Board Recruiting and Strategic Advisory Services

In this time of great change when nothing’s normal, FountainBlue LLC has been working with leaders and organizations to understand and manage the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow, creating the trust-based, change-embracing workforce for tomorrow. We work as an independent board adviser for global technology startups, and also recruit board members for board participation on global technology companies where we do NOT serve on the board.

Regardless of whether we serve directly on a board or whether we recruit board members for a board, FountainBlue’s strategic advisory services provide support for board members and the executive teams, focusing on:

Strategic Growth and Expansion

  • Scenario Planning around the VUCA Vectors – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity
  • Collaboration and Alliances
  • Expansion into Adjacent Technologies and Markets

Collaborative and Exceptional Execution

  • Teamwork focused
  • Metrics-Based
  • Strategically Relevant
  • In alignment with customer, employee and partner needs

Delivering Value:

  • In alignment with corporate mission, vision and values
  • With measurable results as defined by customer and partners
  • With measurable results as defined by the organization and its stakeholders

For case studies and additional information, email us at info@fountainblue.biz.


FountainBlue LLC’s Growth Advisory Services is a subset of our Strategic Advisory Services. Areas of specialty include:

  • product strategy development in alignment with client needs and market trends
  • strategic marketing and business development
  • current and projected workforce needs
  • alliance and ecosystem review and planning
  • recommendations for adjacent industries and markets

FountainBlue LLC’s Value Creation Services is a subset of our Strategic Advisory Services. Areas of specialty include:

  • review and assessment of current and projected offerings, in alignment with market trends and customer needs
  • assessment of partnerships and alliances
  • recommendations for improved offerings and packaging, improving value, leveraging expertise

FountainBlue LLC’s Operational Excellence Services is a subset of our Strategic Advisory Services. Areas of specialty include:

  • detailed metrics and reporting on product, people, operations, etc.,
  • scenario planning to optimize for specific results within specific timelines
  • dashboards set up to enhance cooperation and coordination

Non-board participation might include executive coaching, working with key executives and also leadership consulting working with key teams.

For more information and a no-obligation discussion on how we can support your organization, e-mail us at info@fountainblue.biz.


Below is a summary of our 2023 blogs, talking about the headwinds brought on by the pandemic, and leading through the tailwinds to follow.

We work with our clients to first take an inside-out, assessment-based look at what’s happening, and then taking an outside-in, models-based strategy for strategically growing and expanding into the opportunities ahead.

E-mail us at info@fountainblue.biz to find out more about how we help create relevant assessments and baselines how these measurements help create market, product, alliance/ ecosystem, and other expansion models which would facilitate the trust and agility foundational for sustainable growth.

InsideOut-Outside-In .png


Building the Trust-Based, Change-Embracing Workforce of the Future, FountainBlue LLC’s April 2023 Blog

Our blog last month stimulated conversations around how to survive and thrive through the headwinds created by the pandemic and take advantage of the tailwinds that are stirring now and sure to grow.

Our view from the irony tower and from the trenches is that the leaders, teams and organizations that succeed through times of great change are forming trust-based, change-embracing workforces for a future nobody can predict. The visual above portrays the importance of nurturing a culture of trust, while embracing the inevitable challenges and changes to come.   

  • High-trust, change-embracing companies are the STARs, as they are efficient and resilient enough to adapt collaborative, communicative, and innovative strategies which would set them up for success.
  • Change-embracing companies with low trust might have high productivity and high engagement in the short term, but these results may not be sustainable. If the team feels unsafe or unsupported by coworkers or management, they may feel disempowered, dispassionate and disengaged, and may not have the fortitude to persevere, and may leave for more attractive work options. 
  • Companies that are high-trust and low-change might have a great group of people whom they trust, but are not making the changes needed to stay competitive and relevant in a fast-changing, demanding world. This heart-centered leadership may be noble and comfortable but is not sustainable and cannot deliver on expected outcomes without expressly embracing change.
  • Low-trust, change-resistant companies continue going through the motions, but cannot succeed without shifting their outlook on change and trust. Since they lack the cohesion and innovation needed to bring them into the future (with or without headwinds or tailwinds), they will need a major intervention to change their course if they are interested in surviving these times of accelerated change. 

For companies committed to building a more trust-based, change-embracing culture:

  • Take an inside-out perspective of your organization through assessments of everything from people to organization, from roles to products.
  • Take an outside-in perspective of your organization by adopting a top-down, macro-trend approach, an ecosystem/alliances approach, or a technology-led approach, or a combination of the three.

As always, what gets measured gets attention, so focus on driving the quantitative and qualitative measurements that build the high-performing, committed, and resilient workforce of the future. Contact us for more information about how to build the change-embracing, trust-based workforce of the future.


The Headwinds and the Tailwinds, March 2023 Blog https://fountainblue.substack.com/p/headwinds

Navigating the Headwinds and the Tailwinds

The pandemic caused a host of ‘headwinds’, making it difficult to launch and grow companies and businesses. These political, economic, social, technological legal and environmental (PESTLE) micro- and macro- trends have affected us all at many levels.

I don’t seek to understand, manage or dissect these macro- and micro- trends, but I would like to provide tips for leaders and organizations looking to persevere through these unprecedented times. 

  1. Be open-minded with your thinking, open-hearted with your approach, and calm and efficient with your execution. 
  2. Adapt quickly as technology and communication continues to speed up and expand, and leadership will have to be more flexible and agile to keep up.
  3. Leverage the convergence of technologies, industries and ideas through coordination, communication and collaboration. 
  4. Understand and embrace new realities, focusing on only impacting and shifting what you can influence and change.

  5. Embrace diverse perspectives, engagements and participation as they are key elements for innovation, productivity and problem-solving.
  6. No matter where you sit at the table, make a difference for those you touch, in alignment with the mission, vision and values of your organization.
  7. Build an ecosystem of partners in order to strategically plan for an uncertain future.
  8. Develop deep and broad relationships based on mutual respect and trust.
  9. Use data as a dashboard to analyze the challenges and opportunities of the past and today, while making projections for and planning for the future.

  10. Don’t just look at the past to predict the future. Use scenario planning so you can be prepared, nimble and agile when the winds unexpectedly shift, into a future you can’t imagine.

    Nobody could have predicted the events of the past three years. But we can all learn to better navigate headwinds, and invite the  tailwinds as we breeze into the new reality of what’s next.

About Linda Holroyd

As a serial entrepreneur and former managing director at an incubator, and former director at a venture fund, and as founder and CEO of FountainBlue LLC since January 2005, Linda has extensive experience providing strategic guidance to executives and entrepreneurs focused on providing growth and expansion advisory services, delivering operational excellence, and ensuring value to stakeholders in alignment with corporate vision.

Specifically at the organizational level, we partner with board members and the executive team to 1) strategize on proactive and strategic business development, in alignment with client projections and market trends, 2) leverage scenario-based-planning to optimize growth and expansion as well as innovation, 3) deliver on operational excellence in collaboration with partners and clients, 4) facilitate measurable and sustainable high-impact results, 5) align change initiatives with corporate mission, vision and values, 6) support the recruitment, retention and development of a change-embracing, trust based culture, and 7) support the executive vision and leadership which drive each of the above.

The results are reflected in the shareholder value, the engaged workforce, and the product innovations. E-mail us if you’re interested in having a no-obligation call about how we can support your board and executive team.


About FountainBlue LLC

Since FountainBlue LLC’s launch in January 2005, we have coached dozens of tech executives and advised dozens tech entrepreneurs within the FountainBlue community and beyond. Additionally from 1996-2003, FountainBlue LLC’s CEO Linda Holroyd had coached and advised start-ups and corporations as founder and CEO of web development company Galatia.

Testimonials and Differentiators – Strategic Advisory

Strategy

1.Integration of Strategy, Planning and Execution: FountainBlue excels at facilitating a strategic discussion, coordinating planning across teams, and working with all parties to deliver and communicate measurable results.

2. Growth Mindset: FountainBlue centers our strategic conversations around the market opportunities and the current and projected customer needs.

3. Ecosystem Approach: FountainBlue excels at envisioning and creating an ecosystem of stakeholders, and engaging key parties to provide input on the visioning, planning and execution for key projects.

4. Facilitating Convergencies: FountainBlue facilitates discussions which look both at the market and customer impact as well as the operational and people impact for product and business decisions.

Planning

5. Innovation-Focused: FountainBlue helps us to focus on the business imperatives around innovation – stretching our technology, solutions, ideas, and creativity to better support our customers.

6. Scenario-Based Strategic Planning: FountainBlue consistently displays the extraordinary ability to facilitate conversations around scenarios to help us understand the short-term and long-term implications of our decisions and while also engaging stakeholders across the ecosystem in the decision-making process.

7. Collaborative Problem-Solving: FountainBlue excels at strategically bringing all stakeholders to the table to brainstorm alternatives, opportunities and implications to critical business issues.

8. Agile and Iterative Planning: FountainBlue’s ongoing support helps us all be more agile with our planning, more receptive to iterating our vision and plans as scenarios and priorities change for our organization, for our customers, for the market.

Execution

9. Efficient Optimization of People, Process, and Results: FountainBlue ensures that every conversation factors in the people, process and metrics needed to optimize performance and drive progress while aligning to values, goals and market needs.

10. Transparent, Inclusive and Direct Communication: Throughout the change management consultation process, FountainBlue worked with us to ensure that our communications were transparent, clear, inclusive, and aligned with our goals, values, and strategies.


Our Industries

As CEO and COO consultant for FountainBlue LLC and its client companies, Linda Holroyd has direct marketing, strategic and management experience in the following industry areas:

  • Software: (Social media measurement, Resume matching system, Mobile app development, Wide range of cloud projects)
  • Hardware: (Mobile sensors, Semiconductor)
  • Medical device: (Hydration management, Biosensor)
  • Pharma: (Digestive health, tissue regeneration, wound care, CRO)
  • Clean Energy: (smart grid, sensors, equipment, electric cars, water purification, energy diagnostics)
  • Business Services: (business process improvement, product design and development, cloud-based HR and leadership development)
  • Consumer: (Food and retail)

Linda is also regularly exposed to a number of different industries, facilitating monthly discussions at VIP Roundtables attended by industry executives.


Collaborate


Connect with us and share your digital transformation or change management opportunity and challenge, so we can help you envision, plan and realize What’s Next for your industry, your organization, your team, or yourself.

Respond to some questions below and sign up for a complementary 15-minute call to discover what’s next for you, and how you can step into more influence and impact for your team, your product/service, your organization.

  1. What does your team/organization do (specifically) for whom and why are you better than other options?
  2. What would your team/organization like to do in your next chapter of your life and career, and how has what you’ve done in the past better positioned you to do it well? What else do you need to do to better prepare you for this next chapter?
  3. What sectors, companies and leaders should you target, given the above?
  4. What else would you like to share about yourself, your team/organization, your background, your desired future state?

Client Consulting Testimonials

Investors

  • It is Linda’s ability to look around the corner and identify trends that helped us serve anticipated needs, keeping us in the game, and even ahead of the field.
  • There’s nobody better at connecting the dots than Linda Holroyd. Her technical aptitude, market understanding, and people orientation make her a great asset as an executive, manager, and strategist.
  • Linda’s broad experience working with disparate leaders and markets make her the perfect strategic adviser and sounding board as our portfolio companies amplify growth.
  • Linda has the impressive ability to listen, understand, synthesize and then deliver insightful observations, targeted feedback, and pragmatic recommendations for strategic and collaborative directions and growth. Our portfolio companies have greatly benefited from her leadership and guidance.
  • Momentum is the key to any successful business, and Linda helped our portfolio companies to create that momentum in spades.
  • It’s rare to see a professional as people-centered as Linda who is also so business focused and technology savvy. She brings the full package to every engagement!
  • Linda is that rare executive who sees the vision and executes to achieve that vision, in collaboration with diverse sets of key stakeholders, ever seeking the win-for-all.

Executives

  • Linda has the perfect balance of grace and no-nonsense, incisive clarity that creates immediate value in every conversation, driving and inspiring us all to both exceed  expectations and celebrate our successes.
  • I am always amazed by Linda’s diligence, tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit. She is an exceptional communicator and collaborator, managing to tackle even the toughest assignments with grace and results for myself and my team.
  • Linda combines a crystal clear understanding of business management with an enormous amount of energy for producing results. She works at the speed of light, cuts through complexity, focusing our team on delivering on targeted results.
  • Linda’s ability to translate customer requests and input to the executives, engineers, product and business professionals have helped us more efficiently execute on our business imperatives.

Entrepreneurs

  • Linda has tremendous bandwidth for understanding complex technical facts well enough to converse on the business opportunities, implications and direction, while focusing on our bottom-line results.
  • Linda is exceptionally good at identifying what we’re doing right and also astute and creative about how we can do things even better. This is especially remarkable because she’s new to the industry, to the technology, to the space!
  • Linda presents information in a way that makes people see more clearly and collaborate more readily. She then facilitate conversations and actions which positions an ecosystem of stakeholders to serve adjacent markets and nascent opportunities for niche customers.
  • I have never seen anyone so deeply listen, so quickly get it, and then apply it to practical ways to build momentum for our business unit. It is quite impressive.
  • Linda consistently raises the bar and inspires and enables us to drive business and social value.
  • Linda has the uncanny ability to quickly grasp the business and technical implications for our help us refine our strategy, communicate our value to targeted niche markets, and then deliver customer feedback, partnership engagements and even funding.
  • My team and I have greatly benefited from Linda’s amazing ability to quickly identify the core issues and then to immediately facilitate the creation of detailed, actionable, collaborative plans, focused on achieving overarching goals, and addressing identified issues. She has done this for multiple projects and multiple teams, and we heavily rely on her astute judgment, drive, and energy.
  • Linda’s passion, dedication, energy and vision has supported our business launch and growth, exceeding our expectations.
  • Linda’s deep experience as an investor and an entrepreneur across multiple industries helped our company to pivot our strategy, to refine our communication, and to secure paid enterprise use cases.

Sales Professionals

  • Linda is customer-oriented, tech-philic, creative and innovative. She is superb at positioning our solutions to the wide range of decision-makers in our network and even better at teaching our team to do it themselves.
  • Linda is authentic, credible, believable and quotable. She has taught me how to adopt these talents myself.
  • Linda is the kind of strategic visionary who can envision and realize a brighter possibility, using existing technologies, resources and partnerships.
  • People call Linda ‘the Mayor’ for a reason. She can connect you to so many great people.
  • Linda is customer-oriented, tech-philic, creative and innovative. She is superb at positioning our solutions to the wide range of decision-makers in our network and even better at teaching our team to do it themselves.

Sign up for a complimentary 15-minute call to discuss ‘what’s next’ for your organization.

  1. What do you do (specifically) for whom and why are you better than other options?
  2. What would you like to do in your next chapter of your life and career, and how has what you’ve done in the past better positioned you to do it well? What else do you need to do to better prepare you for this next chapter?
  3. What sectors, companies and leaders should you target, given the above?
  4. What else would you like to share about yourself, your background, your desired future state?

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