Trust and successBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-05-20 Email Print
The paths to growth may vary, but growth is a must for solution providers with any hope of success.
As far as Dadian is concerned, trust goes hand in hand with success, and a company’s culture is the key to building that trust.
"I build trust in everyone and delegate to everyone," he said. "If someone lets me down once, so what? It happens. We fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Mistakes happen. Where I believe we excel, is that when we make them, we correct them faster than most. And 99.9 percent of the time, they are made in our facility, so they are not client-facing."
Remembering to have fun and being flexible also helps, he said. One factor that requires special attention, he added, is how to reward top performers, which can vary. "My idea and practice is not to give ownership percentages, but to provide profit sharing.
It seems to work."
Maynard uses a different approach. "Touchbase has always offered exceptional people the chance to own part of the organization that they are building. We call this our 'Partner Program,’ and it was loosely copied from Goldman Sachs," he said. Every year, a number of people get nominated for election by the company as a whole and are then voted on by the company as a whole."
Based on that process, some employees are made equity partners and have the chance to own part of Touchbase, Maynard said. "This approach is fundamental to keeping talent, not in the good times, as it is easy to be exciting at these times, but more importantly, during the inevitable, difficult times."
Avoiding complacency with many solution providers, as is the case with any company, the biggest enemy can be comfort or complacency. Either is an antithesis to growth, and successful businesses have their own tricks to avoid that trap.
"IT is a constantly changing market and industry, and that’s a key factor to remember," said Mehta. "If you don’t ebb and flow with the demands of the market, you’ll drown and disappear. Remember where you came from, and by that I mean remember that you didn’t get to where you are today overnight. It took a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication."
Mehta likes to think of it as a relationship with a spouse or friend, he said. "Just because you are comfortable with the relationship doesn’t mean that it is static. There is growth and change that occurs, and if you want those relationships to last, you need to grow and change with them."
Maynard likes the practical approach to fighting complacency. "What is referred to as the 'comfort trap’ can only be avoided if the driver of the business, and those that own it, are prepared to gamble everything every day to develop and grow. This is easy at startup but becomes much more difficult as the business grows and the risks get bigger," he said.
Driven by the fear that comfort drives mediocrity, Maynard said he has set up the business for constant growth so that people remain interested.