Renaissance EXECUTIVE FORUMS
14697 Delaware Street, Suite #240B
Denver, Colorado 80023
Phone:  (858) 551-6600

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Perry Sells

Quarterly Forum Program

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Before joining Renaissance Executive Forums, Perry served as President and CEO of R.S. Means Company, Inc., North America’s leading publisher of construction cost information and related technical publications.  Under his leadership, the company increased revenues 45% and grew operating profit by 296% over five years. Earlier, Perry was CEO for Eclat, Inc., a technology start-up specializing in data archive/retrieval for electronic cataloging in the construction industry.   Perry also held CEO or Senior VP positions at Barclay’s Law Publishers and Sweet’s Division, McGraw-Hill Information Systems Company.

While a CEO, Perry was a member of a CEO peer group and found the experience invaluable.  In 1998, Perry moved into the CEO peer group business, and is now running the Renaissance Executive Forums Quarterly Focal Program.  He has extensive experience as a CEO coach, group facilitator and business consultant.

In addition to his Executive Forums responsibilities, he serves on the Board of Directors of three privately held companies.

Perry grew up in Chicago and has a B.A. Economics degree from Beloit College, Beloit Wisconsin. He and his wife Ann reside in Scottsdale, Arizona and both enjoy choral singing, hiking, bike riding, swimming, competitive bridge, golf, theater/symphony and traveling.  They have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

About the Renaissance Executive Forums

Top Executive Quarterly Focal Program

 

The Quarterly Focal Program (QFP) uses a structured process to facilitate the program, and we have a strict selection process for accepting new members.  

  • Segmentation by Company Size:  Renaissance Executive Forums segments its advisory groups by company size.  We have found that the issues of small to mid-sized companies are different from those of larger enterprises.

  • Focus on Strategic Issues: The entire group meeting is devoted to examining member issues and providing extraordinary feedback.  Our process ensures that our high performance CEO’s fully understand, analyze and give feedback on each issue.  Membership in each Executive Forums quarterly group is limited to eight CEOs.  This ensures that we have the time to hear each member’s ideas and focus on each member’s issues.

  • Full-time Facilitator and CoachRenaissance Executive Forums assigns each group a full-time facilitator and coach, called the Forum Leader.  It is the Forum Leader’s job to recruit CEOs, coach CEOs, and facilitate the quarterly meetings about member issues.  Our Forum Leaders have a variety of backgrounds, but share the ability to ask good questions, facilitate discussion, and keep a group of high-powered CEOs on track.

  • Group Diversity:  In many cases, CEO’s have an established network of advisors and friends within their own industry.  However, they often do not spend time talking about their business with CEO’s from other areas.  We build each group so that it is diverse.  We strive to bring together businesses from a variety of industries and CEO’s from a variety of backgrounds.  This ensures that the ideas and discussion about each issue are creative and different from what the CEO’s find in their usual circles.

  • Meeting Time:  Our quarterly groups meet four (4) times per year for two (2) full days of meetings.  Member companies will be from around the country, although groups are focused geographically to minimize travel time.

  • One on One Coaching: Forum Leaders work extensively with all members about 4-6 weeks before the upcoming quarterly session, first to determine what they will be presenting (with guidance), and then reviewing their electronic drafts extensively, reviewing suggestions, and then confirming the Final copy.  In many ways, this pre-meeting work provides hugely significant strategic value for each member and the program.
     

 

Selection Criteria

for the Quarterly Focal Program

A group of world-class CEO’s makes a great advisory group.  Therefore, the goal of the Renaissance Executive Forums Quarterly Focal program is to assemble an all-star team of high-performing companies headed by high caliber CEO’s.  Our members are industry-leading CEO’s with true entrepreneur mentalities and strategic vision.  They are dedicated to improving their performance and committed to learning from others in an effort to take their companies to a higher level of success.  The CEO must meet four selection criteria before we offer membership in the Executive Forums program.

  • Great Business/Great CEO:  In our selection process, the Forum Leader is an advocate for each of the other CEO’s that make up the advisory group.  We take this responsibility seriously.  In the end, we ask ourselves, "Is this a business in which we would invest?"  "Is this a CEO that we would hire to be a business consultant?"  The answer needs to be "Yes" to both these questions, or we will not offer membership.

  • Commitment to Personal Growth:  A successful CEO of a growing company must continue to grow.  We believe that learning is never over.  We want to work with CEO’s who are open to radical ideas, new ways of thinking and constructive feedback.  Is this CEO truly committed to raising the level of their own game in order to provide better leadership and strategic direction to the organization to take it to the next level?  If that is the mindset of a particular candidate, then the Renaissance Executive Forums program is perfect for them.

  • Time Management:  This program requires that the CEO be able to manage their time to spend  two full days per quarter working on the business rather than in the business.  By working on the business the CEO is able to better identify the important issues and consequently time is spent more efficiently on those things that will make a difference.  The members of the advisory group rely on one another a great deal, so full attendance and quality preparation are essential to maximize the benefits of participation to everyone in the group.  If the CEO cannot commit to the meeting schedule (recognizing the occasional last minute conflict) and the advance preparation required, then the program will not work for them or the rest of the group.

  • Significant Issues:  We spend all of our time on the issues of our CEO members.  Therefore, the issues that CEOs plan to bring to the group are an important component of our selection criteria.  Are they the kinds of decisions that will have a significant dollar impact?  Are they strategic issues that other CEO’s will benefit from discussing and learn from?  Identifying and discussing significant issues will make participation in the program a CEO's most valuable business days of each quarter.

 

Outcomes

of the Quarterly Focal Program
 

The Executive Forums program helps a CEO accomplish the following:

  • Define and refine your vision:  Most successful entrepreneurs and CEO’s have a strong vision.  However, they do not always take the time to define the “how” and “why” behind the vision, nor do they test their assumptions.  Renaissance Executive Forums will challenge a CEO to do all of these things.  Because traditional business plans often restrict creativity or are tailored for various audiences, we have each CEO write an Achievement Letter to present to the group.  Dated 36 months in the future, the letter details where you have taken your company during this time period and outlines all major strategic initiatives – even the less traditional ones.  The CEO’s advisory group reviews the letter, challenging the rationale behind the overall direction and each initiative. Accountability is an important part of this program.  Therefore, the group will revisit each CEO’s letter and implementation on a regular basis.  In effect, Renaissance Executive Forums provides each CEO with a safe and challenging environment in which to present and justify their business long-range strategy.

  • Identify and discuss your key issues:  CEO’s make decisions every day.  It is part of their job.  Many revolve around operational issues, but the most important address strategic issues.  These are the decisions that will shape the future of the business, and many CEO’s do not spend enough time on these decisions.  The Renaissance Executive Forums program encourages each CEO to focus their time on these important issues.  For at least two full days each quarter, the CEO must work on the business rather than in the business.  We will help a CEO to identify, capture, frame and document key decisions for peer review using our Decision Blueprint process.  The group will discuss various solutions and brainstorm other options based on their own personal experience.  This process allows the CEO to test ideas with an unbiased and diverse group of peers before embarking on a path that may have a better alternative.

  • Develop your management team:  If the CEO desires, we can push the process and tools down into the organization.  As an example, the CEO can ask all direct reports to prepare an annual Achievement Letter for their area of responsibility and frame all key decisions they are making throughout the year using the Decision Blueprint process.  Many of our CEOs have pushed the process and tools into their organizations with strong results.

  • Grow professionally and personally:  "Every entrepreneur thinks he is God’s gift to management…until he hits the wall," says member, Clyde G. Lear, of  Learfield Communications, Inc.  We have also found that traditional managers have a great deal to learn from entrepreneurs.  At Renaissance Executive Forums, the idea is to stretch your thinking beyond your comfort zone and to get you thinking outside of your box.  We do this in several ways.  First, we assemble a group of world-class CEO’s from a diverse set of industries and backgrounds. Second, we use structure to ensure that there is a high level of preparation and discussion.  Third, we encourage our CEO’s to focus their time on the things that matter most.  Finally, our Executive Director facilitates the process from start to finish.  As a result, we motivate each CEO to bring their best game to the table because everyone else in the group is doing so.