Moving Offices

Today marks the last day that our headquarters will be at 1005 7th St NW, starting Monday we will be taking up residence in a different office space at 1015 7th St NW- located just down the block.  
 
Many of you may recall when we first got our soon to be former office space… we announced it at our 4th Anniversary party in August of 2014. It was such a momentous occasion to open a “cool” office space and we were all so proud to see our name on the side of the building.  
 
We took over that office as a leap of faith in what Tahzoo could be. We were a small company. It was a big commitment. It was scary and intimidating. And it was totally worth it.  
 
When I think back to all of the milestones, people who’ve come through those doors and the challenges and victories that we’ve faced here I couldn’t be more proud of where we’re going.  
 
I feel the energy changing in the company. It might be slower than I’d like, but its building…We are winning new projects, we are hiring and we’re not sitting around waiting for change- we’re making it happen.  But the only way we will continue gaining traction is if we don’t lose sight of the priorities. We need to take care of our clients and our colleagues, we need to be good stewards of our finances and our relationships and we need to continue to be innovators and leaders in our space.  
 
So cheers to 1005 7th St- you were a milestone in our history and I’m grateful we had you through such pivotal years. 

I can’t wait to see what new adventures await us in this next wave! 
 
Let’s go be great! 
Brad

Shared Values

In order to do all of what has been written about in my previous two notes, we need to be a team and a family of co-workers that share a common value system. The first act of the company was to establish a core set of values:

  • If you care about your customers and your employees you’ll have a company worth caring about
  • We hire for character before we hire for capability
  • We hire interesting people who are interested in change
  • We believe in the marketplace of ideas
  • We believe in Smart and Happy people

These values reflect my core beliefs about how to run a business. Often times this discussion is limited to moral values but I think of this more broadly. The careful orchestration between individuals and teams is what really gets me excited.

In order to accomplish our goals, we need to have multidisciplinary teams execute flawlessly. So while many companies can achieve success – if not overachieve – with committed, hardworking employees, we cannot. We need to have teams of people who work for different managers with different skills come together and inspire one another to solve customer problems.

Great teams and great companies are purposefully built and more importantly, the values and expectations are consistently driven every day at every level of the organization. If you want to know how healthy our company is or how well we are doing… don’t look at the balance sheet or the financial reports, look at yourself and your team and ask, “Are the values and expectations of the company being driven by me every day at every level?”

Let’s go be great,
Brad

Making a Difference

In many ways, I am thrilled at what we’ve accomplished – but it’s not enough, not nearly enough. I want to build a business that is inspirational, that aspires to change the way business is done and most importantly, is an expression of our core values.

The business should be inspirational in the way that we work together to tackle difficult and challenging problems. This means that we offer bright and motivated minds that proactively provide solutions to our clients, that we all have meaningful and rewarding work. We will be an inspirational company when we inspire our clients to take action… to bet on Tahzoo solutions, that our clients bet their careers on our ability to deliver for them, and that we maintain durable, lasting relationships with our clients.

See, we live in a time of change and during change people need leadership. We can and should be the company that provides this leadership. This isn’t just promoting our ideas through social media or articles written through PR channels; it’s about caring enough about our clients to take the time, to proactively start solving their problems.

I want to dispel you of the notion that inspiration is a stroke of genius or the proverbial light bulb… it’s a way of systematically exceeding our clients and each other’s expectations. Having just spent a couple of days at Disneyland, it’s amazing how much attention is spent on ensuring a “magical experience”. For each of us this is a time to ask, what could we be doing for one another and our clients that would make a difference, a real difference? We can’t expect our clients to take action until we take action… until we build a system that inspires each of us and our clients every day.

Let’s go be great,
Brad

Great Teams

Hi Team,

Super Bowl 51 is coming up next weekend – the Championship for the American version of Football! There are many facets to a great football team, beyond talent… It’s teamwork. There was a coach named Vince Lombardi who was until recently the winningest coach in football. I’ve read his biography several times (if you’re interested in a copy let me know). His dedication and single-minded focus on achieving excellence were remarkable. Suffice to say, only your very best was good enough for him. He was a master motivator with a gift for summarizing his beliefs into great quotes.

As you know I’m a big fan of quotations, so I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites of his, by topic. I have an eight-year-old son and we watch a lot of football together. Last week, I had the following quote stenciled in big letters on the wall in his bedroom next to the logo of his favorite team: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” I hope you find one or more of these quotes inspiring; share them with someone who needs to be uplifted or reminded about what is important. I’ll leave you all with my favorite Lombardi quote, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Have a great weekend… and please enjoy:

Teamwork
“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society.”
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Commitment
“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”
“Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it – his mind, his body, his heart – what’s life worth to him?”
“Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.”
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
“I would say that the quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s commitment of excellence and victory – whether it be football, whether it be business, whether it be politics or government or what have you.”

Success/Sacrifice
“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
“To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price.”
“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.”
“Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.”
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”

Discipline
“I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline”.
“There is something good in men that really yearn for discipline.”
“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it character in action.”
“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
“Once you have established the goals you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.”

Will to Win
“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel – these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them.”
“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.”
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
“You never win a game unless you beat the guy in front of you. The score on the board doesn’t mean a thing. That’s for the fans. You’ve got to win the war with the man in front of you. You’ve got to get your man.”
“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”

Leadership
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
“It is essential to understand that battles are primarily won in the hearts of men. Men respond to leadership in a most remarkable way and once you have won his heart, he will follow you anywhere.”
“Leadership is based on a spiritual quality — the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow.”
“Having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it.”
“Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity – having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it. His leadership is then based on truth and character. There must be truth in the purpose and will power in the character.”
“A leader must identify himself with the group, must back up the group, even at the risk of displeasing superiors. He must believe that the group wants from him a sense of approval. If this feeling prevails, production, discipline, morale will be high, and in return, you can demand the cooperation to promote the goals of the community.”

Excellence
“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”
“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel — these are the things what will endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events themselves.”
“They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them…you show them the reasons.”
“After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”

Mental Toughness
“If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.”
“Teams do not go physically flat, they go mentally stale.”
“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action.’”
“Mental toughness is essential to success.”

Habit
“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.”
“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”
“Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, and a competitor will recognize both.”
“If you don’t think you’re a winner, you don’t belong here.”

Faith
“I believe in God.”
“I derived my strength from daily mass and communion.”

Passion
“It is and has always been an American zeal to be first in everything we do, and to win…”
“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.”
“To be successful, a man must exert an effective influence upon his brothers and upon his associates, and the degree in which he accomplishes this depends on the personality of the man. The incandescence of which he is capable. The flame of fire that burns inside of him. The magnetism which draws the heart of other men to him.”

Results/Winning
“Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization…”
“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged on one thing: the result.”
“Winning is not everything – but making the effort to win is.”
“Success demands singleness of purpose.”
“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?”
“Winning is not a sometime thing…it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”

Truth
“The object is to win fairly, by the rules – but to win.”
“Morally, the life of the organization must be of exemplary nature. This is one phase where the organization must not have criticism.”

A few thoughts on leadership

“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” -Abraham Lincoln 

A few thoughts on Leadership… 
 
Hi Everyone, 
 
I realize that we are all working hard to drive the business and I wanted to add some perspective around my thoughts on leadership. We have some big rocks to move and I need everyone to be focused and determined about doing what is best for the business. The leadership and organizational system that we are implementing is built on the foundation of beliefs that are essential guiding principles for how we should approach the business. While some of this letter may seem like it’s addressed to executives or managers, however all of us are leaders. We lead our clients and one another through change. 
 
I believe that: 
  

  • Authority is earned not granted 
  • Real leadership is not about ruling people but about serving them 
  • Our job as leaders is to do for people only what they can’t do for themselves 
  • We get the behavior that we model, not what we expect 
  • We need to actively create teachable moments so we can instill a common set of values and strategies across the business 
  • If the leadership of a team can’t come together to identify problems and resolve them, there is virtually no chance that our teams will be able to do that for customers 

  
With that as a backdrop, these are the ideas and stories behind the management system I want to build. The first rule above all others is that each member of the team acts in the interest of others above themself. You will be successful because you help other people become great. Zig Ziglar the famous sales trainer said you get what you want by helping other people get what they want. 
 
When I worked at Nordstrom, if you saw a messy table as you were walking by you just jumped in and cleaned it up, it didn’t matter if it was your department or your job. We all pitched in because serving customers was our priority and a messy store was a poor reflection on all of us. What is remarkable to me was the sense of pride we had. I would like each of you to start acting in a manner that instills a sense of pride in our company around how well we care for our clients. Model making our customers experience your priority. 
 
I remember being 15 years old at the Men’s sportswear gift wrapping station a week or so before Christmas, I had a huge line, customers we’re getting grumpy and I was overwhelmed and stressed. I didn’t have the experience at that time to know what I should do or even ask for help. I was suffering in silence, so were our customers (Something I see at Tahzoo all too often). 
 
The next thing I know, two people started helping me and we spent the next few hours wrapping Christmas presents. I actually started to have fun, the customers were happy and the Christmas spirit began to take hold. The two people that helped me were Jamie Baugh president of Nordstrom and John Nordstrom, I really had no idea who they were or how important they were, I just needed help. They walked by saw a huge line, rolled up their sleeves, and started working. 
 
There was no recrimination, no lengthy discussions we were busy, which was a good thing. There were customers and employees who needed to be taken care Jamie and Mr. John introduced themselves and I was amazed that they jumped in. Do you think I ever forgot that taking care of customers or employees was my top priority? Later in my career, when Mr. John would visit my department, I took so much pride in making sure we were delivering customer service consistent with the standard he set. 
 
How many of our teammates are suffering and need someone to jump in and help them. See in my mind we aren’t here to manage the experience we deliver to our customers but to model it for our teams, to teach them how to be great by doing the work with them so that they can be stewards of our clients, our brand and our company. 
 
I had a peer 360 review a number of years ago and I was subject to significant criticism for my lack of communication skills. I found this hard to believe because as a salesperson communication is my primary tool for persuasion and I am an excellent salesman. What I came to understand is that the deficit in my communications came not from a lack of clarity in word choices but the style that I used to convey my expectations. See I believe it’s my job to point out what needs to be accomplished, not to tell people how to do it. Then to challenge the plan that has been created to achieve the goal when I say challenge I mean to ask a lot of question to ensure that you have thought through all the details that you have taken the time to apply critical thinking to not only how to achieve the goal but if the goal is even the right goal in the first place. 
 
You may have noticed that I keep an hourglass on my desk, have you ever wondered why? Time is our most precious resource and it’s there to remind me of that every day. Every assignment or objective that is given should be done with a specific tempo in mind. If for some reason the timing hasn’t been conveyed or you don’t know what it is, you should ask. 
 
In my mind, if you tell someone how to do something then you’ve stripped them of their genius, their creativity, and their power. This feels like a moral failure for me. This is not to say that you should easily be dissuaded from an idea or an opinion… quite the contrary, it means that you should challenge your team to own their point of view so that you might be persuaded and or inspired by their brilliance. It is not that you should worry about being right, it’s that you need to be sure that we’re executing on the right plan. This is why the sequence around the quality of your planning, having a chance to debate it, and understanding when you’ll be done is so important. 
 
So while I agree we need an org chart and we need to continue to add structure and processes to the company, it needs to be in service to our employees and customers. Not as a tool to resolve conflicts and create tiebreakers within the team. The only thing that matters is how well you are doing taking care of your peers, employees, and customers you don’t need an org chart to do that. You can help every day in many different ways. 
 
You can’t really tell how strong a person or a team is until they endure hardship. As a buyer at Nordstrom, you had to place orders for merchandise 6 to 9 months in advance. Generally, inventories were set as a fixed ratio to sales. So when business was good, better than plan, you’d run out of merchandise and when it was slow, inventory would start to back up. Being under bought and overbought we’re both sins but not equally measured. I saw many buyers get fired for being overbought, very few if any for being under bought. Essentially, every order that was placed was a gamble on the business, I became very comfortable living in a world where I had to make bets every day. 
 
However, I wasn’t comfortable because all my bets were good or that my prediction for sales was accurate quite the opposite. By nature, I am an optimistic person and usually, I see nothing but opportunity, unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. I was successful because I followed the trending and I became comfortable in my ability to react to market conditions. I’d get out and personally sell the bad merchandise or to negotiate reduced orders from my supplier ahead of the downturn or when business was booming cut deals to deliver merchandise earlier than scheduled essentially I always found a way to right-size and grow the business. There is always a way I believe that in my heart. 
 
I don’t expect you to be comfortable making bets, but I expect you to make them. To make decisions for the business in advance of the need and to stand behind those decisions. To be willing to stand for what you believe in, be humble, and learn when your bet doesn’t work. Pushing yourself to see down the road will make you a good leader. How can anyone follow you if you don’t have a vision and a long term plan? What needs to happen for Tahzoo to become a great Customer Experience Management agency? What isn’t figured out? Where do you need to invest time and intellectual capital? 
 
When you place your teammates, employees, and customers above yourself it makes prioritization easier. Its counter-intuitive I’m sure, you feel like you were hired to accomplish a mission, to get something done for the company. Your right and you were/are, the questions are what is the method for achieving that goal? Its teamwork you need to be trusted to be a member of a team. Rightly or wrongly when some believe you’re just out for yourself or you don’t care about them personally, they won’t trust you.   
 
I remember my Merchandise Manager pulling me aside one day after I had been on the job for a few months to have the big talk with me. He began to tell me a story about how great generals lead their armies into battle, they don’t sit in some comfortable tower and tell people to go to war. They are the first to charge into battle, not the last. He was telling me that I needed to lead by example, demonstrating the values of the company. He was a good man who was trying to get my attention like I am trying to get yours. 
 
That is where you have to care about your employees and customers to have a company worth caring about comes from. We are in the people business, we all freely give our time and intellectual capital to help achieve a common goal. No one does it just for the money We all want a leader, to teach us and make us great. There is a quote on my desk from Ralph Waldo Emmerson that says our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can. Let’s be that for one another. 
 
We have ambitious goals and big challenges. We need everyone working together to be successful. Not only do we need to organize a fast-growing company, but we also need to invent methodologies and solve problems that are fundamental to customer experience management. 
 
I want to be part of a great company. One that enables change so that our clients can change the way they interact with their customers. I want to be inspired by you it’s what I dream for when I am having a tough day. The act of trade and commerce is a powerful and uniquely human experience, every day we make choices with our time and money based on relationships and expectations. Personalizing that experience is a good start towards our longer-term vision. Let’s help our clients Wow their customers. 
 
Let’s go be great! 
Brad

Our Values

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn 

Our Inspiration, Our Values, Our Mission… 

 
This is the second in a three-part Desk of Brad series returning to the core ideas at the heart of the company, which I wrote four years ago. I have recently re-read them and have decided to republish them. (I have updated them only slightly.) I think it’s valuable to return to these sorts of statements periodically to assess whether we as a company and we as people are remaining true to the principles that make us a great company. 
 
This week we return to Our Values:   
 
Character is one of the most important things for me. The very first act of Tahzoo was to establish a core set of values. In a Starbucks, in Northwest DC, I wrote out a list of values that would guide our company. This happened before we incorporated, before we hired anyone, or had even settled on the name of the company. It is the most important thing I’ve done at Tahzoo.   
 
Tahzoo Values:   
-If you care about your customers and your employees, you’ll have a company worth caring about 
 -Hire for character before capability 
-Hire interesting people who are interested in change 
– Believe in the marketplace of ideas   
 
Genuine caring implies conscientious stewardship of our personal relationships. What more is a company than a collection of relationships, after all, organized to solve problems for our clients? We go to work every day so we can enrich our lives and provide for our families. Our clients make that possible. Do not ever forget that. 
 
We should be grateful for our clients and we should be able to count on each other. This is my first purpose, above all other demands in the business. I see this as the primary lens for decision-making across the company. If we institutionalize this value, we will always find our way.     
 
You have to trust the people around you. It’s more important than how smart or capable they are. It is the foundation of teamwork. As a growing company, we can’t ever jeopardize the relationships that we’ve built. We must resist the temptation to hire those who present well but lack character. We’ve chosen to tackle difficult and challenging problems for our clients. We are going to need to collaborate and debate. Many times, we won’t agree, but if we are fair, honest, and committed to each other, we will do great work.   

In my experience, people are interesting because they are engaged, passionate, and curious. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we live in a time of unparalleled change. In order for us to be great and to lead our clients through this wave of innovation, we need to be thinking, writing, and dreaming about what happens next. We are fortunate to part of a company that doesn’t just see the future, we create the future when we work together, hire well, and work hard.   
 
I believe in passionate debate. Great ideas are born and given life in the cauldron of a collective perspective. This is the energy that will drive our company forward. If you trust the people you work with; then trust them with your ideas.   
 
We need to be a team and a family of co-workers that share a common value system. In order to accomplish our goals. We are multi-disciplinary teams execute flawlessly. So, while many companies can achieve success, if not over-achieve, with committed, hardworking employees, we cannot. Tahzoo must have teams of people with different skills to inspire one another to solve customer problems in new ways. 
 
Great companies are purposefully built. Their values and expectations are driven consistently through every level of the organization. The health of our company is not reflected in our balance sheet, but the quality of our relationships and our adherence to our values.   

 
Let’s go be great! 
Brad 

The New Tahzoo Worldwide

If we take good care of our clients, then we have the opportunity to continue to work for them and grow our business. As we grow, we have more profits to invest in our business and our people. A healthy, thriving business provides opportunities for all of us. 

With this in mind we’ve worked for the past couple of months on a new organizational structure to support how we service our clients. We are internally organized around four business units: Digital Transformation, Project Work, Outsourced Marketing Operations, and Staffing Support. We also have geographic considerations, the US, UK, and EU, as well as practice areas or Centers Of Excellence (COE). There is no perfect organizational structure to meet every possible dimension, however; I believe this structure coupled with commitment and hard work positions us to meet the needs of our clients and advance the innovation goals of Tahzoo Worldwide. 

For the Digital Transformation and Project Businesses, we have largely divided the delivery teams into three groups: Strategic Delivery, Experience Design, and Technology Services. Strategic Delivery will include the delivery lead, solution definition, and project and program management function. The Experience Design teams include all of the strategic services to support digital transformation, project delivery, and innovation across Tahzoo. Within Technology Services we will be extending the Center of Excellence concept throughout our offerings. The goal of the COE is to ensure that we have standard patterns and practices, training, and career paths for all of our major technology capabilities.  

The principal challenge of Tahzoo WW is to scale and manage our business units on a global basis. Rather than organize our capabilities by geography we have opted for a global approach with the expectation that the leaders of our business will ensure that we continue to grow and deliver as a single organization. For our clients they should experience one Tahzoo, a company with a full range of CX capabilities and offerings dedicated to their success. 

I appreciate the commitment and energy required of everyone to make this transition within the company… Thank you. 

Let’s go be great, 

Brad 

A Mighty Big Country

mightybig

I am on holiday this week driving from Seattle, Washington to Washington DC with my family. This is an annual trip for me and some of my best thinking and reflection occurs during these holidays. In addition to the family trip every year, I’ll occasionally do a solo cross country trip to really get away and think (and stop at some of my favorite BBQ joints along the way).

It was on a solo trip a little over 5 years ago that I found the courage to start Tahzoo. I was listening to an audio book called The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, his book was born out of a lecture he gave in September 2007 entitled, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

For those of you who don’t know the book, Randy was asked to give a lecture and share his wisdom and perspective a month after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. It is a heartwarming, albeit deeply emotional book given his circumstances. The main point of the book and his lecture, is that your dreams and aspirations matter and that setting yourself on a course of achieving those dreams is the cornerstone of a life well lived. As you achieve your dreams you can then focus on enabling the dreams of others. His book had a profound impact on me and has changed the way I live my life. Among them is that I wanted my work to be a source of meaning for me, not necessarily a place that provides me a sense of self-esteem but a place where I can serve a purpose greater then myself.

A big part of the process for me taking inventory of my dreams and what I’d like to be a part of … only after that, did I begin framing out what we’d do and how we’d do it …Tahzoo is culmination of several dreams for me. 

I believe in great customer service. I can think of very few things as satisfying than taking great care of a customer. I often tell people that waiting tables was one of my favorite jobs because I got to create a wonderful evening for my customers. We remember the experiences we’ve had far more than the stuff we’ve bought. The web has made the world more efficient, but mostly at the expense of the experience- let’s change that! I wanted to a build a company that I could take pride in the way that it impacted the lives of others. In our case it’s that we should help our clients deliver an experience that makes their customers happy. We can be responsible for creating millions of pleasant moments everyday… that possibility makes me happy.

I believe that in order for Tahzoo to be a great company we need to take great care of one another. I have been fascinated with how people work together since I was a boy. I have been fortunate to be on several great teams in both sports and in business, I have found this experience so compelling, so profound, that I’ve spent most of my adult life seeking to be a part of or helping to create great teams. Every great team that I have been part of has had one common thread… a high degree of trust and commitment to one another. I see pockets of this at Tahzoo but not nearly enough to feel like we’ve got it figured out. The irony is that a great company is a byproduct of the people… not the actual company. I need your help and your commitment to making your team a great team.

I want Tahzoo to be a platform for all of us to learn and change. We have the opportunity to solve really interesting problems, explore different aspects of our thinking and ideas, all while helping our clients be successful. One of the things that appealed to me was the idea that if we worked on leading edge problems, we could get paid for doing cool stuff. The interesting challenge I am working on is how do we create a company that encourages people with different backgrounds, disciplines and perspectives to work together collaboratively on behalf of a customer? See it’s so much easier to hire a bunch of likeminded people and ask them to work together, however; the best companies, leading 21st century companies are the ones that bring many perspectives together… the best results and decisions are made by teams that work all sides of an issue. That’s an example of how I see Tahzoo as an opportunity for me to explore how to do something better. What is the idea that you’re working on? How are you seeing your time at Tahzoo as an opportunity to explore and deliver a big idea?

In any event, I thought I should share with you how I got here, how we got here. I decided these dreams of mine were too important to just think about or to hope that one day they’d come true. I set out on a course of action to make them happen. I am not done yet and there are more dreams to be shared and pursued. I hope in some way this inspires you to participate in my dreams and I hope that Tahzoo is a place that can enable your dreams. It can be as simple as just being a great place to go to work every day or inventing the next generation of human to computer interfaces … either way it’s up to you. Tahzoo has a remarkable future in large part because of all of you. I am so proud to be a part of this company.

Tahzoo Commitment

As a follow up to my commentary last week, I’d like to continue my discussion about commitment. As the company grows and changes we need to be committed to our values and to what has gotten us here. I realize for many of you who are part of the Hinttech organization joining Tahzoo, you may not be as familiar with the values or the history that brought us to this point so let me share a little bit… Not too long ago (less than 4 years) we were a small team, just 10 people, however, we were committed to an idea and one another… that if we cared about our employees and cared about our customers we’d be a company worth caring about. While at times this may seem trite, it was and is the fuel that propels Tahzoo. You see businesses can be started for many reasons, to make money, to exploit a market opportunity, to arbitrage labor markets, or to do something meaningful. In our case, my first act at Tahzoo was creating our values, even before I decided what we’d do as a company. I thought if I was going to start a company it should mean something, stand for something, and do something that makes a difference. 

With all that said, I want to change our little part of the world. I want to help our clients figure out how to do a better job of taking care of their customers. It’s just that simple. They should hire Tahzoo because they believe we can help them and we should. We should understand the trust they have bestowed on us and act accordingly. Now for taking care of employees part of the values… I desire to create a company where smart and happy people can come together on behalf of a client and do great work, no matter what your role is in the company or the team. I have not always done the best job of keeping up with the demands of the employees or creating enough transparency that all of us feel like we understand the mission, know what we need to do, and have the opportunity to contribute. My personal goal for the next couple of quarters is to focus on improving the communication and transparency within the company.  

I am committed to improving the quality of our delivery… are we really making a difference for our clients? And improving the transparency and effectiveness of our communication.. does everyone know what they are accountable for and have the tools to be effective? Feel free to hold me accountable if you believe that I am falling short.