your organization, we encourage you to listen to the full podcast episode here. Embrace the journey towards customer-centric alignment and discover how it can transform your team and business for unparalleled success.

Achieving business success through alignment is not just a strategic move—it’s a transformative process that places the customer at the heart of every decision, ensuring long-term growth and sustainability. Ellen Grace Henson’s expertise provides a roadmap to this success, guiding organizations through the complexities of alignment and towards a prosperous future.

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Bryan Hancock Headshot — Founder of Integrity Development

Bryan Hancock

Founder of Integrity Development

Integrity Development

Executive Biography

Bryan Hancock has been managing real estate investments—and overseeing development and construction projects—for nearly two decades. He has deep roots in Austin, Texas, and comprehensive knowledge of the opportunities and challenges in this fast-growing market.

Through his development and syndication companies, which he built from the ground up, Bryan has developed 50+ urban infill projects and managed $25M in real estate sales with approximately 35% return on investment at the project level. He also co-founded two private equity funds.

Bryan brings in-depth industry awareness, sharp business acumen, and extensive in-the-trenches experience to his work as co-founder and principal of Integrity Development. He partners with a team of professionals and industry experts (many have been involved in Austin real estate for 40+ years) to identify value-added and opportunistic investments that protect capital and reduce risk for lenders—while delivering outsized returns for investors.

Earlier, Bryan founded and directed Inner 10 Development, a residential development firm focused on Austin’s top zip codes and surrounding communities, and H2i, LLC, a real estate syndication company. He steered these organizations for 17+ years, overseeing the acquisition, buildout, and sale of single-family and multifamily properties, including a 350-unit urban infill joint-venture project.

Bryan was successful in delivering strong returns while minimizing risk for bankers and investors by taking a targeted, data-driven approach to opportunity analysis, due diligence, and strategic decision-making. He zeroed in on potential risks and developed proactive mitigation strategies to protect and grow investments.

Concurrent with his work at Inner 10 Development and H2i, Bryan established Gentry Lending Group, a private-equity debt fund. He also served on the board of Bullseye Capital Real Property Opportunity Fund. These experiences provided Bryan with a grasp of both investor and banker viewpoints, including an understanding of risk and liability on the lending side. This aspect of his background continues to shape his real estate decisions to this day.

There is another unique aspect to Bryan’s career—a corporate history that differentiates him from other investors and developers in this field. Bryan has built organizations, controlled multimillion-dollar projects, and supported billion-dollar programs for some of the world’s largest companies: Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Dell, CACI, and Charles Schwab. He managed teams and vendors in the US, China, France, and India, and often balanced up to 10 projects at a time. He was trusted with a Top Secret Security Clearance from the United States government.

A business-savvy leader and lifelong learner, Bryan holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bryan founded the Wealth Investment Network, co-founded RealStarter (a crowdfunding platform for real estate investors), and was a member of the Urban Land Institute and Central Texas Angel Network. He has been a guest speaker at 20+ national events, including conferences and meetups through the Information Management Network (IMN), SXSW, Rice University, Bay Area Real Estate Summit, Soho Loft Conference, Texas Entrepreneur Network, and many others.

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Melissa Aarskaug Headshot — Founder of Executive Connect

Melissa Aarskaug

Founder of Executive Connect

Senior Executive, Board Member & Advisor

Vice President of Business Development
Bulletproof, a GLI company

Executive Biography

Melissa Aarskaug is a global executive and business leader at the forefront of the technology/cybersecurity industry. She shapes strategy, leads teams, and partners with Fortune 500 companies and other enterprise clients to protect their organizations from risk and noncompliance—while improving operations and accelerating growth.

For 15+ years, Melissa has taken the reins to propel organizations to the next level of performance. By combining business acumen and revenue optimization with the sharp mind of an engineer, she uncovers and seizes opportunities for profitable growth in the US and around the world.

Melissa has established a distinguished career with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), where she is a key member of the senior executive team. Throughout her tenure, she has assembled teams, developed new markets, and influenced P&L impact, ultimately positioning GLI as the #1 provider of testing, certification, and cybersecurity services to the global gaming and lottery space.

After achieving this feat—a big win for GLI and game-changer for clients worldwide—Melissa steered both GLI and Bulletproof (acquired by GLI in 2016) into untapped verticals: finance, government, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, and retail. An enthusiastic, knowledgeable growth driver who cultivates partnerships and rallies teams, she led GLI/Bulletproof to dominate these markets as well.

Before joining GLI, Melissa shaped and executed strategy as Vice President of Business Operations for LV Investments, where she built and optimized a portfolio of commercial and industrial properties. Earlier, in a very different role as Project Engineering Manager for Fisher Industries, she directed and mobilized a team of 550 employees and contractors to develop the world’s largest concrete bridge. Previously, she headed a major engineering project for Pacific Mechanical Corporation.

A curious, lifelong learner, Melissa holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering with minors including Business and Mathematics. She is a Karrass Master Negotiator and C4 Executive Coach who actively pursues ongoing education and inspiration as a member of Chief, Austin Technology Council, Austin Women in Technology, and Toastmasters International. In addition to her own personal and professional development, Melissa is committed to helping other people thrive both inside and outside of the workplace. She actively mentors and empowers team members at GLI/Bulletproof, and is an executive leader and coach for Global Gaming Women. She founded Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Austin and is a current or past board member of many organizations, including Emerging Leaders in Gaming, Ballet Austin, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has been a Junior League volunteer in Austin, Las Vegas, and Reno for 15+ years.

Throughout her career, Melissa has inspired individuals, teams, and entire organizations to think differently about innovation, cybersecurity, leadership, and business development. She was honored as one of the “Emerging Leaders in Gaming: 40 Under 40” and she continues to share her ideas and expertise through publications, podcasts, webinars, and presentations.

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