It all started with grilled cheese sandwiches and the twins (as in Danny and Arnold from the 1988 movie Twins). When I met Tony O’Hare in 1996 at a very large organization, we became friends instantaneously. Tony and I realized we had shared values, concerns, and were curious about many of the same intellectual subjects. Over the next two years, during our grilled cheese sandwich ‘n fries lunches, we talked about many aspects that affect an organization’s makeup, behavior, and prospects:

How do leaders make decisions? What makes employees engaged or disengaged in a business? Why do some people work conscientiously while others flourish by managing expectations? What is the right way for technology teams to engage with business teams? The list goes on.

During these discussions, we developed a list of do-and-don’ts to build and run a successful organization. Voila! We had the perfect recipe to write a how-to business book, go on a book tour, and become organizational transformation consultants.

Then we paused and asked ourselves, what right do we have to tell the world how-to, when we have no clue if anything we are preaching will ever work?

Fast forward two years, I left my position at the large organization and became a professional services consultant. Soon after, Tony left to pursue a different career.

Though we parted ways, I never forgot our conversations. As a consultant in my interactions with companies and their clients, I continued to see patterns of dissonance and my desire to fix things became stronger by the day. Finally in 2000, I decided it was time to put many of those great ideas into practice. I was ready to become an entrepreneur and start my own company where I could architect best practices from ground-up and create a company that would make a huge difference. After speaking with a few mentors and hearing from them that I was ready, I picked up the phone and called Tony to see if he would be interested in joining me on this journey. He accepted without hesitation.

I founded what is now known as Forte on February 21, 2000. After 16 years of implementing many original ideas and a lot of experimentation, we’ve learned, improved, and discovered even better practices. I believe we have accomplished the goal. Forte is making a huge difference for its customers, team members, investors, partners, and the community.

The founding thesis of Forte is simple – if you bring together a group of people with good values and a desire to make a difference, and provide them with a meaningful purpose, they will create great products and services to meet the customers’ needs. When you do that, those customers become lifelong friends and evangelists for your company. This customer satisfaction brings in sustainability and growth, giving you the ability to create a significant return on investment for your shareholders. It also gives you the wherewithal to contribute to the broader community.

Forte is living and breathing proof of our successful experiment. As determined by an independent market research company that interviewed a majority of our enterprise customers, Forte’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) is 100. Yes, really. Forte has 100NPS!

Now, I feel compelled to share what we have learned to benefit the business community. Instead of cementing my ideas in a book, I choose to write about this in a blog to reflect our continuous work and learning. I hope this will enable many to contribute, so we may all share and learn through our collective contributions.

Onwards and Upwards,

Shree Kalluri

Founder, President/CEO, and Chief Customer Officer


About Forte

Forte provides key solutions for cancer centers, academic medical centers and health systems to unleash their research potential through software, consulting, services and managed infrastructure.

With a strong belief in community, collaboration and standards-based development, Forte also facilitates the Onsemble Community, a customer-exclusive group for peer networking, best practices and support. Twice a year at the Onsemble Conference, clinical research professionals meet in person and discuss the latest challenges and solutions in clinical research.

Forte provides all research professionals complimentary blog articles, eBooks, webinars and more to support continuous learning on industry topics.