Pattern recognition is vital to what we do.
Every business is different, but we see strong patterns among enterprise technology companies. When we come up against challenges, odds are that we’ve probably seen them in other places before and worked out the right processes and principles of best practice for companies to address them. It’s not about a cookie-cutter approach or a playbook that can be broadly applied – it’s about harnessing our collective experience to solve problems quickly, bring in the right experts, and tailor the right solution to the individual company.
Transformation rarely succeeds when it’s imposed.
We know that if a value creation plan, an advisor, or a vendor are imposed on a company, we’re likely not going to get the maximum impact. The management has to believe in the change that needs to happen, own the initiatives, and inspire their teams to put those initiatives into practice. If I have a fresh perspective or idea, I’ll bring it to the management team and we’ll discuss whether it’s the right solution. If we go for it, they are the ones who sponsor and drive the change as we play an enabling and supporting role.
Some early lessons in business have stayed with me.
My first job was at a family pastry shop. I worked as a pastry chef, and managed the front-of-house and back office. It was pretty brutal – the first time I’ve worked more than 24 hours – but great fun and it gave me a very clear view of what it means to run a business. It taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, but more importantly, that you need the right team in place. As soon as we brought in people with the right skill sets, we were able to scale the business and sell into national retailers.