UMass Amherst announces affiliation with IntelliVen

September 9, 2020

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has announced a new collaboration with IntelliVen, a leading executive team development organization, to provide interactive, remote learning programs designed to raise the performance and effectiveness of leadership teams.

The collaboration represents another step in developing a robustumass portfolio of options for UMass Amherst alumni and students to continue learning beyond their college degree.

IntelliVen offers immersive programs designed to help an organization’s core leadership team tackle the unique challenges of managing a growing organization, especially in today’s turbulent markets. IntelliVen’s proprietary set of course modules enables an interactive, remote learning experience that leaders take along with their teams to unlock their true potential to perform and grow.

“IntelliVen teaches leaders, teams and organizations to set direction, achieve team alignment, implement strategy, and make the change they want to grow faster and perform better,” said Peter DiGiammarino, IntelliVen managing partner.

“Education is a journey not a destination. In fact, we view it as a lifelong journey, not something that ends when a person receives a college degree,” said John Wells, UMass Amherst senior vice provost. “That’s why partnerships like this are so important. They provide affordable, convenient access to our students and alumni interested in continuous, lifelong learning.”

Members of the university community will receive a discount on the standard price of IntelliVen’s leadership development immersion programs. More information on the programs as well as directions on how to enroll can be found on the IntelliVen Manage to Lead Immersion Program page.

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is one of the major public research universities in America. Nestled in Amherst, Mass., the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation. It offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. Working with the UMass Amherst schools and colleges, University Without Walls (UWW) is a leader in online education offering degrees and certificates in several subject areas. The vision for UWW at UMass Amherst is to create a learning experience that supports the needs and goals of lifelong learners. UWW will expand access to education by creating high-quality, innovative pathways that meet the unique needs of future learners any time, any place.

About IntelliVen & Peter DiGiammarino

The Manage to Lead System evolved initially from work DiGiammarino did as a UMass Bateman Scholar in Residence in 2010. After more than 35 years of success running organizations with a blend of both advanced business and organization development competence, he coalesced into a leadership development program what he had learned to share with others. He developed and went on to teach Manage to Lead to master’s students in business and in organization development at American University, University of San Francisco and Golden Gate University. In 2018 he worked with an expert in virtual learning programs who worked with Stanford to offer the program remotely to cohorts of executives and their teams on the UMass UWW platform. Learn more at

3 Truths and 6 Power Skills to Master Organization Politics

Organization politics make a lot of people uncomfortable. The untrained hope is that if politics are ignored, and if a job is done well, then well-earned rewards will come. Things rarely play out that way.

Organization politics is defined as anything done at work to increase the odds of success that has nothing at all to do with the work itself. Master executive coach and workplace psychologist, Dr. Dory Hollander, presents three unassailable truths about how things work in organizations and Six Power Skills for mastering the art of career enhancement. Continue reading 3 Truths and 6 Power Skills to Master Organization Politics

Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

Case Background

Leaders of fast-growing, early-stage organizations operate at a fast pace. Often, the last thing there is time to do is to assess the top team’s skills and performance to determine how to prepare them for the next stage of growth.

Most team members know each other pretty well. They have a good idea about:

  • What each other is good at doing.
  • What each has contributed.
  • How each has grown.
  • What each should focus on next to improve.

However, team members rarely have the time, energy, training, or nerve to share what they know in a forthright, supportive conversation with one another.

Yet there are serious consequences to not providing feedback when it is needed most. As highlighted in the Wall Street Journal article, “How To Tell If You Are a Jerk in the Office” (C-Suite Strategies, Journal Report, Feb 23, 2015), confidential feedback for executives is important. Not only are leaders and co-workers affected adversely by dysfunctional behavior, but business performance and customer service can be damaged, often permanently, if poor behavior continues.

IntelliVen, a San Francisco-based executive development organization, uses a proprietary approach to help top leaders and their teams address executive feedback issues head-on. For example, IntelliVen worked with a fast-paced, $10M financial analytics firm serving Freddie Mac, U.S. Treasury, and Capital One among other leading financial institutions. The IntelliVen approach was used to assess the firm’s top team of senior executives relative to norms for successful organizations at a similar stage of evolution and to identify individual and team opportunities for learning.

Continue reading Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

Ten Steps to Drive Change from the Inside

If you are frustrated by an organization resistant to embracing a change you believe is right, consider using the following steps as a road map to seeing your ideas through to reality:

Get Clear.

Write-up and share your point of view. While what you have in mind may seem clear to you, it likely is not yet to others. Writing about what you want to happen forces you to work out the logical progression of thought and to fill in the details to tell the story in a way others can understand. Share what you write with others to test for clarity and ask for help to make it clearer.

Focus on value.

Emphasize the business value your change would generate in terms others, especially those in positions of authority, can understand and appreciate.

Set the context for change.

Use the change framework to explain how what you have in mind to change exists today, why it needs to change, how it will be in the future, what must be done to get from here to there, and what will be difficult about effecting the change.

Continue reading Ten Steps to Drive Change from the Inside

Private Equity investors leverage intelligence as well as Dollars

Private equity (PE) investors have come a long way since they first appeared shortly after World War II.

Their initial edge was their ability to do financial engineering where debt was used to make every dollar invested (note, invested dollars are called equity) generate a return multiple times what was originally invested (a.k.a.: multiple of invested capital or MoIC).

Think of leverage as a force multiplier; i.e., when one thing behaves as if it were many things…whether the thing is a dollar, a physical force, or a human resource.  

The way debt leverage works in private equity is described simply in this video clip

Second Wave of Private Equity Innovation

The second wave of private equity innovation came from studying best practices across ventures to set benchmarks for success based on the best performers in a given domain.

A benchmark is the standard against which performance is measured. Once the benchmarks that correlate with success are  known, the mandate is to configure operations to conform to best practices. Private equity firms got good at finding what performance needed to be and then driving management teams to conform to success norms.

What’s Next?

Now that financial engineering and performance benchmarks are standard practice, the question is: “What’s next?”. In his article, Three Phases of Private Equity, Kerry Moynahan tells us it is now all about people. We at IntellIVen could not agree more. Today’s private equity investors can no longer rely on just financial engineering, access to debt capital, and getting the operating metrics right to win big.

The battleground is now defined by portfolio company management team operating maturity. Having an aligned, diverse, high-performance management team lowers risk and shortens the time it takes to achieve the private equity firm’s investment thesis. Less risk and quicker results mean better performance and faster growth which means greater value. 

“Both venture and buyout funds have increasingly backed executive leadership that has had prior success and will continue to do so. The proverbial ‘Holy Grail’ for investment funds is to find management teams that are proven and have as close to a proprietary idea as possible.”

Kerry D. Moynihan – Partner, Boyden – PE & VC

Contact Kerry at:

The best private equity firms assess their portfolio company management teams and proactively help them upgrade by:

  • Adding strong players they know and trust from having worked with them successfully before.

  • Finding and recruiting strong players via their network or retained search (such as Kerry and his firm, Boyden).

  • Developing in-place teams.

The punchline is that demand for talent is so great that it far outstrips the supply of quality talent. No amount of networking and recruiting is enough to satisfy the burgeoning need for leaders who know how to manage to lead an operating team. The solution is to increase the supply of quality talent by leveraging experience, instead of dollars, to change the game.

Most private equity firms have senior operating executives on staff who are assigned to share their experience to ensure a subset of management teams are on track to achieve their investment thesis. So doing helps to some extent, but the operating executive’s personal capacity constrains the extent of their impact.

A Proven Path to Maximum Value in Minimal Time

IntelliVen has developed a proven way to package what successful operating executives have learned into a form that helps those with lesser skill and experience perform at higher levels faster. In the very same way that private equity firms initially leveraged investment dollars, IntelliVen leverages intelligence, knowledge, experience, and wisdom.

We are independent successful operating executives who systematically package what we have learned running portfolio companies into a system that dramatically, and quickly, up-levels management team performance, growth, results, and value. 

While your management teams have survived the first wave, disruption can rear again in a flash. If things head south again, or if one of your teams could use some help pulling together their reset plan, guide them to get in touch remembering that, quite likely, only you can get your CEO to phone-a-friend for the help they need. 

If you are a proven executive who seeks a platform on which to work with top-notch, low-ego, high-performance operators get in touch at to compare notes and explore the opportunities.

growing business

Contact us at to learn how we can help dramatically improve the odds of your success.

Intelligent Strategies. Successful Ventures.