HELPING CEOs GROW GREAT COMPANIES
It takes a new breed of leader to drive success at one of today’s high-growth, investor-backed technology companies — a leader who believes in continuous re-invention through innovation, collaboration, and customer focus.
Since 1989, CEOs have come to Catlin & Cookman Group for our proven frameworks, proprietary tools, and highly targeted resources to help plan for and manage growth and change. We’ve combined our deep technology-industry knowledge and our sole focus on the CEO experience to develop a range of offerings that helps innovative leaders grow great companies.
Katherine Catlin has helped CEOs grow great companies for more than 20 years. With a unique set of proven processes and practical tools, she addresses the full range of growth issues, including helping the CEO clarify vision and values and define the company’s strategic and annual plans, while building the executive team, infrastructure, management process, and cultural environment critical to achieving aggressive growth strategies.
Always focusing on the CEO’s unique role, she created and leads High-Growth CEO Forums®, where CEOs meet regularly in small groups to grapple with critical business challenges, exchange ideas, and develop best practices for growth. In 1989 she created Building the Profit Spiral®, now a proven, growth-planning process that guides CEOs in producing winning growth strategies, avoiding typical pitfalls, building a cohesive management team, and establishing processes for gaining company-wide alignment and commitment to implementation of growth goals. She also developed the CEO Performance Evaluator™, based on her experience in helping numerous CEOs define the critical responsibilities of an effective leader in growing organizations. In addition, she has established The CEO Exchange, a Web site for CEOs that provides articles, ideas, and information about growth issues.
With her expertise in leadership, innovation, executive teamwork, and the CEO’s role in planning and managing growth and change, Catlin has been a featured speaker at the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Young Entrepreneurs Organization, Inc. Magazine’s conferences on “Growing the Company,” JP Morgan Partners, and Women Presidents’’ Organization. She created and led the seven-part “Growing Your Company: The CEO’s Challenge” series for two years for the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.
As a thought leader for CEOs of emerging growth companies, Catlin has written two books, Leading at the Speed of Growth: Journey from Entrepreneur to CEO and Building the Awesome Organization: Six Essential Components that Drive Entrepreneurial Growth with co-author Jana Matthews in conjunction with the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Published articles include “The Profit Spiral: A Practical Guide for Leaders Committed to Growing Their Organizations,” “Secrets of Innovation,” “CEOs Drive Growth with Innovation,” and “Peer Groups Help CEOs Succeed in Today’s High-Risk/High-Reward Environment.”
Catlin is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Sweet Briar College and received a Masters degree from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA.
Bouzha Cookman began her work in this field in 1998, and considers herself extremely fortunate to have worked with more than 100 outstanding, investor-backed, innovative CEOs since then. She currently works on an ongoing basis with more than 25 CEOs in her High-Growth CEO Forum® program, and with numerous others as consulting clients.
In addition to leading four of Catlin & Cookman Group’s High-Growth CEO Forums, she manages and delivers the company‘s Planning for Growth™ strategic planning and Building the Executive Team as Leaders of Growth® practices. A certified Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI) practitioner, Cookman blends these skills to help her clients build great companies by connecting their vision to successful execution. Clients learn how to adjust their CEO roles to match their companies’ growth.
An experienced panel moderator, Cookman enjoys and is skilled at helping conferences select topics and speakers related to the CEO growth experience. Some examples include “Tipping Point for Growth,” “Innovating Through the Economic Downturn,” “How CEOs Grow with Their Companies,” “Leading Toward (and Beyond) the IPO or Acquisition,” and “Growing Great Companies,” respectively, at the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 Nantucket Conferences. Her panels were voted first, second, or third in popularity each year.
To hear these interviews, please go to: 2012 Nantucket Conference: Growing Great Companies
Cookman has been in high-tech for more than 30 years. Her most notable operational experience was an exciting seven-year tenure at Avid Technology. As the 20th employee, she witnessed firsthand the wins and challenges of growing a company from start-up through IPO. Her Avid experience is key to why she is so keen to help her clients succeed with their companies — at every growth stage.
She also is proud of collaborating with great team members to help Avid succeed. As sales director, she and her sales organization grew revenues from $1.5M to $20M over a three-year period. Later in her career, she led a product-marketing effort that increased revenues from $51 million to $110 million in one year, and created an Academy Award-winning film-editing system. Cookman also was responsible for marketing communications and business development for Avid‘s $280 million professional-products business.
Cookman is a Cum Laude Honors History graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School where she was selected by faculty to tutor first-year students. She loves learning from her clients and leveraging that learning to help all succeed.
As a member of leadership teams at industry pioneers in long-distance telecommunications, cellular telephony, and Internet consulting, Nikki Fisher has learned through hands-on experience what it means to be at the center of the high-tech/high-growth whirlwind. As a result, she brings to the Catlin & Cookman Group a unique ability to provide practical insight and support to CEOs striving to build not only fast-growing but also sustainable and profitable enterprises.
For the past eight years, Fisher has been president of The Fisher Group Consulting, LLC, where she specializes in helping high-tech companies grow profitably by improving the customer focus and integration of their sales, marketing, and service functions. Strategic projects include helping a global technology company develop the vision and plans to transform itself from a product to a services/solutions business; helping a software start-up use deep customer research to determine its next breakout product; and coaching a CEO and his team to successfully bring a 30-year-old direct-marketing company online.
Fisher began her career as employee #379 at an upstart company called MCI where, after writing the company’s first annual reports, Congressional testimony, and marketing materials, she led the in-house litigation support group for MCI’s antitrust suit against AT&T. After the initial suit was won, she was asked to lead the interdisciplinary team that created MCI’s first cellular applications to the FCC, then became the company’s first female VP, heading marketing, customer service, procurement, human resources, and IT for MCI’s newly formed paging and cellular subsidiary.
After nearly ten years at MCI — during which time the company grew from $6 million in revenue to $3.6 billion — Fisher was recruited to become a member of the leadership team at Sprint’s startup cellular venture. There, after turning around an ailing sales organization, she was tapped by the CEO to lead all customer service and operations support.
After three years in the cellular subsidiary, Fisher joined Sprint’s $6 billion business-to-business, long-distance division where, as a vice president in corporate marketing, she implemented industry-leading processes and systems in sales compensation and database marketing. In 1995, at the height of the “long-distance wars,” Fisher was named president of a skunkworks start-up that established Sprint’s first non-branded reseller of long-distance services to small businesses.
In 1996, Fisher joined another startup — IT services pioneer Sapient. Over the next three years, as the company grew from $49 million to $276 million in revenue, she established the first marketing, strategic planning, and alliance functions. As chief marketing officer, she was also a critical player in the company’s highly successful efforts to rebrand itself as a full-service Internet consulting firm.
Fisher graduated cum laude with a BA in English from the University of Missouri and has completed executive education courses at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Although she has lived in a number of cities including Washington, DC, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Boston, she recently returned to her Midwestern roots, settling happily in a house near Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin.
“Catlin & Cookman Group is really good at bringing out and confronting the really tough problems. They don’t let it go. They’re like a velvet hammer, very skilled and professional. They’re nice about it, but they help you wrestle your problem to the ground and beat it.”