I shared thisgreat articleabout coding with the rest of the leadership team this week and wanted to also share it with you. I liked how this article speaks about how “the systems coders built are used to manage the global economic infrastructure. Not bad for six or seven decades—but keep it in perspective. Software may be eating the world, but the world was previously eaten by other things, too: the rise of the telephone system, the spread of electricity, and the absolute domination of the automobile. It’s miraculous that we have mobile phones, but it’s equally miraculous that we can charge them. If coders don’t run the world, they run the things that run the world.”
I often speak about the incredible processing speed that surrounds us today and the amount of data we have at our disposal. Those two things colliding create massive disruption in the marketplace. It’s been a constant evolution with technology at the helm – no longer the need for travel agents because consumers have all that data at their fingertips, for example. This article is not a quick read, but I do encourage you all to check it out…and if you do read all 38,000 words, you will get a certificate at the end! I welcome you to send me your thoughts on this.
This month’s theme is DRIVE. For me, drive is very personal. I am constantly pushing myself to learn more, do more, and excel. The folks in DC probably picked up on this when I was addressing them last Friday and shared that Tahzoo’s year-over-year growth sits at 80% and while that is superior (not many 5-year old businesses can say that) it’s not 100%. That’s my drive talking. And perhaps it’s been ingrained in me from my days at Microsoft where we had to be driven to hit our sales targets. And even outside of Sales, it was just a part of the culture. So what drives you each day? What are you hoping to achieve by working here- for yourself, professionally, for our clients and the greater good of Tahzoo? Send me an email – I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Another week in one place, well kinda. I headed up to New York to join Derick Price, Gabi Macy, Matthias Vanhollebeke, and Chad Van Lier at the aDAM SYNC! Event on Wednesday. I was able to meet folks from aDAM and see first-hand what a great partner they are for us. As a silver sponsor we were able to present our vision for leveraging DAM for the management and distribution of content to improve the customer experience. We received a front stage spotlight where Derick gave a presentation on how to Avoid Go to Market Chaos (I just stood on stage while Derick did all the work). We received a lot of positive feedback from an engaged 120+ person audience.
Another great week as I spent it with many of you in San Francisco at the SDL Innovate event. There I delivered another keynote on delivering contextually relevant CX, which was very well received. We had wonderful conversations with Mattel, Pentair, Molina Health, and many others. Dave Sterenberg and Chad Van Lier were able to connect with the SDL Regional VPs of Sales to discuss when to bring Tahzoo to the table and really start to build those relationships. They also received some air cover at the Partner Lunch. Josh Einhorn and Brandon Bernard delivered an amazing session during the Develop Day on Monday which yielded tremendous discussion during, as well as attendees seeking them out afterward to learn more. Great job guys! John Kottcamp spoke to a full house at the Executive VIP lunch on Tuesday as well as in a few of the track sessions.
In other great news, we will be issuing our Press Release of HintTech joining Tahzoo on Monday, May 18 morning at 8a EST. Look for that release and would love your help pushing it out on social next week.
If you recall, last Friday I asked you to use the Voice of the Culture weekly survey this week to note anyone that you feel is demonstrating excellent leadership. These two bubble to the top and I wanted to share:
Travis Kuhn as someone who stands out on a daily basis as a leader. While I don’t work directly under him, I observe the way he encourages and motivates his BA team every day and I can see what a positive force he is with them. He sets a bar very high in terms of hard work and here in Richmond, people definitely notice and work hard to keep the same pace.
Jason Kaufmann has been absolutely instrumental in ensuring things are completed correctly and providing great leadership and mentorship.
Travis and Jason, well done gentlemen! It is clear that you both are demonstrating excellent leadership, not only to your immediate teams but to everyone around you. Keep up the superlative work!
In community news, we have been contacted by the DC Fire and EMS to use our office to recreate a JFK-like photo during the funeral procession of a fallen firefighter today. Lt. Kevin McRae died while responding to a fire right here in our neighborhood. Here is more information on the funeral and the firefighter. Lane Edwards kindly volunteered to be the model that will be looking out of the second-floor window onto the procession itself for the photo opportunity they want to recreate. Obviously, we were happy to lend our office space, and our talent, for the DC Fire and EMS to do this. It always feels good to help our local community.
I’ve been thinking a lot about May’s theme, leadership. I have found myself at different points in my career where the leadership of others has been most impactful. And what I’ve learned from those impactful moments is that the best sign of leadership is when it is shown, not just a tag line. I’d love for you all to think about leadership as you take this month’s Voice of the Culture weekly surveys. I want you to think about who at Tahzoo has been showing good leadership. At the end of the month, I’d like to recognize those people, because being a leader happens at every level of an organization, and I want to hear from you and what good leadership you are experiencing and showing.
This week I was in DC. It felt great to be home for a stint, even for a short while. Because next week takes me, Gabi Macy, Josh Einhorn, Brandon Bernard, Chad Van Lier, Matt Heidemann, John Kottcamp, and Dave Sterenberg from Tahzoo and Egbert Hendriks, Jeroen Suurd, Roland Muts, Maja Pejcic, and Andrew Vo from HintTech to San Francisco for the SDL Innovate event. Josh and Brandon are leading a session during Developer Day on Monday about Architecture and Hosting Innovation. Dave and Chad are participating in the Partner Lunch and SDL Regional VP Sales meeting also on Monday. I am joining their pre-conference dinner with press and analysts that evening. I also have a few media briefings with Forbes and 1:1 and we are looking into Fortune. On Tuesday, I have my keynote address where I will be speaking about Investing in CX. John will be hosting a VIP round table lunch that afternoon leading a discussion on how to prepare for your 5-year plan to become 20/20 in 2020. John is also giving introductions to a few sessions throughout the conference and everyone will be working our booth, talking to clients and prospects, as well as SDL staff to drive new business for Tahzoo. Needless to say, it has the makings of a very promising event and I look forward to the opportunities that will arise.
To our new Tahzooians (aka HintTech) – I send out an email – From the Desk of Brad Heidemann -every Friday as a recap of my week and what has been happening around the company. Not everything that is mentioned will make total sense to you just yet. But I wanted you to have this exposure sooner than later. Enjoy!
It has been an exhausting but exhilarating week here in Europe! I am pleased to announce that Tahzoo won SDL Partner of the Year!It was announced at the SDL Alliance Summit in London on Tuesday. This is the second year in a row we have been honored with this prestigious award. We have shared the news via social media, but as always we could use your help spreading the word. We have drafted a few messages you can copy and paste to share with your networks:
Thrilled to share that @Tahzoo was named 2015 Partner of the Year by @SDL at #sdlinnovate! Excited for the future of #tahzooworldwide
Honored to be part of the @Tahzoo team. We received 2015 Partner of the Year Award from @SDL at #sdlinnovate #tahzooworldwide
Great day here @Tahzoo! Honored by @SDL as 2015 Partner of the Year at #sdlinnovate. Excited for future of #tahzooworldwide
I started the week in Amsterdam at the SDL Innovate event. I gave my keynote address with Egbert Hendrik joining me up on stage. It was marked by tremendous applause and excitement for our acquisition news. If you noticed, we could not stop the twitter feed on the announcement, even if we tried! Also in Amsterdam, John Kottcamp delivered a nice round table discussion with select attendees at our VIP lunch as well. I then went to the Alliance Summit in London where we receive the Partner of the Year Award followed by the SDL Innovate event in London for more networking, meetings, and briefings. There Ian Truscott shared our thoughts on becoming a 20/20 brand by the year 2020 in our VIP lunch. Meanwhile, John Kottcamp joined Dereck Price from HintTech in Ghent, Belgium at the ADAMSync! Event.
This month’s theme is Accountability. It is most fitting for the last month of the quarter. And as we near the end of Q1 with only a few selling days left, I want us each to feel accountable for our results. By now everyone should have thought through what your 2015 goals are and what you are going to hold yourself accountable for. With a quarter of the year behind us, how are you doing? I think the end of each quarter is a great time for some self-reflection. What should you keep doing, stop doing, do more of to meet your personal, professional, and corporate goals? Are you holding yourself and others accountable? Some food for thought…
With “accountability” on my mind – accountable to you for the direction and growth of the company – I have been in Europe most of the week having wonderful conversations with current and potential growth partners. I met with Mark Lancaster, CEO and Bernadette Nixon, President of SDL. We reinvigorated our partnership and commitments to each other’s success. I’m excited to see how this will fully unfold, but we should see some early commitments at their SDL Innovate event in Amsterdam next month including greater exposure for Tahzoo as their #1 partner. We should also see greater commitments to co-sell and win deals. And as we look to re-energize the SDL partnership, it isn’t our only partner we are nurturing. We are also putting energy into e-Spirit, Hybris, ADAM Software, and Marketo. What this does is broaden our technical capabilities into other digital solutions such as digital asset management, marketing automation, e-commerce, and CRM to allow us to truly offer end-to-end digital CX solutions.
Wow- is it February already? With six more weeks of winter, thank you Punxsutawney Phil, I left a very cold DC area for Seattle on Monday. It was wonderful to catch up with folks there. I had an awesome brief on our innovation roadmap. The work the team is doing – Kevin Botterbusch, Bill Harding, David Dorian, led by Misia Tramp – from Fractal Geometry to Kady Perry Indices – it is quite excellent. I’d like to see the work they are doing featured in one of our new Lunch-N-Learn sessions so everyone can be as inspired as I am.
Last month’s theme was THRIVE – many of you have had your annual review meeting with your manager to review how well you THRIVED in 2014. If you have not, it should be calendared. This month’s theme is PASSION. I saw a lot of passion in Seattle this week. Everyone was jazzed about the work they are doing and the way they can, and are, impacting our clients. But passion is not just about what we do at work, is it? It’s about what gets us going, why we wake up each day, why we excel. If you are passionate about something and have the drive to see it through, nothing can stop you. I see this manifest in the great Thursday Tech Blog we started – great job Bill Harding for authoring the first one – and all the collaborative Yammer threads. I personally am passionate about innovation, about excellence, and about results that matter. I am passionate about learning, reading, discovering. I want to encourage all of you to find your inner passion and harness it. For when you do, great things happen!
If you are so inspired by this theme, get social with it. Tweet it up, write a blog, start a Yammer thread. Let’s get the PASSION conversation started.
The joke at our leadership off-site this week was me asking everyone what they were doing on Friday and when they asked me, I would share that I was meeting with the Prime Minister of England. Yes, you heard that right, David Cameron in the flesh. This morning, I was one of about 10 people representing relevant US companies and was joined by top investors in the region and a selected group of UK Cybersecurity companies that accompanied the PM on his visit. We met at the 1776 innovation labs. I had an opportunity to share that we are a thriving CX agency that recently expanded into the UK. I was also able to ask him his thoughts in enriching the highly educated and technical talent pool in the UK to support our investment there as we continue to grow. It was a GREAT conversation and I felt supercharged! I have this picture as proof of the meeting 🙂
While at our off-site, when all jokes were put aside, I shared with the team how I am seeing this convergence happening in the marketplace where computer processing speeds are increasing faster and faster and the algorithms in place to understand human behavior have never been stronger. It will be about asking the right questions to get to the right outcomes. This is what we need to help our clients do – get to the right questions to be asking about their brand so that we can build the right experiences for the right audiences to yield those outcomes. It’s no doubt that I have intense curiosity as do many of you. I want to encourage you to be thinking about this convergence and welcome you to send me an email with your thoughts on it or any other interesting curiosity you may have.
I also shared that in 2015 I want there to be more of a focus on the innovation we bring to the marketplace. I want the whole company to know the “sandbox” work we are doing and I want the marketplace to see just how we have been able to apply different ways of thinking to solve business problems. I know there is a lot of work happening as we speak – let’s make it public, as this innovation is the soul of our company.
The leadership team then reviewed our 2015 plan, our budgets, our delivery models, our insight work, our sales, and the marketing pipeline. From where I sit, last year was about building the foundation. This year it will be all about adoption and outcomes – for us and for our clients as we continue to thrive and change the way business is done. The payoff is going to be huge and I’m super excited to get down to it.
And while these are just a few items from our planning off-site – many more details of our 2015 plan with being presented at our in-person All Hands next month. Look for details on that agenda soon.