093: Supporting People in Charge of Operations with Marvell Allen


With a background in cultural anthropology, certified coaching, and leadership development, Marvell Allen brings a distinct perspective to her C-suite clients. She has a particular knack for helping them eliminate egos and silos as barriers to getting things done. In this episode, Marvell explains how COOs (or anyone in charge of operations) can keep CEOs off the ledge. But, she says, they in turn need support in executing on strategy and keeping the entire supply chain intact. Discover the business infrastructure techniques she says can help.

Special Guest: Marvell Allen, Founder & CEO – Millennium Career Advantage, LLC

Location:  Oakland, CA  USA

Air Date: April 19, 2020


  • COO eForum: “a private and confidential member network featuring: member profiles and contributions, extensive library of business information, calendar chapter meetings, industry forums, chat feature, and private chapter networks.”
  • COO Forum LinkedIn Group: an international LinkedIn group providing support and roundtable discussions for Operating CFOs, General Managers, Divisional Presidents, Operating CIOs, and Executive VPs.
  • Make Operations Your Secret Weapon – Here’s How: an article by 1st Round Review featuring Linda Kozlowski, COO of Etsy.
  • The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations: a book by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Marvell recommends paying close attention to chapters 3, 4, and 5.  Key principles from the book include:
    • Model the Way
    • Challenge the Process
    • Enable Others to Act
    • Encourage the Heart
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable: a book by Patrick Lencioni.
    1. Absence of Trust
    2. Fear of Conflict
    3. Lack of Commitment
    4. Avoidance of Accountability
    5. Inattention to Details
  • SBA: the Small Business Administration is an American government program offering funding as well as operational sources to keep small businesses open.
  • SCORE: the Service Corp of Retired Executives is an SBA resource partner offering a combination of live and recorded webinars on a variety of topics to help small businesses start and grow.

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More About Guest, Marvell Allen:
Marvell C. Allen is Owner and Principal of Millennium Career Advantage, LLC, a professional
leadership development and coaching practice, started in 2010.  She is an expert at delivering executive, management, and staff development programs that support organizational objectives. Moreover, she has a solid track record as an organizational development leader for dynamic organizations as they work to resolve complex business issues.

Marvell is known as a key strategic partner for senior executives and cross-functional teams to help achieve business imperatives. Additionally, she is a sought-after facilitator who assists teams and organizations with solving their most challenging issues. Current and past clients include Twitter, LinkedIn, The Bureau of Indian Affairs (U.S. Department of the Interior), Marriott International, Kaiser Permanente, Google, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Genentech, to name a few.

She has a BA degree from UC Berkeley, an MA in Political and Economic Assessment (International Business Asia) from Dominican University of California, and coaching certifications in StrengthsFinder, Leadership/Talent Management, and Career Management Coaching. Marvell is also a Certified Facilitator for The Leadership Challenge.


More About Host, Alicia Butler Pierre:
Alicia Butler Pierre is the Founder & CEO of Equilibria, Inc. – a 15-year-old operations management consulting firm. Her career in operations began over 20 years ago while working in various chemical plants and oil refineries. She invented the Kasennu™ framework for business infrastructure and authored Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success.  It is the world’s first published book on business infrastructure for small businesses. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure podcast with a global audience across 35 countries.

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