Letter from our CEO – Fourth Quarter 2016
Last quarter, I told you about our new Executive Leadership Team (ELT), a select group of our top leadership linked to every facet of OneSource Virtual as a company. The ELT was tasked with several objectives, such as identifying strategic opportunities that aligned with company vision and values, assessing or predicting the needs of all of our customers and employees, assessing and addressing critical initiatives, and helping me arrive at informed decisions as OSV continues to grow. In short, I would describe them “as the eyes and ears that chief officers, founders and board members rely on to stay informed at all levels of the organization and the industry.”
Through these eyes and ears, I started to see and hear very differently. I started to think in new ways.
Another benefit of the ELT structure was that it allowed me to cascade information down through the organization and, perhaps more importantly, receive information delivered by customers and employees at all levels. I was given an amazing opportunity to really listen to my customers and hear what we’re doing well and we can do more of. Through this type of communication, I realize we have a tremendous opportunity. We need to stop being a service provider and start being a customer partner. The nature of a customer partnership allows us to discover more about each other, to learn and grow together. A true collaborative partnership raises questions about how we can be predicative and proactive. How do we communicate to be more effective? How do we best prepare to exceed customers’ immediate expectations? How do we address their business needs before they know they need them?
Without ever straying from OSV’s core company values, we started to act on this new way of seeing, hearing and thinking with the goal of moving away from simply providing services and becoming a customer partner.
In August, we welcomed Trey Campbell as OSV’s new president and chief operating officer. He is a long-time industry veteran who served on OSV's Advisory Board and provided instrumental guidance to our Board of Directors over the last four years. Trey is tasked with realigning the organization so that the customer is the focal point at all times, from before we meet them to years down the road as we continue to partner and drive more organizational effectiveness in serving our customer at a level unprecedented in the industry.
In September, John Bax joined OSV as our new chief financial officer. A longtime CFO of private equity and venture capital backed technology businesses, John also served as the CFO of Walmart.com and as VP planning and analysis for Walmart Stores where he acted as the primary strategic planning officer for the world's largest company. John’s experience and expertise helps position OSV as an efficient, effective and sound organization with a global reach.
I say it often, but to continue growing you have to continue to be willing to change. Our new way of seeing, hearing and thinking has prepared us to do far more than grow and change. We’re now in the midst of transformation. To transform as we plan to do, you have to be willing to embrace new ideas and abandon contented, comfortable thoughts. What got you to where you are won’t necessarily get you to where you need to be.
As I reflect on the 21 years I’ve been in this particular business space, I notice there is a significant difference in how the industry thinks you should gauge success, as opposed to how you can change the measurement of what success looks like. While some industry leaders are focused on the perfect margin and a satisfactory level of renewals, we’re aiming for perfect. Even with our renewal rates far above industry standards, why be content with satisfactory when we have the ability, opportunity and talent to redefine the measure of success in our industry? We have a remarkable opportunity to get customers to not just renew, but to partner and grow together, to reinvent the future of what services look like. Why should we be satisfied with anything less than 100 percent customer satisfaction? Are we shooting for an unrealistic goal? I don’t think so.
We’ve been quite successful in many ways over a relatively short span of time. But success can start to mask future opportunities. Success can make you lose sight of how and where you can improve. Some companies achieve success, become complacent, and are unwilling or unable to transform when they have the opportunity. We’re not one of those companies.