The Reasons why your Business should use a Spend Management Platform

There are many different ways you can incorporate spend management into your business.

However, considering how crucial it is for not only improving your corporate cost-efficiency, but enabling you to develop as a company, you’ll want to make sure your method is as good as it can be.

With this in mind, we think you should be implementing a spend management platform into your company, to significantly improve how you conduct your process.

Read on to learn what a spend management platform is and how it can elevate your business.

What is a spend management platform?

A spend management platform is an expert business tool that manages all of your corporate spend for you, and makes the entire spend management process much more efficient and accurate.

Traditional forms of spend management are both complex and time-consuming for companies. Things like paper receipts, manual uploading, and long-winded approval requests are a few of the culprits responsible.

However, your spend management platform will take all of these inefficient processes and handle them digitally from your software.

You’ll be able to monitor every transaction in your company as it takes place, and your software will also provide a range of analytics on each transaction to give more insight into your corporate spend.

As well as this, you’ll have access to a range of features that help you adjust and control every aspect of your spending, to give you that extra handle on your company’s finances.

Incorporating a spend management platform into your company is the best way to ensure your spend management process is running at an optimal level at all times.

How can a spend management platform elevate your business?

A spend management platform can help elevate your business in a number of ways, including:

  • More control of your corporate spend

Your spend management platform can offer you a range of useful spend controls, which allow you to monitor and adapt various aspects of your corporate spend so that you’re in line with business budgets and future targets.

The types of controls offered to you and how many you get, will depend on the specific platform you choose.

For instance, one type of control which you might find useful is setting spend limits in your company. This feature enables you to cap transactions at a certain amount – either for each transaction or collectively – so that a specific spend limit is not exceeded.

This can ensure your corporate spend remains in your full control, and every transaction is set up to meet your specific business requirements.

  • One central and accessible platform

Another major benefit of your spend management platform, is how everything related to your corporate spend can all be found and accessed from one place.

Your centralized platform helps you have a more organized way of conducting your spend management process, and if there’s anything you need to observe, evaluate, or adapt, you know exactly where to go.

This can help save huge amounts of time, since you won’t need to waste it looking for specific data to complete an audit, for example, as it will all be on your platform already.

  • Meaningful spend insights

A spend management platform can go one step further than just helping you track and organize your data, but it can also notify you of ways to be more cost-efficient with your spending.

Your platform can offer you detailed spend insights for every transaction, to help you see where you can improve on spending. An example of this is how it can offer you cheaper alternatives to any services or products you might be paying for – things like business energy bills, for instance.

With these insights, you’ll be able to constantly evolve the way your company spends money, and ensure that you’re remaining as cost-efficient as possible with every transaction, which is key for overall business development and growth.

Now that you know the reasons why a spend management platform is essential for your business, there should be no question as to whether you now need one implemented in your company.

How to Deal with Uncertainty at Work

By Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero

As widespread inflation and the long-term impact of the pandemic continues to affect everyone, it sometimes feels like there’s been very little respite from the last few years. Everyone has been affected, be it financially, physically or mentally.

Accepting uncertainty and remaining resilient can be a challenge on a practical level, but here are some ideas on how you can build that resilience to support yourself and others when personal wellbeing takes a hit.

Step 1: Be kind to yourself and your team members

If things are really tough and they are affecting you day-to-day, the reality is that you can only do what you can do. The key is to recognise how you can make things work when the productivity well is running a little dry.

  • Manage what you can in the present moment, make sure workloads are spread evenly.
  • Focus on the good things happening in your day.
  • Make a conscious effort to maintain a positive attitude when things get too much, reach out to someone or step away from a difficult task and come back to it.

Step 2: Find a routine

If you’re a caregiver or trying to balance personal commitments and challenges as everything else gets tough, things will feel destabilising. This is where it can help to find and stick to a routine as best you can.

  • Choose a rhythm that works

As best you can, it can be helpful to have control over one thing – your personal routine. There’s plenty of research that suggests our brains thrive on routine. For the sake of your mental health, set some simple routine staples that you can include.

  • Remember the basics

This is a hard time. It is inevitable that some days will feel tougher than usual. Whether you’re already living with mental health issues or you’re feeling their effects for the first time – take it easy on yourself and practice acceptance.

Step 3: Consider ways to support your mental wellbeing

  • Reach out to someone you trust

Particularly for introverted types or those who might feel self-conscious talking about mental health, it can be all too easy in times of struggle to shut yourself away from others. However, this can lead to feelings of isolation that compound existing challenges. It could be as simple as texting a friend or going for a walk with a colleague. You might find that they’re in the same boat or that they can give you a good distraction from things that are troubling you.

  • Healthy body = healthy mind

If you want to keep your mind healthy, you need to care for your body. Our psychological state is intrinsically linked to our physiological health. Especially in times of increased stress; practising self-care is essential. Our mental health is hugely influenced by what we fuel our bodies with, so be mindful about what you’re eating and drinking. Hydration is important for brain function and therefore for mental health. Make sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day.

One of the best parts about meditation is that it only takes a few minutes each day. You could even try setting an alarm to help develop a constant habit. Social media is a good place to find free guides to start your meditation journey.

  • Take breaks

Taking more breaks is essential for employee productivity, mental wellbeing and overall work performance.

Step 4: Find community

The after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the stresses around the cost of living have left many of us feeling anxious and isolated. This is bad news for our mental health because after all, we are social creatures. To protect your mental health, seek community.

 

Maybe try bringing your household together for a painting night or a trivia quiz- they’re cost-effective and fun.

If you’re working from home, make the most of technology. Staying in regular contact with colleagues is important. Have a video chat or pick up the phone if you can. The same goes if you’re back in the office – make sure you’re reaching out and getting involved.

  • As a team leader

If you’re a leader at work, there are specific challenges when mental health gets tough.

It may also be that you have to support people in your team with their own mental health challenges. Look into different ways you can engage your team, even if it involves setting up different activities at different times.

  • The wrap up

It’s been a difficult few years, and it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed and stressed. With a few strategies and mood-boosting activities, you can feel more in control when you face uncertainty and negative events.

Take care of yourself and your employees and remember to reach out to trusted people for support.

What Does the Ideal Investment Look Like for Your Business?

What Does the Ideal Investment Look Like for Your Business?

There’s no doubt that investor sentiment is declining at present, against the backdrop of rampant global inflation and a strained macroeconomic climate.

This is even true in the US, where the economy and the dollar have fared better than
most in the fight against inflation. Currently, just 18.07% of American investors are bullish, compared to 21.92% last week and 43.43% last year.

While this suggests that some investors may be looking to exit the market, others will simply be more selective about the investments that they target. So, what should you look for in the ideal investment?

So, What Comprises the Ideal Investment?

The financial market is packed full of a diverse range of assets and instruments, none of which have been created equal.

Markets like forex can be navigated through investment vehicles like spread betting, for example, whereas stocks can be speculated on or secured as so-called “buy-and-hold” investments.

In this respect, there’s no such thing as the ‘ideal’ investment, especially as it’s impossible to accurately predict a stock’s outcome or completely circumnavigate the risks involved with chasing optimal returns.

Instead, the key lies in successfully timing your investments, particularly in line with your wider investment strategy and the timeframes in which you’d like to see a return.

Make no mistake; timing your investments can help to simultaneously minimise your exposure to risk and optimise returns while enabling you to identify opportunities that may otherwise pass you by.

What Are the Best Options for Formulating the Ideal Investment?

If we accept that timing and your appetite for risk are key, the question that remains is what are the best investment options available? Here are some options depending on your trading philosophy:

#1. For the Risk-Averse – High-Yield Savings Accounts: For those of you who are cautious or
have an aversion to risk, high-yield savings accounts offer the ideal balance between risk and reward. This will deliver a fixed rate of interest on your cash balance or savings, while there’s minimal risk and your returns can be accessed in real-time.

#2.For Moderate Investors: Conversely, those of you with a moderate outlook who are looking for higher returns than traditional banking products or bonds, could invest in S&P 500 index funds. This fund comprises 500 of the largest American companies, including Amazon and the prohibitive price Berkshire
Hathaway.

#3.For Risk Hungry Investors – Nasdaq-100 Funds: Comprising the biggest tech brands in the world, the Nasdaq-100 is highly volatile and capable of delivering significant returns. Including high growth and high yield equities like Apple, Meta Platforms and Microsoft, this option is ideal if you have a healthy risk appetite and are willing to embrace volatility.

Why Good Work Is Essential for Good Mental Health

By Gabrielle Pendlebury, Clinical Director, Psychiatric Services, Onebright

Work and mental health are deeply intertwined. A poor experience at work can both exacerbate a pre-existing issue with someone’s mental health and contribute to the emergence of a mental health condition.

Similarly, research shows that “good” work also has a significant positive impact on mental health, as The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently set out in a position statement. These findings are crucially important for employers as well as mental health professionals.

What is “good” work?

Evidence shows a strong correlation between “good work” and good mental health. Not every job will help someone’s mental health, but good ones will. What do we mean by “good work”? It’s not just a high salary but instead, it depends on various different characteristics.

These characteristics include:

  • Job security
  • Fair pay reflective of the role
  • A good work/life balance
  • An appropriate balance of power between workers and employer
  • A safe and healthy environment
  • Promotion of productivity
  • Prevention of isolation
  • Appropriate autonomy and control
  • Opportunity for progression

Unfortunately, not all jobs look like this, and research from Public Health England shows people with mental health conditions are more likely to work in precarious roles with part-time or temporary hours, high turnover, and low pay.

The importance of keeping people in work

Allowing people to slip out of employment can be the beginning of a spiral into isolation and more serious mental health conditions. Since work is such an important factor in mental health, keeping people linked to work is a major focus for the mental health profession. The public health system puts significant resources into this goal, with NHS England investing £10 million in 2018 to support up to 20,000 people with mental health issues to keep or gain employment.

The new position statement also recommends that psychiatrists should directly advocate with employers on behalf of their patients where appropriate, with the aim of keeping them in work and reducing stigma.

What employers can do

Employers shouldn’t wait for a psychiatrist to contact them advocating for a patient. The position statement recommends employers take a range of actions to support mental wellbeing at work.

1. Help managers to spot people struggling

The first is ensuring that people who supervise or manage people are able to identify potential mental health issues in their staff and talk to them about such difficulties in an appropriate way. These conversations will not always be easy but should not be shied away from. They should focus on what can be done to support the mental wellbeing of the employee – not on diagnosing an “illness”.

2. Develop good policies

Policies can be developed to support employees struggling with mental conditions to remain in work – or return to it. No policy will be perfect, and people struggling with mental health can often react in different ways. But having some guidelines to refer to can still be helpful.

3. Bring in outside help

Consider bringing in occupational mental healthcare services. While managers should be confident enough to talk to their staff about their issues, they are not professionals. This can include everything from obtaining good training for managers from professionals to providing talk therapy directly to employees.

Ultimately, putting in place this support for employees will help the workplace as much as the individual employees. Workers who are struggling with their mental health can cause disruption to others – and if they end up leaving employment, they can take huge troves of experience and knowledge with them.

How Executive Leadership Can Increase Employee Satisfaction

Satisfied employees are more productive and committed than their less engaged counterparts. While offering competitive compensation and benefits can contribute to employee engagement, company culture also impacts satisfaction.

As culture develops from the top down, leaders have the responsibility to create a workplace environment that is conducive to employee engagement. Here are a few ways leaders like you can directly influence your work culture to produce higher rates of satisfaction.

Set Employee-Centric Values

As a leader, you set the tone for the types of values that are upheld within your company. Employee engagement tends to go up when businesses establish a culture that places their needs at the center.

For example, companies can encourage innovation by supporting employee development and allowing autonomy over projects. Leaders must also foster a psychologically-safe culture where all team members can share their ideas without ridicule or fear.

You can establish psychological safety within your company by viewing failures as learning experiences. You should also explicitly state your values in your company-wide communications to reassure team members that a positive employee experience is a priority.

Invest in Employees

Employees are any company’s most valuable asset. Unfortunately, many businesses do not invest adequately in employee training and development. If you want to ensure that your employees reach their potential, you must incorporate opportunities for professional development into the work process.

For example, you can start workers on the right foot by implementing new employee onboarding best practices.  This includes offering mentoring opportunities, self-guided training modules, and team building.

Ongoing professional development training should also be extended to current workers. There are multiple ways to make learning accessible. You can subscribe to a corporate account with an online course provider or provide a stipend for professional development classes.

Offering opportunities for career progression is also essential for retaining talent. As part of the executive team, you can ensure that your company has a solid pipeline to develop promising entry-level workers into potential managers and leaders.

Encourage Two-way Communication

Most communications in organizations only go one way: ideas and directions come from the top, and worker input is rarely considered. In companies with strict roles and rigid hierarchies, employees may feel too intimidated to raise their concerns. As a result, issues may be left unaddressed until it is too late.

Leaders can change this dynamic by encouraging open communication between all workers. The best approach to facilitating a discussion will depend on your company’s culture.

You can create an office hours system where employees are invited to talk to higher-level management about their concerns.

Be a Role Model

In order for any company-wide initiative to succeed, leaders must align their actions with their efforts. You can spend time on the ground with every department to understand their work and show employees that their contributions are valued.

You must also demonstrate values that you hope to inspire in your employees. For example, acknowledging your mistakes and taking accountability gives all workers permission to do the same. Speaking to everyone with respect also helps foster an inclusive environment.

Measure and Evaluate Engagement

None of the initiatives mentioned above can be successfully implemented without an evaluation plan. You will need to assess current employee engagement levels and areas that can be improved. You will also need to perform ongoing evaluations to make sure that your changes are making the intended impact.

Some effective ways of assessing employee engagement include:

Interviews: Schedule one-on-one interviews with new hires and departing employees to get a sense of the first and last impression of your company. You can also gather information from current workers during performance reviews and less formal conversations.

Surveys: You can make use of your company’s communication channels such as email or project management software to send out short surveys to capture employee sentiment. Over time, you will be able to identify patterns that can inform your employee engagement programs.

For example, you may notice that employee satisfaction dips during busier periods. This can open a conversation about the support or system your team may need to improve their productivity.

Feedback: Give your employees several avenues to provide feedback. You can set up a virtual or in-person suggestions box or incorporate feedback sessions at the end of every project.

Indicators: Work with your human resources team and managers to identify reliable indicators for employee engagement. While these may vary by industry, common benchmarks include turnover rates and absenteeism.

5 Smart Upgrades To Make Your Office A More Efficient Space

5 Smart Upgrades To Make Your Office A More Efficient Space

Smart building technology allows businesses to create more operational efficiency and productivity. Smart technology will enable companies to become greener and streamline their monthly overhead costs.

Are you looking to upgrade your office space with smart upgrades? Keep reading to learn about the top and trending smart technologies for offices. You can plan for a more cost-efficient and productive workplace with this information.

Smart HVAC System

HVAC systems are necessary to keep your office at a comfortable temperature for your employees. However, your HVAC system contributes significantly to your monthly overhead costs and energy bills. Investing in a smart HVAC system can reduce your monthly energy bills and cut costs.

If you don’t invest in smart HVAC technology, your business may be wasting energy heating and cooling rooms while they are empty. A smart HVAC system allows you to manage when your HVAC system is on, automatically switching off your HVAC systems for weekends, holidays, and non-working hours.

You can also connect your HVAC system with other IoT devices like building sensors so that your HVAC system switches on when a user enters the space and switches off when the room is unoccupied. You can reallocate expenses towards growing your business by eliminating unnecessary energy costs.

Room Booking Software

The pandemic affected work models significantly. Many businesses are now choosing hybrid work models to provide their employees with more freedom in their daily schedules, saving money on commuting and improving their work-life balance.

With a hybrid work model, you must ensure your employees can access office space when needed. Room booking software allows employees to book meeting rooms and workspace when they visit the office. This could hinder productivity if they cannot find a meeting or working space. Room booking software is a solution that helps you maintain efficiency and productivity while offering employees more freedom and flexibility for their workday.

Keyless Entry

Business keyless entry systems use key cards and fobs with mobile credentials. Opting for a smart keyless entry system can save money on key cards and fob replacement. You can ensure employees can easily download access credentials to their mobile devices rather than waiting for a new key card or fob to be made – which could slow down productivity if they cannot quickly enter your office.

Cloud-based entry systems also allow your system administrators to manage security remotely using a mobile application, allowing them to permit entry to employees and visitors without visiting the office entrance. So, if your employee forgets their access credentials, this will not inhibit the productivity of other team members. They can enter quickly by contacting a system administrator to request access.

Collaboration Tools

Video conferencing software and virtual whiteboard applications support remote collaboration. If you’re implementing remote or hybrid working at your company, you must ensure your employees can collaborate on projects from anywhere. In-office and remote employees can collaborate with collaboration tools, accessing real-time data and online meeting spaces for productivity.

Smart Accessories

Smart accessories can upgrade your office space and improve productivity. Some smart accessories include portable laptop monitors, touchscreens, and Bluetooth technology. By offering more versatile technology, your employees will quickly adapt their work technology to suit their preferences and needs. For instance, if an employee wished to present their screen to the office for a briefing, they might benefit from being able to cast their screen to an office projector or wall-mounted screen to improve visibility. Going wireless creates more efficiency and allows for smoother presentations.

You might also consider adapting your workspace with standing desks or collaborative workspaces, ensuring your office layout supports productivity, communication, and comfort.

Summary

Smart technology is the future of office innovation. If you want to upgrade your office space, improve the employee experience, and streamline costs, you should consider investing in these innovative technology solutions. Smarter office space is conducive to more productivity and efficiency – particularly with a hybrid working company.

What Can You Implement Into Your Business to Make It More Attractive to Buyers?

As a business owner, you have undoubtedly put blood, sweat, and tears into building your company – so when it comes to the day when you wish to sell it, you won’t want to settle for less than it deserves.

However, your company requires attractive factors to be certain that the price offered by an investor matches the quality of the business.

But what exactly will make your business stand out from the rest? Here, we delve into some touches to consider making your company more appealing to buyers.

Broaden your customer base

While you may be comfortable with the clients you have – perhaps they’re contributing to a large proportion of your sales – it’s sensible to broaden your customer base. Relying too much on your clients can put you in danger. For example, if they’re accounting for a large proportion of your revenue, your business could suffer a huge loss.

With a diverse range of customers, investors looking for a business for sale are much more likely to be attracted to yours than one without. If a client decides to call it quits, you won’t lose significant value due to them being one of many. Broadening your client base can be done with several tactics, from social media advertisements, increasing your network, and even requesting feedback from current customers to find out how you can improve your service.

Consider an exit plan

Having a plan for when you decide to leave your company behind may not be the first thought that crosses your mind, but it can make your business more appealing to buyers. Many leaders will sell businesses, but not all will have an exit strategy to ensure that the transition to a new owner is as smooth as possible – thus, you will stand out from others.

Whether you opt for merger and acquisition to have your business merged with or acquired by another company or selling your control if a partner is buying the business, there are several routes to follow that ultimately depend on your needs as a business owner. Whatever they may be, an exit allows you to implement any necessary steps to minimise any difficulties for the new ownership, such as training.

Don’t neglect your team

A well-trained and valuable team is one of the many attractive factors your business can boast to buyers. Neglecting the staff limits their potential, meaning you miss a trick when it comes to appealing to investors.

Looking after your team can be anything from regular catch-ups to training. Catching up can identify any areas your staff are struggling with, allowing you to take action for them to learn new knowledge of your business’ industry and even upskill. With an insight into any recent advancements, changes in your business can be implemented to improve the way of working, which can ensure that the team is committed to staying in business once you leave. After all, if a buyer has their eye on your staff, you want to do all you can to ensure that they will stay once a new manager takes over.

Keep track of your financial records

Not only is it a sensible idea to keep track of your financial records for the sake of your company, but it will also be something that prospective buyers will consider when buying a business. While you may be concerned about losses, it’s always better to be transparent and show your financial history.

Typically, buyers will be interested in seeing between two to three years of your business’ profit and loss statements. If you’re not fully confident in gathering the reports yourself, you can always opt for a professional who will perform an audit of your financial statements to give buyers clarity of your documents as well as proving a balance sheet.

There are several ways you can make your business more attractive to buyers in preparation for selling. Considering these will not only help you find an offer that matches your business’s worth, but it will also make the process a lot less stressful as you await a buyer.

A Subscription to Better Health

Concierge medicine provides a more personalized medical care and service than other alternatives. But one company in particular is using a model to take that personalized service a step closer, working closely with physicians to preserve, protect, and optimize the patient-physician relationship.  This is all led by the winner of Most Influential CEO, 2022 – New York, the USA: Dean McElwain, Ph.D.

Castle Connolly Private Health Partners (CCPHP) partners with exceptional physicians to offer concierge (membership-based) programs to individuals who prioritize health and wellbeing. The model empowers and protects the physician-patient relationship, helping physicians practice the way they intended, and Ltd patients receive the care they deserve and need.

Its CEO and Co-Founder, Dr Dean McElwain, has his own story in healthcare, leveraging 30 years of progressive leadership experience in the healthcare field. He also has provided instruction and guidance, specifically in the field of concierge medicine itself. Lecturing and consulting with prominent companies, organizations, and figures in the healthcare world while bringing his robust portfolio of knowledge and experience to guide the team at CCPHP.

As a leader ,Dr McElwain’s overarching directive is to create an environment that fosters value. Creating value applies not only to shareholders and their physician partners but, most importantly, to members. The member experience is the driving force behind its core values of collaboration and empowerment. These values inform not only how the team operates daily, but the directions leadership takes in ensuring the delivery of its promises to all.

Additionally, Dean recognizes that his team members are essential in delivering the excellence associated with the Castle Connolly brand. He ensures the team is brimming with innovative collaborators who have a passion for exceeding expectations for both partner physicians and members. The work culture of CCPHP is centered around kindness, directness, and accountability. Its three-fold focus exists to create an environment where the team can openly share and collaborate on problems to find innovative ways to deliver exceptional service together.

At Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, members pay a fee for a wide array of amenities and enhancements for convenient, comprehensive and personalized healthcare. Its concierge medicine model supports strong physician-patient collaboration, with an intense focus on patient wellness and preventive care to a degree far greater than competitors.

Patients and physicians of CCPHP forge unbreakable bonds of trust and comfort, resulting in stronger physician-patient relationships —all leading to higher patient satisfaction and wellness, increased job satisfaction and less physician stress.

Thanks to years of forward thinking and the development of its membership model, CCPHP was minimally affected by the change of circumstances during the pandemic. The healthcare industry (primary care in general) faced unprecedented challenges. With the onset of the pandemic, primary care physicians saw the evaporation of visit revenue and a pivot towards virtual care. Specifically, CCPHP’s membership model practices were minimally affected, as they had sustainable revenue streams and a pre-pandemic capability with virtual care.  The robust migration of primary care physicians and patients moving toward the membership model has benefited patients and physicians in the unstable environment of primary care. 

This innovative approach remains at the forefront of the leadership’s mind. Dean has already set up a growth plan for the practice that spans the future years, looking to integrate many tech-based delivery platforms and implement further primary and specialty care options.

He also plans to develop the company’s presence by continuing to create great partnerships with leading physicians in both independent and group practices, as well as larger system environments. They are also working with existing independent concierge practices to take equity stakes and invest in their continued growth and success.

Dean and CCPHP are both equally as impressive. What the company has built and accomplished makes it a shining light in the industry. But the man who led them there is not only a credit to the business, but to the industry – doing far more than guiding his team, and those around them, to greater heights. His influence and insight cannot be overstated. Thus, his award for Most Influential CEO of 2022 for New York is well warranted.

For business enquiries, contact Anastasia Economides from Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, Llc on their website – https://ccphp.net/

Why Great Business Security Requires Great Leadership

There can be no doubt that security is something that all modern businesses need to take seriously. The more that companies have embraced technology and the digitisation of the way that they work, the more opportunities have been created by cybercriminals to take advantage of them. 

However, if businesses are going to take their security seriously, they need to have a leader at the helm who understands how to. In this article, we will take a look at how high-quality leadership plays a big role in the overall security of a business. 

Security is top down

It should first be recognised that leaders play a vital role in the security of their organisation. You need to consider security as something that is top-down – if those at the top aren’t taking it seriously, how can other members of staff be expected to take it seriously? Leaders have a key role to play in keeping the company secure, and it starts with taking all of the same measures and precautions that are expected from other members of staff.

This means that if rules are set about personal devices not being allowed to be used for viewing company documents, this is expected of the leadership team too. Similarly, leaders should expect to have to follow all of the same protocols and procedures as the rest of their team including powerful passwords and multi-factor authentication.

The need to get everyone involved

Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that cybersecurity is something that can be left to the IT team. Of course, it is important to have specialists in your team who can make plans and advise on issues of cybersecurity. But in reality, it is impossible for modern businesses to have effective cybersecurity measures in place if the whole company isn’t taking it seriously.

This is something that business leaders need to impress upon the rest of the team. And there are actually many ways that leaders can influence how the team approaches cybersecurity. For example, as a part of the hiring policy for your business, you could make it essential for everyone to have at least some cybersecurity knowledge. 

Additionally, you can implement a team training policy to make sure that everyone understands the specifics of their role in good cybersecurity. 

Security budget must be significant

Another factor that plays an important role here is the fact that in modern business, good security needs a budget. If the leadership of the company isn’t aware of the kind of expense that needs to be put into security, they can leave the business completely unprepared for the kinds of attack that they will face.

The fact is that cybercriminals have become far more sophisticated and well-funded in recent years. Ultimately, this means that the kind of security measures that were effective in years gone by simply won’t cut it anymore. Good leadership means knowing where to save money and where it is essential to spend money – security is a great example of that.

Hiring staff can be a challenge

One of the major challenges in any aspect of hiring staff is in getting the wages right; attractive enough to entice the best possible employees, but also sensible enough that the hires aren’t unaffordable. However, cybersecurity is one area where this problem is even more significant than in most sectors. 

There is an ongoing crisis known as the cybersecurity skills gap. The reality is that demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed in recent years, and the jobs market has simply been unable to keep up with it. What this means is there are significantly more cybersecurity vacancies than there are experienced professionals ready to fill those vacancies.

The result is that wages for cybersecurity professionals have been pushed up to the point where hiring an in-house cybersecurity team simply is not financially viable for many companies. This is significant because it requires a great business leader to make key decisions about staff hiring. In some cases, it can be a better decision to outsource staff.

The effect of remote working on security

It should be noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on the way that we work, and this in turn has affected security. Perhaps the most obvious change has been the rise in working remotely. Remote work has become expected as a standard way of working for at least some workers. 

“With remote working the new norm, it’s easy to slip into bad habits,” says Juliette Hudson, SOC Team Lead at cybersecurity specialists Redscan “however, with cyber security risks being greater than ever and remote workers lacking office protections, it’s important to maintain a high, if not higher standard, of security awareness.”

Once again, the onus is on having leaders in place who understand that remote working of course has its benefits, but it comes with challenges that need to be faced as well.

Loyalty and team spirit is a part of security

It should also be noted that leaders have another way to affect the overall security of the business, and that is in the team atmosphere that they create. It is not enough that your team needs to have a good understanding of cybersecurity, they must also be motivated to protect the company from cybercrime. 

Great leaders can foster a great team spirit and loyalty amongst members of staff. This atmosphere is important in keeping the team together and ensuring that they work in the best interest of the business. 

There are so many factors to good security and it is impossible to leave the task to just a few members of the team. Instead, it should be recognised that leaders have a huge role to play in how they shape the team to respond to cybercrime, but also in the intangibles that make up a huge part of day-to-day security measures. 

Great business leaders must not only understand the need for security, but they must also be willing to use their influence to create a culture of good security practice across the company. 

Marketing Resume – Best Practices For Your Company

Marketing is a large and exciting field that has been evolving and growing a lot these days. Whether you are in digital marketing, brand marketing, copywriting, or any other marketing career, you are constantly engaged with many new and emerging trends in marketing. Marketing skills are the skills that will enable any marketing professional to excel in his or her field.

As we all know, a resume is the most important thing in every field. But when it comes to marketing, your resume is not just the first point of contact with your employer; it is typically your first work sample that has been presented to your employer. Because when you are applying for any job opportunity, you are marketing yourself. So, if you want to land a marketing job, make sure your resume immediately stands out to the hiring manager. Moving ahead, in this article, we will be explaining to you how you can write an impressive marketing resume with some marketing skills that should be part of your resume too.

How to Write a Marketing Resume

So, if you are a marketing professional and are looking for some up-gradations in your role, you can apply for new jobs. And for applying for new jobs, you need to update your resume, so below are some tips that have been shared by the hiring managers only to create an impressive marketing resume:

To make things easy to understand for the hiring manager and let him view only your highlights, make sure to use some resume templates. Proper use of colour and font makes it stand out of the box.

You should know your target audience because you know who is going to read your resume and what is important to them. So, that makes it quite easier for you to enhance and shape your resume accordingly.

Mention some of the unique characteristics, skills, and experience in the resume that can make you different from the rest of the marketing professionals.

Most importantly, your resume should have a skill sets section, where you can highlight the marketing skills you possess. So, before applying for the job, do check out the marketing skills they need.

Many companies these days have been using automated keyword filtering to go through resumes quickly. So while applying for any job, go through the job description properly and look for some relevant keywords, then use the same in your resume.

Do not complicate the statements or experiences shared in your resume, because a confused mind will always say “No.” Unless you are applying for a senior position, make sure your resume stands out within just 1 or 2 pages.

Your resume is never going to tell the whole story about you, so make sure you write a cover letter for your resume.

Make sure you add statistics and figures in your resume because many hiring managers are looking for hard evidence of your strong performance in previous organizations. So, look back at the work you have done in the past and use that to quantify your success in your resume.

When it comes to your education section, just keep it simple, because 95% of the hiring managers do not care about your academics. They just want to know about your experience in real-life working scenarios.

List of marketing skills

By reading the above, you would be thinking about what marketing skills should be mentioned in your resume. So below are some hard and soft skills that should be incorporated into your resume to make you succeed:

Soft skills

  • Communication
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Creativity
  • Public speaking
  • Storytelling
  • Critical thinking
  • Email marketing skills

Hard skills

  • Mobile advertising
  • Data Analytics
  • Designing and Layout
  • Advertising on social media
  • Data Science
  • Coding skills
  • Content management systems
  • Search engine optimization
  • Audio and video content

Conclusion

You already have that inbuilt talent inside you for good communication and a solid understanding of what people need to hear or read or what they will just buy. So the best part is that you just need to apply this same knowledge when creating your resume so that you can easily stand out from the other marketing professionals. Along with the above-mentioned tips, you will be able to write an enhanced marketing resume to get confirmed high-paying jobs.

Choosing a Spokesperson for Your Brand

A brand spokesperson is a public image and voice for your business. You might use your spokesperson in marketing videos or ads, or they could appear in more traditional advertising, such as TV and print ads.

Other roles similar but slightly different from a brand spokesperson are brand ambassadors and influencers. The commonality between the three is that they’re the public face of your brand at your request.

Your brand’s spokesperson serves as part of your marketing and public relations campaigns. A spokesperson is someone you get to be themselves but also represent your brand at the same time.

Your spokesperson maybe someone from within your organization. If you’re going to cast someone for a marketing video and they’re an actor or model, then that’s not in the technical sense a spokesperson, although video presenters are often categorized in the same way because they embody the message of your brand and connect with your audience.

How To Use a Spokesperson Video

If you’re not already using spokesperson videos, they have advantages that you could be missing out on.

These videos can be engaging for audiences, they can boost your sales pipeline, and they can help your audience understand things and make decisions faster.

As far as social media marketing, the vast majority of marketers agree using videos in their ads leads to more clicks and better results for their organic posts. If you’re going to create a spokesperson video for social media, you should create it in a vertical format. You also want to add captions to these videos because many people are going to watch without the sound on.

You can use spokesperson videos to replace long blocks of text too. For example, you can use a spokesperson video to give instructions or to deliver answers to frequently asked questions. It makes for a more dynamic and compelling format.

Using a video with a spokesperson can create a sense of trust between your audience and your brand. The viewer puts a real face to the company, so they feel like they have a relationship with you. Some companies will use various spokespeople so that they can create a distinction between the brand and this one person, but there’s a familiarity that people may like when you use the same person over and over again.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, behind only Google, with video content being the only way you can appear on the platform. You can use a lot of the same SEO tactics you use on your website to get more views of your videos and expand your reach on YouTube. For example, writing compelling titles and using keywords in your descriptions are a way to optimize your videos.

Videos are a good format for product reviews and demonstrations when you use a spokesperson because, again, you’re improving trust. You aren’t just seeing a process when you’re the viewer. You’re seeing someone perform a demo and explain it.

Benefits of a Spokesperson Video

Some of the benefits of a spokesperson video have already been touched on, but more specifically, advantages can include:

•  A combination of narration and body language is what ultimately builds trust. Your video’s impact is going to be controlled by the visuals and the voice, but also, when you have an actual person as a presenter, you’re amplifying your message even more because of body language. The message can be conveyed in a way that’s familiar to most viewers. Body language helps ensure your message is properly delivered. Research shows honesty in a message is judged better through the face, while deception is judged primarily through tone of voice. Your message becomes more credible since you have control over both. •  You can reduce bounce rates with a spokesperson video on landing pages. Videos on landing pages generally perform well, and they can increase your conversion rates by up to 80%. The success of a video on a landing page primarily depends on the presenter you choose. •  You can leverage the power of influence. Influencer marketing impacts purchase decisions positively because of relatability. A consumer is going to relate more to the emotions of another person than to the brand itself.

How Do You Find the Right Spokesperson?

There are a lot of myths that float around about what a spokesperson should and shouldn’t be.

One myth is that your spokesperson has to be a company executive, like a CEO. Yes, you want someone who can speak with authority, but you don’t need it to be a high-level executive for that to be true.

Another myth is that a spokesperson has to be assertive. A commanding presence can be a good thing, but it can also come off as cold, rude, or dismissive. You want a good balance between a spokesperson who’s modest but assertive.

A third myth is that the spokesperson you choose has to know everything. In reality, the person who knows the most may not have the method of delivery that’s going to reach your audience.

The fourth major myth is that you can only choose a single spokesperson, and there’s no reason this absolutely has to be true.

The things you want to consider as you choose someone include whether the pairing is going to make sense and whether or not the person is enthusiastic about the brand. A person needs to be passionate. Otherwise, they’re going to come off as inauthentic. You also want someone who can remain calm even in challenging situations because they will be one of your front-line communicators.

Finally, if you want a spokesperson who will go beyond being in videos and is going to take part in live events, make sure they’re someone who can answer questions thoroughly and in a way a diverse audience can understand and is quick on their feet.

What Makes A Good Team Leader And Why Do We Need Them?

What Makes A Good Team Leader And Why Do We Need Them?

A team leader is an integral part of any business and there are many traits that will make a good one. Click here to find out what you should be looking for.

If you own a small business, then you should be aware how difficult the first three years are going to be. In this way, it is important that you choose a team leader to guide employees through both the successful and unsuccessful periods.

But how do you find out who should be leading your team? Well, there are many traits you should be looking for. Before we get into them, let’s take a look at what a team leader should do and why they are so important.

Motivation, Guidance, Engagement

In most businesses, team leaders are there to motivate and guide a team of employees. They will have an overview of a group of people, they will monitor their work rate and provide a sense of direction that the whole team can get behind.

The reason this is important is because all teams need a sense of leadership. Good leadership means better productivity, communication and overall bottom line profit. A good leader can also incite employee engagement which is integral to a company’s success.

For B2B organisations, specifically, it is important that all employees are actively engaged and well prepared to liaise with clients. In this way, they should be well in-tune with their needs and the company as a whole. An employee engagement programme is essential in assuring this, but your team leader will also have a strong hand in determining how engaged employees remain throughout the working day. Here’s a few examples, then, of what you should be looking for:

A Team Leader Should Lead Themselves

Firstly, it is important that your team leader has a hand on their own work and priorities before taking on a role like this. They need to know themselves and their own abilities just as much as they should know others.

Think of a team leader like a sports club captain. Yes, they have to delegate and regulate the work of their teammates, but when push comes to shove they have to be capable and excel in their own position too. Your team leader should excel in their field and lead themselves before they lead others. Only then will they be able to be fully confident in the ways to lead a team, as they have learnt through leading themselves.

A Team Leader Should Connect Emotionally With Employees

There is always a balancing act which goes on between team leaders and employees. While it is important to find someone who is not afraid to assert themselves, it is also integral to find someone on the same wavelength of the employees they are leading.

You are not looking for a boss, but rather someone who can connect emotionally with their team and understand each employee’s priorities. It is integral to remember the “team” in “team leader”. Everyone should be on the same wavelength and empathetic with one another, including the team leader themselves.

A Team Leader Should Be Transparent And Honest

Just as a B2B business needs to be transparent with existing and new customers, it is also important that there is transparency between a team leader and employees. A team base needs to believe in what they are doing and understand where they might be going wrong. Every fact and every figure should be communicated efficiently, so that the employees know where the company is at and how they can push it forward.

You need to find someone who can not only provide that transparency, but communicate it in an efficient and simple way. The communication, too, should be educational, motivating and purposeful in order to get the best results possible going forward.

Doing Business in Italy: What You Need to Know

Expanding or opening your business abroad is not a trivial activity: market, regulatory and social dynamics vary from country to country, and what you take for granted in your home state does not always hold if you change context completely. What characterizes entrepreneurship in Italy at this time in history? What should one expect from the moment one decides to embark on such a path?

Mature and experienced entrepreneurs

There is no shortage of incentives for young entrepreneurs, yet according to an analysis by Unioncamere-Infocamere, businesses led by entrepreneurs under the age of 35 (or with a predominance of under-35s in governance) fell from 697.000 in 2011 to 541.000 at the end of 2020, thus registering a 22.4% decline.

Ten years ago, youth enterprises accounted for 10 % of all companies registered in the Business Register, while today they stand at 8.9 %.

The Italian population is predominantly composed of people between the ages of 45 and 60, a fact that certainly affects the phenomenon. However, it alone is not enough to explain why young entrepreneurs in Italy are in short supply. The cause may lie in a lack of education in Italian universities and a lack of drive and stimulus for an entrepreneurial approach.

Self-confidence first

Italian entrepreneurs are on average more self-confident than neighbouring countries. SumUp research shows that only 9 % of entrepreneurs in Italy doubt themselves, compared with 18 % of entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom and 11 % in France. This may be a consequence of age (which, as we have just seen, is relatively high) combined with years of experience. The same research shows that almost half of the business owners have experience in the industry in which they launched their business (as many as 48.16 %). It is up to the individual entrepreneur to work on self-confidence healthily and positively, boosting self-esteem but not opposing new ideas or constructive observations.

Digitalization on the rise

An ISTAT study shows a good level of digitalization in Italian companies. Not only about multinationals but also about SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which represent the most widespread type of company by far. 60.3 % of Italian SMEs have reached a basic level of digitization, which is higher even than the 56 % average of the 27 European Union countries.

This figure is expected to be maintained in the future, thanks to the many subsidies the state reserves for business digitalization and innovation. With the PNRR, (national recovery and resilience plan submitted by Italy to the European Commission to access Next Generation EU funds) the Italian state has allocated 30.57 billion euros to improve the innovation in the private production system.

A confirmation of the widespread digitization of businesses we have again from the SumUp research, which showed a very limited percentage of entrepreneurs who do not employ any digital tools in their business (2.33 %). Most entrepreneurs have realized that business digitalization allows them to
simplify processes, thus saving time and resources.

So let’s be prepared: the use of digital tools is essential to streamline and speed up activities. Technology is a crucial asset in the success of a business. That is why knowing the level of digitization of the market in which you will be operating is of paramount importance for every entrepreneur.

A recovery in entrepreneurial activity

According to Movimprese, (the quarterly statistical analysis of InfoCamere and Unioncamere), Italy is finally seeing the return of a balance between new business registrations and terminations. Having overcome the stop in 2020 and the rebound in 2021, it is returning to a stable situation that mirrors the average of the last 10 years.

Another interesting fact concerns the geographical distribution of Italian companies.

Indeed, we often hear of Rome as the capital and Milan as the business center; in general, northern regions are known for their important industrial presence. Now, on the other hand, there is a great recovery in the southern Italian regions, which put in the largest increase in the second quarter of 2022. This is certainly given by the important incentives that the state has reserved for those who open new businesses in the South, to revitalize an area that has always been secondary in terms of business development.

In terms of sectors, wholesale and retail trade still accounts for the majority share, followed by construction, agriculture and manufacturing. Compared to the beginning of the year, the second quarter of 2022 sees an increase in new businesses, especially in construction (+1.01 %) and services (0.92 %).

How to do business in Italy

If you intend to open a company in Italy, you have probably already defined your goals, sector, business model, and target audience and found Italy an interesting potential market. Of course, it is also essential to have in mind an initial budget to invest in and the people you would involve in your new business. All these elements put together are essential to guide you in choosing the type of company best suited to your needs.

Companies in Italy are divided into partnerships and corporations.

Corporations are joint stock companies (spa), limited partnerships, limited liability companies (SRL or LLC), and simplified limited liability companies (SRLS). The most common form by far is the limited liability company (LLC). The common feature of this type of corporation is the fact that the partners are liable for corporate obligations only from the company’s assets.

Partnerships are divided into simple, general, and limited partnerships (SAS). In these cases, the partners are liable for corporate obligations not only with the assets resulting from the shares but also with their assets in an unlimited manner. These companies are recommended when one intends to open a small company with limited risks.

To open a corporation, whichever type is chosen, requirements include the designation of the partners and their participation in profits and losses; an Italian tax identification number for each director and partner; the corporate purpose; The registered office; the name of the company; the bylaws; the registration in the commercial register; a bank account.

If you are not an EU citizen, check the requirements for residing and working in Italy In most cases, no citizenship or residency requirements are required. Each administrator/member only needs to provide a valid ID or passport. However, if you plan to relocate to run your business locally, don’t forget to apply for a legal permit to live and work in Italy.

To know more, check out this website.

Everyone’s a Winner: The Undeniable Case for Supporting Neurodiversity in Business

With the number of job vacancies in the UK at an all-time high this year, it’s more important than ever for businesses to think about how they recruit and retain people. This should be particularly true for the neurodiverse population that work and workplaces so often fail to consider.

Representing 15-20% of the UK population, neurodiversity, according to Harvard Health Publishing, describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways. Having experienced neurodiversity first-hand through my son, I think it can be put more simply as people who experience and interact with the world a little differently.

Let’s flip the narrative from weaknesses to strengths

The neurodiverse population is brimming with unique talent, and I urge businesses to wake up to the incredible skills they offer. We shouldn’t adopt a mindset of thinking about what they’re unable to do, but rather what they can do.

Neurodivergent people often possess mental strengths that are particularly well developed compared to the neurotypical population – and they’re also very broad. From an incredible eye for detail, to an ability to focus on one task for an extended period of time, these skillsets – when supported – can offer unrivalled opportunities for success in the workplace.

Of course, there are also challenges – challenges which are often exacerbated by many modern workplaces. To overcome them, businesses need to understand and consider the differences between those who are neurodivergent and those who aren’t; they have a moral responsibility to do what they can to set all employees up for success with a great working environment and equal opportunities.

We only need to look around the office to see changes as a result of the pandemic, with smart meeting rooms and fewer desks as offices facilitate hybrid working and prioritise collaboration. Why isn’t the same spend and willingness to change applied to adapting for the neurodiverse population?

Employees who don’t feel valued and supported aren’t going to work to the best of their ability, so when businesses fail to support these employees, they further risk limiting the overall success of the business. The more diverse and inclusive a business is, the more creative and successful it will be. 

Creating an inclusive culture

The first step in supporting neurodivergent employees is prioritising awareness, education and listening – especially important when we consider that neurodiversity is often invisible, and neurodivergent people are skilled at masking their differences.

Neurodivergent employees have different thought-processing abilities and methods for retaining information that may challenge the ‘traditional’ ways of thinking. To embrace these differences, they must first be understood!

At Britvic, we foster a culture of communication through our Belonging network, a volunteer employee-led action group focused on listening to employees to make the workplace as diverse, equitable and inclusive as it can be. It’s dedicated to attracting and championing the needs of our employees, which is more important than ever as businesses look at ways to retain their workforce.

I’m proud to be a member of the Britvic B-Seen network in the GB business, ensuring that the needs of my neurodivergent colleagues are represented in the leadership team. Networks like B-Seen are vital because they visibly show support and foster an inclusive culture where everyone knows they have a voice that’s heard.

The importance of action

Support for inclusion is not enough, businesses must follow up with action to support neurodivergent colleagues.

Listening to the input of our B-Seen network led to us working on a recent redesign of some of the Britvic offices, ensuring the spaces properly consider all who inhabit them. While many of us may not think twice about a busy office, for someone with sensory sensitivities – common among neurodivergent people – it can be distracting and even physically painful.

When designing rooms we looked to ensure that our neurodivergent colleagues could thrive, taking into account such factors as the colour palette, lighting and acoustics. With neurodiversity – as I’ve learned – it’s these small details that are important. The result is rooms with soundproofing, softer lighting and muter colours to help our neurodivergent colleagues perform to their best.

As well as changes to the workplace, we are also constantly looking at our company policies to ensure they’re as accessible as they can be. This has seen us introduce a flexible working policy that empowers neurodivergent and neurotypical employees to work in a way that suits them best.

These are just a few of the many ways that businesses can support their neurodivergent employees. The most important lesson to learn is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when adapting for neurodiversity.

Giving the whole business the greatest chance of success

When businesses foster a diverse and inclusive environment, they not only give their employees the best chance of success, but also the business. You’re empowering your employees to work better, enjoy work more, showcase their best and be stronger together – a cornerstone of our culture at Britvic.

Achieve Business Marketing Success Through CEO Coaching

What do Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Roger Enrico have in common? Aside from heading some of the biggest companies in the world (Apple, Google, and Pepsi), they all sought CEO coaching in the pursuit of excellence. They understand the value of staying open to new ideas even when you reach the top. If you wish to achieve business marketing success, consider getting a highly respected coach in your industry. 

A Great Deal of Progress, a Long Way to Go

Coaching for business leaders started to take off in the late 1980s. They kept it a secret to avoid a perception of weakness. Today, many CEOs routinely tout the value of coaching, such as learning about valuable marketing strategies. These may include using promotional products, like those offered by Promotions Warehouse. Yet surveys show that only a third of current CEOs are receiving guidance, suggesting that full recognition still has a long way to go.

What CEOs Gain from Business Coaching

Business leaders are busy. It is easy to understand why they want to focus on core tasks instead of sitting through coaching sessions. However, the evidence points to an abundance of benefits. If you are still on the fence about coaching, read the list below to learn more about what you might gain. 

1. An Outsider’s Perspective  

Employees are careful when talking to their bosses. Even if they have criticisms, they tend to soften their words to avoid offense and protect their positions in the company. They might even heap praise on higher-ranking executives to climb the corporate ladder. While this might be great for the ego of the CEOs, it does not help them get better. Coaches offer an outsider’s perspective. They can help identify blind spots and provide constructive criticism. 

2. A Higher Level of Self-awareness

Coaches ask probing questions. The answers can light a path between where you are now and where you want to be at different periods. You can pinpoint the roadblocks and find ways to remove them. You can increase awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out how to leverage the former and address the latter. Self-awareness is key to growth. 

3. A Greater Capacity for Empathy

No matter how talented, a CEO cannot do it all. They must lead the people in the organization. They will be more willing to follow if they see a leader who listens to their concerns and makes an effort to extend help. Through coaching, executives can increase their empathy for others which, in turn, should help them form better policies at work. 

4. Increased Emotional Intelligence

Leading a company is stressful. CEOs must achieve goals, report to shareholders, manage the board of directors, and keep employees happy. The best ones know how to handle stress. Despite the immense pressure, they can regulate their emotions and stay calm. They remain logical to prevent internal friction and irrational decisions. If you find this difficult, look for a coach who specializes in the subject. 

5. Decisive Leadership

Many problems don’t have a single obvious solution. Instead, there are several competing ideas with their pros and cons. Leaders must weigh all the factors and listen to different points of view. However, they will have to make the final decision and take responsibility for their actions. It may not please everyone, but they must stand by what they think is right. Coaches can help CEOs reduce indecision and improve their ability to convince others. 

6. Enhanced Speed of Adaptation

Things can happen quickly in business: a successful product may falter due to disruptive technologies, and markets may close due to geopolitics. CEOs must be flexible enough to adapt to the changing situation. They must let go of ideas that are no longer working and continually push for progress. It is hard for those who grew up with certain traditions, but nothing is impossible with an open mind. 

If you are facing business marketing challenges, look for solutions you have not tried before. Ask for help from highly respected individuals such as business coaches. They have a wealth of experience working with executives and entrepreneurs. With their guidance, you can acquire valuable skills and turn things around for your company.

Leadership vs Management: What Managers Can Learn to Transform Themselves into Leaders

The terms ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ are often used interchangeably in business, but they are not the same. Both phrases represent different roles charged by different motivations, approaches, and aims.

To be successful in business, you must be able to differentiate between the two terms and decide which is best suited to your qualities. While both roles are important, being a leader is frequently regarded as better than being a manager, so you should allow yourself the opportunity to take those steps up the ladder.

Let’s look at exactly what each role entails and how you can transform yourself from a manager to a leader.

Dictionary definitions

Leadership

noun

  • the action of leading a group of people or an organisation.

Management

noun

  • the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.

The qualities of a manager

As the manager in a business, you more than likely respond reactively as opposed to proactively; a situation plays out in front of you, and you’re forced to determine the best course of action based on the results you see. This could be in relation to a staff member calling in sick on a busy day, a customer making a complaint, or a marketing strategy that failed to generate a buzz.

Your primary focus on a day-to-day basis is to organise, control, and direct what’s happening in the present, leaving little to no time to concentrate on moulding the future. A leader, on the other hand, has a distinct idea of what the next week, month, or year needs to look like, and what needs to happen to turn the vision into reality.

Instead of employees ‘following’ you, they ‘work’ for you, which can be the difference between a business that thrives short-term and one that excels long-term. If your staff aren’t regularly inspired and motivated by the way you handle business, you’ll struggle to get the most out of them, and your results will suffer.

What motivates a manager

Managers tend to strive for effectiveness over efficiency, meaning you’re focused on achieving a great result no matter what it takes. Contrastingly, leaders work towards that same great result, but they discover how to achieve it in a way that wastes the least amount of time, money, and resources.

You probably use the concept of ‘rewards and punishments’ when it comes to motivating your staff, which is associated with a transactional style of management. This might be effective for a while, but you might soon discover that your employees stop responding. A leader’s method is usually transformational over transactional, so they’re more fixed on encouraging, inspiring, and helping employees to be better.

The qualities of a leader

Business leaders take charge of potential issues before they’ve had the chance to arise. If you already have solutions in place for potential disasters – even if they may never happen – your business will be stronger. Promoting change instead of reacting to change demonstrates who’s completed a meaningful business management degree that has appropriately prepared them to be a business leader of tomorrow.

It’s important you set guidance instead of instructions, as doing so will equip your staff with the necessary knowledge, confidence, and skills to make important decisions without always looking to you to make the final call. You can’t be in more than one place at a time!

The day-to-day responsibilities of a leader include creating a positive environment that motivates, influences, and empowers the people around you. While a manager is focused on controlling and directing, a leader is focused on teaching.

What motivates a leader

Leadership involves the desire to create value, whether that be in situations or in people. Of course, to maintain a successful business you need a structure in place, and there are rules and regulations that staff must follow. The most effective way to ensure that everything is working in unison is to generate an environment where everyone feels valuable, heard, and understood.

Ultimately, a leader is a role model to their workforce. You must be the type of person you want your staff to aspire to be. Be courageous and positive, and always keep the bigger picture in mind. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell.

Who’s leading the way right now?

If you’re in need of some inspiration, study some current business leaders and mirror some of their traits and qualities. Reed Hastings (Chief Executive Officer of Netflix), Tim Cook (Chief Executive Officer of Apple), and Jeff Weiner (Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn) are all fantastic examples of how to perfectly execute a leadership role. The success of their individual businesses is unquestionable.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, is another business executive that’s often described as a fantastic transformational leader. Sandberg is known for setting high expectations, encouraging people to reach their goals, and praising her staff for carrying out good work.

Key takeaway points for managers who want to be leaders

There’s nothing wrong with being a standard manager… but think of all the success you could enjoy as a leader! If you’re ready to take that all-important step up, you must adopt a different outlook on business. Make decisions based on the future and the people, not the present and the numbers.

A business that’s over-managed and under-led is a recipe for disaster, so you must find an appropriate balance between the two styles. Not only will it be beneficial for you but also for your colleagues, staff, and the wider business.

Damon Becnel Offers 5 Tips CEOs Should Know Before Scaling Their Business

As a CEO, you constantly look for ways to grow your business. But before you can scale up, there are a few things you need to know. This article will discuss five tips every CEO should remember before scaling their business. By following these tips, you can ensure that your business is ready for growth.

What Does Scaling Your Business Mean?

Before we get into the tips, let’s define what it means to scale your business. CEO Damon Becnel says scaling a business simply means growing the company in size. This can be done by increasing the number of employees, expanding into new markets, or increasing production. Whatever method you choose, the goal is to increase revenue without sacrificing quality or customer service.

Benefits of Scaling Your Business

Many benefits come with scaling your business. By growing the company, you will be able to increase profits and reach new customers. Additionally, you will have more resources at your disposal to invest in new product development or marketing campaigns. Scaling can also help you build a stronger brand identity and establish a foothold in your industry.

Drawbacks of Scaling Your Business

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to scaling your business. The most notable is the increased risk that comes with growth. When you expand into new markets or increase production, there is always the potential for something to go wrong. Additionally, growing too quickly can strain your resources and lead to problems with cash flow. Finally, you may need to sacrifice quality or customer service as you scale up.

Tips to Know Before Scaling

Tip #1

The first tip is ensuring your business is ready for growth. This means having the right team in place and ensuring everyone is on the same page. You also need to have systems and processes in place to handle more customers or clients. Without these things in place, scaling up will be difficult and could lead to problems.

Tip #2

The second tip is to know your numbers. This means understanding your financials and having a good handle on your costs. If you don’t know how much it costs to run your business, you won’t be able to price your products or services correctly. This can lead to financial problems down the road.

Tip #3

The third tip is to have a plan. This means knowing what you want to achieve and how you will get there. Without a dream, measuring your progress and making adjustments as needed will be difficult.

Tip #4

The fourth tip is to be flexible. This means being willing to change your plans as needed. Things will inevitably come up that you didn’t anticipate, so you need to be able to adjust on the fly like entrepreneur Damon Becnel.

Tip #5

The fifth and final tip is to focus on your customers. They are the ones who will be buying your products or services. Make sure you know what they want and need, and make sure you are giving them the best possible experience.

Scaling Your Business As a Startup

Now that we’ve gone over some general tips, let’s look at how scaling your business might look different if you are a startup. Startups typically have a lot of growth potential but also come with challenges.

Finding the Right Team

The first challenge is finding the right team. Startups need to be able to move quickly, so it’s essential to have a team that can execute your vision. Additionally, you must ensure everyone is aligned with your company’s culture and values. If not, everyday challenges could arise with everyone on different pages. It’s best to understand not only those of the company but the values and cultures of the individuals on the team.

Funding

The second challenge is funding. Startups often need more money than established businesses to fund their growth. This can be challenging if you don’t have deep pockets or access to venture capital.

Customer Acquisition

The third challenge is customer acquisition. Startups need to attract new customers quickly, which can be difficult if you don’t have a lot of brand recognition.

Managing Growth

The fourth challenge is managing growth. Startups often grow quickly, which can be difficult to manage. You need to have systems and processes ready to go to handle the increased demand. These processes include things like customer service, fulfillment, and accounting.

Scaling Operations

The fifth challenge is scaling your operations. Startups typically don’t have the same resources as larger businesses, so it can be challenging to scale your operations smoothly. These resources include manufacturing capacity, warehouse space, and distribution channels.

Final Thoughts

Scaling your business is a challenge, no matter your business type. There are many moving parts, and things can quickly get out of hand if you’re unprepared. These tips should help you get started on the right foot.

What to Include in Your Professional Training Platform

As businesses increasingly look for ways to invest in their employees and stay competitive, professional training companies have become an essential partner.

That means professional training platforms have become an essential tool.

Working with a team from different locations and offices can be difficult. Furthermore, not every person has the time to go through training programs independently. Thus, finding the right professional training platform for your business is essential.

Ease of Use

A professional training platform should be intuitive and easy to use. The user interface should be designed so that users can quickly find the resources they need. The platform should also provide various interactive features, such as forums and chat rooms, to help users engage with the material. In addition, the platform should offer a robust search function so that users can easily find the information they need.

Compatibility

Any professional training platform needs to be compatible with the company’s existing systems and software. By doing this, businesses can avoid any disruptions or slowdowns in productivity that could occur while employees learn to use new tools. Furthermore, it allows businesses to take advantage of their existing investment in technology and ensures that any new platform will work well with the company’s existing processes and protocols.

Scalability

A professional training platform needs to be able to scale up or down as required to meet the demands of the business. If a company is proliferating, the platform must be able to accommodate increased traffic and user numbers. Similarly, if a company is downsizing, the platform should be able to adjust accordingly. A training platform can ensure that businesses always have access to the needed resources by scaling up or down as needed.

Support

Any good professional training platform should come with comprehensive support from the vendor. The vendor should be able to provide support in multiple ways, such as through live chat, phone, and email. They should also have a diverse knowledge base that learners can use to find answers to their questions. Furthermore, the vendor should offer regular updates to the platform to ensure it remains up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

Video Player

A training platform should include a video player that allows learners to watch videos in a way that’s easy for them to use. With so many different devices and screen sizes, it’s essential to have a video player that can adjust to fit any learner’s needs. A responsive video player will ensure that your content is accessible to everyone, regardless of their device or screen size. In addition, a video player with built-in controls will allow learners to pause, rewind, or fast-forward as needed. This will enable them to review specific video sections and ensure they understand the material.

Certification

Certification means that the platform has been verified as being effective and reliable. This can be important for businesses that want to ensure that their learners receive the best possible training. Certification can also give individuals confidence when using a platform, knowing it has been tested and approved. There are several ways to obtain certification for a training platform. You can contact the company directly and ask about their process or look for independent reviews or testimonials from users who have gone through the process themselves. You can also check with professional organizations that offer certification for similar platforms.

Customizable Branding

A training platform can significantly improve your brand\’s visibility and attract new customers. By offering customizable branding, you can ensure that your platform reflects your company\’s values and mission. You can also use branding to differentiate your venue from other training providers. This also allows you to create a consistent brand experience for your users across your training programs. This will help increase learners’ engagement and provide a valuable training experience.

Accessibility

A training platform should be accessible from any device, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The platform should allow trainers to upload their PowerPoint presentations, videos, and other course materials. It should also provide a way for trainers to interact with participants and answer questions in real-time. By offering a training platform accessible from any device, trainers can reach a larger audience and deliver more effective training programs.

Native Authority for Content

A training platform should have a native authority for content, meaning that the content is created by experts who are familiar with the nuances and subtleties of the subject matter. A native authority also provides quality control, ensuring that only accurate and reliable information is presented to users. In addition, a native authority can help to build trust among users, as they will know that the content they are receiving is from a reliable source.

Social media has changed the way we communicate, and it is also changing the way we learn. Professional training platforms are now available that allow users to access course materials and interact with instructors from anywhere in the world. This flexibility is essential for busy professionals who cannot afford to take time away from their careers to attend traditional classes.

Six Ways to Measure the Productivity of Remote Employees

By Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero

Working at home can be pretty fantastic. Increased flexibility, a quiet environment and no more commuting in peak travel hours are just a few reasons why working remotely can lead to a rewarding work life.

However, now that remote working is no longer an inevitable response to the Covid-19 pandemic, some business leaders are reluctant to roll it out. One of the biggest reasons for this is that they don’t trust a remote workforce to work hard and do a good job.

The reality is that remote workers often reward the trust placed in them to work out of direct sight, by using their time as they should. However, in order to ensure full transparency and build a relationship of trust, there are ways to track performance, constructively.

For business leaders who are still wary, there are ways of measuring employee productivity when they work from home. None involve surveillance or productivity monitoring software – a controversial and morale-sapping trend. Instead, they focus on the goals your remote teams are meeting, not what your employee is doing every minute of the work day. It’s about the end result for the employer, rather than the journey the employee chose to get there.

This doesn’t just work for teams that are in the same country. All the advice below can apply to international workers as well, so you can take advantage of overseas talent and bring them into the fold with confidence.

So how do you measure the productivity of remote employees?

It’s not about monitoring, but ensuring your remote team is motivated and focused – it is important to track productivity. After all, reduced productivity while working remotely can happen and for a variety of reasons. Understanding if remote teams are sinking or swimming will allow you as a leader to look into why that is and support them.

  1. Have KPIs and objectives and key results defined for each team

If you’re tracking objectives and key results and KPIs, you’ll be able to see how remote workers are performing against their goals, both big and small. There is no need to peer over their shoulder at their desk.

  1. Utilise project management software to improve visibility and accountability

Project management software has become huge in the move to remote work, and with so many options on the market, there’s something for everyone. They allow managers to measure productivity across teams without being intrusive, making it easy to see how tasks are coming along.

  1. Encourage the use of mini milestones for tasks

For employees who love the satisfaction of ticking the ‘done’ box, breaking big work into mini-milestones is a great motivator. It also allows for increased visibility of task progress, so managers can see how far away something is from being completed.

You can also standardise it across the board, so create a template of mini-milestones for a certain piece of work that can be duplicated each time.

  1. Set baseline completion times

This goes hand in hand with deadline setting but consider setting baseline completion dates for common tasks. For example, a design brief for a creative team might require a response within one week. Importantly, work with your employees to get an idea of these completion times – as the ones doing the work, will have a good idea of what rate should be expected per item.

  1. Take stock regularly of how the team is tracking towards their goals

Having regular team meetings and 1:1s should be a key part of managing a team. Keep them running at a good pace and catch up on progress against those objectives and key results, as well as the smaller tasks. Encourage feedback and candid conversations, where you can get an idea of how your remote workers feel about their work and how they assess their own progress.

  1. Communicate

A work relationship based on trust is a key part of the remote working environment and communication is a big part of that. One of the best ways to measure employee productivity of a remote workforce is just to ask them how they’re getting along.

How do you maintain the performance of remote employees?

It’s not just about measuring productivity — ensuring your remote employees are productive and enjoying their work also requires some commitment from leaders. Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to keep remote workers engaged with their work and with the company.

Reward hard work

If employees feel appreciated for the work they do and are happy with their work, they’re going to be more motivated. In fact, an Oxford University study says that happy employees are 13 per cent more productive than those who are unhappy in their roles. Do your employees feel satisfied and supported in their roles?

Just because your team isn’t set up in the office, doesn’t mean that you can’t pass a positive word along.

What are the Benefits of Working with a Business Mentor?

There are a number of great benefits that can come alongside choosing to work with a business mentor online, allowing you to hone your business and entrepreneurial skills to support your business growth.

However, finding the best mentor for you can sometimes prove a difficult task. With so many different options out there, how can you ensure that you’re making the best choice for your expectations, budget, and even personal goals?

In the article below, we will discuss the many benefits of working with an online business mentor, as well as how to find the best mentor for you, helping you to receive the best possible guidance and advice, tailored to your needs and requirements.

To learn about the benefits of working alongside a business mentor online, we must first learn more about what a business mentor is, and what it is that they are able to offer to entrepreneurs worldwide.

Put simply, a business mentor is an individual highly experienced within the world of business, offering expert guidance and support to aid your entrepreneurial development.

With advice tailored to your specific business goals, working with a business mentor is a great way to ensure your growth and success, helping you to stay motivated and on the right track.

Access Endless Business Knowledge

A good level of both knowledge and experience is essential for achieving business success. After all, there’s only so much that can be learnt from business books and blogs, and relying upon these sources of knowledge entirely may leave you falling short.

Business mentors are already well versed and highly experienced within the business field, able to provide you with the best possible guidance and advice on how you can help your business to thrive. Working with an online business mentor will allow you to gain access to a valuable wealth of knowledge, helping you to learn all you need to know on how to run a successful business.

Boost your Motivation

Working alongside an online business mentor is a great way to stay motivated, helping you to focus on your personal development and keeping you on the path to achieving your business goals. Having another person on your side who is well versed in business, and knowledgeable of the steps that you need to take to reach success, can be a great morale booster, providing a sense of companionship and teamwork that is often missed within the world of self-employment.

Stay on the Track to Success

Without the right guidance and support, it can be difficult to stay motivated and focused on your career goals during the early days of your entrepreneurial journey.

Employing the help of a business mentor is the perfect way to keep yourself on track, greatly increasing your chances of business success.

When it comes down to finding the best online business mentor for you and your business needs, there are several factors that you should keep in mind, helping you to find your perfect match. Are the services being offered within your budget? Is the guidance and advice that you can expect to receive in line with your business goals? Can the claims being made by your potential business mentor be backed up by their online reviews?

Overall, there are a number of great benefits that come alongside working with an online business mentor, helping you to stay on track to achieving entrepreneurial success!

5 Tasks That Can Be Effectively Outsourced By Your Small Business

When you are starting a small business, there are many tasks that need to be carried out; some of which you may know how to do, others which may be less familiar. It can be tempting to cover all tasks in-house; however, if you try to do everything it may mean that things are done at a lower quality, you waste time learning new skills and it could distract you from your core business activity. Instead, you may look to outsourcing certain tasks to freelance professionals.

If there are essential tasks for running your business that no current employees are trained to do, it may be worth investing in outsourcing these tasks. Outsourcing can save you training costs and also save you the cost of employing new team members which cuts costs of salaries, taxes and overheads, cutting company costs by as much as 30 to 50%. Here are 5 key areas of your business where it might be worth outsourcing:

  1. Accounting

If you are not a professional accountant, it can take a great deal of time and effort to keep up with all the accounting processes required for starting a new business. 

Not only that, but you may not be aware of all of the standards that you need to comply with. Outsourcing your accounting function could ensure that your company is adhering to all the necessary standards. 

Outsourcing can be far more cost-effective, only paying for tasks or staff when you need them, sometimes paying them in instalments too. This can be more economic than employing staff full-time or using machinery or any other items, allowing you to rent them when you need them. Additionally, it can increase company efficiency and leave you time to focus on your core business activities.

  1. IT & cybersecurity

The majority of businesses now require IT functionality; however, these can be difficult to handle if you are not a qualified IT professional. Subsequently, it might be worth outsourcing some of your IT functions. 

This can have multiple benefits – working with a freelance IT professional on an as-and-when basis can be a lot cheaper than employing an IT technician on a full-time basis. Additionally, outsourcing some of your IT functions can make your company work more flexibly and in a more agile way.

Outsourcing your cybersecurity and working with a specialised company can also help keep all your security watertight and let you focus on growing your business without the risk of being hacked.

  1. Customer services

Depending on the size of your business, it may not be possible to spend your resources on hiring qualified customer service personnel. As a result, this often means that existing staff are left to handle customer services. 

This means that customer services are not being handled by professionals in their field; additionally, it means that your existing staff are wasting time on customer service which stops them carrying out their actual roles. Outsourcing your customer support can give your business a boost by taking care of your customers properly and it can also free up your existing staff’s time so that they can focus on their actual roles.

  1. Human resources

Human resources encompasses many different facets including payroll, staff training and onboarding, recruitment, performance reviews, bonuses and benefits. These are all hugely important to the successful running of a team but they are also incredibly time-consuming.

Luckily, human resource management can be easily outsourced. One of the great things about outsourcing human resource management is that the majority of HR functions are largely standardised. This makes it easy to find a third-party contractor who can handle your company’s human resources. You can also choose which functions to outsource. 

For example, if you want to streamline processes but want to conduct performance reviews in-house for a more personalised approach, you may look to outsourcing to help you manage hiring, payroll and staff onboarding.

  1. Logistics

Logistics and day-to-day operations are crucial for a business but can be an ongoing headache if you are trying to manage this and other business activities. Outsourcing delivery functions, order fulfilment and warehousing can lower your company costs, free up resources and improve customer service. Experts in their field, these vendors are able to satisfy the needs of your clients and allow you to focus on growing your small business.

4 Common Problems Still Affecting Remote Workers and What to Do About Them

The growing embrace of remote work has changed the ways teams should be managed, including meeting etiquette, the importance of individual feedback and task delegation, as well as newly onboarded employee motivation means. Recruitment and personnel rent solutions expert explains some of the most common mistakes leaders are still making while managing remote teams.

76% of global employees want to continue working from home, which could be challenging for team managers and leaders. It’s not just a matter of using more technologies or looking for a better application for online meetings, but also having knowledge of how working remotely changed our behavior patterns and understanding the work value — what people want from work and what they are willing to give in return, said Diana Blažaitienė, a remote work expert and the founder of Soprana Personnel International, a recruitment and personnel rent solutions agency.

As an expert in the field, she believes that even after more than two years of experience working remotely, managers still need to be aware of many ways in which remote work differs from working in the office.

The expert shared four of the most common problems, which remote team managers still experience, and gave advice on what to do about them.

  1. Irregular check-ins and delayed meetings

According to the expert, communication plays a crucial role while working remotely. Team and one-on-one calls should be included in the company’s work calendar. The important detail is to make the calls regular and predictable.

“For managers, who are leading remote teams, discipline is a highly important skill, especially when talking about meetings with employees. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders are not persistent and tend to postpone scheduled calls and that’s how employees find time for side hustles or feel neglected and left alone with their tasks. Companies should put meetings on the calendar, where everybody can see them and let employees know that they will have to check it first thing in the morning. This way managers discipline themselves too,” said Ms. Blažaitienė.

  1. Lack of feedback or no feedback at all

The expert emphasized that when talking about challenges employees are facing, feedback is not only about helping them to recognize the areas where they can improve in order to achieve professional growth. It is also a great way to strengthen relationships and gain employees’ trust. However, managers have to remember that those one-on-one talks have to highlight workers’ strengths and victories too.

“Many employees see one-on-one talks with leaders as a sign of attention, appreciation, and motivation, which is so important when working remotely. One of the reasons so many people named, when asked about why they changed their jobs during the pandemic, was the lack of feedback. To make giving feedback a habit, managers should plan the time for it and put it in their monthly to-do list,” commented Ms. Blažaitienė.

  1. Not delegating tasks

Leaders who are good at delegating, generate 33% higher revenue, therefore sharing tasks is considered one of the most successful employee engagement strategies. Although, Ms. Blažaitienė believes that even for those who manage teams working at the offices, delegating is a hard skill to put into practice. And the most common reason is thinking that it would take longer to explain the task to employees than actually completing it themselves.

“When working remotely, sharing tasks becomes even much harder and more energy-consuming. So next time, when dealing with important requests via email, managers should try to include all team members, whose expertise can be useful. This way team leaders will train their task sharing skills, and employees will feel valued and included,” said Ms. Blažaitienė.

  1. Being inattentive to newly hired employees

Employees hired since March 2020 are more likely to leave their employer the coming year (56% versus 38%). “Obviously those numbers are related to having weaker relationships with team members, especially if the company was not working remotely or in a hybrid style before the pandemic. Also, another reason is not enough attention from the team leader as newly onboarded employees need more guidance and to build trust in the manager,” the expert said.

According to Ms. Blažaitienė, assigning a work buddy — someone who will help to have a fluent onboarding process, advice on daily tasks, and introduce the new colleague to other team members — is an effective way to solve the problem.

Even though remote and hybrid work models remain challenging, they open companies up to a world of talent and also give more opportunities for employees. “There were over 35% more inquiries about looking for remotely working specialists from Scandinavian and German companies in recent months. Obviously, the application of this work model is still growing, so the only way for organizations to succeed is to adapt new management methods,” commented Diana Blažaitienė.

What are the Characteristics of Great Business Leaders in a VUCA World?

By Thom Dennis, CEO of Serenity In Leadership

Businesses are facing constant additional challenges arising from climate change, austerity, Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the increasing movement of uprooted people, unexpected competition, new technology and surprising disruptors, and the consequences of a crippled supply chain along with the cost of living crisis. This means that many are grappling with stress, fear, instability, insecurity and anxiety in an increasingly uncertain world, and it is clear why we need inspiring and dependable leaders in business to rise from the ashes to motivate and lead by example with determination and compassion.

Whilst the characteristics of a great leader during VUCA times may be bespoke to every business, the skills we need now in 2022 are different to what they were. Many herald Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy as a great political leader, with his excellent communicative skills and extraordinary courage, but what are the characteristics of great business leaders in a VUCA world?

  • An ability to convert anxiety into energy. This means establishing what anxieties there are within the business and addressing them on a one-to-one basis or as a group. Feeling isolated or unheard, or a lack of clarity creates anxiety. Leaders who are transparent, share a common goal and grow team spirit can move this anxiety to energy, and the expression of their own energy is so important because people will respond positively or negatively to how they are. The more self-aware they are, the more successful they will be.
  • Having an understanding of what the glue that joins us together is. Trust and transparency are usually at the heart of this, as is having a powerful sense of purpose. We need to really believe in what we are trying to do, it gives us a feeling of belonging and motivates us. When everyone’s contribution is acknowledged to be of great importance, when we share a vision and we feel valued, that is when the magic happens.
  • Principled. We have recently been reminded of the misuse of power by those in authority who are supposed to be pillars in society from the government to the police, so workers are increasingly looking for leaders who have integrity, morals and values. Leaders need to adopt a strong but always principled line when creating solutions and taking action, by welcoming employee feedback, listening to critics, building a system of reviews, being self-aware, and addressing concerns of power play and misuse of power quickly.
  • Compassionate. Employees want and crave good leadership and need managers and the C-Suite to deal with employee uncertainty and health issues with compassion and empathy. Great leaders are not only strong communicators but empathetic listeners and employee-centric. 
  • Flexible and agile. These characteristics almost go without saying but they can’t be missed out. In a fast-changing world, good leaders more than ever need to learn fast, have an ability to adapt and not be afraid of the challenges associated with moving situations. Rigidity is likely to affect the bottom line and the company culture, and mean missed opportunities.
  • Courageous. Being brave does mean taking risks but not being reckless. Courage comes from vulnerability and using intuition, compassion and empathy. It comes from the heart.
  • Being a people person. Being amongst the people, making connections, building relationships and understanding at grassroots level what is happening results in better trust at a group level, and enables better understanding, enlightenment and personal development at an individual level.
  • Knows the value of amicable cooperation. Leaders who are simply trying to ‘get back to normal’ are actually ignoring the realities of what has changed and what is still to come, rather than focusing on planning by strengthening the team and creating a culture of cooperation towards individual, team and business goals. Conflicts can stop businesses in their tracks and result in loss of talent. Amicable cooperation (that is never coerced) fast-tracks solutions. Empowering others so that you have a team around you who can offer alternative solutions and thinking also means sharing the responsibilities.
  • Never set unachievable targets. Being given unachievable targets can play havoc with our wellbeing, motivation and health. When times are harder we need the wins more. Breaking down targets, making them realistic and celebrating achievements as a team will produce further rewards and wins.
  • Being a bespoke leader. Some businesses may be looking for pathfinders and guides, others need commanders and more still want pilots to guide them through VUCA times. Whatever the bespoke requirement, there is no space for self-deprecating leaders, but equally egotists create conflict and poor communication. Leaders definitely need to lead in 2022 and use their critical thinking to evaluate, be logical, decisive and fair.

www.serenityinleadership.com

Issue 9 2022

Welcome to the September 2022 issue of CEO Monthly.

As always, CEO Monthly is dedicated to providing the latest news and features across the business world to our readership. By sharing knowledge, insights, expertise and success stories from around the globe, we aim to inspire individuals and promote positivity in a world that is in a constant state of evolution.

It has been an exciting and busy summer for CEOs and their businesses as they’ve devoted and continue to devote themselves to going the extra mile and exceeding expectations. We are delighted to share the stories of CEOs who spearhead, persevere and adapt to whatever business throws their way while remaining at the forefront and cutting-edge of their industries.

Indeed, industries are flourishing thanks to these CEOs, with them truly embodying what their organisations stand for, challenging the status quo, and always anticipating the future. These CEOs have come a long way to get to where they are today, and they are where they are because of hard work and dedication – because they truly care about their staff, customers and stakeholders, and as a result, they are no stranger to success.

This issue has been carefully crafted to showcase a variety of companies and CEOs, all for your enjoyment and inspiration. We hope you enjoy exploring this issue and, for now, we hope you have a wonderful month ahead. We look forward to welcoming you back in October.

5 Tips To Save Money As A New Business

5 Tips To Save Money As A New Business

Starting out as a business can be tough and can be a huge financial hit initially. However, luckily there are a few simple ways you can save money and cut the costs of starting out. 

  1. Negotiate terms with suppliers and landlords

When starting out, it can be easy to accept the terms that are given to you, especially if you lack market experience. However, it is always worth trying to negotiate better terms. Prices quoted by vendors or landlords does not necessarily need to be the final cost. 

In many cases, vendors are more interested in having regular business than they are in earning a specific value. This means that you are in a good position to negotiate better prices, be it phone contracts, office supplies, fabrics or even lease costs. There is no harm in trying and in the worst case scenario, the answer will be no. However, if they say yes you could save hundreds of pounds.

  1. Outsource rather than employ

No business can function without employees; however, employee costs can quickly add up, with everything from office space, to salaries to employee insurance. 

It may be wise to keep your full-time team to an absolute minimum and choose instead to outsource any other work to independent contractors. 

This way, you will only pay for the work being done and will not need to cover any employee costs. When working with outsourced staff, you can usually negotiate a lower rate as well as working with people who are experts in their field.

  1. Keep things remote

Not all businesses can function remotely; however, if it is a possibility to work remotely for your company, it can be a surefire way to save money. Keeping things virtual saves you the costs of office space and the associated operational costs. This way, you can focus on growing your business and producing work at a minimum cost. If you are unable to run your business fully remotely, you may be able to at least have some staff as remote workers and save some costs.

  1. Be Smart with Your Cash flow

Funding an entire business yourself can be challenging, but having access to credit facilities or cash flow options where the bills are mounting can be very useful. You may start looking at business credit cards with a healthy credit limit or even some kind of low cost cash advances when you need it, just so that you do not feel the heat when needing to pay staff or suppliers.

It is common for new businesses to use their savings or get help from family or friends, but exploring other financial options can be very helpful too.

  1. Look for potential rather than experience

Hiring highly experienced staff comes with a price tag. If you put out a job posting requesting a certain amount of experience, applicants will also have specific salary expectations that you may not be willing to meet. However, advertising for recent graduates will not only broaden your pool of prospective applicants, it will also allow you to scout out potential at a lower cost. Investing time into training recent graduates will be invaluable when it comes to saving your company money – they will only expect an entry-level salary and the right profile will be eager to learn and progress in your company.

Similarly, hiring interns to assist with marketing, social media or other company tasks can help to save the cost of hiring full-time employees. It means you can get the necessary work done for a fraction of the price and give interns valuable real-life experience.

Saving Money

Guide To Registering Your Business And Setting Up Your Company In The USA

Guide To Registering Your Business And Setting Up Your Company In The USA

When a business is registered, it becomes an official entity in the eyes of the law, which separates its interests from your assets and exempts you from responsibility for any losses incurred by the business. If you file a lawsuit against the corporation, your assets are also protected.

We are here to share how you can register your business in the USA since we love assisting new businesses with the initial stages of their journey.  For more in-depth information, you can check out Pay.com guide to registering a US business. The USA is the land of opportunities, so there are various benefits to registering your business in the US. 

If your company is located and registered in the USA, you are free to conduct business anywhere and serve clients from all over the world. You may accept a range of payment options and manage transactions in several currencies with the help of an excellent payment infrastructure like Pay.com.

7 Simple Guide for Registering Your Business in the USA

Step 1: Choose your business structure.

The type of business you’re starting and how big you anticipate it to be will determine the best option for your business structure. The following are your choices:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC).
  • C Corporation

Choosing the corporate structure that works best for your company is an important business decision because it will influence how you report your taxes to the IRS and state. You can follow this guide to choose the right business structure for your business.

Step 2: Register your business name.

You can select one or more of the four methods available to register a business name in the US, depending on your individual needs. Check your state’s legislation as well, as some states have different requirements.

There is no legal necessity that you use the same name for all kinds of registration, but it will usually make sense if you do. If you have a valid reason to use a different name, you are free to do so.

Step 3: Choose a state to register your business.

It’s not necessary to register a business in the state where you now reside. Each state has its unique laws surrounding taxes and business registration thus, registering in one state may result in tax benefits (if you qualify).

If you intend to have physical branches or receive a sizable portion of your revenue from several states, you may need to register in more than one state.

I strongly advise contacting a tax expert in your home state to be sure you adhere to all applicable regulations while establishing your firm.

Step 4: Register with the local authorities.

Following the completion of all necessary decisions, you must fill out the necessary paperwork and handle the required administrative procedures to complete your registration. This procedure will only apply to the local government where you intend to register your firm.

Typically, the procedure includes obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a tax-ID number, and ensuring that you are fully prepared to pay taxes, take advantage of any available deductions, hire workers when you are ready, etc.

Required documents for any type of business registration.

  • Articles of formation or incorporation
  • A recognized company name
  • An official place of business
  • Identification information for the business owner (s)
  • Document Requirements Based on Business Structure.

Step 5: Obtaining licenses and permits.

The procedure for obtaining the necessary licenses and permits will vary depending on the kind of business you’re launching and local regulations.

It’s crucial to research the rules governing your particular sector. This will make it simpler for you to ensure that the procedures for obtaining all of the licenses and permits that your business needs to operate legally are completed.

Step 6: Create a Business Bank Account.

Open a business bank account as soon as you get your EIN. To keep your funds as distinct from your business as feasible, it’s a good idea to establish a designated bank account even if you’re a sole proprietor. It will save you time and hassle to create this division later on if you decide to expand your firm and eventually become an LLC or corporation.

Step 7: Consider Your Intellectual Property.

You might have valuable intellectual property that you’ll want to safeguard, depending on the kind of business you’re establishing.

Trademark: As part of the registration procedure, you will have registered your company name. However, if you create product names, logos, or other design elements that you wish to protect as being exclusive to your firm, be sure to trademark those as well. The entire trademark procedure typically takes 4 months.

Any original written work, software, web content, video, sound recordings, photographs, and more are protected by copyrights. A copyright is automatically issued as soon as you produce something new, so you don’t need to apply for one. You have to ensure that no one is stealing your work and breaching your copyrights.

A new product or piece of machinery that you have invented should surely be protected by a patent to prevent copycats from taking the credit. The only way to make sure you will profit financially is to do it this way. Make sure to get a head start because the patent application procedure is lengthy and can take up to 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required for business registration in the USA?

You only need a name and a business concept to get started! Then you can simply complete all of the required papers by following the instructions provided in this article.

How much does it cost to establish a business in the United States?

The registration fees vary from state to state. But it is estimated to be between $600-$1400.

How does one launch a company in the USA?

The procedure is the same for Americans and foreigners who seek to register a business in the US. For their business to be treated as an independent entity with its tax-ID number, the majority of foreigners would want to form a corporation or an LLC. Naturally, all applicable taxes in the USA would apply to a foreigner.

Can someone from outside the US open a business there?

Starting a business in the “nation of opportunity” is possible without having US citizenship or permanent status.

How can I set up a small business in the United States?

There are seven essential procedures to follow to register a business in the USA, as detailed in this article. You must first decide what kind of business you wish to run. You then give your company a name. Decide which state you want to register in, and then register there with the local authorities. 

Then, depending on your field, you obtain any licenses or permits required. Open a bank account and secure your intellectual property after that, and you’re ready to begin.

Conclusion

It can seem intimidating to consider registering a new company, but in reality, it’s simply a small amount of paperwork in exchange for a lifetime of entrepreneurial innovation and independence. All you have to do to get started is to adhere to the instructions in this article.

What’s going on with Mortgage Affordability Checks?

Mortgage affordability checks were introduced by the Bank of England. They were implemented to protect potential property owners from taking on a debt that they may find later difficult to repay. However, these checks were withdrawn on 1st August 2022, so where does this leave the housing market and those wanting a mortgage?

What were Mortgage Affordability Checks?

When mortgage affordability checks were first launched in 2014, it was to make sure that anyone considering taking out a mortgage could afford to make repayments if their lending rate increased above their lenders 3% average rate. But the interest rate never rose above this, so the Bank of England decided this check wasn’t required.

The crux of these checks were to stop potential borrowers from taking on more debt than they could afford, and potentially be pushed into financial hardship. This ,in turn, would prevent central banks from high debt levels and avoid future financial instability.

It’s important to note that the loan to income flow limit will not be withdrawn alongside the withdrawal of mortgage affordability checks. The loan to income flow limit will still be used alongside other responsible lending rules. The reason behind this is that the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England sees this as a better way to protect against rising household debt.

What’s the Point in withdrawing Mortgage Affordability Checks?

It’ll benefit borrowers who may otherwise have been prevented from gaining a mortgage because of the checks. Although this doesn’t mean that it’s a free for all. Mortgage lenders will still look at applicants’ financial means and the ability to make repayments.

How to Support your Team through the Cost-of-Living Crisis

How to Support your Team through the Cost-of-Living Crisis

With energy bills, petrol, and the cost of food all escalating at extreme rates, it is likely that your team is going to be impacted by the current cost of living crisis. As a CEO, it is crucial that you support your team during this time, not only for them but for the health of your business. People are likely to be affected in many ways and it is important to remember that there will be mental health struggles as well as financial ones.

Here are just some ways that you can help.

Pay

It goes without saying that a pay increase would undoubtedly help right now. If this is possible for your business, then implement it as soon as you can. Understandably, this isn’t an option for all businesses. Whether you can increase pay or not, be sure to use robust payroll software to guarantee everyone is paid accurately and on time. This will become increasingly important as the cost of living continues to rise. Using such a system may also increase your company’s financial well-being in the future which could in turn benefit staff later down the line.

Salary Sacrifice

Salary sacrifice, often used for pensions, is a way for employees to pay for things via the company payroll. In doing this, the amount of tax paid is reduced meaning employees can save some money. If you are currently offering this for pensions, why not offer it for more services? It can also be used for transport, health care, and phone plans too.

Flexibility

Although it is not a tangible benefit, allowing employees the maximum flexibility possible can be very helpful during this time. Many people will be looking to cut down their living costs; this could include fewer trips in the car to use less fuel or reducing the number of hours their children are in childcare. Allowing people more flexibility to work around their life commitments or to work from home could help them to cut costs.

Education

Providing your team with financial education can be invaluable during a time like this. As we don’t typically learn about finances in school, being taught how to budget and manage potential debt is something that lots of people may find useful. Before arranging this, be sure to check with the team that is something they would benefit from. If it is not, then the money you were going to spend on it can be better spent elsewhere.

Promote Honesty

There are often times when people are struggling but they don’t feel they are able to be open and honest about it. This is particularly true for financial issues due to the stigma around discussing money. Removing this stigma and encouraging people to talk freely about finances and any problems they may be having is a great way to ease stress and offer support.

How Accommodation Impacts Staff On Business Trips

When sending staff on business trips, it’s important to provide staff with quality accommodation. Rooms should be their own, and have enough space for them to work, chat and recuperate after a busy day.

However, poor business accommodation can lead to low staff morale, reduced performance and even worsening physical health.

Today, Don James from Berkshire Rooms, an ISAAP accredited serviced apartment provider looks at the importance of choosing the right business accommodation for your needs, and steps you can take to ensure that you’ve chosen the right accommodation for your business.

How does poor business accommodation affect people?

Ill-equipped or budget hotels can be hugely detrimental to the productivity and progress of those on business trips.

For someone visiting a new area, a budget hotel way out of where they need to be is not only more costly in terms of transport to desired locations, but also in terms of food and supplies. Similarly, if a hotel doesn’t provide catering services then the health of an employee could be affected. In fact, research shows that 70% of business travellers report detrimental symptoms such as stomach problems, mood swings, stress as well as overall unhealthy lifestyles.

Research also shows that “the odds of being obese were 92% higher for those who travelled 21 or more nights per month compared to those who travelled only one to six nights per month.”

With poor business accommodation affecting people for a plethora of reasons, how can travel managers overcome this?

Why using better business accommodation works

  1. Better employee morale

Employees feel better after they’ve had the chance to switch off and relax in a comfortable room. It also makes them feel more valued when they see that their company is willing to invest in ensuring company travel and staff wellbeing is seen as important.

When an employee feels valued and seen as a priority by their company when conducting professional travel, they will be more likely to exhibit exemplary behaviours towards those they are visiting.

A good night’s sleep and a place to switch off from the day is always appreciated, especially when away from home comforts.

Serviced apartments are hugely beneficial here, as the separation of relaxation, work and sleep enables employees to assign different areas of the space for different purposes.

  1. Healthier employees

If a hotel room has no cooking facilities or is far away from a selection of restaurants, employees on long haul business trips will struggle to find balanced meals after a few days. Takeaways are bad for health in the long term, and people will begin to crave more balanced meals.

This is where choosing aparthotels or serviced accommodation can be a much better option. The flexibility of being able to cook for yourself, or order in food when you want a night off from cooking. The additional storage space provided helps with having food around as well.

  1. Boosted productivity

In a cramped room, additional work might have to be done from the bed, which is never good for productivity. Having the space to be able to work in your room, or in a designated working space in the hotel, can help to provide workers with an area to finalise the days notes, catch up with colleagues and report back to the office.

With this working environment should also come access to USB points, plugs and internet access, and easy to access information on how to do all these things. A good desk, with an ergonomic setup, is always an added bonus, and helps people to feel comfortable in what they do.

  1. Stress reduction

Good sleep is a known factor in stress reduction. Similarly, being able to switch off at the end of the day is also an important factor. Decompressing after a busy day of meeting is easy in your home, but when in an unfamiliar environment, it can be harder to feel comfortable instantly.

Having good accommodation is key here, and this accommodation being equipped with a relaxation area is also important. Being able to unwind with some light television or a book is incredibly important for reducing stress, especially when travelling for business, as this can hugely affect the stress of a person.

Looking after your employees is absolutely essential for a successful business trip. They will experience better morale, feel healthier, be more productive and be able to manage stress levels much better. You will have an employee who feels like you value their wellbeing, and that is crucial in retaining top talent.

Source – https://www.berkshirerooms.co.uk/

Leading The Way Forward

Good management is hard to find, but makes an enormous difference to the smooth running of any organisation. Christopher Puntureri has found himself not only able to lead the way in guiding businesses to new heights, but also able to be the change he wants to see in leadership. As CEO of Nacre Group, he has reached indescribable heights, earning the title of Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Texas, the USA. We take a closer look to discover how he’s done it.

Nacre Group was created to help hospitality and multi-family owners to thrive. As an experienced team of consultants, they have knowledge of Engineering, Building, Maintenance, and Information Technology that ensures their clients can face even the most difficult of challenges. Leading this group forward is Christopher Puntureri, whose legendary background in hospitality has allowed him a unique insight into many of these areas.

At the heart of Nacre Group is a passion for communication and a love for the needs of their partners, associates and clients. These two desires ensure that no matter what, the team go above and beyond when they are finding solutions to support organisations through challenging times. The guiding hand of Mr. Puntureri has proven invaluable to many businesses, as they have tried to prosper in difficult times.

Part of the reason behind Nacre Group’s incredible success has been because the high standard of staff. As a result of Mr. Puntureri’s incredible calibre of employee, the business has over 20 years of proven track records at being some of the best in numerous industries. This depth of understanding means that instead of focusing on what has happened, Nacre Group can explain why something has happened and why something needs to be done to change the situation. This attitude means that the guidance provided is thoroughly empowering to those at various levels. They can solve problems, make decisions and accelerate the process of delivery.

Because the team at Nacre Group has such a strong track record, they take great pride in their ability to achieve the desired outcomes at all times. Their competitive edge means that they won’t accept losing as an option at any point. The team is committed to doing what is necessary to achieve the results their clients want. This drive and determination comes from the top of the organisation, and is why Mr. Puntureri has such a strong record of success behind him.

Whilst Nacre Group takes up a great deal of his time, Mr. Puntureri is also COO of Iridescent Hotels. This position, alongside his consultancy work with Nacre Group, has allowed him to ensure he knows the unique challenges facing people in his specialist area. Whilst many in the consultancy industry are far removed from what their clients face, Mr. Puntureri has spent years on the front line facing them, and still remains there today.

When Nacre Group was founded, it was to help hospitality leaders to better use their time in a more efficient and effective way. Few understand this better than Mr. Puntureri, whose career has been not only spent in this arena, but exceling within it. We celebrate his tremendous success and the way in which he has decided to explore ways of sharing his immense understanding with others.

For business enquiries, contact Christopher Puntureri from Nacre Group via email – [email protected] or on their website – https://www.nacregroup.com/

Identity Verification, Made Easy

As an identity verification expert, Tu Identidad has seen all sorts of systems and processes come and go, each more complex than the next. With this in mind, CEO Ricardo Robledo, the ‘Most Influential CEO’ in 2022 for Mexico has developed the Tu Identidad platform, hoping to usher in a new era of better standardised processes that protect the information gathered and make it less stress on the side of both the information gatherer and the information giver.

When it comes to identity verification, all past processes and procedures have become known as full of bloatware for both customer and verifier, resulting in an incredibly irritating and unnecessarily time-consuming experience. Seeing this, Tu Identidad has responded by resolving to change all of that. Attempting to overcome the current systems of cumbersome, risky, complex, and unfriendly identification verification solutions that foster an air of distrust and suspicion between the parties involved, it has vastly trimmed the fat from the process with its identity verification platform. Led by front-running professional Ricardo Robledo, he has made this possible with the supportive and respectful management style he uses in order to cultivate a healthy atmosphere within his team and inspire a true commitment to his clients.

It is his vision to spread the word of its flagship innovation. Tu Identidad has developed a process taken care of by an exemplary, user-intuitive, and easy to use platform in which a bank, institution, company, or market participant can identify the customer, partner, supplier, or shareholder; after this, the final user or information owner will complete a secure digital file that will identify itself by mobile device. This creates a simple, friendly, and unintimidating give-and-take with its own internal standards that are consistent across the board, a far cry from the usual industry standard of a total lack of consistency.

Streamlining the processes and shirking the common data integrity issues of its peers, its platform guarantees all necessary verifications will be carried out in a timely and reliable manner. Thus, the clients it serves include traditional finance institutions such as banks, insurance companies, Fintechs, and those companies involved in the prevention of fraud who implement digital processes, and its way of working has quickly endeared it to such companies. With an obsession for meeting goals, customer service, determination, always growing, and being humble and realistic about its development, it strives to be the best of the best whilst acknowledging how much there still is to learn.

This allows it to graciously accept client feedback – an invaluable element of platforms such as the one it has created – and to implement said feedback in a meaningful way. Furthermore, listening to its clients has gone a long way towards endearing it to its market segment, something that each member of its team has worked hard to make a cornerstone of the business and a courtesy that is also extended to the staff in its yearly strategic planning meetings. Ricardo Robledo himself takes a ‘lead from the front’ ethos in this way, and with 25 years of leadership behind him, he looks forward to facing down any future challenges and implementing AI and machine learning technology into the business to further improve fraud prevention.

For business enquiries, contact Ricardo Robledo from Tu Identidad on their website – tuidentidad.com

In Defence of Data

With its founder Phyllis Elin Ph.D earning accreditation as the ‘Most Influential CEO’ in 2022 for New York, her company – Knowledge Preservation – has been making waves throughout North America with its incredibly well designed and thorough data protection strategies. Implementing infrastructure that promises to take its clients’ organizations to the next level and future-proof their gathered information in a holistic sense, it specialises in the protection, restructuring, and empowerment of data assets.

As one of the most trusted data protecting companies in New York, Knowledge Preservation has cut its teeth on the defence, structuring, and empowerment of it’s clients’ data assets. For this company, the truth of its ambition lies in its name – Knowledge Protection – as this describes the structural work it does to rebuild its customers’ organizational memory into something that will preserve their company’s information and safeguard it well. Founded by exemplary mind in her industry and pioneer of governmental information management, Phyllis Elin Ph.D, she has turned this company into a front-runner of industry and leader of information governance and consultancy practice.

Its team, experts in synthesised information, use deep information governance and technological skills to create holistic, cost-effective, and best-practice information restructure in their work. Thus, it has been able to protect and empower their core data assets since its beginning. Making a name for itself in this manner was never a struggle for Knowledge Protection, as in everything it has made its professionalism and diligence known, serving one client at a time with truly incredibly levels of customer service that keep them at the very heart of its concerns.

Helping clients to create, deploy, and maintain its strategies, Elin herself is a CCPA, GDPR, data privacy, data security, and governance expert, working in the New York City Metropolitan Area and serving her clients with an exemplary level of pride that each of them appreciate. After all, she sees her duty towards her clients as a duty of care, one that will better the corporate world in the macro scale. Her information governance work has been developed thusly over the past 30 years, allowing her to build an in-depth and highly impressive portfolio of past clients, each of whom have benefitted from the enterprise-wide information consultancy she has delivered to clients from financial enterprises to pharmaceutical companies. She has also served customers in healthcare, the legal sector, higher education, and the public sector.

Its services include the development, deployment, and maintenance of data defensible governance systems, each of which have made a name for itself in the market for the excellence that unite them. Fundamentally, although each of its services are highly tailored to fit the client, their needs, and their specifications, they all share this as a common trait, as well as sharing the outstanding level of customer service that goes into their implementation and implementation; its staff take great pride in making sure each customer feels taken care of throughout the entire process.

When it comes to needs assessment and gap analysis, it uses an in-depth and industry leading understanding of data assets to conduct itself and re-organise a client’s informational structure. Firstly, its work with a client begins by identifying client priorities right from the word ‘go’, teasing out the individual needs, specifications, and priorities that they find the most important in order to ensure it can do its best work. Knowledge Protection then uses this information to assess, evaluate, and isolate any high risk and high value data compliance and litigation risks, presenting these to the client in a manner that is holistic and unladen by jargon in order to give them a comprehensive idea of what it is they’re dealing with and what the implications are.

After all, above all else, it is aware of what a minefield its industry can be to the uninitiated – and even for those who are more intimately familiar with it. Knowledge Protection gives its clients the opportunity to shuffle any stress caused by this enigmatic and complication consideration, instituting remediation plans that address gaps and weaknesses in a manner than leaves no stone unturned and no factor unconsidered. After all, the benefit of gaining the help of a foremost expert such as Elin and her team means that a client can rest assured that this will happen in a reliable fashion; between her own expertise and the knowledge of her team, her experience means that she is adept at seeing all variables at play and act accordingly.

Developing reporting, communication, and accountability structures with this in mind is a sure-fire way to increase their dependability. This, effectively, future-proof’s a clients’ businesses by co-ordinating gap remediation planning, analysis, and reporting, each of which can happen quickly, efficiently, and without draining a client’s own internal resources, which will usually always be of better use elsewhere. Due to this, clients can focus on what matters to them – the ambitions of their business – and leave information protection in the capable hands of Knowledge Protection and its team, resting assured that they have made the right choice.

Indeed, Knowledge Protection has aided many clients in this way, and does not wish for any new clients to simply have to take its word for it. Elin and her team are staunchly dedicated to the collection of and action regarding client feedback, and Knowledge Protection is always anxious to keep improving and developing accordingly, with a pro-active approach to feedback that has seen clients depend on it time after time. With the exemplary retention schedule implementation it handles, the politics, procedures, and training it delivers, and the customer service that exists behind every service it offers, Knowledge Protection and Phyllis Elin herself are looking forward to a continually improving future for itself, its clients, and the wider world.

For business enquiries, contact Phyllis Elin from Knowledge Preservation on their website – www.knowledgepreservation.com

The Path To Constant Success!

The customer experience is so important to many businesses, but so often overlooked when trying to manage every other part of the process. The team at Woven, under the capable leadership of Paula Constant has been able to transform this process for many businesses since its inception. Recognised for her efforts by being named Most Influential CEO, 2022 – London, the United Kingdom in CEO Monthly, we decided to dig a little deeper and uncover just some of the secrets of her success.

Woven is the partner of choice for many companies because of their proven success to create bespoke customer experiences. When thinking about the customer journey it is so important to provide an exceptional service to maintain loyalty and no one understands this better than Paula Constant and her talented team. With a leadership team that comes predominantly from the ‘other side’ of FTSE250 customers, where they’ve owned the customer goals, targets and P&L, they make sure that when their clients outsource to them, they deliver the high standard of service that is expected from both them and their customers. Woven offer services ranging from call answering solutions to a fully outsourced customer experience operation including robotic automation, social media monitoring and much more!

Leading from the front, Paula has a wealth of experience behind her in a range of different positions, switching from conversations with the board to working the front line without skipping a beat. Paula’s career began at Accenture, specialising in telecoms strategies, before moving to Vodafone and British Telecom. She spent ten years here, morphing from a strategy professional to running sales, service and engineering battalions in the small business, global business, and consumer fields. It was an incredible chance for her to learn from the best in the business whilst pushing the standards of service ever higher. 

Being hands on has always been a core component of Paula’s approach to work, and this is emulated through the Woven proposition which makes them unique in the marketplace. Her talent is finding data driven solutions and pushing the boundaries on sales into service, marketing for loyalty, and appetite for amazing digital experiences.

Paula has a huge focus on the employees that make up ‘The Woven Family’. The contact centre job is tough, and a lot of work has recently gone into replacing classroom training for employees. Training needs to be fun and radically reinvented. She has led the way by including music, drama, art and sport into this often-challenging field. With their inspired workforce, working harder than ever before, she was able to increase pay by over 20%, providing people with a living wage plus bonus, significantly above national wage, even with the industry effects of Brexit and Covid.

Having to navigate any business through the COVID-19 pandemic would be an impressive feat, but it’s especially true when there is a 1,200 strong workforce depending on you making the right decision. The contact centre market has dramatically shifted in this time towards digital solutions and will accelerate further. Woven have identified this shift and are evolving their innovative digital solutions such as chat bots, voice bots and live chat. But there is still an important role for the human touch in customer service, with the appreciation of a need for vulnerable customer management far more prevalent than ever before and the requirement for complex customer issue management through a specialist is really critical.

During the last two years Woven has built out its offering and developed new ways of working that have allowed it to thrive. Paula has managed to build a company that has a trusted, and singular, identity from five very culturally different organisations. It’s a credit to her skill and the team’s trust in it that the results have been so positive. She has also made a point of working closely with the CWU to ensure that the union was part of the firm’s ongoing strategy.

Looking ahead, Woven has plans to expand their people proposition, growing their 16+ years Academy which offers young adults their first job experience, their highly successful bureau business, as well as consolidating the utilities and financial services play through acquisition. Woven want to ensure that as they expand, they maintain the level of personal attention, both to their clients and their workforce.

Paula has experienced a huge amount of change in the last year, having relocated from Australia to the UK during the pandemic, she is excited about the various plans to build out Woven in the long term. It’s an incredible business with incredible potential. We can’t wait to see what she does, either!

For business enquiries, contact Paula Constant from Woven via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.wearewoven.com

Corporate Social Purpose & ESG – New Business Essentials

A global shift is redefining the contract between businesses and their communities from simply “being responsible” to creating real social value. Consumers, investors and employees increasingly expect firms to leverage their corporate DNA – and address complex societal issues through the adoption of Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG) & Corporate Purpose frameworks. Governments and society are urging firms to consider a wider lens – believing that firms can and must create both shareholder & societal value.  Despite the heightened politicization of ESG, societal forces shaping the future of business are not moving backwards; the pandemic has illuminated examples of the positive role firms can play in addressing societal issues, while concurrently delivering shareholder value. As such, firms who fail to adapt to the new reality will risk losing the global race for brand trust, talent, relevance and long-term competitiveness. Defining and owning your Corporate Social Purpose is the most critical competitive advantage of our time. Shareholders & Society will benefit.   Dare to make the leap. 

The Goodman Sustainability Group and affiliated entities are focused on catapulting global action on Corporate Purpose.  This means brands of all sizes, clarifying why they exist beyond a ‘profit-only model’ and establishing their imperative to deliver on both shareholder and societal value. We are Canadian based with a globally focused mandate, underpinned by an ethos of inclusive growth, a transformative leadership mindset and undaunted resolve to encourage corporate action on societal issues. We consult with firms of all sizes – demystifying and enabling their corporate sustainability strategies. 

 We hold the view that the new frontier for competitiveness and sustainability fundamentally includes bold action on Corporate Social Purpose; this is the over-arching strategic framework for momentum on Net Zero & Environment, Social, Governance (ESG).  Net Zero and ESG strategies untethered from Corporate Purpose, will struggle to be successful in the long-term.

Notwithstanding the current uncharted context of geo-political risk, market risk & stakeholder complexity, we are nonetheless observing a historic corporate shift underway; society compelling firms of all sizes to step up and take bold action on sustainability.

The race for talent, relevance and competitive advantage runs through Corporate Social Purpose.

This new reality means adapt or be left behind. Corporate history has examples of iconic brands that ignored the “signs of the times” and are no longer here. Failure to heed the current signals has the potential to impact competitiveness and survivability.

So, what does this mean?

As corporations define their strategy in an uncertain global context, it will important to consider the implications of the following top 10 Sustainability Emerging Themes: 

  1. C-Suite Transformative Leadership Mindset (linked to competitiveness): In establishing a sustained ability to deliver on both shareholder and societal value, a transformational leadership mindset will be essential. This means organizing the firm for long-term competitiveness by imagining a sustainable future that currently does not exist and innovating to make that future a reality. The hallmark of progress will include heightened transparency, along with ‘courage & trust’ as compelling currencies for success.
  1. No firm left behind: Small & medium enterprises/ entrepreneurs (SME’s) in the developing and developed world will increasingly join the corporate sustainability agenda. The most recent World Bank report on SME’s indicates that this segment makes up about 90% of businesses; they contribute more than 50% of employment world-wide and 40% of GDP in emerging economies.  SMEs are vital to the global corporate sustainability transformation and in many cases, they are the back bone of critical supply chains. Of interest, large firms are not only tackling their own sustainability agenda’s but proactively “enabling, mentoring and incentivizing” the sustainability of their respective supply chains.  This is a powerful SME shift.    https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/smefinance
  1. Evolution of Net Zero/ESG & Purpose Frameworks:  The multiple ‘frameworks’ currently lacking clarity in some cases will eventually be resolved and will enable inclusive participation. Globally recognized, authoritative frameworks that are ‘fit-for-purpose’ will evolve over time as society makes progress on sustainability.

The evolution will eventually make corporate ‘Reporting & Compliance’ a minimum entry door – replaced by bold action & impact as the new normal.

  1.  Linking Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Communities and Corporate Social Purpose will be increasingly linked and more pronounced.  Cities are also in a global race for sustainability & competitiveness as they seek to attract and retain business, capital and families.  Smart, Resilient & Sustainable cities will be attractive to purpose-led brands. This is the new normal.
  1. Public-Private-Partnerships:  Prevalence and value of Eco-System Approaches for addressing Societal Issues:  In the context of an ‘all of civil-society sustainability approach’, the Corporate Social Purpose agenda will increasingly embrace new thinking and co-creation with NFP’s, Social Enterprises, community groups & various levels of government.
  1.  Leveraging Financial instrument innovation: Due consideration should be given to recent innovations in financing models for Public-Private-Partnerships like Blended Finance models, Social Impact Bonds, Sustainability Bonds and their derivatives, as just some examples of instruments to enable and enhance sustainability progress.
  1. Emergence of modernized Policy enablers: Government policy innovation impacting corporate and societal sustainability will increasingly “enable the agenda”. Governments will continue to nudge all areas of society to act sustainably by implementing modernized-innovative policy approaches that addresses impact, design, multi-disciplines, eco-systems etc.
  1. AI and Technology will dominate the sustainability future: Transparent and accessible ESG data along with AI enablers are already ‘disrupting’ this corporate sustainability eco-system. The Arabesque platform of “ESG-Book” which recently launched in early 2022, is an illuminating example.
  1. CEO as brand leader for sustainability: The momentum for groundswell corporate sustainability change has begun; in a recent KPMG report, the Chair & CEO Paul Knopp makes this claim, “the word ‘CEO’ will soon be synonymous with ‘ESG’ (KPMG CEO Knopp”:  This is a sign of the times – leadership on these important societal issues will increasingly fall to the CEO. KPMG CEO Knopp: ‘CEO’ Will Soon Be Synonymous With ESG .  
  1. Support for all sectors on-deck – Low Carbon transition:  Stakeholders will increasingly confront the innovation imperative to deal cohesively with ‘trade-offs and complexities’ of economy-wide decarbonization and sustainability.  Achieving these goals will require society-wide transition plans that will undoubtedly become more concrete, aligned, better understood and the challenges mitigated over time.

In summary, our related entity VeriStell Institute, includes a captivating quote on the website (www.veristellinstitute.com) capturing the challenge of this corporate moment in history;  the words of Roman Stoic Philosopher Seneca 64 AD – “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”  Our resolve is to enable the global uptake of Corporate Social Purpose and ignite a roaring worldwide conversation that encourages firms to take action; this will benefit business and society equally. Dare to make the leap!

For business enquiries, contact The Goodman Sustainability Group on their website –https://goodmansustainabilitygroup.com/

Innovativeness, Dedication, Leadership

Dr Millicent Stone is one of the creative minds behind the innovative digital platform, iOWNA, a clinician patient engagement tool that enables clinicians to send trusted relevant personalised information to patients to help improve outcomes and importantly, facilitate patient empowerment in their health and wellbeing journey. For her innovativeness, dedication, and leadership, Dr Stone has been recognised as Most Influential CEO 2022 – London – Join us as we learn more about her career and iOWNA.

Dr Millicent Stone’s inspiration for iOWNA stems from her own experience of being a mother of a very ill child. Her daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at a young age, and she realised the importance of having the right information at the right time – as that is what helped her and her daughter to better understand the nature of the treatment path and how to navigate each step of the way to survival.

The other factor that inspired her was her approach with her own patients: Millicent builds relationships with her patients and is enthusiastic about the benefits of engaging patients in their treatment journey. Above all, the purpose behind iOWNA is to enable people to live longer, healthier lives.

It was in August 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that iOWNA was launched by DigitalHealth.London, with the initial product to facilitate clinicians in sending trusted information directly to their patients. This helped with the increasing remote care monitoring of patients. Since then, iOWNA has developed the app to enable a two-way trusted information exchange between clinicians and patients to improve patient experience and outcomes. It was recently commissioned by Milton Keynes University Hospital in a partnership programme to drive patient empowerment in the NHS. Milton Keynes is a flagship NHS digital trust. Pilots are ongoing at Imperial Healthcare Trust Lung and Cancer Departments and University College London Hospitals.

Dr Millicent Stone is a consultant rheumatologist and key opinion leader in her field. She began her career by training in Ireland and Canada, and worked in Toronto as a rheumatologist for several years before returning to work in the UK. She chose a career in rheumatology as she enjoys getting to know her patients and helping them over the course of their conditions. She is involved in research, having trained as a clinical epidemiologist in Canada to understand how diseases affect people with arthritis, and her current area of research is development of a sustainability rating index for digital healthcare ventures that can be used to align sustainable innovation to investment in the healthcare sector. This is the focus of her thesis for her degree in healthcare entrepreneurship which she has been doing at Cambridge University Judge Business School over the past two years since leaving her full time role as an NHS Consultant at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to pursue healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship full time.

Millicent says, “Sustainability is key to enabling effective innovation to drive improved outcomes and harness the power of the people and the planet to help people live longer healthier lives.” Millicent runs a podcast (www.livelongerthepodcast.com) with focused conversations around her passion for enabling people to live longer, healthier lives and is a changemaking activity for which she was shortlisted for the VC social impact award last year at Cambridge University.

Ultimately, it’s easy to see that Dr Stone is a highly respected figure within her industry, having published in top quality peer review journals and held prestigious peer review grants in the UK, Canada, and USA. She is an established entrepreneur and changemaker; and has also won many prizes for her research in clinical outcomes, including the BMA Doris Hillier Award. Now, she has deservingly achieved extraordinary success within the Most Influential CEO Awards 2022, and we can’t wait to see where her career takes her next. 

For business enquiries, contact Millicent Stone from iOWNA via email – [email protected] / [email protected] or on their website – www.iowna.com / www.millicentstone.co.uk

Manage Liquidity with Confidence

three+one® is a Rochester, New York-based financial technology company that offers innovative liquidity data and cash management solutions which deliver better financial outcomes for public entities and higher-Ed solutions – and for those they serve. Its unique liquidity data tool, cashVest®, endorsed by the National Association of Counties (NACo), as well as 17 state associations, has brought over $500 million in new revenue to communities nationwide.

Company CEO, Joseph Rulison, believes in leading by example with great passion and an eye towards the future in an ever-changing financial marketplace. He has been recognised as Most Influential CEO 2022 – New York in this issue of CEO Monthly. We got in touch with Joe to learn more about three+one and his career.

Forecasting the liquidity position of a government entity or higher-education institution is all about vision. As a pioneer in fintech, that vision meant manifesting a solution to a problem plaguing every public sector entity, still one that no one had yet devised. For three+one, that vision came into sharper focus when Joseph Rulison, an investment advisor by day, public official, and university trustee by night, looked hard at how his professional paradigm of data and money-management could serve a marketplace of elected and appointed officials charged with the financial stewardship of their organisations.

As a company, three+one saw an underserved marketplace in the sectors of public entities and higher-Ed institutions. Specifically, it felt it needed to better understand the role of liquidity and how to view and capture all aspects of cash. In a changing banking landscape, the industry was being challenged with fewer financial resources, and it could profit from the new sources of revenue three+one could offer.

three+one brought to market two fintech platforms, cashVest® and rfpPrep®, which are unique to the public sector and higher-Ed. Combined, this pioneering technology provides multi-million and billion-dollar entities the confidence of reliable data, not opinions.

The first of these fintech platforms, cashVest, enables stress-tested data analysis, time-horizon, and liquidity data across all accounts to maximize the value of all cash on deposit. The second platform, rfpPrep, has revolutionized the oft-mandated Request for Proposal (RFP) process for banking services and investment management by digitising the protocol, thereby streamlining the RFP evaluation timeline by as much as 75%. In creating this technology, rfpPrep transforms a difficult & tedious manual procurement into a smooth, hassle-free, and fair-bidding tool.

CEO, Joe Rulison explained, “We needed to be seen as a positive disruptor in the public financial marketplace. To that end, we created a core value for the company: to ‘exceed expectations’ for our clients, our employees, and our stakeholders. We’re proud to say that core value has been woven into the very fabric of three+one.”

By “exceeding expectations”, three+one has maintained a very strong client retention rate (99%) and 100% employee retention. It has also helped its clients find new sources of income and savings amounting to over $500m; these additional funds have gone back to the communities and entities they serve. Without three+one’s innovative liquidity data technology, these results would never have been attained.

Though Joe Rulison was confident in his vision for how three+one would substantially elevate public sector & higher-Ed entities in a dynamic financial landscape, the biggest test was yet to come. Joe was in Washington, D.C. talking to public officials from across the entire United States during the closing days of February 2020, a time when the public at-large was just learning about this newly discovered, but rapidly evolving virus that would become the COVID-19 pandemic.

With lockdowns forcing people out of their jobs and into their homes, it became the responsibility of public officials to initiate a comprehensive pandemic response. That responsibility trickled down to the counties, towns, cities and villages where local leaders struggled to contain the spread of a virus, let alone balance the financial books. As a fintech solution to the monetary uncertainties of a regular fiscal year, the liquidity-management and data gleaned through cashVest and the analysis provided by three+one became the lifeline for understanding the economic impact to local communities everywhere. So much, in fact, that during the COVID-19 pandemic, three+one was deemed an essential service by its clients in managing their liquidity needs who likewise relied heavily on the Pathway to Recovery®, a program created as model for entities negatively impacted by the upheaval of the marketplace.

The most crucial value to clients, however, is rooted not just in three+one being the singular provider of liquidity data services, but also from the lens through which it offers a common understanding with those they serve. The founders and key management have in the past been, and continue to serve as, public officials in their own communities.

CEO and Co-Founder Joe Rulison’s vision for what was to become three+one stems back to the 1980s where he was originally an investment advisor, and he saw the potential growth of professional money management. Following this, he purchased a Register Investment Advisor (RIA) firm in the late 1990s and named it Rulison & Company. During that time, Rulison & Company specialised in working with high-net-worth individuals and non-profit organisations. Joe commented, “We soon needed to differentiate this firm in a fast-growing, more competitive workplace. We needed to become more creative and become a community leader with board involvements. These market factors pushed me to become an entrepreneur.”

In 2001, together with the great help of his business partner, Peter Forsgren, Muniflow, a division of Rulison & Company was sold to Bank of America. His bank experience as Market President with Bank of America, coupled with the role as Managing Director of J.P. Morgan, provided Joe with the opportunity to learn from the best in strategic planning, distribution, risk-and-compliance oversight, and partnership agreements.

Joe said, “My experience as an entrepreneur, a public official, a college board chair and trustee, and a government banker provided me with the broad experience necessary to offer a 360-degree perspective in building a company, gathering a very talented team, and attracting a unique client base with tremendous growth potential.”

In discussing his idealized vision in the early days of three+one, Joe reflected on the unexpected and nearly debilitating health setback to his own vision, his eyesight. At the age of 58, just a year after officially launching three+one with his business partner, and now-COO Peter Forsgren, Joe lost sight in both eyes. The firm was growing and adding talent, major funding had been secured and put behind the technology, yet Joe quite literally could not see it happening.

Thankfully, through dozens of surgeries and procedures over the span of three years, Joe was able to regain most of the sight in his eyes, and his vision, both his own and that for his company, now stem from a markedly deeper meaning. “This was a journey built on ‘blind strengths’,” Joe stated. “I was not going to be stopped from making a dream become a reality for my team, our clients and shareholders, and my family.”

And while most fintech firms build the technology first and see if the marketplace will respond, three+one took a different approach. Joe explained, “Upon identifying an underserved marketplace, the three+one team created a need, developed innovative solutions to fill the need, then worked with our clients to tailor specific liquidity modelling that could build a national presence. As a result, we created and are now distributing liquidity management services that public entities and higher-Ed institutions are adopting.”

three+one continues to stay ahead of the curve in technology, looking to drive the highest standard of client service, while developing new markets, with new product platforms, and in new areas of the country. It achieves this through creative branding, heavy social media, national distribution, and strong client references and word of mouth. Joe has said that he therefore foresees three+one’s revenue growth to exceed 100% annually over the next five years, with high client retention and ever stronger adoption of its platforms nationally.

In terms of his leadership approach, Joe believes that there is no issue that cannot be resolved with a well-developed solution. “I firmly believe in the highest values and ethics of business,” he said. “It is far easier to do everything right the first time rather than taking up time correcting wrongs or repairing ‘cut corners’. To me, clients always come first, and our strong, positive company culture ensures that always happens.”

He continued, “Vision, belief, passion, and determination in making a difference to the public entities and communities we serve form the foundation three+one is built on. It is in our company’s DNA and our social conscious commitment to serve the financial interests of public entities and higher-Ed institutions of all sizes and locales. We are as unique as a company as we are as a team. We’re a jigsaw puzzle comprised of many pieces of incredible talent that together create an image of hope, growth, and a bright future for those entities, their communities, our employees, and those who have invested in three+one.”

“Ultimately, one’s reputation is everything. But legacy is setting a path for others to walk alongside, while creating new paths for an even better future.”

Regarding the future, three+one is only just getting started. Joe shared, “We will not feel complete until we have reached every local community in the United States and beyond. three+one is in a unique niche that offers great value to our clients and prospects. We want to make a difference in each community and organisation we serve, and it is our goal to reach over $1.0b in new savings and income for the communities we serve by the end of 2022, and over $10.0b by 2025.”

And speaking about his plans for his own career, he said, “My passion is to continue building three+one and to help communities benefit from what we have learned. As a family, my wife, Karen, and I love to give back to our community and financially support causes that help those who cannot otherwise help themselves, providing them with the same opportunities that were granted for me.”

For business enquiries, contact Joseph Rulison from three+one via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.threeplusone.us

Empowering Change

Women In Games International (WIGI) works to normalize women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying professionals in the global games industry by eliminating barriers and increasing access and opportunities for everyone. WIGI works to normalize a safe, inclusive, and diverse workforce in the video game, tabletop, and esports industries by developing and cultivating free-to-access resources. Over the past twelve months, WIGI’s CEO Joanie Kraut has led the organization’s rebranding, assembled a dynamic team of experts, and overhauled the programs’ portfolio to include over ninety programs, workshops, panels, and initiatives. Joanie was named the 2022 Most Influential CEO for California, USA, and she shows no sign of slowing down.

Joanie Kraut is a powerhouse advocate and mentor who has committed her career to empowering those who feel powerless. As the CEO of Women In Games International (WIGI), Joanie has transformed the organization’s trajectory through financial solvency, global expansion, and strengthening community engagement for large-scale impact.

WIGI’s mission is to cultivate resources to advance economic equality and diversity in the global games industry. In doing so, WIGI promotes excellence through increased representation, access to technology, and knowledge-sharing with a vision to advance the success of women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying professionals in the global games industry. These programs also serve as an excellent building block for those seeking opportunities and inspiration to continue training as mentors and leaders themselves, championing sustainable change within the games industry with an emphasis on more diverse representation.

Leveraging her background in financial strategy and nonprofit management, Joanie successfully navigated the nonprofit’s turnaround, restructuring the organization from operating at a deficit to securing the largest gift in the organization’s history of $1 million (unrestricted).

WIGI is proud to be empowering women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying professionals to gain the confidence and skills necessary to navigate a successful career in the games industry. Under Joanie’s leadership, WIGI has been championing change through developing sustainable programs and initiatives to create meaningful change through diverse representation. WIGI strives to uphold a level of representation and inspiration for people everywhere, from every background, and with everything seemingly against their ability to succeed.

WIGI offers professional development opportunities to empower marginalized individuals to strive to succeed beyond all expectations, empowering the next generation of leaders and providing a platform to amplify the voices of underrepresented gaming professionals everywhere.

For over fifteen years, Joanie has operated in the tech and gaming space within different verticals throughout her career. She has served as an advisor and consultant for studios, startups, and nonprofits in the tech and gaming space. Her expertise resides in business development, financial strategy, and DEI initiatives.

Joanie was recognized as a 2019 CalCPA Women to Watch in Finance and Accounting, Experienced Leader for her significant contributions to the profession and her community. She was also named the 2020 Top 100 Global Leaders in Finance presented by GCIF and Prism Events to recognize fintech innovators and global financial leaders driving significant industry impacts.

Joanie has been named the 2022 Most Influential CEO, California, USA, for her tireless efforts in championing change in the global games industry. Joanie also serves on the Board of Directors of Techbridge Girls, is an Advisory Board member for the California State University East Bay Big Data program, and is a mentor and guest speaker for Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the Wonder Women Tech Foundation, and The Expat Woman group.

For business enquiries, contact Women In Games International via email – [email protected] or on their website – https://www.getwigi.com/

Fast Track to Success

With more than two decades’ experience in marketing and leadership, Your Marketing Chief (YMC) transforms organisations to become marketing, digital and innovation driven, using the best-in-class FUZN™ marketing system.

Mido Chishty is CEO and CMO, a maverick who brings thought and cultural change to organisations. Recognised as Most Influential CEO, 2022 – UAE, we delve into learning more about his company and career.

Mido Chishty is a solutions-focused CEO and CMO with more than 20 years’ success in multinationals and start-ups. Having worked across consumer goods, retail, tech, fintech, agritech, esports, gaming, telecoms, financial services, entertainment, and tourism, his broad areas of expertise include leadership, marketing, inclusive team building, digital transformation, innovation, sustainability strategy, big data and AI, blockchain, and the metaverse.

Having founded Your Marketing Chief to apply Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) AKA Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) best marketing practices across a number of industries and businesses, Mido engineered the FUZN™ marketing system which has transformed numerous organisations into marketing, digital and innovation leaders.

At the foundation of the stewardship YMC provides are values of growth, culture, leadership, innovation, and balance. These are all key to ensuring business success. Due to the nature of the rapidly evolving world, there has become a need for CMOs to broaden their roles and take the lead on new initiatives, including being the voice of the consumer and customer; designing the company purpose; creating a framework for humanistic leadership and mindfulness; utilising marketing to drive business growth; leading in digital transformation including being the custodian of Big Data, AI, UX, UI, and the metaverse; creating sustainability strategy; driving innovation; producing inclusivity programmes; partnering with CEOs and boards; and influencing shareholders. Each requires robust marketing to all stakeholders – consumers, customers, employees, shareholders, industries, partners, and change agents. This marketing alphabetisation leads to a balance of profit and people and ultimately planet amelioration. Hence, CMOs are by default becoming CEOs whilst maintaining the CMO responsibility, as marketing is everything in the new age of blockchain, crypto, web 3.0, and marketing 4.0.

Prior to establishing YMC, Mido gained industry experience at Procter & Gamble, Unilever, PepsiCo, and Nestlé. He holds a Master’s in Business and Marketing from Brunel University Business School UK, and a Bachelors (Hons) in Economics and Management from the University of Manchester, UK. He also attended executive programmes with top schools including Stanford GSB, Harvard Business School, USC Marshall, UCLA, and UC Berkeley Haas. Mido is a chartered marketer, certified marketer, and certified digital marketer, and he is an active member of key leadership and marketing bodies including CIM, AMA, DMI, and GCC BDI. In addition, he serves on a number of boards providing marketing and leadership guidance.

Mido is a visionary who passionately and transparently sells his vision to his diverse team. He is highly supportive of his people, able to recognise their strengths and how he can help them to achieve the very best. He encourages people to find their path, to take their passion and propel their career, while seeking joy and gratitude. His team are the ones who play a vital role in the success of YMC, with their desire and belief in the company, combined with drive and ideas, and being great collaborators. For the YMC team, it is more than just a job; it’s about communities coming together.

Mido’s career goals and path have been influenced by the places he has lived, with California, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) having inspired him the most. The economy of California is the largest in the USA, estimated at around $3 trillion, and if the state was a stand-alone country, it would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy. It is this combined with the innovative spirit of Cali and out-of-the-box way of doing things that has created new industries, companies, and innovative hubs such as Silicon Valley. Mido says, “I love being part of creating those Cali ideas and bringing them to the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) to accelerate rapid growth in the region, which then inspires innovation of its own which in turn calls for further Cali input. It’s a cycle of innovation that keeps turning and is intoxicating.”

The GCC includes countries such as KSA and the UAE. Hence, turning to the GCC region, we can see that H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) has put Dubai on the world map with iconic projects such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Arab, the Palm, and Expo 2020, showcasing Dubai as world-class and an innovation hub. Additionally, H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (MBZ) has ensured that the UAE and Abu Dhabi shine as a beacon of stability for the region and the world. We are also witnessing H.H Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (MBS)’ inspirational vision to transform KSA with futuristic projects such as NEOM, the Line, and TROJENA.

Mido comments, “It is a really exciting time to blend the Californian spirit with the innovative leadership in the region. It is truly maverick. This inspired me to create Your Marketing Chief to bring the highest level of marketing and leadership to regions most deserving of it. That is the core strength of the company. I embed into organisations as CMO so that they emerge successful and grow aggressively.”

Mido’s sights are now set on a bright future. Profit, people, and planet amelioration.

For business enquiries, contact Mido Chishty, CEO & CMO from Your Marketing Chief (YMC) via email – [email protected]; [email protected], phone – +1-424-235-1652; +971-52-893-8700, on their website – https://yourmarketingchief.com/ or through LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/midochishty/

Travel Without Limits

Based in Dubai and with the capacity to send its customers all over the world, Travelwings.com has made itself one of the best and most expansive UAE based travel websites on the market. A gem of e-commerce, a trusted expert in travel, and with over 25 years of experience in the travel and hospitality domain, it is led by Albert Fernando, winner of the ‘Most Influential CEO’ award for 2022 in the United Arab Emirates.

Being one of the best online portals through which one can book their travel plans, covering everything from flights and cruises to holidays and insurance, Travelwings.com has made itself as comprehensive as it is user intuitive. With an impressively customer-focused site, a commitment to making the holiday booking process as stress-free as possible, and a track record for naturalistic growth made possible by client trust, it has expanded exponentially since its founding. Fundamentally, since its beginnings in the United Arab Emirates, it is now proud to say that it covers 32 different countries across the globe, a number that will only continue to get bigger as it pivots its focus to PAN Africa driven bookings.

Led by CEO and leading industry figure Albert Fernando, it is easy to see why this company has become such a big name over its years in operation. Driven forward by his vision, Travelwings.com wishes to take its customers on a journey through all the most magical parts of the world at large, showing them travel without boundaries and a holiday with convenience and adventure in abundance. It achieves this by sticking to its values of integrity, honesty, quality, customer service, passion, and teamwork, all things that Albert Fernando himself has worked hard to instil in the company from his very first day on the job, proving the adage right that it is best to lead by example.

With each of these qualities having been humbly recognised by customers and employees alike, the resulting company has been able to build a kind of reputation for community around itself. Its staff help its clients, who help the company at large by leaving glowing reviews and giving word-of-mouth-referrals to peers, family, and friends, earning the company more clients as a direct result; in addition, it has enjoyed the development of an unblemished reputation across third party review sites such as Glass Door and Trust Pilot.

Thus, it prides itself on client satisfaction, yes, but also on the way it trains and takes care of its staff, allowing them to provide this. Within the company, there is plenty of room for growth and upward momentum, as the CEO himself is a leader with the goal of making more leaders, always showing his teams the rationale behind each decision and considering each of their opinions on it. Oftentimes, he finds that when his teams are given the right tools, information, and access, the day after a proposition is made, they will usually find him with bigger, better ideas that will even go above and beyond the original plan, allowing the company to constantly push for the best of the best.

That, in essence, is the nature of success. Not just thriving because of one’s own work, but thriving due to the collaboration between everyone’s work, bringing it all together to make an exemplary result that will serve clients to the best of the company’s ability. Above all else, Albert Fernando’s leadership style is about giving his staff the support and infrastructure they require to operate to the best of their ability, showing them how they make positive impacts on the lives of customers, stakeholders, and fellow staff alike with their efforts. Additionally, he is big on giving people room to grow and improve.

Indeed, he knows that no one is perfect, and that in order to make it to the right decision one must often make many wrong ones; this has meant that his leadership style is also defined by the grace he shows his staff should they make an error at any point, giving them the support to fix it and learn from it. It is a necessity for Albert that Travelwings.com feels like a welcoming, encouraging, and operationally sound family. In this way, therefore, Travelwings.com has created a company-wide ethos of listening, observing, and learning, as well as giving people the credit they deserve for the points they make and good ideas they come up with.

Travelwings.com has benefitted from the unified front this creates. As a throughline for the business, having a sense of understanding about where the company is heading in the long run is nothing but a good thing, as it means that everyone understands not just their role, but how it is effectively contributing to the helping the company reach it goals and what those are. Therefore, they can more easily envision their place within this future. Clarity, one-ness, and tenacity make it possible to serve clients from all over the world, from people who know exactly where, when, and why they want to travel to travellers who currently have no set plans, and all those people in between.

Serving all ages, genders, financial brackets, and more, Travelwings.com aims to provide a warm and welcoming environment in which a customer can get in touch to find out about the latest and greatest deals, and take advantage of them accordingly. It is through this that is has been able to develop an online booking experience that takes just a few clicks, and takes a huge amount of stress and pressure off of the client, making the process of sorting the logistics behind a holiday that much less daunting. Having taken the pandemic in its stride and worked hard for its clients and staff alike, Travelwings.com is looking forward to spending the next 12 months with a high focus on more product offerings, technology, and expansion, hoping to bring the best travel opportunities to people all over the world.

For business enquiries, contact Albert Fernando from Travelwings on their website – Travelwings.com

Data-Driven Customer Experience Solutions

ProximoCX is a customer experience support firm that harnesses call centre data to provide clients with superior data and insights while making a sustainable impact on employees and their families.

Company founder and CEO, Michael McMillan is a customer service veteran with over 25 years’ experience within the industry. In light of his recognition as Most Influential CEO 2022 – the USA in this issue of CEO Monthly, we take a closer look at his career and company.

ProximoCX is a CX outsourced partner which provides outstanding customer experiences on behalf of its clients, with the aim of increasing their customer satisfaction levels. It is a company shifting the way outsourcers do business with its people-first, innovation-driven business model.

With its multi-lingual (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, ProximoCX provides an outsourcing solution for phone, email, SMS, webchat, and social media, ensuring best-in-class customer engagement experiences which result in great savings and efficiencies. It also offers data entry, transcription, and translation services.

To support it in providing such outstanding services, the company utilises the latest technologies to push clients’ customer experiences forward. With AI and machine learning, ProximoCX translates company data into actionable insights they can use to make strategic business decisions.

By putting its clients first, ProximoCX is able to instil a strong sense of brand loyalty in them and facilitate long-term relationships between them and their customers. Michael tells us more about ProximoCX’s mission for its clients: “We aim to create value for you, your customers, and our team members. We do this by equipping our teams with the tools necessary to provide the best possible customer experiences for your customers. In turn, your customers will stay loyal to your brand.”

Indeed, ProximoCX’s team of professionals is equipped to handle high call volumes without sacrificing the quality and service that its clients and their customers expect – taking the pressure off businesses that are strapped in the customer service department.

With over two decades’ experience in the customer service industry, ProximoCX’s CEO, Michael McMillan is known for his expertise in defining customer journey strategies and business development initiatives to optimise sales and create new opportunities. He is highly skilled in building, leading, and mobilising teams of professionals on a global scale.

As an experienced and goal-oriented professional, business owners know they can rely on Michael’s ability to provide exceptional service, resources, and methods to meet ever-changing objectives and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements. This is all based on his expertise in the areas of strategic planning, customer retention, outsourcing, call centre (inside sales and customer support), CCaaS and UCaaS platforms, and programme management.

Michael provides profound insights into the latest customer service trends based on his extensive experience to help his clients take their business to the next level. He is a certified speaker and coach with the John Maxwell Team and is passionate about sharing his knowledge of customer experience, sales, AI, brand cultivation, leadership strategies, and more to audiences around the world.

He began his career on the front lines as a call centre agent, worked his way to several C-suite positions, and discovered opportunities to expand the service areas and revenue pools of several different companies including BizSprints, United Bridge Insurance Services, ArenaCX, The Connection Contact Center, Answer Center America, Inc., and Total Quality Communications.

Indeed, it’s easy to see how Michael McMillan has achieved such success within the Most Influential CEO 2022 awards, with such a high level of expertise and experience within his industry. Clients who have worked with Michael and ProximoCX only have positive things to say about their experience, with Parvez Dhillon, COO from Fastlending.com saying, “We’ve had the pleasure of working with Michael for the last few months. We were able to optimise daily operations to a much higher degree with three easy changes which has a meaningful impact on portfolio performance, both on originations and on servicing. With Michael’s help, the company is on track for revenue generation within the contact centre environment. Thanks for the help!”

Caddius Corder, Director at Verizon Business Group comments, “I’ve worked with Michael for a couple of months now and his guidance and mentorship has really elevated my call centre/telesales senior leadership experience. His view on call centre sales and operations is priceless. Michael is blessed with a particular skillset that allows him to coach, train, and mentor across all levels of any organisation. Truly amazing.”

For business enquiries, contact ProximoCX via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.proximocx.com

Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Tennessee, the USA

Established as a full-service marketing agency, Pretty Creative LLC is a Nashville based company, unique in the industry, taking on a maximum of 12 clients per year. A small business feel that produces mighty results. Led by the professional intellect of Larken Lech – known as the Most Influential CEO of 2022, Larken explains the company, her role and her leadership offerings further.

Pretty Creative LLC is run by Larken Lech, recognized as one of Tennessee’s Most Influential CEOs of the year. Her team at Pretty Creative works predominantly within the hospitality and tourism sectors, serving clients such as Gray Line Tennessee, Clearbrook Hospitality, Loden Vision Centers and Crossroads Medical Group, to name a few.

In addition to these big, branded clients, Pretty Creative serves non-profit organizations like Valor Honey, which is known for supporting Veterans in harvesting 100% authentic USA Honey. “We don’t niche down because we feel like it depletes creativity in marketing. We love a challenge,” enthuses Larken.

Continuing from this point, Larken explains her leadership style and how it impacts work and the company, stating, “Leadership is often confused with management and in worse case scenarios, micro-management. I was a solopreneur for many years, and as I’ve expanded the business and hired new employees, I’ve learned that letting them lead in what they are passionate about is the best form of leadership. I’m here to answer questions and make sure that when they leave our team, people wonder, ‘where did you come from’ and they’re proud to say, ‘Pretty Creative.’”

To join the Pretty Creative team, potential applicants must showcase two essential qualities: adjusting to new situations and being good communicators. “Marketing is often a high-paced, moving target that we constantly have to move through and offers many daily challenges. Our motto is ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way’, and we find people with the same attitude,” states Larken.

Overall, at Pretty Creative, the company is run on a foundation that directly links to its internal culture, which is made out of a lot of hard work, tons of laughing, and a safe space to share wants/needs/suggestions that will uplift the business or quality of the office.

Expanding on the offerings of the company and its uniqueness, Larken shares, “We’ve been fortunate that our clients have seen our work and come to us; we’ve never had to ‘sell’ Pretty Creative. Our work speaks for itself. We are unique in that we sit in as a full-service marketing agency, or you can pick a single service, like social media management, and we can work alongside your internal marketing team. We are very flexible, and we treat every client like they are our only client, and that’s how we build retention year over year.”

However, as many businesses across the globe have noticed, the Covid-19 pandemic created a series of challenges that shook various sectors and industries globally. For some businesses, the pandemic was far too challenging to overcome, and its effects crushed them, but for Pretty Creative, the team found that it made marketing more efficient.

Larken adds to this, saying, “Many of our clients had large scale budgets that needed to be readjusted and given a more strategic plan. Some new clients came on because they wanted to look better on social since everyone was home and consuming media every day. We partnered with several HR companies who contracted with us to help gain employees back after the pandemic.”

For Pretty Creative, as the world reopens, Larken and her staff are looking forward to travelling again for clients, summits, events, and speaking engagements. “I’m often asked to speak on marketing panels or on a certain marketing aspect, and I look forward to doing that again in 2022-2023,” says Larken.

With a new title accredited as the Most Influential CEO of 2022, Larken and Pretty Creative are undoubtedly on a successful path that will continue its place as unique leaders within the marketing industry.

For business enquiries, contact CEO Larken Lech from Pretty Creative, LLC via email – [email protected] or on their website – prettycreativeagency.com

A Clean Slate In Real Estate 

Looking for a property can be daunting, but with Deakin-White Real Estate (Deakin-White), it doesn’t have to be this way. As a boutique Real Estate Agent, Deakin-White helps its clients to find forever homes that truly satisfy them and give them everything they need. Here we look at the work its CEO, Ed Restall Harrison, does as he wins Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Bedfordshire, the United Kingdom.

Founded in 2015 by mother and son, Christine and Ed Restall-Harrison, Deakin-White covers the three counties of Herts, Beds, and Bucks with offices in Aylesbury, Dunstable, Hatfield, St. Albans, and Watford.

Aiding its customers with residential and commercial sales, lettings, auctions, and mortgages, Deakin-White has established itself as one to watch within the industry. As members of the Federation of Independent Estate Agents – and with several awards – Deakin-White encourages clients to head towards their dream spaces.

Always happy to help, Deakin-White offers its services at a fair and fine fee as well as taking everything its clients say into account. It doesn’t want to find somewhere that will simply do, it wants to find a place where people can feel happy, comfortable, stunned, and relaxed – every day.

Not only does Deakin-White offer its services of commercial sales and lettings, land and new homes, residential and commercial auctions, and residential sales and lettings, but it also provides help through its divorce and separation services and probate services. Its divorce and separation services guarantee a skilled team of professionals to help with such a difficult time, with true diligence and empathy.

This is the same with its probate services, as this is such a negative time filled with emotion, Deakin-White offers a helping hand with selling a probate property. It guarantees advice and assistance with both sales and house clearance so that clients don’t have to worry. Its extensive knowledge helps it to ensure the best results for people suffering from loss – with its extra services such as renovation and home staging, as well as insurance advice, means that Deakin-White can help clients in their time of need. Of course, this sort of service can be invaluable – especially with regards to the mental wellbeing of a client.

CEO, Ed Restall-Harrison, has now won Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Bedfordshire, the United Kingdom and his success will continue long into the future. He has a fine background in real estate marketing, commercial real estate, property management, and relocation services. His other current roles include:

• Head of Land and New Homes for The Federation of Independent Agents
• Non-Executive Director for Your Marketing Needs
• President of The Pride of Dunstable Business Club
• Chairman of The Friends of Mary Seacole Housing Association
For the future, he is looking to continue steering Deakin-White in the right direction. We wish him all the success.

For business enquiries, contact Ed Restall-Harrison from Deakin-White Real Estate on their website – https://www.dwrealestate.co.uk/

Trustworthy Solutions for Financial Services Providers

Wheelhouse Advisors Limited provides regulatory management, regulatory reporting, accounting and tax solutions specifically designed to reduce risk, save time, and improve costs for firms in the alternative investment sector. Under the leadership of Matthew Crisp, the Most Influential CEO, 2022 – London, the company has thrived, becoming a leading practitioner within its field.

Wheelhouse Advisors gives clients the freedom to focus on their core strengths and business strategy. As a strategic partner to the investment management sector, it services more than 900 clients globally, with over $130bn of assets under reporting. These include financial services firms, their principals and other financial services professionals from start-ups and spinouts through to established firms and multinationals. Whether firms are based in the UK, expanding there, or located overseas and marketing funds into Europe, Wheelhouse can help. Regulatory requirements can be a considerable additional burden for some firms, many of those in private markets, and the Wheelhouse specialist resources and experienced team are on hand to steer clients through complex regulatory and fiscal requirements. The company’s core values have remained the same since its establishment: it believe that its people are its biggest strength.

“A typical client journey starts with a group of investment professionals looking to come together in a new venture or to spin out from an existing manager. They may already be London based or have a UK presence, or be an investment firm based in North America or Asia considering expansion to Europe through a physical presence or marketing their existing investment strategies to European investors,” comments Crisp.

He continues, “Wheelhouse Advisors is an outsourced provider to these firms and we provide specialist advice and services with a strong focus on regulatory reporting and prudential management. Whilst we have competitors in the market, most do not have such an intricate knowledge in the area of prudential management and regulatory reporting. It is due to this specialist focus that we are confident that we are able to provide industry leading solutions to our clients, globally.”

Behind this process is, of course, the highly experienced and skilled Wheelhouse Advisors team. Within the company’s culture is a constant drive to improve – be it personally, professionally and as a team. Crisp testifies, “It all begins with the Wheelhouse Advisors Academy, a programme that all new members of the team benefit from, whether joining us on a training programme as an apprentice or recent graduate, or as an experienced hire with a professional qualification already obtained.”

However, another key contributor to the company’s success and internal culture is the attitude of the leadership team. Much of this stems from Crisp himself. Boasting over 20 years of experience within the industry, Matthew has earned both a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy & Economics and an MSc from York University in Project Analysis, Finance & Investment. Moreover, he is a qualified chartered accountant – an accolade that he obtained during his time at PWC and he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

“Outside of the Academy,” he continues, “the past two years have taught us all the value of resilience and wellbeing; we provide a range of benefits both inside and outside the workplace to reflect this and work hard to emphasise the importance of being part of a team that learns and shares. We all rise by lifting others around us.”

Crisp views his role as one that should build an environment that pushes the team – not individuals – towards success. “I am continually asking myself and challenging my team to explore ‘what do our clients need from us?’, ‘how can we continue to strive to be the best?’, ‘what else can we do to improve our proposition?’ and ‘what can we learn from others to continue to improve?’” Simply, his goal is to contribute to the company’s mission to help its clients to consistently outperform.

For many, the last few years have been an increasingly difficult time; however, due to its strong background, Wheelhouse Advisors was able to successfully navigate this challenge. The market conditions that spawned from the aftermath of Brexit unintentionally set the company on a path that would serve to benefit it during the pandemic. Subsequently, during this time, Wheelhouse Advisors turned its attention to the digitisation of the company. This transformation has culminated in much broader value creation than cost savings through automation, which has served to benefit both the company’s teams and its clients. Wheelhouse have secured a positive path to continue to grow globally and thrive as a business.

For business enquiries, contact Matthew Crisp from Wheelhouse Advisors Limited on their website – www.wheelhouse-advisors.com

Providing Global Security for Wireless Devices

LOX Network puts the power of device ownership in the hands of owners rather than wireless carriers, its mission being to recover stolen or lost devices through global data sharing. The company’s founder and CEO, Lucas Collins has been recognised by CEO Monthly as Most Influential CEO, 2022 – London, the United Kingdom, so we take a closer look at how he and his team are providing global security for the world’s wireless devices.

Our phones are an important part of our lives. We use them to store our treasured memories, they help us to run our businesses, and especially during these times, they help us to connect with those we love most. Therefore, many of us know all too well the feeling of dread that sinks in when we lose a mobile device. According to Forbes, 70 million mobile phones are lost each year – That’s an eye-watering two every second!

LOX Networks’ founder and CEO, Lucas Collins is on a mission to change that. With a bachelor’s degree in Business/Managerial Economics from Eastern Mediterranean University, and two decades of management and leadership experience working for the likes of Orange, Phones4u, EE, and Dixons Carphone, along with being the business owner of Chase Side Retail and The Brothers Retail, Lucas is equipped with the expertise needed to lead a team to greatness, and the inspiration and desire to protect people’s mobile devices.

Lucas launched LOX Network in the third quarter of 2020 and is proud to have developed the world’s first fully decentralised security network. The LOX network aims to revolutionise mobile security by using blockchain technology to prevent any stolen phone being connected to any other cellular network – worldwide. Without the ability to make phone calls or connect to data networks, phones significantly lose their value.

So, how does blockchain work in all of this? Simply put, blockchain is a decentralised record of digital transactions. When a phone is purchased, the device’s serial number (IMEI) and owner details are added to the blockchain (database). Being decentralised, all networks and phone manufacturers have access to this data, including law enforcement and insurance companies, as well as the general public. No longer will this information be kept hidden – It will be available globally.

When a phone is reported missing, it is blacklisted and will therefore appear as stolen, should anyone activate it. This significantly reduces theft and increases the likelihood of the phone being returned. Lucas comments, “After all, the only deterrent stronger than getting caught is a lack of reward.”

Indeed, LOX is targeting and dismantling the phone theft industry through a decentralised blacklist, and it is bridging its users’ unique digital and physical ownership through unique non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

The LOX token ($LOX), the company’s native currency, is central to its network. Part of its reward structure and incentivises mission success, device owners have the ability to create bounties that are paid in $LOX for the recovery of lost and stolen devices. Additionally, other users who find such devices and return them back to their owners receive a reward paid in $LOX. Users can also receive a $LOX reward when finding a blacklisted device with no apparent owner. These three incentives are designed to increase the recovery of devices.

LOX’s model pairs SmartNFT to SmartLOX NFTs, creating a bond that is at the core of its security network. The user creates an NFT representation of themselves including name and contact information, and then an NFT representing the user’s device is then minted. This records the device’s make, model, and IMEI. By bonding the two on the LOX network, proof-of-ownership is verifiable on the blockchain.

Soon, users will be able to connect to the proof-of-ownership system via the LOX mobile app, enabling the ability to manage the security, whereabouts, and ownership rights of multiple devices on the go.

LOX is also currently developing its nano security tagging, an invisible method that will be used for tagging and tracing items using microdot technology. These aren’t the only projects that the company has in the works; in 2023, it will be introducing new features for smartwatches, laptops, and other high value goods that are prone to theft – all to protect as many devices as possible.

Ultimately, it’s clear to see that LOX Network is a gamechanger within the digital security space and that it is motivated and passionate, truly revolutionising the way people’s mobile devices are protected from theft. And none of it could be a reality without the company’s pioneering CEO, Lucas Collins and his vision and leadership – truly making him an award-winningly influential CEO.

For business enquiries, contact Lucas Collins from LOX Network via email – [email protected] or on their website – https://loxcoin.io/

The B2B Marketing Leader Creating the Next Generation of Unicorns

Bordeaux & Burgundy is a full-service marketing agency specialising in empowering B2B SaaS businesses to scale rapidly. Working with both the current and next generation of unicorns, the agency has generated colossal growth for its global client base and continues to expand its impact in the B2B SaaS world. Here we celebrate its CEO, Alfie Dawson, as he rapidly accelerates this prestigious company and its reputation. Alfie has won Most Influential CEO, 2022 – London, United Kingdom and we want to take a look at the work Bordeaux & Burgundy does.

As a full-service, B2B marketing agency, Bordeaux & Burgundy offers its powerful resources

to businesses across the globe. Supporting companies from Series A funding onwards with their growth, Bordeaux & Burgundy conducts an initial sales and marketing audit and applies its experience to produce a step-by-step process that generates growth, measuring alongside key performance indicators that matter – they don’t care about how many likes you get on Facebook.

When you’re in the world of high-growth funding-backed ‘startups’, you’re held to incredibly high standards by your investors in terms of delivering pipeline, increasing revenue, and generating new logos for your business. Bordeaux & Burgundy understands that this goes beyond simply generating creative marketing campaigns, but spans across assisting fundraising, recruiting, and applying automation across internal operations, whilst continuously generating new business opportunities through sales and marketing activities.

Providing marketing strategies, demand generation, technology assistance, content creation, and more, Bordeaux & Burgundy’s strategy begins with its expert B2B intelligence. Its demand generation is tailor-made for businesses looking to use its multi-channel marketing to increase brand awareness, connect, and educate decision makers within businesses to ultimately increase revenue.

On the same note, its use of technology ensures the avoidance of unnecessary marketing headcounts and, by utilising low-cost and effective marketing to automate 90% of manual processes, Bordeaux & Burgundy can guarantee the best services, allowing businesses to focus on what they need to do to raise funds and advance their products. Its design and content creation enables businesses to project their ideas and values onto their clients so that they may connect with them on a deeper level. With a concentrated lead-generation-focused website, it is entirely possible to attract more clients for the foreseeable future. Bordeaux & Burgundy does just that – it confirms connections between companies and clients so that they don’t have to worry about being lost in the masses of businesses all trying to express themselves to attract a larger client base.

By offering its recruitment and fundraising services, Bordeaux & Burgundy promises expansion and an increase in employees that will all expertly contribute to the revenue and presence of each business. With its ability to establish an in-house marketing team, Bordeaux & Burgundy makes sure that businesses don’t have to rely on agencies forever. Bordeaux & Burgundy believes that fundraising is usually overlooked by marketing agencies and does everything in its power to ensure investment networks and fundraising email campaigns benefit its clients.

Alfie Dawson is the Chief Executive Officer of Bordeaux & Burgundy and applies his knowledge from his previous roles as Head of Marketing which have resulted in several multi-million-dollar acquisitions. After starting the agency early last year, he has grown the business from a small creative agency to a full-service powerhouse with a global presence. This has been achieved through his devotion to generating results for his clients in all aspects of growth, creating a culture within Bordeaux & Burgundy where client success is the only influence on agency success. Alfie has the knowledge to propel any business in the right direction and his achievements are the reason for his status as Most Influential CEO, 2022 – London, United Kingdom. He shows no sign of slowing down as Bordeaux & Burgundy reaches new heights with its plans to open offices in APAC this year.

For business enquiries, contact Alfie Dawson from Bordeaux & Burgundy on their website – https://www.bordeauxandburgundy.co.uk/

The Company Building Its Way To Success

Over the course of six years, Tamear has risen significantly in the challenging construction market of Saudi Arabia. It has even blossomed into a successful business despite the market fluctuations that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, having sustained its strengths and positive cashflows. This is largely thanks to the contributions of the company’s current CEO, Mr. Mohammed Al Mymuni. As such, he has earned himself the title of Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Saudi Arabia – Join us as we explore his approach to business…

Spawning from a collaboration between Al Akaria, the first and the renowned Saudi-based real estate development company, and the Turkish company, Kaya Homes, Saudi real estate construction company, Tamear has overcome significant challenges since its formation in 2016. Due to organisational disruptions and market recession Tamear ran into significant financial crises including the unprecedented reversals in cashflows. However, in recent years, its recovery has been bolstered by the leadership of the company’s CEO, Mohammed Al Mymuni. Indeed, Tamear is now thriving and has since lent its expertise to multi-billion-riyal projects.

Tamear specialises in high-quality construction projects in both the residential and commercial sectors. From hotels to malls, and hospitals to homes, Tamear offers a bespoke service, resulting in unique and highly modern builds. Moreover, the company prides itself on providing a full service, spanning from the initial development of the concept to the finalisation of the project. As such, the company has cultivated an efficient global management team, which – through the usage of contemporary building techniques – allows the company to work on multiple projects at the same time. Further, it ensures that projects will be completed efficiently and cost effectively.  

Consequently, Tamear boasts an impressive clientele across Saudi Arabia, through which it contributes to nationally prestigious projects. This includes The Housing Program, an initiative launched in 2018 that aims to increase access to affordable and appropriate housing. In addition, Tamear contributed its expertise in the Red Sea Project – an iconic tourism project along the coastline. The first phase of the project is set to be completed by 2023, in which it will possess five developed islands and 16 hotels. On top of these, it has extended its cooperation with ROSHN, AMAALA, and many more.

After two turbulent years, the industry in Saudi Arabia is beginning to regain stability. Throughout the peak of the pandemic, the company found itself greatly impacted by a plethora of new challenges. A primary cause for concern was the dramatic increase in costs which was brought about by idle equipment, a lack of manpower, and extra preventive measures, such as daily employee screening, thermal reading, and facility management and sanitising requirements. Additionally, the acquisition of new materials and equipment was drastically reduced thanks to the introduction of social distancing guidelines and the subsequent supply chain disruptions.

Of course, a key element within the success of the company during this period was its highly talented and skilled team. Mohammed Al Mymuni believes that this can be attributed to, ‘team management and team contribution under the leadership of well-versed and qualified executive management.’ Additionally, Tamear has armed itself with a stringent recruitment process, within which it searches for the best hires for its business. Each team member is multi-skilled, maintaining a selection of sought-after traits, including dependability, flexibility, and a solid work ethic. Communication is key and, in turn, such traits guarantee efficacy.

Much of this approach has its roots within the leadership style of the CEO, Mohammed Al Mymuni. He comments that the ‘primary focus should revolve around developing and championing the organisation’s strategy,’ and that a ‘CEO must be decisive, engage for impact, adapt proactively, and deliver reliably.’

Prior to his current role, Al Mymuni enjoyed a brief stint as Tamear’s deputy CEO. Within such positions, he has been able to draw upon his experience as Al Akaria’s executive director, as well as his time as a project director, advisor, vice chairman. This is in addition to his engineering knowledge and leadership skills gained from multiple profitable global organisations by establishing new strategies and initiatives increasing revenues, growth in terms of business expansion, increasing profitability by building strategic partnerships, and making strategic business decisions with wide experience. As executive management, he has been a decision maker for national, international, public and private organisations in core establishment of PPP, sustainable development, building techniques, contracting and innovation in construction, affordable housing, projects and portfolios management, real estate development, business strategies, arbitration and international defence and aerospace with critical infrastructure.

An alum of the prestigious King Saud University, the CEO earned a BSc in Civil Engineering, and in 2001, he continued his education, gaining a master’s degree in Building Science and Technologies. From civil engineering to sustainable development, and project planning to construction, over the years, Mohammed Al Mymuni has garnered an extensive understanding of the industry.

His past has been filled with abundance, but does his future promise equal prosperity? The simple answer is yes, it does. There are numerous plans in the pipeline upon which he plans to capitalise in order to boost his own career. He is enacting tried and tested techniques, including setting specific, measurable career development goals, creating and implementing a career development plan, and keeping motivated at work.

On the whole, over the next year, Tamear will be basing its work around the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are numerous opportunities emerging and, as a direct consequence, Trading Economics predicts that GDP from construction in Saudi Arabia is expected to hit 30,084 SAR million by the end of this quarter. Benefiting from this boom, Tamear is in the process of implementing the new company strategy, which has been designed to instruct the company for the next three years. It will be implemented via a staggered approach informed by the ongoing changes caused by the global crisis.

For business enquiries, contact Mohammed Al Mymuni from Tamear – Saudi Real Estate Construction Company on their website – www.tamear.com.sa

The CEO That Works To Make A Difference

On behalf of clients in a variety of industries, Raya CX provides cutting-edge customer service. Indeed, it supplies a range of services offered under the guidance of the company’s experienced CEO, Ahmed Refky. Since his acquisition of the role, the company has grown from strength to strength, earning him the title of Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Cairo, Egypt.

Raya CX is a leading business process outsourcing and contact centre outsourcing provider that serves Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Indeed, it provides a diverse range of services that it is equipped to provide in 15 languages, including customer experience management, seat rental solutions, back-office, and digital services. The company has established its internationally renowned status through working with clients from around the globe – primarily working with Fortune 1000 companies in the EMEA region.

Established in 2001, Raya CX has accomplished a great amount within its two decades in business. By 2006, the company had grown to a point where it had to change location, allowing it to expand from 200 seats to a total capacity of 800. Moreover, it was this year that Raya CX acquired a 25% stake in the call centre company, C3 – in 2008 it would increase this stake to 85%. It would not be until 2016 that Raya CX would land on European soil. Its first European delivery centre opened in Warsaw, Poland, and enabled the company to entre a strategic partnership with a major European airline carrier.

In the current year, Raya CX is a thriving, internationally renowned company with facilities scattered across the globe. Much of this success is thanks to the company’s current CEO, Ahmed Refky, an experienced senior executive. Refky has had the privilege of working in multiple high-ranking positions, such as senior vice president, managing director, and managing partner roles. Utilising the experience that he has gained over the years, Refky has comitted himself to the growth of Raya CX – something that the company has seen a great amount of during his two years as the CEO.

Furthermore, Refky boasts an impressive track record within providing strategic vision and enterprise leadership, with these skills contributing to his knowledge surrounding sales and profitability. In essence, Refky is an innovative, passionate, and results-oriented leader, who maintains a strong capacity to counsel, coach, develop strategies, and, ultimately, lead teams to success.

Upon the Raya CX website, Refky is quoted as saying, ‘nothing compares to the feeling of having the ability to make a difference.’ This quote effectively summarises Refky’s approach to leadership – it is one that has been refined greatly over the years, however, its fundamental elements have remained the same.

Under his guidance, Raya CX is set to have an explosive year in 2022, reaching greater levels of success. Its strategy for this year is centred around the growth of the company, both in terms of its worldwide reach and its services. The company’s primary focus is its digital expansion – it endeavours to meet its clients wherever they are, including within the Metaverse. In addition, a significant portion of this year will be devoted to strengthening the current customer portfolio through improving performance and further increasing customer satisfaction.

For business enquiries, contact Mina Habib from Raya CX on their website – https://www.rayacx.com

Stress-Free Offshore Banking

CEO of globally-recognised offshore banking institution, SUISSE BANK, Wolfgang Zalauf is an accomplished financial advisor, offering expert advice and a broad spectrum of services to help businesses make informed decisions. Being the spearhead behind the success of SUISSE BANK, Wolfgang has been recognised by CEO Monthly as CEO of the Year 2021 – Bahrain, so we take a closer look at his career and what SUISSE BANK has to offer clients.

SUISSE BANK is a reputable offshore banking institution that provides a broad range of services including private and corporate banking, trade financing, cryptocurrency trading, and lucrative investment opportunities. Each service is delivered to individuals and businesses through a straightforward and seamless approach.

With offshore banking no longer being reserved for elites and top-tiered businesses, and with regulations having become more lenient, any individual or business that wants to secure and grow their wealth in a discreet manner now have the option to open an offshore bank account.

For those who are looking to open a private or corporate bank account with SUISSE BANK, they do not need to be present physically or get involved with complex documentation. With a digital KYC onboarding process, it takes just 30 minutes to open an account and get started. Also an interesting feature is the all-in-one wallet which makes it easier to access a wide range of services and benefits in a simple, fast and efficient manner.

Its e-wallet is multi-currency, with customers able to transact in three different currencies – GBP, EUR, and USD. They can have their own IBAN for all incoming and outgoing payments, and the wallet also supports third-party payments and four different languages to enable easier transactions. For high-performing customers, the bank provides high deposit and transaction limits. And most convenient of all, customers can access their account, make transactions, and check their balance from anywhere in the world via the web portal or mobile app.

Cryptocurrency trading services are also accessible, allowing customers to buy, sell, withdraw, deposit, and transfer crypto liquidation amounts to their digital account or debit card. This includes an exclusive debit card, powered by MasterCard, with high transaction limits, and customers can enjoy concierge lifestyle services, personalised travel service, DHL shipping worldwide, and much more.

For new investors, cryptocurrency is the latest fad – opening up possibilities for limitless trading and quick money. The easiest way of investing in cryptos is by trading, i.e., by buying and selling crypto coin such as bitcoin, dogecoin, Ethereum, etc. Cryptocurrency trading is performed via online exchanges that allow investors to open an account and start trading.

However, the market is highly volatile and choosing the right trading exchange is very important to ensure you can store and liquidate the cryptos seamlessly. There are several cryptocurrency platforms out there, although choosing one can be challenging, says SUISSE BANK CEO, Wolfgang Zulauf. The platforms should be compared in terms of exchange, storage liquidation, and other benefits.

SUISSE BANK itself is a trusted cryptocurrency trading platform that provides a simple and hassle-free experience in buying, selling, storing, withdrawing, depositing, and liquidating crypto coins into fiat. The convenience of trading is one of the most important factors to consider in crypto exchange.

Alongside that, security when trading digitally is ensured with SUISSE BANK, which provides high-end encryption and firewall security for all financial transactions and clients’ personal information. This gives customers peace of mind, knowing that their trading transactions are secure and confidential.

SUISSE BANK is led by Wolfgang Zulauf, an expert banker with decades of experience who specialises in offering bespoke private and corporate offshore banking services to global businesses. He is an accomplished financial advisor with rich industry knowledge to provide bespoke financial solutions.

Wolfgang has carved a strong foothold in the banking industry by offering a complete suite of banking and financial services under one roof, all tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses. He works to understand the type of business and their financial complexities, and then he will recommend suitable banking, investment and financial services that help meet their goals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so SUISSE BANK therefore offers services that are customised to each business’ needs.

Having begun his journey by working with various prestigious financial institutions in Moscow, London and the Middle East, Wolfgang was able to gain proficiency by managing top-tier offshore accounts and financial trading. Thus, he introduced the concept of the all-in-one e-wallet.

A good financial expert is one who continuously updates his knowledge and skills in line with market changes. So is Wolfgang Zulauf. His competitive edge lies in constantly adapting to the latest trends and updates occurring within the banking and finance industry, offering only the best solutions to clients.

From cryptocurrency trading to trade financing or investment portfolio, Wolfgang knows what is working with in the industry and what is not. Based on his expert knowledge, he provides advice to help his clients make informed decisions. This alongside excellent marketing skills and a broad network of industry professionals helps SUISSE BANK to deliver comprehensive financial services to global clients.

Ultimately, it is Wolfgang’s Zulauf’s innovativeness, results-driven approach, and expert consulting that makes him a trusted choice for businesses globally. With his expert advice, he has helped several businesses achieve growth in matters of banking and finance. He continues to expand his reach globally through a strong network of experience introducing agents, traders, brokers, and financial institutions, enabling SUISSE BANK to broaden its scope of service and continue providing an optimal experience to customers.

For business enquiries, contact Sussie Bank via email –[email protected] or on their website – www.suissebank.com

SUISSE BANK PLC
United Tower, Level 29
Building 316, Road 4609
Manama – Sea Front 346
Bahrain
T: +973 (0) 16 555 071
F: +973 (0) 16 555 001

Insights into the Modern Working World

Exemplary mind in his industry and dedicated innovator, Callum Denyer – the ‘CEO of the Year’ for 2021 in Bromley – has earned this title for his leadership position over Whyness UK. An AI empowered platform making it possible to use the insights of this technology to improve the working lives of employees across all manner of industry verticals, Whyness UK is looking forward to developing meaning and fulfilment in the lives of the contemporary workforce.

Whyness UK has made itself the ultimate career launchpad for the UK over the time that it has been in operation. Fundamentally, Whyness’ priority is to create an inspiring new business model for the future, in line with global societal change. With radical transformation required to protect the planet and those who live upon it, it wishes to be part of the positive change needed to make this happen, helping businesses to adapt and develop to thrive in the changing paradigm. In order to alter themselves to make this happen, Whyness understands how they must rethink their purpose and impact on the wider world; its efforts, therefore, are funnelled into helping them achieve this with diligence and empathy, supporting the growth of their employees.

Primarily, the role of business in modern society is changing as a whole. Gone are the classic office environments of the past, in favour of remote or hybrid working, and messaging that was effective prior to the pandemic has now been rendered totally obsolete. Pandemic notwithstanding, additional changes from political, geographical, legislative, and social developments can easily render a business in need of a serious pivot towards something new and uncharted. Therefore, Whyness wishes to maximise shareholder value in order to create shared value, believing that the future of the workforce in society in one that will be developed from these changing values, purposes, and impacts. However, in order for this to happen – both in the near future and further into the decade – there needs to be a reliable, tangible way to measure these concepts.

Whyness is pioneering solutions and models to empower individuals to uncover new, measurable insights about themselves, creating more fulfilling careers for the modern worker. Nominally, its world-first dedication to innovation prioritises the career progression and future pathways of the contemporary workforce, using advanced AI models in order to interpret an individual’s subconscious thoughts and behaviours when using the platform. This allows employers to get a better gauge of values, principles, and purpose, leading to more fulfilling careers that allow employers to tailor roles to what gets the most engaged response, resulting in an environment of fulfilling work and high-quality services.

All of this has been made possible by the drive and dedication of CEO Callum Denyer. In essence, his ambition with Whyness UK is in cultivating a better future for the professionals of the UK and beyond, using his status as a leader in technology, innovation, and strategy – as well as his history of developing and growing high-performing teams to deliver innovation solutions – to make himself a linchpin of enterprise. Proudly backed by Innovate UK, it is a recipient of the highly competitive SMART Grant, and it looks forward to bringing its technologically adept solutions to many more clients in the future.

For business enquiries, contact Callum Denyer from Whyness UK on their website – whyness.co.uk

Access All Areas

Migration consulting services company, LH Global, emerged in 2017 from the merger of two leading firms in the sector. Now, as a powerful business in its own right, LH Global is poised to take on the world. Winning CEO of the Year 2021 – London UK, CEO Ryan Henderson tells us more about how the firm has flourished under his watchful eye.

 LH Global is an international service provider with offices across China, Bhutan, Australia, and the United States, as well as the UK. The company predominantly focuses on migration for businesses and high net-worth individuals who are looking to establish themselves in UK territories.

With operational capability across Europe and Canada. Aside from immigration, it is very active in international education, providing bespoke tutoring and application services to families and students looking to access schools and/or universities and provide internships and training to older students or graduates who wish to be competitive in employment.

The company also boasts tourism and project acquisition departments and is able to assist western businesses in promoting themselves to the Chinese market through effective social media campaigns, boots-on-ground promotional activities, recruitment, and event management etc.

Ryan Henderson is LH Global’s Chief Executive Officer. He tells us, “Our goal is to stand out as a reliable, highly skilled firm which can assist our clients in-house with all of their needs,” Ryan explains. “Our four main business areas are designed to work hand-in-hand in providing services which we have learned are essential to relocating individuals, families or businesses. In doing so we can assure high quality support, convenience and reasonable cost.”

It is not unusual for LH Global’s client relationships to span years, and even generations, due to its boutique and individual-focused services and, whilst the firm is very active on various social media channels, its greatest source of new clients comes through word-of-mouth referrals.

“This I believe is a measure of our capability and success,” elaborates Ryan. “Our core values remain unchanged across our regions and teams and are shared by all colleagues from day one.” Ryan, who describes himself as ambitious and loyal, has his sights firmly set on LH Global’s victory through providing a high-quality, essential service.

Ryan knows that he is “a company man through-and-through.” He adds, “I am proud to be at the helm of a growing, close-knit and truly international organisation which smoothly operates between regions, regardless of national borders.” As a leader, Ryan has always gravitated towards a relatively laissez-faire style of leadership with the firm belief that, with the right people in place and a democratic environment in which each individual’s voice is heard, people will naturally flourish and find ways to reach their potential.

“I am proud of my core teams and expect them to know far more than I do about their areas of expertise,” he enthuses, referring to his staff as the “lifeblood” of the business. “I believe that my role is to inspire and I try to do this by impressing upon all of my colleagues, partners and clients our direction, ability, purpose and values.”

In stepping up to the role of global CEO, Ryan has experienced many challenges long the way, however the greatest is the company’s spread of time zones. “The sun truly never sets on LH Global and initially, trying to keep up with communications was daunting. Additionally, the curbing of international travel has been frustrating. I still haven’t visited many of our offices or met in person some of our newest partners. The learning opportunity provided by this though was learning how better to delegate authority and trusting people to know what to do when their CEO is seven hours behind you and fast asleep! For somebody who is used to leading from the front and being very hands-on, this has been an invaluable lesson which will stand me in good stead as we grow in our global footprint.”

Recently, LH Global has been assisting overseas businesses to establish a physical presence in the UK and the US and is looking to set up physical offices in at least three more countries over the next two years. It has concentrated its efforts on setting up businesses, obtaining visa sponsorship licences and managing recruitment of staff. It is also actively supporting the UK government’s kick-starter campaign, up-skilling young people who were claiming universal credit and preparing them for the workplace through a unique teacher training programme.

Having recently been awarded the prestigious accolade of CEO of the Year 2021 – London, Ryan has his sights firmly set on continuing to provide the same excellent service as the company moves onwards and upwards. Ryan concludes, “My aim is to basically remain dynamic and nimble in order to react to changes in borders, political-economic landscapes and the varying needs of our clients around the world. We are preparing to open new offices in new countries and cities which is both exciting and challenging in equal measures.”

For business enquiries, contact Ryan Henderson from LH Global on their website – www.lhglobal.co

App Innovators Secure Success

The power of good applications has allowed many businesses to thrive over the last few years, connecting with clients and building strong brand identity. The team at Zero Gravity set a new standard in this field, harnessing creativity and innovation to deliver exceptional services. The leadership of Tariq Al Hosani has been key to this growth, which is why he was named CEO of the Year, 2021 – the United Arab Emirates. We take a closer look to discover more about him and his incredible success.

Founded in 2015, Zero Gravity has pushed into new frontiers when it comes to inspiring its customers. As the world of IT and multimedia solutions becomes increasingly more important to businesses, they have grown and developed at an astonishing pace. With new opportunities in this market constantly appearing, it’s clear that their expansion will not be slowing any time soon.

Since opening their doors seven years ago, more than 100 successful applications have been launched by the team for a host of clients based both in the UAE and overseas. These apps are based on Android and iOS platforms and are specifically designed to engage their clients with potential customers. Zero Gravity then extended into the media field, establishing a team of experts from the UAE and across the world to create captivating tales to their audiences via traditional and digital media channels. Over the years, the firm has been entrusted with work from various private clients as well as many projects in the public sector including various collaborations with Abu Dhabi Government Department of Community Development, G42 for the UAE Genome Project.

To enable them to remain at the forefront of the technological and media developments driving this industry forward, the firm has partnered with esteemed international businesses such as Microsoft, IBM, and Siemens. The team at Zero Gravity also work closely with innovative young people who are just entering into the market. Their bold approach to the technology and media industry can revolutionise the way in which not just Zero Gravity operates, but the market as a whole. The team has often been able to upgrade these concepts into workable SMEs, and later market stars within the economy.

The theme of collaboration is one very close to the heart of CEO Tariq Al Hosani. The growth of this incredible company is due in no small part to his desire to ensure that his team are empowered to make the decisions that will serve their clients and their client’s customers to the highest possible standards. Over the years, he has established a team of specialists in the field, able to offer in-depth understanding to everyone of their stakeholders. For every project, no matter what the firm, a dedicated team is formed to deliver results of the highest standards. With web applications able to be found anywhere in the world, it’s vital to success that an international approach is maintained at all times.

This ability to trust employees to deliver runs through every part of the company. It pushes everyone in the business to become better professionals and to achieve breakthroughs that have never been considered before. Senior management has been trained to make as unbiased choices, with teammates explaining and discussing situations together to fix any issue that may arise. When everyone is pushing forward in this way, Tariq sees his job as providing everyone with the tools they need to develop and thrive.

The results of this strategic collaboration have been immensely positive for the Zero Gravity team, opening the doors to new ideas and fresh innovations in this rapidly evolving market. As employees feel comfortable enough to approach senior leadership, they are motivated to express new ideas that will optimize work for all. When looking to add new members to the team, Tariq seeks employees who will always do what’s right, who can adjust to ensure that projects are done on schedule, and who care about their clients by offering after-sales services.

As CEO, Tariq has had to oversee the transformation not only of Zero Gravity, but of how it slots into the digital revolution that is changing the UAE. Organizations of every size in both the private and public sectors can see the need to digitize their activities, and those that are already committed to this, such as Zero Gravity, have thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic. As companies begin to recover from this world-changing event, they have quickly seen the value in the services offered by the Zero Gravity team. Many new clients have turned to the team in need of apps which will allow users to perform services online more affordably and efficiently.

The growth of Zero Gravity, despite the various challenges of the last couple of years, is assured thanks to the astonishing leadership of Tariq. With a staff that is empowered and established, and a clientele that values their efforts, it’s clear that the firm is set on a path of growth. Zero Gravity is currently investing in various industries, with projects launched in the MENA region covering a host of different sectors. This includes the IT and media sector, health sector, agriculture, renewable energy, and banking to name a few. The breadth of demand showcases the need for the team to be constantly pushing forward.

The Zero Gravity team are also looking at the investment opportunities available in several African countries. With the team already working in a wealth of different sectors, there is enormous potential for the firm if it can be established in this new market. The business volume of this development is estimated at more than one billion dirhams, and it is expected that during the coming period, the volume of this business will increase. This is due to a host of new projects and the implementation of various investment projects in several African countries.

Leadership is not always about having the right answers. In fact, Tariq Al Hosani has found that his success has come from empowering others to find paths forward that have never been considered before. The success of Zero Gravity comes from an approach which steps back and trusts the team to deliver. The UAE is a place where opportunity is rife, and the technology and media sectors are constantly evolving. There is enormous potential for companies to thrive, and nowhere is that better shown than through the success of Zero Gravity.

For business enquiries, contact Tariq Al Hosani from Zero Gravity via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.0g.ae

The Success of An Ethical Global Brand

Although established and based in London, UK, Little Kickers Group is an international organisation that reaches around the world to support the development of pre-school children through football coaching. At the helm of this franchise is Group CEO Alan Kennedy who, since joining the team in 2018, has overseen the exceptional evolution of Little Kickers and consequently earnt himself recognition as CEO of the Year – United Kingdom.

Little Kickers Group has come a long way since it was conceived in London in 2002 by Christine Kelly, who had an idea to hold football coaching sessions for her two-year-old son, Lukas and his friends. Today, it is a global franchise spanning more than 30 countries with over 330 franchisees, all united by Christine’s founding mission: to create a fun pre-school learning environment centred around developing football skills.

Working with experts in child development and FA qualified football coaches, Christine has developed so much more than a football coaching session. Instead, it is a programme of learning designed to combat major social issues such as childhood obesity and

disinterest in group activities, while promoting important pre-school learning concepts such as colour and number recognition, sharing, following instructions and using creativity and imagination – all while having a kick about with friends!

Almost two decades after its inception, Little Kickers recognises the importance of continuously evolving to deliver the best and most relevant services to its clients. In 2018, Alan Kennedy was appointed Group CEO of the organisation, taking on the significant task of ensuring that Little Kickers’ network of franchisees, coaches and experts were operating at the highest standard, while still enjoying all the benefits of working with a global franchise.

Before joining Little Kickers, Alan had established himself as a competent and passionate Senior Director at Whitbread PLC, David Lloyd Leisure, Punch and Pets at Home, before joining The Prince’s Trust. His entry into the charity sector saw him, as CEO, set up Prince’s Trust International, a role that gained him a wealth of experience and expertise that would equip him for his position at Little Kickers, where he quickly got stuck into a programme of reform for the organisation.

However, Alan’s mission to enhance the business and its offering has certainly not gone unhindered, owing predominantly to the global Covid-19 pandemic that has dominated headlines for close to two years. Despite this, the business has demonstrated resilience and continued to thrive, recruiting 12 new franchisees in the UK in 2020 alone, while building an online presence to ensure continued engagement with its young football enthusiasts around the world. Moreover, the Little Kickers business model was designed in such a way that allowed franchisees to ‘turn off’ their classes easily throughout lockdown – thereby putting them in better shape for the return to normality when classes could resume safely.

As such, since lockdown has eased, UK franchisees have seen on average an increase of 40% in their income compared to the same period in 2019, performance that has been mirrored in the brand’s Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and Mexican markets. Indeed, despite lockdowns and restrictions still affecting business in many of its locations, Little Kickers remains set to enjoy a record-breaking year in 2021.

Consequently, Little Kickers franchisees are seeing significant benefits of being part of this international network, regardless of whether they have been a member for one year or ten. For example, Liz Oxley, who took on a franchise in the peak of the pandemic in March 2020 now has more than 130 children in her programme while Dave Homer, who took on a franchise in 2010, today has more than 1,300 children registered across three territories. Both agree that the support of Little Kickers is unparalleled, centred around its ‘business-in-a-box’ offering that includes a business administration system, communications hub, marketing system, customer facing website and dedicated support management, all easy to deploy for a successful business.

The greatest testament to the strength of the Little Kickers franchise however, is undoubtedly the lasting impacts it has on the children it works with. Research shows that children who engage with fun sports at an early age go onto maintain healthy lifestyles as they get older, resulting in better mental health and contributing to important social skills. To that end, Little Kickers is also striving to create a better world for these children to grow up, recognising that the cohort that attends its classes will be the ones most affected by climate change. 

“Our first pivotal step was to switch the fabric in the 120,000+ football strips we have produced each year from polyester to sea harvested ocean plastic,” Alan says. “We also opened a UK fulfilment so that we can send kits and other merchandise direct to our customers as opposed to via our franchisees in regional centres.” With other initiatives like using bio-degradable bags and a collaboration with the Sal’s Shoes Charity to enable the Little Kickers to send their outgrown uniforms to young footballers in developing countries. The group is really doing the most to create a better future. 

This continues to drive Christine, Alan and the award-winning Little Kickers franchise as it prepares to enter its third decade of operation, helping children around the world to get the best start in life.

For business enquiries, contact Alan Kennedy from Little Kickers Group on their website – https://www.littlekickers.co.uk/index.aspx

Eyes On the Prize

As one of the leading opticians in Germany, Pro Optik is dominating the market in more ways than one. Not only can it provide an unrivalled service in terms of its broad knowledge-base and expertise, coupled with its excellent client care, but it is also led by one of the most inspirational men of our time. We speak to CEO, Micha Siebenhandl to hear more about the company, its overwhelming success, and his refreshing leadership style as he wins CEO of the Year 2021 – Frankfurt, Germany.

Headquartered in Wendlingen, the Pro Optik group has more than 140 specialist shops throughout the country and, with more than 1,000 employees and many franchise partners, Pro Optik is the third largest optician in Germany.

Relying on active customer proximity and competent advice, Pro Optik offers an honest and trustworthy service at eye level, which runs throughout the entire business model. It offers all the top brands in eyewear at great prices, with offers that are uniquely priced and uncomplicated in the industry. In addition, customers can rely on being looked after by real experts and fully trained opticians, who lovingly handcraft each pair of glasses individually according to the unique needs of the customer.

The core team of the Pro Optik group is formed of 12 Head of Department experts who are closely coordinated in a matrix system and ensure across departments that the Pro Optik DNA is not only worked out, but also lived every day. At the helm, and overseeing all operations, is Chief Executive Officer, Micha Siebenhandl.

“As CEO, I have personally committed myself to providing a first-class service and aligned the entire corporate strategy and my team of managers accordingly,” explains Micha, commenting on his dedicated staff base. “Not only do the technical skills play a role in this company, but also the personalities of each team member, which were decoded through various psychological selection processes and now form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Micha has a long history and background of success, with his first role as CEO being one that he was personally headhunted for. Micha was approached by people who were looking for a motivated, empathetic and previously proven successful executive, and he fit the bill perfectly.

“It was there that I worked for the first time with a private equity company and worked there for more than 15 years as CEO,” he elaborates. “My mentor was the owner and founder of the company Al Berg, winner of the Blue Sky Award in New York, one of the greatest entrepreneurs I know. I learned a lot from him and I also benefited from it in my next jobs.”

It’s clear to see that Micha has a refreshing, yet tactical, approach to steering his company forward and his ongoing business strategy is focused on growth through sustainability and the continued offering of first class service to all customers. Micha is of the opinion that first class products and first class service, coupled with a motivated team, can bring and maintain long-term success, and it appears that this formula is working very well so far.

Pro Optik found itself in a rock-solid position during the Coronavirus pandemic having benefitted from the legal health regulations that allowed and enabled customers to continue shopping, with this being largely unhindered. Nevertheless, many customers were still reluctant to make a purchase.

“Covid didn’t destroy the need for glasses, it just pushed it into the future. Pro Optik has already positioned itself to make optimal use of this backlog after the epidemic crisis situation has subsided and to offer customers exactly the purchase experience that they had to do without for a long time,” Micha shares.

He sees a clear advantage in the appointment allocation implemented during the pandemic, in which his trained opticians could concentrate more on individual customer experiences, and the company has been able to provide its first class service better than ever before. “It was definitely the biggest challenge we have seen to date – having to steer the company through the Covid pandemic,” Micha continues. “However, we can now claim that we are one of the few companies to have successfully mastered the pandemic! I was able to learn crisis management and pandemic management right here.”

Having recently been recognised as the CEO of the Year 2021 in Frankfurt, Germany, in the Eco Monthly Awards, Micha is keen to sing the praises of his dedicated employees and highlight the fact that the company owes its success to them.

“No matter what awards we get, no matter how successful we are, it’s always the people behind it who make our success,” he states. “The best strategy and the largest investments and the most brilliant designers mean nothing if the people in the company don’t stand behind them and do their job with love. Without love for the job and the company, nothing will work. This is the only way for a company to be successful in the long term and sustainably. For this reason, it is particularly important for a manager to inspire and motivate his employees.”

On the other hand, Micha is truly motivated by his staff and customers. He tells us, “I love working with people, giving and showing them a clear goal and guiding and motivating these people,” he enthuses. “They should keep and contribute their values, their know-how, their creativity and their personality, but work together on a jointly defined goal.”

Moving forward, Micha now has big plans for the future of Pro Optik with a goal to not only expand the business but to spearhead digitisation in German retail by the year 2025.

“We plan to provide the customer with the best possible support when choosing glasses with a unique mixture of expert advice and future-oriented technology. In addition, Pro Optik will expand massively in the hearing aids market and establish itself as one of the leading providers throughout Germany. My plan is to improve every day, and every day I take on things that I can’t or can’t improve on and set them as goals,” he concludes.

The future looks great for Pro Optik as Micha continues to be the guiding hand for its every move.

For business enquiries, contact Micha Siebenhandl from Pro Optik Augenoptik Fachgeschäft GmbH on their website – www.prooptik.de

Connecting Kenya’s Medical Minds

Medsource Group Limited, led by the winner of the ‘CEO of the Year’ 2021 for Kenya, is a diligent and well-established company that is helping Kenya’s pharmaceutical infrastructure in becoming something globally competitive. Its easy to use, intuitive, and well-managed e-commerce platform is putting power back in the hands of medical professionals to make the best choices for their patients, and taking the pressure off of the patients by alleviating the need for elevated costs due to the disparate nature of some existing supply lines.

Led by exemplary mind in his industry, Vinod Guptan, Medsource Group Limited is a company bringing healthcare commodity supply chain to its region with diligence and tenacity. Fundamentally, it has seen the struggles that some of its peers in the medical sector have faced regarding getting the products to the people who need them, and so its goal is to better the entire ecosystem of this industry with last mile access to quality and affordable healthcare products for all. With East Africa’s healthcare market being estimated to be worth 4 billion dollars by 2020 – with a forecasted growth of 10-12% per annum between 2017 and 2030 – it is clear that this is a growing segment that just requires some additionally support to get it to reach that point of exponential development. Vinod himself is an incredibly talented and experienced senior manager, with several years of cross-functional experience behind him in the pharmaceutical and supply chain industry that makes him proficient in the leadership and management of teams across multiple business units such as sales management and business development.

Therefore, Medsource is one of the companies looking to help pivot Kenya towards a better future. With a focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain, it is bringing together what has become a fragmented and disparate element of the working ecosystem, with 70% of the market share covered by imports and only 30% by local manufacturing. Additionally, the distribution system is mainly multi-tiered, which puts the cost onto the patient. This is something that Medsource wishes to change, as having that burden of cost fall on the patient can be a serious preventative for patients getting the medicine they need, resulting in a market paradigm where only the well-off can receive the care they need.

Fortunately, Medsource has come prepared with an innovative response. Although it is aware that this system fragmentation has resulted in wider implications and issues such as an increase in falsified and substandard medicinal products, high supply chain costs, lack of product traceability, low technological acumen, lack of standardized process, and limited demand visibility, it flips the current trend in order to take a ‘last mile’ approach. In short, this pertains to its assurance that it will always work towards bettering accessibility as its core priority, meeting the needs of the most vulnerable populations in its region such as women of reproductive age, new-borns, children, and adolescents, being the guiding hand that makes sure they can get the care they need.

Creating a hustle-free supply chain is its passion and its mission, closing existing gaps of inequality and meeting the current market demand; it also takes pride in being a med-fin-tech company able to address gaps and challenges through a group purchasing model for pooled procurement, aggregating purchases from members and dispensers. Hence, Medsource can negotiate a better price and better discounts from its partnered manufacturers and distributors through the use of its digital e-commerce platform, training its dispensers through various capacity building programmes that allow them to build up their technical professional skills, good business management, book-keeping, and general good business practices without the need for years of strict training.

Additionally, it wishes to address the issue of the industry bottle-neck. Troublingly, in the pharmaceutical industry, there tends to be a lack of health financing and expensive working capital that the patient receives the bill for, and Medsource’s inventory financing product being powered by STANCHART technology is working hard to flip this on its head. With digital e-wallets, dissemination of the inventory financing, and reducing overhead costs, Medsource is able to streamline the additional charges and surcharges associated with pharmaceutical manufacture and distribution, benefitting the industry in the macro scale and the wallets of the patients.

This positive impact on the behaviour of the entire industry is what has secured Medsource’s reputation as an invaluable element in the sector, a linchpin uniting the disparate elements of Africa’s pharmaceutical industry and bringing them together in order to create a more united, cohesive, and technologically adept ecosystem that is prepared to take on the future. After all, with the modern medical challenges in mind, unity amongst medical professionals is more important than ever. By trading through its user intuitive and accessible platform, Medsource members have the advantage of increased savings to the tune of up to 24% depending on the product in question, the company having penetrated 81% of the counties in Kenya with a reach of over 600 members, 1,500 trained professionals, and an annual patient reach of 5 million.

Its range of over 15,000 products is another element that sets it in good stead with its market segment. It is aware that many medical complaints will require highly specific drugs and treatment in order to encourage good recovery, and so it strives to stock only the best of the best, and a wide variety of this so that a medical professional has the pick of what will be the most effective when it comes to deciding on a prescription. MedSource also boasts 5 decades of globally enriched experience in making this a possibility, having worked hard to set up a niche in its environment that it would not only excel in, but be able to grow even further into.

Its team are strong, capable, and qualified, providing the utmost transparency and helpfulness to clients so that they can always offer their clients the best products, best customer service, and guaranteed quality. Moreover, with Medsource’s inventory finance way of working, its capital solution, its direct distributor payment system set up through its platform, and its streamlining of the value chain with both digital wallets and credit limits, it has made itself the way forward for the medical distributions industry in order to allow Kenya – and Africa in the bigger picture – to step forward confidently into a fast-changing new epoch that is putting more and more emphasis on the importance of technology for business and communication.

For business enquiries, contact Medsource Group Limited on their website – https://medsource-group.com/

A New Frontier for Integrated Automotive Safety

As the ‘CEO of the Year’ in 2021 for Italy, Giovanni Blandina’s company, Easyrain, has made a name for itself as a company with an innovative solution and no direct competition. Truly, Easyrain has conquered a niche that needed filling in Europe – where so many car crashes are the result of vehicles losing traction on wet roads – in order to offer its anti-aquaplaning and hardware-focused solution to car manufacturers, allowing them to take better care of their end customers as a direct result.

Easyrain, based in Rivoli, is an SME in the field of vehicle safety. Fundamentally, it develops active systems – named AIS and DAI – aimed at improving road safety on wet roads and circumstances where clients are driving on surfaces with little to no traction on the road, reducing fatalities and accidents as a result. This dedication to making vehicles smarter allows Easyrain to improve the quality of road safety. Of course, this goal is something that its clients vastly appreciate, and it keeps on eye on the Annual Accident Reports or ERSO based on the Community database of CARE in order to keep track of accidents or deaths that resulted from car accidents in Europe, which on average represent 9.4% of all fatalities.

The US FHA also grants it access to numbers about weather’ impact on traffic and safety specifically. On average, covering a period from 2007-2016, 21% of the recorded crashes were weather related, occurring during wet pavement or heavy rainfall during which the car cannot gain enough grip on the ground, resulting in aquaplaning and skidding that renders ABS and ESP effectively useless. This is where AIS and DAI step up to help. Critically, led by the ambition and diligence of CEO Giovanni Blandina, this company’s dedication to the clients and to its staff has cultivated a stellar growth environment, born from the CEO’s own commitment to creating an ecosystem in which each of his team members can reach their fullest potential.

Therefore, his leadership style is one of training, learning, and growth, forever working with his staff to create the next big innovation in improving road safety. It approaches its clients through its network of consultants or at events, talking to them about the reasons it is so invested in its work and sharing its passion with them over selling any one product to them. This is what has made it a favourite in its industry, with many of its clients coming abord after hearing the passion behind the company’s operations, developing specific hardware to contrast and prevent aquaplaning that has no direct competitor on the market.

Invested in ensuring the ethics of the company are unimpeachable, Giovanni Blandina leads Easyrain by example, guiding the company in integrating itself with the challenges of the wider industry in order to make itself the solution with a start-up spirit and a growth mindset. Thus, despite the challenges presented to it by Covid-19 supply issues, delays, and setbacks, it received positive results in 2021 and is looking forward to seeing its current growth pattern continuing in 2022, developing a smaller, lighter version of the AIS system that will be revealed in the summer and continuing to improve each and every one of its solutions.

For business enquiries, contact Paolo Fina from Easyrain via their website – easyrain.it

Safety In Numbers

With a goal to deliver tangible savings for employers and modernize needed benefits for employees with high expectation, Safe Harbor Health guarantees immediate measurable financial savings for all. We find out more from Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Mike Murray… named CEO of the Year 2021 – Boston MA, USA.

The TOTAL Wellness Program offered by Safe Harbor Health is a voluntary employee benefit program also known as “WIMPER” a Wellness Integrated Medical Plan Expense Reimbursement. This preventive care, mental health, and chronic disease management program offers digital care solutions, available through an app on your smart phone, that can be implemented alongside any health plan to help both employers and employees save money on healthcare expenses and taxes virtually instantly.

Exploring the program extensively, it’s clear to see the benefits that this program can bring to both employers and employees.

By helping employees prioritize physical, mental, and emotional health, the TOTAL Wellness Program profoundly improves employee satisfaction, recruiting, and retention. The TOTAL Wellness Program averages a 77% participation rate.

Employers that implement the TOTAL Wellness Program save an average of $523 per participant per year in FICA Taxes. Participating employees save an average of $150 per month in FICA taxes by agreeing to participate in the plan. Employees can then use this $1,800 per year tax saving to add additional employee benefits of their choice, with no change in their take home pay.

Employees can also enjoy complimentary digital medical services via the dedicated app that saves them money on things from health products to eliminating large hospital bills while improving overall health. Employers can lower claims through improved wellness of their group and increased data collection, stand-alone RX programs and affordable care locators.

Overall, Safe Harbor groups and members can reduce healthcare spending significantly, which can make a noticeable difference in someone’s life.

Mike Murray is the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Harbor Health and he told us more about the company through his eyes. Mike emphasized the importance of building a strong and dedicated team that he can trust and rely on.

“From a leadership point of view, I find that it’s important to know and be able to jump in at any level. To be able to complete tasks that you ask others to do,” he begins. “Understanding that everyone has strengths and to focus on those strengths while understanding where their talent lies and to focus their attention there helps. Delegating tasks to people who can complete the assignment means I can focus my attention on the research that will make us grow rather than trying to do everything myself.”

Mike co-founded Safe Harbor Health in January 2019 along with Ryan Herlin. Both men are award-winning insurance professionals from the Boston area and have been serving the healthcare needs of businesses of all sizes nationwide for more than 30 years combined.

The company caters to clients who fall into the medium to large employer group bracket. It reaches these clients largely by connecting with insurance brokers and financial advisors who are actively pursuing the same clientele. However, the firm’s clear differentiator is the generous savings that can be acquired from implementing the Total Wellness Program.

“This is why brokers and advisors see so much value in bringing our program to their clients, it gives them the opportunity to show employees products they really want, and the tax savings makes their offerings virtually free to the employee,” Mike says.

The team at Safe Harbor Health is a tight-knit unit which meets often and makes decisions together, based on everyone’s unique perspective. “No one has all the answers so having a solid team is critical,” Mike elaborates. “Almost anything can be taught but if I had to pick the qualities we look for it would be integrity and work ethic. We have a lot of fun together but we get things done and I believe that’s part of our success.”

Like any other company, there are challenges and obstacles which have to be faced from time to time, and Safe Harbor Health is no different. One particular challenge for the company and the team is introducing a system that hasn’t been seen before, except in small trials over the last few years. Even though some are reluctant to change, Mike has experienced continuous opportunities as Safe Harbor Health becomes more well known.

Mike shares, “There are always things that can make our business grow if we just stop and evaluate the track you’re on and where you need to go. We have a macro vision for our company, but in the short term, our goal is to scale the program more aggressively with a national campaign.”

Recently, Mike was recognised by CEO Monthly for his involvement with the company, being awarded the eminent title of CEO of the Year 2021 – Boston Massachusetts. “We have exciting plans to enhance the value proposition of Safe Harbor Health Mike says, when a company liberates its creative power, that’s when it becomes limitless.”

We look forward to seeing what he does next.

For business enquiries, contact Mike Murray from Safe Harbor Health on their website – www.safeharborsavings.com

Giants Of Construction

When looking at PERI USA, you might see a large contractor able to offer a wealth of different building solutions. Under the hood, however, is a modern family company designed to provide the ultimate in service at all times. For the last two years, Strydom Groenewald has been CEO of PERI USA, earning the title of CEO of the Year, 2021 – Illinois, the USA in CEO Monthly. We dig a little deeper into the company he runs to uncover the secrets of his success.

Formed in 1969, PERI USA has made a name for itself over the last fifty years as a thriving market leader when it comes to providing formwork and scaffolding systems. With these essential parts of the construction business at the heart of what the team do, it’s clear that their quality must be of the highest standards to secure their continuing success. Over the years, the firm has changed and evolved, but the commitment to high standards remains at the forefront of every decision.

As a family-run firm entering the second generation, it’s clear that none of the passion that started the business off has faded. Still pioneering new techniques and methods of formwork and scaffolding, it’s easy to see why so many continue to turn to this talented team for their exceptional products. The trust that has been developed over the last few decades lies at the heart of many customer relationships.

Leading the way forward for the last few years has been Strydom Groenewald, a man who has spent nearly fifteen years working his way through the business. From humble beginnings as a branch manager in South Africa, Mr Groenewald has risen through the ranks to become regional director, vice president, and finally CEO in the USA. This deep dive into the way in which the business runs means that he understands every part intimately, and makes decisions based on what is best specifically for the business at hand. Through the pandemic, this close connection with the firm has allowed him to guide it through often difficult times.

The projects that the team have been involved with have often benefitted from their proprietary systems. In a project at 1200 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA, the team’s GRIDFLEX Grid Element Slab Formwork, Uniportal and LPS Lightweight Climbing Enclosure systems were used to ensure the ultimate in safety and in efficiency. Working in partnership with the various stakeholders on the project, the team were able to maintain the high standards set by the contractor, and continue a long run of impressive work within the New York market.

The success of PERI USA has been well-established by good working patterns and a commitment to the highest standards, but maintaining these habits has proven to be key to the firm’s success. Under the leadership of Mr Groenwald, PERI USA has gone from strength to strength, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s certainly is something to celebrate.

For business enquiries, contact Bernadette Pearson from PERI USA via email – [email protected]

Medical Marvels Secure Success

When it comes to transport within the healthcare industry, there are few services finer than ERS Medical. Their incredible team supports over 250 NHS Orgnaisations, freeing frontline NHS staff to provide vital healthcare transportation at all times. Their CEO, Andrew Pooley, has guided them through troubling times and in CEO Monthly, he has won the award for CEO of the Year, 2021 – United Kingdom. We take a closer look to discover how.

ERS Medical is now one of the most successful medical transport organisations in the UK, employing 1,200 colleagues across 25 sites to provide the ultimate in private healthcare transportation. For over a quarter of a million patients every year, ERS Medical is a vital link in the healthcare chain that gets them where they need to be. Their mission to provide a reliable, caring service that puts people at the heart of what they do sounds simple enough, but it wasn’t always like this.

When current CEO Andrew Pooley arrived at ERS Medical, it was a very different organisation. Having left his position in the Army Reserves in 2013, he had built his name as a force to be reckoned with when it came to successfully mobilising and improving large, complex healthcare services. The bureaucracy of healthcare systems has halted the progress of many over the years, but Mr. Pooley was not deterred. In 2016, he joined the board of First Care Ambulance Ltd as the Operations Director where he oversaw rapid expansion, increased revenue and raised standards so that the business could achieve a good CQC rating in less than 18 months. The business model was one which was focused on quality, compliance and scalability, all within a heavily regulated sector.

In 2017, Mr. Pooley had gained enough experience in all aspects of the healthcare sector to lead a complex acquisition bid for the trade and assets of ERS Medical alongside his fellow First Care Ambulance directors. ERS Medical was far from a success at this time, incurring significant losses and failing to live up to expectations. Over a period of six months, the team used the business model developed at First Care Ambulance to transform the fortunes of ERS medical. Over 850 staff, the premises and assets were transitioned to a new business, ERS Transition Ltd (still trading as ERS Medical), which formed the basis of the firm’s current success.

As CEO of ERS Medical, Mr. Pooley has been able to watch the fledgling organisation fly. Much of his approach is inspired by the skills acquired through his military training and this has proven to be vital to his success as a leader and manager. The clear vision, complete with annual missions and tasks, company values and comms plan, alongside a detailed ‘Directive’, have been vital to ensuring everyone in the company is working on the same page, and towards the same aims.

This strategy is a part of the implementation of a large Mission Leadership model. This empowers managers at all levels to creatively solve problems within a senior manager’s intent. It provides an integrated way of working within a clear framework. Through freeing people to think for themselves and find solutions, ERS Medical has become an agile business which makes decisions and is led by the operations team. Every part of the service is built around ensuring that the ambulance crews can do their job as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Thanks to incredible leadership from the top of the organisation, ERS Medical has gained a reputation that is unparalleled within the industry. The team’s vital services are used across both primary and secondary care. The patient transport service, for example, can pick up patients from hospitals and take them home or to a hospital or an alternative place of secondary care. Similarly, the team’s medical courier service can distribute medicines and vaccines to GP Practices and pharmacies as well as collecting pathology samples and transport them to a hospital lab.

During these most difficult of times, particularly for the NHS, the ERS Medical team have gone above and beyond to support their customers. No matter what the challenge, the team have been proud to adapt to changing needs at remarkable pace with an openness that reflects their determination. As this national institution was knocked by waves of COVID-19, the ERS Medical steam made it their mission to help the wider sector transport patients suspected of or positive with COVID-19. More recently, the team have played an essential role in the regional roll out of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the North and South of England. Today, hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine have been safely delivered thanks to their care and ability.

The last eighteen months have been difficult for all in the healthcare industry, with numerous challenges both for the operation of the company and for maintaining morale in a pandemic. To support them, Mr. Pooley has overseen the expansion of internal support mechanisms for colleagues so they can access our Employee Assistance Programme and the services they provide. The firm has established and trained Mental Health First Aiders at our sites and regularly roll out Mental Health First Aid training to all managers, so they are better equipped to recognise and support with the first signs of stress as well.

Looking forward, it’s clear that ERS Medical is well on the way to becoming one of the leading health and social care providers in the UK. There are many different projects on the horizon in every part of the business, including the debut of the firm’s first electric ambuance in 2021 which will kickstart a green revolution within the business. These zero emissions vehicles save over 12,000kg CO2 per annum, when compared to a diesel vehicle equivalent driving 30,000 miles per annum. It goes a long way to aligning and supporting the way that the business works with the NHS’s Net Zero targets.

When looking at the transformation of ERS Medical, it’s hard not to credit Mr. Pooley with an astonishing amount of foresight which empowered a team to thrive through even the most challenging of circumstances. With their offering being a vital part of numerous NHS organisations, the failure of this company could have been a disaster. Under his leadership, however, ERS Medical has been completed regenerated. It is a formidable force to be reckoned with and one which reflects the tenacity, adaptability and the ambition of its CEO.

For business enquiries, contact Andrew Pooley from ERS Medical via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.ersmedical.co.uk

Down to Earth Cloud Based Solutions

As a company, Performive has been lauded as one of the best and fastest growing technological firms in Atlanta. Over time, it has proven the efficacy and client-focused exemplary service that has made this possible at every turn, all led by the CEO and co-founder Gary Simat. Last year, Gary was accredited with the title of ‘CEO of the Year, 2021’ for Georgia, and is excited to go on to use this, pulling his company, his clients, and his industry in the macro scale towards even greater success by supporting his customers and staff with his signature innovative flair.

Performive is a company run by exemplary mind in his field and professional, Gary Simat. As CEO and Co-Founder, he wears many hats within the company, and has been critical in helping it to become the secure, managed, multi-cloud service provider that it is today, one that is trusted by clients in all areas of the mid-market customer base. Based in Georgia, Gary began taking Performive on its journey towards its current success in 2005, building his team from the ground up – a team that today has a total of 100 staff members and operates across 20 Global Locations – in order to deliver secure, cloud solutions with world-class engineering, and exemplary customer service. Fundamentally, Performive has garnered such good will amongst its clients with the attentiveness and diligence of its staff, the hard work of whom allow it to offer on-demand engineering assistance.

Additionally, Performive features secure VMware-based solutions through this cloud-based software. Each of its services, the majority of which are sold to mid-sized businesses looking for enterprise-grade solutions that will support the expansions they’re trying to make, have earned it significant notoriety over the years, resulting in the attainment of several accolades and awards such as the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s ‘Pace Setter Award’, earned due to the rapid and sustainable growth it managed to achieve within such a short space of time. This allowed it to springboard on to bigger and better things, using its position as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the metro area – a designation it retained during 2018, 2019, and 2020 – it even earned itself a spot in Inc Magazine’s 5000 list, rating the most prestigiously ranked fastest growing companies in the nation.

As a leader, Gary is well-versed in everything about his business, his industry, and the future of both; having earned an in-depth knowledge of the best practices when it comes to running cutting-edge data centres, he has optimized his firm and headquarters for peak global network performance and cloud operations. Furthermore, due to being an entrepreneur at heart, his dedication to continually growing, developing, and changing fuels the passion of the rest of the staff. Each member of his team benefit from his consistent drive and are inspired by his dedication to helping up-and-coming companies to ascertain, incorporate, and utilise the tools they need in order to reach the next milestones they need to hit, ensuring this company’s goal of making the global corporate world a more efficient place is being worked towards.

In this way, he also gives back to Atlanta’s start-up scene by being active in Atlanta’s Tech Village, participating in local hackathons and forums organised by the Cape Coral Technical College. Having featured in Forbes for his efforts in business, engineering, and leadership, he prides himself on having a leadership style that adapts to the needs of his team, the market, and the industry, always offering training and upskilling that will allow the staff to remain competitive in their own rights within the technological sector. Thus, its team are self-motivated, technologically minded, and thrive in resolving challenges for customers, each of them having pulled together more than ever over the past year in order to muscle through the pandemic and come out ready to be a cornerstone element of a changing world.

For business enquiries, contact Gary Simat from Performive on their website – performive.com

Families Of The Future

Building a family is no easy feat, even in today’s modern world. For the team at ARC® Fertility, the aim has always been to help people through this challenging process with compassionate care. The firm’s CEO, David Adamson MD has been justly named CEO of the Year, 2021 – California, the USA for leading the team to their current success. We take a closer look at the business to discover more.

For nearly 25 years, the team at ARC® Fertility have been leading the way when it comes to providing comprehensive care through the challenging and complex field of fertility. For many, a family is all they want and this is a team that has a proven track record of excellence when it comes to providing the quality care and emotional support that is essential during these difficult times.

The ARC® Fertility team’s services have long been at the forefront of the direct-to-consumer market. Much of the team’s work is with mid-market sized companies, but they have developed the flexibility to serve customers of any size if required. Employers, and their employees, have found great satisfaction in the team’s ability to provide a comprehensive care navigation platform that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the individual. Using the latest digital technology, the team have developed an inclusive and integrated journey for anyone to use.

The program is designed for everyone, with inclusivity at its core. Couples, singles and those who are LGBTQ+ have all found immense value in what the team has to offer. This is because the evidence-based educational material is delivered via Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled chat, website, digital apps and tools, as well as personal communication with ARC’s concierge care navigators. Mixing together the talents of professionals and the latest technologies has been key to securing the team’s success in recent years as the business has grown in size.

This growth is built not on purely entrepreneurial lines, but on the scientific expertise of the CEO, Mr. Adamson. Mr Adamson is a Clinical Professor at Stanford University and University of California San Francisco, with over 300 scientific publications to his name. When ARC® Fertility was founded in 1997, he wanted to increase access to fertility care to all. Building on his deep knowledge of the industry, the result has been a team that encompasses the largest, most established and vetted selective national network of boarded reproductive endocrinologists. Each has committed to following national practice and ethics guidelines. For them, the ultimate is care provision is their foremost priority.

Over the years, and under Mr. Adamson’s guidance, ARC® Fertility has grown into an incredible resource for employers who need access to this specialist medical care. The team’s approach is incredibly affordable, offering savings of at least 25% over other programs. These savings have not impacted the incredible achievements of the team, with evidence-based care provided by selected physicians provided at all times. Needless to say, their NPS of 89 is no surprise and the team’s clinical outcomes reflect the high standards of all involved.

This remarkable achievement is due, in no small part, to the talented team that Mr. Adamson has assembled at every level. To hiring the right people, train them and ensure they have the necessary resources to be successful is no mean feat, but one which has proven vital to the team’s continued success. One of the attributes that Mr. Adamson has instilled in his team is the value of working independently, bringing unique value to the team while also collaborating effectively with everyone else. As a leader, this has ensured that everyone is engaged with ensuring that the best results are achieved throughout the company.

This ability to adapt to the needs of the workforce was challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic, with infertility and fertility care services shut down for several months. While restrictions remain, the industry has started up once more, leveraging the incredible digital solutions that have become commonplace over the last couple of years. For employees, the importance of family building has become even clearer over the last few months and more attention than ever before has been placed on the benefits that organizations such as ARC® Fertility bring.

For many employers, fertility treatments run the risk of multiple pregnancies, which is why they have not instituted fertility benefits. The package design from ARC® Fertility includes an additional embryo transfer in each package. This encourages two embryo transfers of one embryo each, rather than one transfer with multiple embryos. As a result, ARC clinics are recorded as having a lower multiple pregnancy rate relative to non-ARC clinics.

With many different companies currently entering the fertility sector, it’s little wonder that the team has encountered a range of new providers that have significantly more funding. Mr. Adamson has reacted proactively to these new challengers, taking on more responsibility for aspects of execution, whilst delegating to appropriate members of the team who have more expertise. The aforementioned increased interest in family building has allowed the team to develop their employer family building benefits program to unprecedented levels.

The success of ARC® Fertility has allowed the team to help tens of thousands of people to build their families. It is a success built on the vision and ideals of Mr. Adamson who has always managed to maintain the highest of standards no matter how large the company has gotten. With future expansion in his sights, it’s clear that he is not slowing down at all. His leading role is likely to be crucial to the ARC® Fertility team holding their position at the forefront of what the industry has to offer.

For business enquiries, contact David Adamson, MD from ARC® Fertility via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.arcfertility.com

Reconnection and Resilience

Snowland Journeys CIC is a non-profit organisation which supports the wellbeing and welfare of Nepal’s High Himalayan children; helping them reconnect and maintain contact with their mountain families and culture, alongside their right to education. It also aims to develop ecological, self-sustainable and environmentally-friendly livelihoods for mountain communities. In parallel, the organisation provides mental wellbeing and resilience training for young people in the UK.

In light of Snowland Journeys CEO, Zara Balfour being recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021 – London, UK, we take a closer look at the incredible work of the organisation.

There are presently no schools offering a consistent education in the Upper Dolpo region of Nepal and no qualified teachers are willing to live in such remote areas, so some children must be educated in the city of Kathmandu, in the hope that education will give them a better life. Due to the remoteness of the villages, the children are unable to see or speak to their parents for 10-12 years, until they graduate from school and have the chance to return home.

Snowland Journeys’ reintegration programme prepares these children to return home, equipping them both physically and emotionally for the reunion, then guiding them on the long journey home, which involves up to three weeks of hiking through the mountains. Some of the passes they have to cross are as high as Everest base camp.

Prior to their departure, Snowland Journeys delivers therapeutic sessions in the outdoors, where the young people are equipped with life skills, given outdoor and resilience education, taught about their village culture and local dialect, and prepared for reintegration with their families. Further personal and social development is included the programme as well as psychological and emotional support from local social workers for both the young people and their families, supporting their wellbeing and helping them to reintegrate successfully and build lasting bonds into the future.

The organisation also supports the young people after their family reunion as they return to the city for higher education, and as they transition to independent living as adults. Graduates prove the success of the programme as recent beneficiaries have trained to be doctors, trekking guides, teachers, and business entrepreneurs developing the production of local crafts for selling.

Snowland Journeys is now working towards helping to improve the children’s contact with their families over time with the use of technology, such as satellite phones and video calls. Their long-term objective is to enable ecological self-sustaining mountain villages to support improved communication, sanitation, agriculture, and transportation so that future Himalayan children from this region can be educated nearer family, in line with the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals, therefore supporting sustainable development, welfare, and livelihoods for these communities.

CEO, Zara Balfour and her team have been supporting these young people to travel to their mountain homes upon graduation since 2014 through the proceeds of their documentary film, ‘Children of the Snow Land’, and it was in 2019 that Zara formed Snowland Journeys CIC to develop a comprehensive reintegration programme. However, this saw its challenges with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a very difficult time for starting a non-profit organisation.

Zara said, “It demanded a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, adapting our strategies for the last two years, and working much more than expected in the UK marketplace by offering outdoor events and lessons to schools based on our film. Overall, I’m really pleased we’re now in a position to offer mental wellbeing support for young people in the UK, as well as educational lessons, and fun weekend immersions in Nepali and Gurkha culture.”

But the most tragic thing during the pandemic was that some of the young people in Nepal were unable to return home to their families in 2020 or 2021, as travel was halted from the city to the mountains due to the lockdowns that were in place. However, Snowland Journeys is now looking forward to sending those children home when they next have a break in their higher education.

Overall, Zara is “very happy” at Snowland Journeys, with plans to keep building programmes in order to make more of an impact locally and globally. She and her team will continue to fundraise in the form of treks to remote areas of Nepal, cultural weekends in the UK, wilderness training, mental wellbeing training, and educational resources for schools.

Also, Snowland Journeys is now keen to increase its corporate partnerships. The organisation has a variety of rewarding ways that companies can work with it to effect social change, infuse purpose into their culture and improve employee wellbeing while supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Snowland Journeys offers well-defined, high-impact projects that connect employees with CSR initiatives they truly believe in and that can genuinely make a difference.

For business enquiries, contact Zara Balfour from Snowland Journeys CIC via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.snowlandjourneys.com

Turning The Tide To Success!

The world of digital services has become essential to many businesses, but many do not have the resources to manage this change themselves. The rise of digital managed services providers has become commonplace, but only the best will survive. We take a look at Don Iro, CEO of Allteks, following his triumph as CEO of the Year, 2021 – Exton, the United Kingdom to find out more.

Launched in 2000, Allteks is a digital managed services provider which has been an invaluable resource to businesses across the UK and beyond. Since those humble beginnings, the Allteks group has grown to include Allteks ltd, Absols ltd (Both providers of IT services) and Hamilton Berkeley Ltd, a digital consultancy practice. With a range of clients in the public and private sectors, it’s little wonder that the team has been able to achieve such amazing success.

This success has been due, in no small part, to the tireless efforts of Don Iro. For the last two years, he has guided Allteks to new and greater heights. At the heart of his management style is a trust in the team he has built which allows him to lead from the back, while intervening where necessary. During an incredibly challenging time, he has managed to inspire the staff to thrive both personally and professionally, focusing on what makes them strong and sets them apart.

All members of staff are hired for their character and trained afterwards with the skills they need. It’s possible to prepare people for the digital age, but it’s not possible to alter their attitude. Through this careful approach, the team have developed an incredibly positive culture that pervades every project that the team undertakes. The strength of this management model can be seen most clearly through the way in which Allteks has continued to flourish during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Needless to say, leading an SME during these unprecedented times has not been easy, but difficult times provide the opportunity for us to prove ourselves. From those first, nervous days, Mr. Iro made the decision that Allteks would be there for their employees that they would be secure no matter what, and that they would also be there for customers. In times of great uncertainty, providing this secure base on which to build was an incredibly important decision.

During his tenure, Mr. Iro has made it his mission to focus the talents of his incredible team on the needs of the market. By developing existing relationships, the Allteks team have been able to leverage one of their greatest resources. In the world of digital, solutions are binary in nature. You either get results or you don’t. As partners with their clients who take the time to invest in what they want from a project, Allteks has gained a reputation that is unmatched throughout the industry.

Looking ahead, Mr. Iro has developed an organisation which is well on the way to becoming the digital partner of choice for many. By differentiating the Allteks Group’s offerings, growing through a service mindset and acquiring appropriate businesses, the team have been able to achieve great things. With such solid foundations under their feet, 2022 offers the chance for this remarkable organisation to thrive anew.

For business enquiries, contact Don Iro from Allteks via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.allteks.co.uk

One Year On As a Startup: 5 Powerful Lessons Every Entrepreneur Must Know

The number of new businesses across the UK have increased by 60% in the last 2 decades and new research shows that this trend isn’t stopping there – the number of new businesses launched in the UK at the start of 2022 have increased by 20% since the pandemic.

There’s no doubt that a global pandemic has sparked entrepreneurial spirit across the UK. Over the last 12 months, online searches for business start-ups have surged across the country:

  • 90% increase in online searches on Google for ‘business startup ideas’
  • 50% increase in online searches on Google for ‘business startup costs’
  • 23% increase in online searches on Google for ‘startup up a business’

However, starting a business is never easy – especially during a pandemic. In July 2021, brothers, Chris and Will Donnelly founded Lottie – a care home marketplace – aimed to transform the later life sector. Now valued at £45million and exactly one year on, the brothers have shared the powerful business lessons they learned during their time as a start-up.

“Over the last year, Lottie has gone from strength to strength: growing and dominating the later life sector, challenging the status quo of the long-standing care industry and helping thousands of families across England,” shares Co-Founder Will Donnelly.

“The care sector was heavily impacted by the pandemic, which made our mission to drive positive change that bit harder. One year on, Lottie is already driving positive change in the elderly care sector, but it wasn’t without a struggle. That’s why I’m keen to share the key lessons we’ve learned with entrepreneurs and the business community, so others can learn from our mistakes.”

Co-Founder Chris Donnelly also agrees: “Our achievements with Lottie haven’t come without challenges. From breaking through fierce competition in a saturated market to making Lottie a trusted and respected brand name, we’ve learnt a lot on the way. Lottie is fast becoming an industry leader and driver of change, and we’re fortunate to have stayed true to our mission to elevate later life”.

Here are 5 lessons to learn from a start-up during lockdown, according to Lottie’s Co-Founders Chris and Will Donnelly:

1. Start early and start with a purpose

When starting your own business, it’s important to begin early and to always have a purpose behind every decision you make – this has helped grow our success over the last year.

Lottie was born from our own personal struggles to find suitable care for our own family members, which drove our mission to transform the elderly care sector. Combined with Will’s expertise in later life, this purpose and insight has helped us to make the best business decisions for Lottie’s growth.

For instance, when hiring new team members or deciding how to scale up our business, we’ve been able to go back to the main reason we decided to start Lottie and evaluate how these decisions fit our business purpose and visions.

2. Think big

Whilst it’s important to set realistic goals, always try to challenge your expectations – this will help to drive growth.

In just under a year, Lottie grew from a team of 2 to 30, from a business idea to now having a portfolio of products in the elderly care sector and working with partners across the country.

Always believe in yourself and your business will follow.

3. Learn to adapt quickly

Business and markets are constantly changing, so it’s crucial to stay on top of industry trends and adapt to meet the changing needs of customers.

If you’re struggling to achieve a goal or experience a knock back – don’t see this as a failure. There’s no business that’s got everything perfect the first-time round. Learn from your experience and evaluate what you can do differently or what may need to change within your business. Being quick to adapt will help your startup to thrive.

4. Build a team of people that believe in your vision

Hiring people that believe in your purpose and goals is key to long term success. From strengthening your company culture to driving business growth, it’s important to build a team that can contribute towards your goals.

At Lottie, our team are at the heart of everything we do. Our aim is to connect families and their loved ones to the best care homes and at a fair price. Building a team of people that also share this vision has helped Lottie grow from strength to strength over the last year.

5. Never stop learning

There’s a new lesson to learn each day when running a business – no matter how established it may be. Take the time out of your day to reflect on your achievements, ambitions and any new experiences or challenges you can learn from.

Reflecting on the day-to-day operations of your business, not only allows you to track your progress and achievement but to identify any areas of growth. Learning from your business encourages originality and new ideas – helping to create new ways of thinking and drive market change with your business in the lead.

There’s no one way to start a business – this will be unique to you, your business idea, and the market. However, if there was one key piece of advice, I would share with someone looking to start a business, it would be to start now.

Run with your idea, explore opportunities, and take risks. Start to share your business content now – over time your support will grow, and you’ll attract people that think the same way you do. It’s absolutely worth the time and effort.

The Gig Economy

The fastest growing workforce on the planet is in the gig economy, but many organisations simply don’t know how to tap into this fantastic network of talent. When it comes to benefitting from this new way of work, it pays to turn to a team that understands it. We take a look at Jacobus Troveri, CEO of ten80, and winner of CEO Monthly’s coveted CEO of the Year 2021 for the United Kingdom, to see what the future holds for us all.

At the heart of ten80 is a desire to drive global change. For people around the world, the way in which they work is changing and it is beholden on businesses to remain up to date. The gig economy is a key part of this change, allowing people to work on the projects they want to, when they want to. Leading this bold new step into the future is the team from ten80, led by Jacobus Troveri.

What Jacobus has done is enabled organisations to better navigate the pandemic, using a technology first approach with a deep focus on data and artificial intelligence. He is disrupting how organisations bring together global teams at a time where speed and trust is everything. He helped grow the UK economy by securing a multitude of clients from various regions including the UK, Benelux, Africa, Middle East and most recently in the Americas.

Together with his team, their single-minded focus is to allow people access to work opportunities that they would never have been able to at a time where social structures are increasingly disjointed. A recent survey by Microsoft found that an astonishing 41% of people have considered quitting their jobs in the past 20 months, this should be something that makes every CEO sit up and take stock.

The role of software services within businesses is constantly changing. Take the example of SAP development. Highly specialised and technical skills are often only required for a certain project and finding staff on this basis is not always easy. Ten80 is a digital marketplace that enables clients to tap into a global talent pool of SAP enterprise software development. Whilst the firm focusses on SAP development right now, there is a real case to broaden the opportunity to others. Jacobus strongly believes that this places his clients at distinct advantage as a result. The gig economy is the world’s fastest growing workforce and is expected to comprise an estimated 50% of the US workforce in the next two years.

Validating and assessing ‘gig workers’ is a concern for many companies. How can they trust that the gig workers can do the job? Ten80’s artificial intelligence engine analyses and recommends people based on a multitude of factors, including the likes of industry experience, relevance to the client’s needs, ratings on past projects, and certifications, to name a few. Ten80’s solution can also be used to help remove bias, or to support equity programmes.

The need for business to be agile has been showcased by the pandemic, but many companies lack the right tools. Not only have organisations had to pivot to new revenue streams, but they’ve had to accommodate client demand as it has returned. At this evolving time, ten80 has worked with global blue-chip companies to embrace this new thinking and it is a mission that Jacobus and his team embrace.

Jacobus moved into the technology sector in the wake of a successful career in the integrated banking and diversified financial services markets. Having always had an appetite for the challenging the norm and taking the road less travelled, Jacobus joined ten80 with this opportunity in mind.  Soon after joining he was appointed as the CEO to help the (then) fledgling organisation ensure that it meets its global potential, especially at a time when global business was coming to terms with the fall-out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beyond business goals, Jacobus has grown from a young man who wanted to win at all costs to someone who wants to impact people’s lives in a positive manner. His focus is now on how organisations can be more inclusive and allow the ecosystem around them to grow and collaborate better, creating shared value for all. Jacobus is a charismatic leader who encourages diversity and actively seeks out colleagues who support and challenge him.

With ten80, Jacobus is disrupting a multibillion-dollar market. We celebrate how under the leadership of Jacobus, the firm has been able to achieve such remarkable success, and his commitment to making a difference on a global scale.

For business enquiries, contact Kim Meredith from ten80 via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.ten80.group

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Mission Underwriting Managers LLC (Mission Underwriters) is a general agency in the P&C market which specialises in taking entrepreneurial underwriters and setting them up as a semi-autonomous entity within its own structure. The firm strives to de-risk the concept of having your own business, by providing a packaged solution that addresses the challenges of going it alone. Led by Keith Higdon, winner of our Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Arizona, the USA award, we got in touch with him to learn more.

Mission Underwriters aims to be an innovative and diversified general agency that leverages the best underwriting talent and carrier partnerships in order to drive continuous growth and profitability. CEO, Keith Higdon tells us, “Our strategy is to create an environment that others find desirable, utilising cutting-edge technology in a SaaS model and services, and de-risking the idea of entrepreneurship while sharing more of the benefits of ownership with the series heads.”

With an approach of “be in business for yourself, not by yourself,” Mission Underwriters offers a truly unique solution that provides a range of benefits for clients. First of all, it ensures the client company’s structure and employment, so they don’t need to wonder where income is coming from, or how to find a benefits administrator. It also means greater interest in the profitability of their business and insolation from other series, making the client the master of their own destiny. Making the most of this cutting-edge technology, which enables the underwriting process from policy administration to data source feeds, severely improves underwriting accuracy.

As CEO of Mission Underwriters, Keith Higdon’s focus is on the customer while empowering team members to try new approaches – and be accountable for their responsibilities – keeping processes lean and effective and recognising that plans need to evolve. This has all created a solid foundation for the company which he believes will continue to reap benefits for the firm well into the future.

Consistent throughout Keith’s career is his attention on the customer as well as making effective use of technology to improve each company’s offering and relationship. He began by working in consulting for a small firm and transitioned to one of the world’s largest, which gave him an abundance of perspective on what works and what doesn’t in a very short time. Keith shares, “Active listening and the ability to communicate difficult concepts into manageable ideas was critical to success in both environments, while organisational size and complexity highlighted the value of resources and the crushing effect of bureaucracy.”

He continues, “My work in claims has always been consultative in nature either by definition or by my approach. Finding solutions is both far more exciting to me and beneficial to the customer, rather than focusing on the past or current approaches.”

During these years, Keith further developed his technology and analytical skills, as these two areas continue to drive most value in the insurance industry. He says, “Recognising my skills rather than focusing on my past responsibilities was a benefit I received from two managers that allowed me to branch out, leverage my experience, and attempt different approaches to meet and exceed client expectations.”

Keith seeks ambitious individuals to join his team. He looks for people who have an entrepreneurial spirit while providing a lifestyle conducive to the digital age – one that is both highly collaborative, and virtual, to meet the needs of talent and keep them engaged in the enterprise of insurance. He leads with empathy and sensitivity, vowing to practice what he preaches.

He tells us, “I believe too many executives lose touch with their employees and forget what it means to be in the trenches. It’s easy to create a cycle of unnecessary hardship, or at least, lack of empathy. Too often executives get desensitised, and I think they lose their culture and a lot of loyalty in the process. All of our lives are different – hopes, dreams, challenges, hardships – recognising this and reminding yourself of it is critical. You may be part of too large an organisation to know everyone, but you can always remind yourself of the reality of diversity in background and experience. It does exist.”

Approximately every six months, the firm conducts an environment interview with all employees which provides opportunities to communicate directly with each audience, evaluate progress, obtain feedback, and strategise for the future. In today’s virtual world, staying connected is critical, so executives are sure to have additional meetings with departments throughout the year. Clients are also talked to on at least a monthly basis with both quarterly reviews that provide a comprehensive view into programme health and opportunities for improvement and growth.

Indeed, process clarity and ongoing, consistent communication is key, coupled with candour and expectation setting. At the beginning of the client’s programme, an in-person kick-off meeting is scheduled. This generally stretches across two days, providing both work and social time to create a partnership between the Mission Underwriters team and its client. Keith comments, “From a structure perspective, we recognise the different skillsets required to onboard a programme versus ongoing relationship management. Therefore, we bifurcated the departments to leverage individual strengths while placing both departments under one executive to add continuity in messaging and escalation.”

Keith genuinely wants to see not only his employees succeed, but series members as well. Under Keith’s leadership, Mission Underwriters is actually doing something to change how insurance is done. He understands the pain points and the struggles experienced by series members in their careers, and he puts the time, people, and resources in place to ensure their career with the firm is first-class, autonomous yet supportive, and successful.

While Keith is ambitious, devoted and successful, that’s not to say that his role doesn’t come without its challenges. For Keith, the main challenge is ‘time,’ and he says, “I think the word ‘time’ sums up the overriding challenge that, in essence, causes other hardships. Time to find talent, time to find and connect with all prospects, time to expand into new markets, and time for oneself. This encompasses all employees, goes to culture, and goes to the priorities we have set. Leaders need to be stewards for their employees and their clients, so I don’t think this changes my role, it defined it from the beginning.”

Now, Keith’s sights are set on Mission Underwriters’ future, where the goal is to continue on its innovative and diversified path while nurturing and making the most of the best underwriting talent. He believes that Mission Underwriters version 1.0 has met its goal and the team is now looking to define version 2.0 to continue the momentum. This means remaining focused on technology in the areas of automation, AI, and production analytics to be more efficient and improve its speed to market. Keith will also continue looking for underwriting staff with niche expertise and that entrepreneurial spirit and look to connect them with capacity that enables both parties to share in a growth story.

Specifically for 2022, Mission Underwriters is expecting to roll out AI technology for uploading submissions, enhance its programme analytics with a new SaaS business intelligence suite, add another 3-4 series to its current 15 (as of April 2022), provide capacity through a portfolio of approximately six carriers, and look to expand operations into Canada.

Keith concludes, “Mission Underwriters has just begun to write its story in the marketplace. I am proud of what we have accomplished and 100% of my attention is on the continued health and future growth of the organisation. I also hope to leverage my experience to promote thought leadership in the market and mentor others as they begin or redirect their career journey.”

For business enquiries, contact Keith Higdon at Mission Underwriting Managers, LLC via email at [email protected] missionunderwriters.com or visit the website at www.missionunderwriters.com.

Exemplary Nationwide Insurance Brokerage

Led by exemplary CEO Dale Hansen, Austbrokers Coast to Coast is a professional insurance and risk advisor brokerage that has been safeguarding the livelihoods of the Australian public since 1985. A division of the AUB Group – which in and of itself is an accredited top 200 ASX listed company – ABC2C has made a name for itself one satisfied client at a time as part of the wider network.

Austbrokers Coast to Coast has benefitted from having outstanding professional mind Dale Hansen at the helm since January of 2014. Since this time, he has propelled ABC2C further into the spotlight as part of Australia’s nationwide group of insurance brokerages, the AUB Group, which is listed on the Sydney stock exchange to currently be in ownership of about 51% of ABC2C. The rest of it is directly owned by the CEO himself, which has allowed him to directly take control of the business and make the best changes for himself, his staff, his clients, and his stakeholders.

By making bold, front-running, face-paced moves and taking steps towards a bright future, Hansen has been able to use his experience as a senior corporate broker and director in order to further his career and take his passion for leading the company to the next level, remaining the Director of Broking to this day. Furthermore, this is a CEO who believes in leading from the front. Despite his many additional duties and responsibilities, he still maintains a healthy case load in order to help his staff in keeping on top of things, lending his own expert knowledge to the task of serving a dynamic and ever-changing market segment.

The brokerage, since its inception, has grown its client list naturally in this manner. By keeping the quality consistent and to-scale, it has earned a reputation for reliable results that its clients then take away and tell their peers and colleagues about in order to spread the word, making for new clientele and return custom in equal measure. Its brokerage services have therefore become known for its comprehensive and full-service treatment of risk management cases, corporate governance, restructuring advice, claims handling, contract reviews undertaken by in-house legal counsel, and more.

All of this is done with the core values of trust, respect, accountability, integrity, and teamwork in mind, and serves a range of SME and domestic mid-market clients. Moreover, many of its clients come to it having been previously let down by large international brokerages, gravitating towards ABC2C’s friendly and empathetic way of working, keeping constant communication open and always willing to tailor services to fit. ABC2C, therefore, has made itself as pivotal a cornerstone to its clients as their accountants and bankers, each of its staff operating with diligence and tenacity to solve their clients’ problems.

With the challenges of Covid-19 hitting the industry hard, Hansen and his team put their every professional capacity to work in order to show clients that money would in fact be saved by going not with the cheapest insurance broker, but with the best. As a result, a number of new clients have joined the ABC2C roster, and it has thusly been able to plan its significant expansion for the next three years. Forecasting more organic growth, serving its regular clientele, and bringing new customers into the fold, ABC2C expects to see a growth in revenue of at least 30% in the next 3 years, further lending credit to the CEO’s tenacity as a proven Australian Broker of the year and one of the top 100 global insurance influencers. Additionally, Hansen will be continuing with his own personal passion of mentoring young insurance brokers, forever dedicated to training the next generation of professional minds in order to herald in a new era for his industry.

Issue 8 2022

As always, CEO Monthly is dedicated to providing the latest news and features across the business world to our readership. In this issue we would like to share a wide variety of individuals who are setting the scene for generations to come.

Being a leader is what some of us dream of but dare not try. Maybe some of us find it daunting whilst others find it comes completely naturally to them. We are excited to show you a collection of CEOs that keep their fingers on the pulse – for the greater good of their business, employees, clients, customers, and the rest of the world.

These CEOs inspire us to follow what will make us feel fulfilled, challenged, and involved in something greater than ourselves. They not only change the business landscape, but they also alter our perception of human ability as a whole.

This issue is all about the CEOs that are exceeding all expectations in the height of our summer. We are proud to present their successes and we want to offer insight, and information, with regards to their prestigious awards and high-quality leadership skills.

We are especially excited to introduce Dean Akinjobi who fearlessly leads Football Media with style and dedication. As Most Influential CEO, 2022 – London, the United Kingdom, Dean influences the digital advertising and sponsorship endeavours that Football Media strives to expand on. Join us to find out more…

We hope you find this issue informative, motivating, and interesting. We look forward to welcoming you back next month.

Here’s to Good Health!

Established in 2017, Smart For Life (f/k/a Bonne Santé Group) is a buy and build conglomerate in the health and wellness space. Its goal is, through acquisition, to build a world-class nutraceutical and dietary foods company. We got in touch with CEO, Ryan Zackon in light of him being recognised by CEO Monthly magazine for its CEO 100 2021 award.

Smart For Life, (f/k/a as Bonne Santé Group) is a turnkey solutions provider – from start to finish, it does everything, eliminating work, cost, and frustration for customers operating in the health and wellness industry. They are a seasoned team positioned to capitalise on various trends in the nutraceutical industry with a key focus on growing value for shareholders and overcoming the current industry obstacles. Smart For Life was created to address the inherent human desire for good health and vibrant life, utilising the best delivery methods available today.

Chief Executive Officer Ryan F. Zackon graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy at Rio Hondo in 2005, his first experience with leadership being the drill instructors in the academy. He said, “While they were firm, they were also fair. and expected that we had high standards ourselves. I have taken that as the basis for my leadership philosophy and integrated perspectives from other outstanding leaders that I have had over my career.”

We asked Ryan about the role that his staff play within the organisation. “Our people are our most valuable asset. I truly believe that and have worked hard to implement that ethos consistently across all of the Smart For Life entities. Our Human Resources and Training programme can teach anyone how to do any of the jobs we have, but we can’t teach the intangibles. So, when hiring, we look for attitude, aptitude and desire to learn.”

Ryan relocated to Florida five years ago without having ever done a dollar of business there. He said, “The business climate is exciting and rapidly changing. South Florida is an international hub that is a-buzz with Latino influence and culture. COVID-19 has accelerated our industry and the demand for Direct to Consumer services which we are uniquely positioned to offer.”

Indeed, COVID-19 has had both positive and negative effects on the industry. Ryan continues, “Good, bad and ugly, as I say. The good is that people, for the first time, are really taking their health seriously. Everyone has always said “health is wealth”, but now people are following up that attitude with buying behaviour. We have seen a 700% increase across the board in revenue for similar sized companies.

“The bad are the supply chain disruptions and raw material shortages we have seen caused by impact to importation from Asia among other places. Bottle, closure (lids), and transportation have all been dramatically impacted.”

Despite the challenges and disruptions, the future is looking bright for Smart For Life. Ryan shares his future plans for the company. “2021 is an exciting year for us as we are set to go public. We are in the midst of our S1 filing and hope to be public in the first quarter of 2022. For us, access to capital markets is a key component of our  buy and build strategy.”

He concludes, “My career has been an incredible journey. I believe my “willingness to fail” mentality has helped drive my success and  I wake up every morning grateful. I try to live and work in the present with the confidence that if I make smart choices today for my companies, they will yield pay off in the future.”

For business enquiries, contact Smart For Life, Inc. via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.smartforlifecorp.com/

A Bold New Voice in Management Consultancy

A company striving to deliver exceptionally high-quality management consultancy services that compete with the existing multi-national, enterprise level leading brands, Arcadia Management Consulting LLC is gaining reputation in its industry. Fundamentally, it is gaining this repute by being as affordable as it is excellent, working with an in-depth and broad level of experience that its leader, member of the CEO 100 list Ahmad Ibrawish, has ensured remains the standard throughout the company.

Arcadia Management Consulting LLC, founded in 2009 in the USA, first began in Kansas. Operating out of Overland Park in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area, working with a representation office before founding one of its own in 2010. A specialist company providing management consultancy services that focus on digital and technological trends, Arcadia is an expert when it comes to guiding clients into how they can fit their business into the 4th industrial revolution. Fundamentally, since its inception, its goal has been to become a global consulting firm. This goal’s realization grows closer by the day as it has been pushing its way towards increasing levels of success, with presence in 5 major continents and 3 offices covering the EU, the UK, and the Middle East. It also has representation and affiliated offices in the USA, Singapore, Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, spearheaded by exemplary CEO Ahmad Ibrawish.

Having made itself a state-of-the-art solution when it comes to business and technological solutions, it keeps track of the current trends in the market in order to help its clients on their path to further expansion and diversification. In short, Arcadia wishes to aid its clients in the enhancement, improvement, and advancement of their businesses. Thus, it makes itself an invaluable corporate partner to its clients, and has earned its reputation as an outstanding helping hand for a variety of clients across a myriad of different industries.

Being truly sector agnostic, it serves healthcare management, supply chain, logistics and shipping, tourism, construction engineering management, banking, finance, family businesses, e-commerce, technologies, and government entities all across its geographical regions. Importantly, in order to do this, it has developed a major list of exemplary consulting services. With each of these being incredibly comprehensive and industry-leading, it finds that its clients are eager to use it as their consultancy one-stop-shop, able to help them with everything from strategy management and business advisory planning to business and digital transformation, as well as technological transformation, human capital management, customer experience, innovation, and advanced disruptive technology advice.

This all falls in line with Arcadia’s vision to deploy creative and effective solutions to management consultancy. Furthermore, it wishes to consistently deliver on the principles of integrity, honesty, transparency, commitment, and individualism that Ibrawish has brought to the fore. Prior to Arcadia, Ibrawish cut his teeth with leading international management consultancy elsewhere for over 17 years, with experience in guidance and business advice that has enabled him to be the management and support system for multimillion dollar projects in the MENA region. Having also worked for Fortune 500 companies in the USA, he still provides his outstandingly designed and implemented business solutions to Arcadia’s clientele, working to offer strategic planning, business re-engineering, IT strategy development, and more.

It is his hard work and tenacity that has helped to propel Arcadia into the spotlight, and this is something he wishes to see continue, forever working to lead it onto the global stage as one of the most attractive brands for management consultancy. Furthermore, with its core values and goals of making a difference in the dimensions of people, technology, and business operations, the team at Arcadia follow in the footsteps of the CEO himself in order to implement the consistent client-focused dedication that permeates the entire business.

For business enquiries, contact Ahmad Ibrawish from Arcadia Management Consulting LLC via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.arcadiaconsult.com

Industry-Leading Incident Investigating and Training

Established in 2002 under the leadership of Gerry Gibb, Safety Wise undertakes investigation training and investigations into workplace incidents including fatalities, high-potential incidents, serious injuries, and near-miss events. In light of current CEO, Luke Dam being recognised within the CEO 100 Awards, we got in touch with him to learn more about the company and his career.

Safety Wise services all industries and operates globally, its main focuses being mining, government, and construction, and it has, to date, trained over 110,000 people via both face-to-face and online training, in seven languages, and across 43 countries. The company does this by maintaining values of building trust and respect, stepping up to the mark, communicating openly, working as a team, challenging the status quo, and by adding value to everything it does.

All of these are really important to the company, not only in its day-to-day interactions among the team but also with its clients. When its people are dealing with an incident in the workplace, they need to have challenging conversations about what happened and what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence.

Having undertaken nearly 800 incident investigations globally, Safety Wise explores factors that contribute towards an incident by using the Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM), which covers absent/failed defences, individual/team actions, task/environmental conditions (workplace), task/environmental conditions (human factors), and organisational factors.

Fortunately, the founder of the business, Gerry Gibb was instrumental in the development of the ICAM process, so the company was able to make significant inroads globally in embedding the process into many organisations.

Like many, company CEO, Luke Dam first got into workplace health and safety (many, many!) years ago, when, as he says, he was “very much on the power trip and looking to save the world from every safety infraction”. “Dare I say, I assumed the role of the safety cop? It took me a while and a big shift in mindset to realise that this doesn’t work – Don’t get me wrong – if someone is in imminent danger, there’s a place for stern words and actions.”

He then stepped into various training roles and discovered the joys of watching people grow as they learnt new things. This really ignited his passion for helping and training others. When he stepped back into safety, Luke was able to be a far more effective communicator and realised the benefits of actually helping people understand, for example, why they could or couldn’t do something and helping them make informed decisions themselves.

When Luke was first tapped on the shoulder for his current role as CEO, the owners of the company were looking to transition to retirement. He said, “I was there to manage the day-to-day business as COO, but at times I felt like a figurehead with no real authority, but as the owners transitioned and started to step back more, it became easier for me and obviously, the trust was building as well. Let’s face it, it’s got to be hard to let go of your baby that you’ve nurtured over the years!”

He continued, “I also had the challenge, that, unlike the owner who developed the processes and was one of the most experienced and respected incident investigators in the industry, I had none of that. Having said that, I was there to manage the business, not investigate incidents or deliver training. This however also created angst at times, especially as the investigators were looking for guidance and assistance. To work around this, I had to use the internal expertise we had on the team – I spoke at length with various team members to understand the issues and how to work through them. Even today, I still use this internal knowledge – again, why not? They have their expertise, and I have mine.”

18 months ago, Luke was presented with the opportunity to purchase the business. This further created challenges as he and CFO and fellow business partner, Danielle were still reporting to the owners but trying to go through the process of buying them out. Decisions that Luke and Danielle were making were potentially going to have long-term impacts when they purchased the business. On both sides, there was a lot of frustration at times, but they worked through it and settled the sale in March this year.

Now, Luke is settling into the new normal following the pandemic with Danielle – that’s owning the business while navigating through the challenges the pandemic keeps throwing their way. A big focus for the company at the moment is heavy exploration of new technology such as virtual reality to complement its training, as well as looking at strategic partnerships, considering companies that provide products, services, or target market areas which complement its own, and those with which it can mutually grow.

For business enquiries, contact Luke Dam from Safety Wise via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.safetywise.com

Making a Significant Impact

Novige AB is the Swedish cleantech start-up behind the development of NoviOcean wave energy converter, the solution to finally making wave energy profitable and accessible to all.

To make this ambitious dream a reality, CEO, Jan Skjoldhammer left his well-paid job as an airline captain/pilot in 2011 to focus all his energy and the larger part of his life’s savings into creating a company with the mission of “saving the climate with profitable wave power”. He then employed like-minded professionals who passionately believe in the cause.

So, how does the company do this? Well, imagine a well-proven hydropower plant, but inverted and taken to sea, with ocean waves acting as a never-drying dam – Novige AB calls it the “hydropower plant at sea” (HPAS) concept which is the main working principles of NoviOcean. Explained in simple terms, in every wave, the vertical motion of a rectangular floating structure creates enormous lifting forces (for example 600 tons for a 3.5-meter wave). This force is then hydraulically transferred from its cylinder and piston/piston rod connected to the sea floor, to a fast-spinning and highly efficient Pelton turbine and generator assembly which generates the electricity to then be transferred through subsea cables to the electricity network.

Despite blue energy’s enormous potential, previous technologies have so far not been very successful in delivering cost-effective solutions to the market. There are many complex systems that generate relatively low amounts of electricity compared to their mass and many moving parts. Such designs will lead to high and unattractive Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE).

NoviOcean uses simple, light-weighted, and well-proven parts allowing for a reliable and stable electricity output which leads to a lower cost of electricity. As an example, a lower cost can be achieved than a similar-sized offshore wind after 50 MW of NoviOcean deployment.

The company can produce a more stable output (compared to conventional renewables) without any storage needs. Moreover, combined electricity production with the off-phased wind power can provide a baseload of up to five times higher than just wind alone, thereby solving a huge part of today’s unstable grids.

NoviOcean’s solution can be easily adjusted to give the ultimate power performance based on the resource availability for the deployment site which unlocks a unique opportunity to locally manufacture, deploy, and operate its units using the available resources and knowledge base. Therefore, as one of the company’s key strategies for the future rapid expansion, NoviOcean will be offering large-scale licensing to shipyards and industrial companies around the globe to build and operate its unit. This can ultimately empower the local/regional economy and job market.

NoviOcean is open for dialogues for partnership opportunities with large industrial companies with global networks who would like to join the company in it journey. This could be an ideal win-win for partners and their company name plus “renewables” depicted 35 x 3 meters on both sides of NoviOcean’s units. They can invite politicians, VIPs, and media onboard, and enjoy a new business leg to stand on, attract eager well-educated employees, attain respect and a greener image, and improve their shared value.

So far, NoviOcean’s 1:5 scale prototype has been tested and validated in wave tanks and real offshore environments. After more rounds of dry testing, the plan for 2022 is to reinstall the improved prototype in an offshore environment for long-term monitoring of its longevity and power performance.

The company has also signed a contract for more than two MEUR grant support from the EU Commission to design, construct, and demonstrate the full-scale pilot (rated at 500 kW) by 2024/25. The detailed design, environmental and feasibility studies for the full-scale pilot is expected to continue until 2023 and will be followed by construction, deployment, testing/validation, and certification until 2025.

For business enquiries, contact Jan Skjoldhammer from NoviOcean via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.noviocean.energy

Leading the Way to Gender Diversity

With over 18 years’ experience in finance and operations, Emma Charsley, Chief Operating Officer of management consultancy, Vendigital, has gained a wealth of expertise whilst supporting growing businesses in a variety of sectors.  It is no secret, however, that being female in a male-dominated profession brings its challenges, so how has she navigated her way to the top and what has she learned along the way? CEO Monthly spoke with Emma to find out more about how she is helping to promote diversity and inclusion in the professional services sector. 

Why did you choose a career in finance and operations?

I was fortunate to be the financial director of a Young Enterprise Company whilst doing my A-levels. I loved it and decided this was the career for me. After my degree, I gained an ACMA qualification and worked with several food businesses during the early part of my career, always with an emphasis on performance accounting. After working for a range of successful, fast-growth companies, it became clear that I thrived on introducing the right level of processes to drive effective business management and helping to solve challenges on a daily basis.

 

How was your role as COO evolved?

From the start, my role has spanned both finance and operations, very much focusing on driving business performance and increasing enterprise value. It is clear that the role of data has become increasingly critical to business performance – helping to set clear KPIs and report against them. As my career has evolved, fact-based decision making has changed the way Boards operate in a positive way. The breadth of management information that senior executives now have access to allows businesses to be more adaptable, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. At Vendigital, our adaptability allowed us to lead the business in a different way and adapt our practices when required.

While my career has involved working for businesses in many different sectors of industry, it is remarkable how many similarities there have been in terms of the challenges and opportunities they faced. It is interesting to see how transferable the skills are between professional services and consumer operations.

How important is it for professional services firms to promote gender diversity at all levels?

Promoting diversity and inclusion is important for every business, including professional services firms. As management consultants, the workforce at Vendigital is in a unique and privileged position; driving change and influencing the direction of businesses across multiple industry sectors. A diverse workforce makes room for more critical and creative thinking, leading to the better outcomes for clients. Project or business teams can get caught up in group thinking, missing a more holistic approach to problem solving. This is where a diverse workforce can help – different minds will pick up different details. Demonstrating leadership and taking on strategic roles are realistic goals for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background. It has been great to see businesses start to realise the commercial value that comes from diverse teams.

Has being a female ever held you back in industry?

I have never considered gender an important factor in influencing the trajectory of my career. That said, it is hard not to notice if you are the only female in the room. Being the only woman can sometimes be intimidating, and with that comes an added pressure to continually prove yourself. Despite this, being different can be a positive – like having a superpower. I believe this has helped me to find innovative solutions to business problems and to challenge the binary thinking that comes from teams that lack diversity.

What advice would you give to young women pursuing a board-level career in finance or operations?

There are various avenues to explore and lots of opportunities available. Managing a company’s finance and operations is an exciting career path, which will suit people who have a natural curiosity and an in-built interest in capturing business data and using it to problem solve and create opportunities for growth. It is important to approach your career in the right way – I have found that having a structure is most valuable and helps provide a sense of progression. Qualifications provide the perfect building block for your career, and then, for business and finance roles, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offers qualifications that provide a good grounding in finance and business management.

Can having gender role models or mentors help?

The old adage ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ definitely rings true. Mentors can help inspire and show the next generation of business leaders what is possible. It is important that when you are starting out, you can see somebody you admire – male or female – someone who is encouraging and recognises your potential. I enjoy and have found it rewarding to share my own experience with talented young people and support them on their career journey.

 

Any other words of advice for those starting out in their careers?

There are two pieces of advice that I have carried with me throughout my career. Firstly, someone always has to go first, if you cannot find a role model, be the trailblazer for other women in your position. Secondly, there is a big difference between taking a break and giving up, and don’t feel that you have do everything in a linear fashion. Young people should treat their career as a marathon, not a sprint – promoting wellbeing is an important part of succeeding at life and sometimes there is merit in taking a break to come back rejuvenated. Everybody’s journey should be unique and suit their individual circumstances, that way you will be successful both professionally and personally.

Finding the Right Coach as a CEO

With so many types of coached out there, it can be hard to know which is right for you. Coaching is a confidential resource for CEOs to be the best leaders they can be. Different types of coaches have strengths and proven techniques to help you grow in your life and profession. 

As a successful individual, you want a coach who is knowledgeable and experienced, using the right tools for your level of profession. This resource is the first step to help you find your ideal coach. It’s not as difficult as you might think!

There are 4 main types of coaches: business coach, career coach, life coach, and leadership coach. Within each type, there are niches. The coach may be focused on helping with specific goals or only people within your demographic. For example: a coach for CEOs who want to learn better communication with investors or a coach for women in leadership to find balance, and more!

Life Coach

A life coach helps you achieve your life goals. Their job is to guide you to achieve a sense of balance and fulfillment, a sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as happiness and joy. Life coaching is based on the belief that each person has their own unique challenges and gifts to share with others. 

Working with a life coach is a process of self-discovery. One can learn more about themselves by exploring their values, strengths and weaknesses. Then use this knowledge to better align themselves with their true self. There are many benefits to a life coach for CEOS. Someone who is at peace with themselves personally is far more likely to achieve professionally – it’s a ripple effect.

As a person in leadership, healing within and attainging personal goals will only make you a better people manager, coonfident communicator, and authentic in your work. When looking for a life coach, consider the areas in your life where you need support or would like to achieve. There are niche coaches such as an intuitive eating coach for people who struggle with eating disorders or food guilt (something that can take up unnecessary brain space!), spiritual life coaches for people who feel lost in their purpose, fitness coaches for people looking to get back on track after years at a desk job, and so much more!

Business Coach

A business coach is great for entrepreneurs and business owners – the one making the high-level business decisions. Experience and knowledge in running a business is what makes these coaches unique. They will help you identify where your company needs improvement and develop a plan of action to improve our results. Your business coach is there for guidance when making decisions and facing challenges that may affect productivity levels or morale within your company.

A business coach helps you with how to work with the right people for marketing, finance, sales and operations. They can help you with business planning and strategy. They can also help you with team building and business growth. At the end of the day your state of being is a big part of what makes your business thrive. In that sense, they are also part life coach.

Career Coach

A career coach is the most common type of coach sought afer by CEOs. This is because they understand the corporate world in which executives, for the most part, work. Different from a business coach, a career coach is for the employee to thrive in their professional life (which often bleeds into improvements in their personal life!). 

A career coach can help you to understand the next steps in your career and build a plan of how to get there. If you are looking for career mobility, coaching can help you understand where your strengths lie and where they might lead. Or, through the work with your career coach you may determine that changing environments will be beneficial to your career.A good coach will also help if you’re on the job hunt with networking and finding the right company.

If you’re plan is to grow with the same company, they can also help build up your confidence levels so that when it comes time for a raise you’re ahead of the game!

Leadership Coach

A leadership coach is for people who want to work on their leadership skills. This is for CEOs who manage multiple teams at a high-level but also for middle managers with large teams of lower level employees. By working with a leadership coach, you will better understand your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can improve as a leader.

A good leadership coach will also help develop your communication skills. This is an important skill for any person in a management role. And different levels from specialist to CEO, require honing different communication skills. So if you’ve just got promoted to CEO this will be integral to your success. As communicating effectively with others is crucial for ensuring the success of an organization.

Finally, a good leadership coach may also be able to help you with other aspects of working life such as people management or personal development. Keeping your best leaders engaged and motivated is essentia to being a CEO – and a leadership coach could help with thisl.Just like the types of coaches, there are niches. 

Coach for Female Executives

There are coaches whose work branches across each type of coach we’ve surveyed above. These coaches are often unique to your demographic and life situation. For their audience type, these coaches provide a more holistic approach to professional and personal development. A great example of this are coaches for ambitious women in leadership roles like female CEOs.

Executive coaching for women provides an invaluable service by helping high-achieving women navigate the balancing act of life, career, purpose, and success. A female executive coach understand the challenges women in leadership face that differ from male executives. She will work with you to overcome your personalized challenges. They’re able to provide a different perspective, backed by knowledge and experience, because they are not part of your network (like a mentor might be). Female executive coaches will work with you on achieving a sense of fulfillment in personal and professional alike! The sessions are completely confidential and will help you feel fulfilled in life and achieve greater meaning and feelings of success at work.

This coaching model is an investment in your success as a leader and helps you create the life you want to live.

There is a right coach for your needs

When looking for a coach, you need to make sure that they are the right fit for your personality, demographic, and life situation. And, with the right experience as a coach for an executive or CEO. If you want help with a specific goal, such as building a “game plan” for long-term success, gain the skills to influence others more easily, improve to public speaking, or find true fulfillment, then finding a coach who specializes in that topic is important.

Conclusion

We hope that this blog post has helped you to get a better understanding of what coaching is all about. We also want you to feel confident in choosing the right coach for your needs, whether it be in your role as an executive or in your personal life. With so many different types of coaches out there offering their services, now is the perfect time to take control of your professional and personal development!

The CEO’s Guide to Hiring Market Research Executives: 8 Dos and Don’ts

Marketing researchers play an essential role in the business. They provide valuable data and information that validates offerings, provides a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences, and ensures that resources are allocated appropriately.

A Marketing Research Executive should have a balance of analytical decision-making skills and strong team management and interpersonal skills. Here’s a practical guide to help you hire the right market research executive for your firm.

Do Take Time to Clarify the Role

Take time to clarify the role and develop a job description that justifies the expense of hiring a market research executive. There are advantages and disadvantages to building an in-house market research team. It’s essential to analyze the costs of supporting an executive role against the expenses of outsourcing to a market research firm. It’s also important to clarify whether the in-house market research executive will have a budget to outsource certain tasks as needed.

Clarify the skills and qualifications you expect for the executive market research role. Some notable qualities include:

  • Project and team management
  • Budget management
  • Strong data analysis skills
  • Understanding of statistics and mathematics
  • Knowledge of sociology and psychology

Work with HR to translate these skills into educational and experience qualifications relevant to the field and your industry.

Don’t Forget to Look In-House

Don’t forget to look at your existing employees before starting the recruiting process. Talk to key stakeholders in the business to determine if anyone in your organization has the potential to fill the role. For example, a senior marketing employee with in-depth knowledge of your products, existing customer base, and brand could be well suited for promotion.

You may still decide to post the role internally and externally. However, promoting from within can reduce hiring costs and improve employee engagement, making it worthy of consideration.

Do Put the Right Panel in Place

Assemble a hiring panel to provide different perspectives and share the workload throughout the hiring process. The committee should consist of key business stakeholders adjacent to the market research role— yourself, the CFO, and the head of HR, for example. It’s also worth considering the value of working with an executive recruiting consultant to navigate the process.

Don’t Micromanage the Process

As market research plays such an imperative role in the business, it’s natural to fear a loss of control or wasted resources. Don’t let these concerns lead you to micromanage the hiring process. The value of having a hiring panel is to get perspectives that challenge your views. Trust the process and your team.

Do Take Your Time Deciding

While there might be a sense of urgency in filling the market research executive role, don’t let it lead to impulsivity. Take your time reviewing the candidates, weighing the pros and cons, and deciding who will be best for the role now and in the future. 

It’s also important not to rely solely on your first impressions or rapport with the individual. Marketers can be incredibly charismatic and engaging. While cultural fit should be a factor in the decision, it’s best to focus on the information collected through the recruitment and interview processes.

Don’t Hesitate with Follow-Up

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your top contenders after the initial interviews. A note from the CEO can help keep top talent engaged and interested in the role. This personal touch could be the factor that causes them to delay taking another offer while awaiting your decision.

Once a decision has been made, reach out as soon as possible with an offer. If you have a clear contender, offer them a generous salary rather than playing the negotiation game. 

Do Look for Tangible Results

A market researcher at an executive level should be able to share tangible outcomes of their efforts. Look for a candidate who can show data regarding their past work and how it influenced profits and growth. Ask about challenges past employers have faced and how their work provided impactful solutions.

Don’t Neglect Soft Skills

While tangible outcomes are paramount when vetting a market research executive, soft skills should also be considered. This role requires someone who can communicate well and navigate interpersonal relationships. 

This individual should be a storyteller who can translate numerical data into compelling marketing assets. They should be able to put people at ease and connect so they’ll feel comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions. The analytical skills matter, but they’re only a piece of the puzzle.

Hiring the right person for this role could drive your organization to new heights. Take your time and look for the individual with the right balance of skills and experience.

A Passion For Development

Three generations of workmen in the building resource industry have built up to Charlie Ibrahim’s current success. His passion for the industry sets a standard for his team that has secured incredible achievements over the years. Now recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021 – Sydney, Australia in this edition of CEO Monthly, we thought it time to dig a little deeper into Charlie’s inimitable success story.

In 1994, Charlie Ibrahim took the first steps into a career that would bring him inimitable success. During the summer holidays he would work at his family’s aluminium business, and now, over two and a half decades later, he stands at the forefront of the industry that he has made his livelihood. Through his firm, A-Tech Australia, Charlie is proud to add astonishing value to every product offered to his customers, offering bold and innovative solutions that stand apart from the competition.

Proudly founded and headquartered in Sydney, A-Tech Australia has emerged as one of the region’s market leaders when it comes to the development and creation of new and exciting solutions revolving around aluminium. Charlie founded the business having first moved to Australia in 2001 on a working visa. Thanks to this, he was able to learn on the ground about what the Australian market needed, developing a company that suited their specific needs. This opened in 2003, with his wife by his side. She is still an integral part of the business, acting as the Group’s Chief Operating Officer. Since then, the dynamic duo have been proud to establish operations internationally, including in China in 2008 where the firm now has four locations.

Since opening its doors, Charlie has been proud to guide A-Tech Australia through a period of significant and continual growth. With the building industry creating designs that challenge the very nature of construction, the A-Tech Australia team have reacted swiftly to ensure that they are able to meet the diverse needs of their customers no matter what the project. The successes and accomplishments of the team reflect his incredible ambition and remarkable experience. Throughout the development of the company, the driving force has remained a deepening of trust at all levels. Employees, partners and clientele all rely on the A-Tech Australia team to deliver excellence at all levels, worldwide. This high standard has been an inspiration to all.

Key to the success of A-Tech Australia’s approach has been Charlie’s passion for designing aluminium profile systems that are exclusive to the firm. Alongside various accessories, this has allowed the team to stake a claim to various products that are unique to the team. This unique nature has not allowed the team to cut corners, however. Every single one of the team’s innovations has been combined with efficiency and environmental sustainability to ensure the ultimate in success.

The process of developing these various products has been comprehensive for the company. A great deal of time and research has been put into ensuring that every part of the production process is high in efficiency, affordability and sustainability. The result has been the establishment of the largest aluminium manufacturing plant in Australia. The plant uses proprietary A-Tech Extrusion Systems to ensure that the team’s products stand apart as the finest building materials available to Australians. This operation is a recent addition, beginning in 2018. Situated in Orange, this 77,000m2 covered building space includes a fully automatic extrusion line, full automatic powder coating line and mega manufacturing process for all façade and unitised curtain wall. It’s the ultimate in capacity for all.

The high quality of the team’s products is only part of the story behind the success of A-Tech Australia, and Charlie is proud to explain that it is his own ambition which has seen the team achieve success in various countries around the world. Originally from Lebanon, one of his greatest personal achievements must surely be the establishment of operations here. The A-Tech Australia team has also established bases in China opening the door to a number of incredibly lucrative contracts. Through these locations in the Middle East and Asia, A-Tech Australia has been able to foster an incredible network of associates on an international basis.

The success of the expansion of A-Tech Australia has seen the team making new plans to reach more deeply into the region, as well as into new areas around the world. Part of Charlie’s plans for growth is the presence of A-Tech Australia in emerging markets, and the potential of providing provision of the highest quality aluminium solutions. This success, however, can only be maintained through the continued delivery of the highest quality solutions at all times.

With a company that is working around the world, it’s clear that maintaining the highest standards of compliance is vital. The A-Tech Australia team has made it their mission to work closely with their partners and clients so that they not only understand their specific needs, but that they are designed to meet stringent Australian standards. Because the team’s systems are designed to meet the unique requirements of local weather and climate conditions, A-Tech Australia is always on the lookout for new approach which will enable to them to more effectively incorporate weatherproof and thermal performance features.

This innovative attitude is best shown not just through the products that are provided for customers, but through the team’s plans to construct a laboratory for the process. A-Tech Australia intends to take a proactive approach to the need for window and façade systems by developing its own cutting-edge products. The laboratory will provide the ideal location for the development of new designs and the testing of their various practical applications.

Even the best companies cannot develop without an eye for the outside world, and at A-Tech Australia, Charlie has ensured that his team is constantly involved in the needs of the community. Through working with others, the A-Tech Australia staff can rest satisfied in the knowledge that their work makes a real difference around the world. The value of sustainability runs through the entire business, with various environmental initiatives such as encouraging sustainable work practices and promoting the ecological benefits of aluminium put into place.

That said, with Charlie originally from Lebanon, it’s easy to see why the A-Tech Australia team has focused in on the challenges facing these specific people. The contributions that the team have made can be seen in the world of the Steps of Hope foundation. As founder and President, Charlie created this organisation to uplift Lebanon’s people by undertaking efforts to end poverty and unlock enormous potential in communities, While Charlie has thrived in Australia, many of his countrymen simply never had the chance.

The success of Charlie Ibrahim is a credit to him and the remarkable team he has been able to establish. With such a strong position in the market, it’s clear that he is the ideal choice to lead A-Tech Australia to new and unprecedented heights. We celebrate his incredible achievements thus far and cannot wait to see what he does next.

For business enquiries, contact Charlie Ibrahim from A-Tech Australia via email – [email protected]or on their website – https://atechaustralia.com.au/ 

Should CEOs Invest in Second Citizenship?

Citizenship by investment is a big business now. The citizenship concept is a fluid one, now more than ever. Going back 50 years, you’ll read how unusual it was for countries to offer a second passport to foreign citizens. Nowadays, dual citizenship is universal…well almost.  

According to the Swiss layer, Christian Kalin, citizenship by investment is a global industry worth around 20 billion dollars annually. It’s a rapidly growing market that helps wealthy individuals to expand their businesses overseas and get visa-free travel opportunities.

But do CEOs need to invest in second citizenship to facilitate the process of business expansion? Or conquering new ventures? Read along to learn the benefits of second citizenship and why CEOs should pursue it.

Why Should You Obtain a Second Passport?

Things weren’t always bright for investors when it came to citizenship since the traditional inheritance of the above-mentioned is already outdated. It’s one of the few things globally that’s tied to a bloodline or the place you’re born.

The citizenship by investment programs have allowed citizens a different type of commodity that also provides the biggest source of governments’ revenues. For example, Vanuatu has seen a great interest in the second citizenship trend. 

Many wealthy individuals invest in the country’s economy and enjoy the benefits that come with dual citizenship. The Vanuatu citizenship scheme is vital for making money and boosting the country’s economy.

There are many reasons why you should apply for a second passport. From living abroad in a more stable country to securing a better future for your family in terms of security, education, healthcare, and lifestyle.

How Much Does It Cost?

The application process is different in each country and it depends solely on the country’s laws and regulations. For example, obtaining a passport from Antigua and Barbuda will cost you a minimum of $100,000. St. Kitts and Nevis passport has minimal costs of $150,000 and above, while Portugal starts from $384,000.

The Benefits

Business people and entrepreneurs need to travel frequently. They need a passport that has visa-free traveling options worldwide so they can do business overseas. Not all countries have such conditions and most of them impose investment, tax, and business restrictions. Thus, many citizens, especially business owners and CEOs, decide to pursue a second passport and facilitate their traveling abroad.

Many countries welcome foreigners to hold dual nationality, however, they need to invest a certain amount in return. The benefits of holding a second passport include tax optimization, greater access to potential customers and market expansion, visa-free traveling, financial benefits, and a safer environment.

Tax Optimization

Dual citizenship can have multiple tax benefits, such as no taxes on capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or income generated abroad. Nevertheless, this will depend mainly on the country you originate from and the country of the second citizenship. 

Countries like the Caribbean, for example, offer many affordable solutions and lower tax rates compared to the rest of the world. Becoming a dual citizen allows for greater tax efficiency and tax optimization.

Financial Benefits

Why would CEOs invest in a second passport if they don’t have additional financial benefits? The second passport not only enables commercial access to the country but can open investment opportunities as well.

Bear in mind that some countries do not accept foreign investments, however, this rule applies only to certain countries. Moreover, if you are a crypto investor and you trade, sell or hold a variety of cryptocurrencies, you can have the assets protected from market devaluation. Additionally, there’s no tax on crypto gains!

Access to Business Opportunities

The main advantage when owning a second passport is the significant access to new business opportunities, a chance for global expansion, and outreach to new customers. This means, not only can you do business in the country, but also trade with countries that the second passport gives you access to. It’s the perfect getaway to the business world and its endless opportunities.

Travel Without a Visa

Another common benefit for dual nationals is the option to travel freely and increase the global mobility options. A second passport allows you to travel to more countries than your homeland passport allows you to. 

For example, the Dominican passport allows its citizens to travel visa-free to more than 120 countries, while the passport of Portugal gets you access to more than 175 countries. The Maltese passport facilitates the visa traveling process and enables its citizens to travel to more than 166 countries.

Get Your Passport Now!

There’s plenty to discuss yet, but we’ve covered the most important information on whether CEOs should invest in a second citizenship. The answer will always be yes, so before starting the application process, make sure you are well-informed and guided by an authorized entity.

The Main Challenges CEOs Face When Recruiting Employees

When looking for a job, people do everything they can to put their best foot forward. They practice the interview, research the company, and even use effective CV templates to ensure their resume looks as good as possible.

Even still, many job seekers struggle to find positions due to a lot of competition and other potential issues. However, while many candidates face challenges to land their dream job, those doing the hiring also have their fair share of issues. CEOs and other executives will often face off against their own challenges when attempting to recruit people to their business.

With that in mind, this article is going to go over some of the main challenges that CEOs face when recruiting employees.

Getting the Wages Right

In the workforce, wages are rising quickly. People are expecting more in order to try and keep up with inflation. This can be difficult for CEOs as they need to juggle the importance of keeping their profit margins high vs. paying an adequate amount to attract the best candidates. If CEOs don’t get the wages right, it can be hard to hire and recruit in a similar manner to your competition.

As far as how much to offer, that depends. Some fields and positions pay way more than others, so it is important for businesses to research what is an appropriate wage for what they are asking for.

Trying to Maintain Flexibility

In today’s day and age, nearly all workers want a flexible work environment. Many prefer to work from home, or at least have some say in the hours they work instead of the same old 9 to 5 each and every day. If your business isn’t set up to offer flexibility in any way, you may struggle to recruit the quality of candidates you desire.

Even if you provide solid wages and decent benefits, many workers simply won’t consider working for somewhere that doesn’t offer up at least a little bit of flexibility. Unfortunately, as a CEO, implementing and maintaining a high level of flexibility can be challenging, as it can require a lot of work and changes within the organization.

Keeping Their Company Relevant

Another challenge that many CEOs face is finding ways to keep their company relevant. Many people (both candidates and recruiters) are using social media to learn and reach out.

People often want to know of or be familiar with the company they ultimately work for, so being a company that no one knows about or talks about can make it hard to excite the top level candidate.

A good way to stay relevant is by maintaining your social media profiles, keeping your website looking good, and finding ways to become involved with the community.

Unconscious Biases

Last but not least, there unconscious biases that a CEO has might also be a challenge in recruiting. These are biases we don’t think about or pay any mind to, but do exist and can influence how we make decisions and feel about people and situations.

These biases can, unfortunately, lead to CEOs making the wrong hire, or not seeing the true potential in someone due to the presence of these biases. As a CEO, always try your best to be as fair as possible, and not let any sort of biases hold you back from recruiting those who best fit your organization.

In conclusion, we hope this article has helped you learn a little more about some of the main challenges that CEOs face when recruiting new employees.

The Historical Organisation Teaching Modern Business its New Tricks

Led by the ‘CEO of the Year, 2021’ for Horsham in the United Kingdom – Robert Coles – Roffey Park Institute benefits from his huge width and breadth of experience, as well as his ability to create a plan, fine-tune it with the input of the community, and commit fully to it. Having been the CEO that is pulling the Institute through the tumult of Covid-19, he has proven his diligence and professional acumen in meeting the challenges presented to him, and is excited to welcome more clients in through the Institute’s doors in the future to continue providing expert business education.

Roffey Park Institute, a UK based organisation that provides a blend of digital and face-to-face learning underpinned by 75 years of research and practice, provides business education for individuals, teams, and whole enterprises, allowing them to cultivate the best workplace possible for its staff. From leadership development to management development, organisational development and HR, executive team coaching, change and resilience, and organisational learning, Roffey Park Institute is well-versed in continuing to serve its clients during an international crisis. After all, during its founding, the world was handling the tail end of World War 2. Fundamentally, this saw its first few years being focused on working with veterans and the wounded who returned home and had to assimilate themselves once again in the civilian working world.

Therefore, it became an expert in how to help these people manage PTSD and stress, enabling managing and returning armed service personnel to lead successful, active working lives that are emboldened by the constant support of Roffey Park Institute and its outstanding staff. This empathy, sensitivity, and client-first mentality that was developed in these initial years has remained a core of the business, and in the 80s, it used this beating heart to fuel its transition into a company that helps leaders, managers, and the teams of organisations to find better ways of working together in a changing corporate world.

It accomplishes this through its suite of executive education service including short courses, tailored programmes, and post-graduate mid-career qualifications. Moreover, being an educational charity, it is one of the last WW2 workplace rehabilitation schools that still remain truly independent, working with clients from the UK, Europe, and Asia, as well as all over the wider Pacific region. With offices in Ireland and Singapore, it takes pride in being able to respond to client questions, queries, or comments quickly and effectively, inviting them to come and enjoy its training and education services in person at its beautiful campus nestled in the heart of the picturesque country of Sussex.

With clients across a myriad of sectors and scales, its efforts have aided individual students, corporations, mid-size organisations, charities, and social organisations. Attracting students from all over the world to its varied and incredibly well-designed curriculum, Roffey Park Institute is often a client’s stepping-stone towards reaching their next big milestone, educating and developing 98% of the leaders that business school doesn’t cater to. Internally, it has been able to develop itself as an organisation with the help of its loyal clients and dedicated staff alike; each of them have responded well to the adaptations put in place to handle Covid-19, coming out the other side with emboldened collaboration skills, curiosity, and flexibility. Therefore, despite the higher education sector being one of the worst hit by the pandemic, it was able to pull through by pivoting to an online service during lockdown.

Dedicated to continuing to lean into this digital revolution and embrace the world’s movement towards increased remote operation, it is led by exemplary CEO Dr Robert Coles and the love of teamwork that he has fostered throughout his ‘portfolio career’. In the past, Coles has worked in theatre, retail, insurance, consulting, audit, accounting, exec education, and OD, and led organisations big and small in order to curate his depth and breadth of knowledge in organisational health. He seeks to encourage a client’s commitment to their own personal professional growth and to the growth of their companies, working with pride to keep Roffey Park Institute’s illustrious past as part of the core of the modern institute. In essence, ‘the world needs an independent voice,’ Coles told us, ‘a personable, sustainable approach to executive education. We want to be that choice.’

For business enquiries, contact Janice McBrown from Roffey Park Institute on their website – roffeypark.ac.uk

A Happy Workplace

Vivup is the market leading employee benefits provider to the public sector, with its platform offering employee benefits, such as Home and Electronics, Cycle to Work and Car Scheme, plus its own Recognition and Reward app, as well as mental health support, through its outstanding Employee Assistance Programme. We got in touch with CEO, Simon Moyle in light of him being recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021 – County Durham to learn more about his career and the company.

Vivup was established in 2005 with a strong history of working with the NHS. Current CEO, Simon Moyle previously worked with Vivup on the supplier side during his 20 years at Currys – and he was always impressed with Vivup’s approach and ambition. During his time working in retail, he enjoyed talking to consumers, finding solutions to their problems, and ensuring they loved him and the business so they would return.

He progressed into management across various PC World stores and then into business, with his methods not changing; helping people and businesses to find solutions while going above and beyond for the relationship has always been at the core of what Simon does.

In 2018, Simon joined Vivup with a brief to grow the business ten-fold within three years. He introduced a disruptive B2B2C business model which allowed the company to capture 70% of the NHS market. More recently, Vivup has seen rapid growth within local authorities, universities and emergency services, and it is making significant headway into the private sector market.

Simon’s philosophy has always been to grow a business from the bottom up. He said, “We have attracted the very best talent and invested heavily in their development to ensure the team have the right skills to drive the business forwards. To me, nothing matters more than a happy workplace. I believe that’s what makes us experts in creating them.”

Over the past three years, Simon has taken Vivup on a journey of relentless desire to change the employee benefits market for the good of employees and employers. The company has made it its mission to improve the lives of low paid workers across the UK by improving their financial, physical, and mental wellbeing. Simon said, “Our methods have been brave; we have not looked to replicate anyone, instead we have been proudly different. We have innovated and driven our business forward at an incredible pace, something which will not slow down for many years to come as there are a lot of employees who deserve better. Our aim is to ensure they get better.”

Vivup’s staff are core to its success. Simon encourages a culture of collaboration and honesty where hard work and success are rewarded. The company has an incredibly stable base of employees who are regularly surveyed to understand their honest views, and it has consistently seen results where 99% of staff would recommend Vivup to family and friends as a place to work… and that is saying something!

Speaking about his leadership style, Simon said, “I lead my team in a collaborative way. I set the pace and overall direction for the company and then guide, coach and support the wider team to find the best route to meet our objectives.

“I get hands-on when I need to – and often when I want to, as I love nothing more than meeting clients and partners to see how much difference we are making together. This style has evolved over the years as I used to struggle to let go of the detail and wanted to be part of everything that happened across my teams. As I have grown as a leader and the businesses I have led have grown, I had to let go and accept that while I am willing and like to get my hands dirty from time to time, the team doesn’t need me to, and it is not where I add most value.”

Ultimately, 2021 has been Vivup’s biggest year to date, having grown its relationships with existing clients while winning 200 new clients across all sectors. The business has seen a restructure to allow for further growth over 2022 and beyond, adding three C-Level Directors, acquiring its external software developers, bringing inhouse the amazing team it has worked with since 2011, as well as internally promoting three operating board directors and appointing a fourth.

So, what are Simon’s plans for the future? He said, “I love Vivup, the team we’ve built, the proposition we have brought to market and the mission we are on, so my plans for the foreseeable future are to continue growing the business and improving the lives of low paid workers. There is no limit to how Vivup can grow in this space and I’m having too much fun!”

For business enquiries, contact Simon Moyle from Vivup via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.vivup.co.uk

Outstanding Outsourced Customer Support

Run by family-focused and highly motivated Hamza Javaid, winner of the ‘CEO of the Year’ in 2021 for London, Support Solutions Hub Ltd is a company providing exemplary outsourced customer service. Fundamentally, operating out of a call centre in Pakistan, its professional and committed employees work hard around the clock to be the first point of contact for the customers of the UK Taxi industry, making operation so much easier for the companies in question and creating a far more fluid, seamless experience for all involved. This, in essence, has been made possible by the dedication to hard work that runs through every facet of this company from the bottom to the top.

Support Solutions Hub – or SSH – is a company serving the UK transport industry by contributing to filling a gap in the market. Opening a door to further opportunity for its customers and team equally, it offers Taxi companies the chance to better their services by providing customer service operators that customers reach as the first line of contact by way of its call centre based in Pakistan.

Founded in 2018, this company began on the idea of realising an opportunity that still had plenty of room in the market for another company providing such services to the UK’s diligent and hardworking Taxi operators, especially when enhancing the experience of customers and focusing on aiding Pakistani professionals.

Therefore, when it comes to core values and modus operandi, SSH’s beating heart is serving the UK’s Taxi-hailing market by uplifting the livelihood of human resources providers in Pakistan, allowing these professionals to ply their trade in an innovative manner and an invaluable field. Vitally, it wishes to develop each of these professionals in order to bolster their careers. This means a great deal of upskilling and training, and has created a culture of understanding, tenacity, and dedication within its ranks that permeates every facet of the company.

All in all, SSH believes that happy employees mean happy customers. Due to this prevailing attitude, each staff member within its ranks can always expect to be well taken care of during their time working for SSH, and it promises that they will leave having had an opportunity to further bolster and improve their careers in new and unexpected ways.

Part of the SSH Group that provides multiple products and services to businesses on a global scale, SSH as a Taxi customer service liaison enjoys membership amongst a number of other, equally client-focused companies that aid Taxi companies in the UK, all made possible by the excellence of CEO Hamza Javaid.

The CEO himself worked for over 4 years in the Taxi industry prior to founding the company, building up an exemplary base of knowledge that has served him well in creating the business he runs today; furthermore, he approaches applying this knowledge with the perspective of empathising with the customer in mind. His staff, therefore, will always seek to serve a customer with sensitivity and understanding, utilising their training and development within a growing team, allowing for an internal hiring rate of 95% as SSH’s staff continually grow and improve. Due to this, it now boasts the highest staff retention rate in the call centre industry of Pakistan.

Additionally, despite the trials and tribulations of Covid-19, SSH looks forward to a bright future as it has moved into a new office, which can now accommodate 500 employees, and it looks forward to moving into the industries of banking, telecoms, automobiles, law, hospitality, and more as a direct result.

For business enquiries, contact Hamza Javaid from Support Solutions Hub Ltd on their website – ssolutionshub.com

Not Just Another Telecoms Company

Unite Telecoms is not just another telecoms company. With honesty and loyalty, it wants to create change and bring back simplicity in a world of jargon and misleading advice to remind the industry that a handshake means trust. In light of company CEO, Tim Duncombe being recognised as CEO of the Year 2021 – Fareham, UK in this issue of CEO Monthly, we take a closer look to see what the company has to offer customers.

Tim Duncombe completely understands the issues business owners face as he has been in their shoes. From a few great ideas, Unite Telecoms was born as a start-up that, in just over two years, became an established global business made up of people who get excited about the prospect of helping customers’ businesses succeed.

Unite Telecoms offers leading telecommunications to businesses in the UK, Australia and France, from small start-ups to global enterprises, and it believes in the power of connectivity and business on the move. With 30 years’ combined experience in business telecoms, Unite Telecoms was founded to help connect businesses to their customs in the right way, at the right time and for the right price. Because the more businesses connect, collaborate, share ideas and talk with their customers, the more they will grow and the more success they will achieve.

Speaking about his company, Tim said, “Being the best at what we do is hard work. It doesn’t just happen; it takes commitment and dedication from every member of staff within the business. Being a military man and serving in the forces teaches you resilience, determination and discipline from the outset – and as the founder of Unite Telecoms, I couldn’t be prouder and more committed to what we have achieved as a team over the last two years.”

From first enquiry, the Unite Telecoms team is totally committed to providing a five-star service and working with the customer to offer the best business telecoms for their business needs. This includes a dedicated after-sales service for customers who need advice on their new VoIP system or want to make any changes to their service.

Unite Telecoms’ simple mission is to help its customers stay in touch with their customers, wherever their business may be, because it understands how important communication and efficiency is to business. Downtime must be avoided, costs need to be reduced, and commitment and the IT network need to be reliable and robust.

Ultimately, Unite Telecoms strives to help technology work for the customer as an asset rather than a cost – simple, fast, efficient and cost-effective; the way it should be.

For business enquiries, contact Tim Duncombe from Unite Telecoms via email – [email protected] or on their website –  www.unitetelecoms.co.uk

Building A High-Performing Team: Goals, Roles, Trust, Respect and Communication

There are many factors that can help drive success into your business. Modern equipment will keep you in step with the times, an accommodating workplace will improve people’s overall well-being, and a wide client base will generate profit and enhance your reputation. However, the most valuable asset of a company is its employees. With great dedication, variegated knowledge, and sectorial competencies, talented workers can truly make a difference.

It is safe to say, though, that teams can make better decisions, solve more complex problems, and execute more quickly than single individuals. This is why it is always important to put specific conditions into place that can effectively aid team development. As a manager, it is your responsibility to instil a sense of belonging and proactiveness in your workers.

Ultimately, a high-performing team is likely to yield the results you are aiming for. But how can you mould a cohesive group to benefit the efficiency of your business? Here, we explore how to shape a successful squad by focusing on targets, trust, communication, and encouragement.

1. Set clear roles and priorities

First things first, it is essential to ensure that each member of your team knows what their duties are. Defining everybody’s responsibilities will help your employees understand what is expected from them and deliver accordingly to the best of their abilities. In fact, any ambiguity or confusion at an individual level can hinder their own productivity, while also having a detrimental impact on the team as a whole.

Moreover, it is wise to assign roles and tasks in line with people’s qualities. Are they good with numbers? Allow them to deal with stats and numerical data. Are they technically gifted? Software and computer-related duties will suit them best. Handing clear and tailored roles to your employees will harness their real potential and maximise your team’s performance.

That said, if you want to nurture your squad and broaden their skillsets, consider investing in continual learning and development. High-performing teams tend to be curious and will welcome the opportunity to explore new paths and constantly build on their knowledge.

2. Embed trust and respect

A team in which members both trust and respect one another is more likely to efficiently work in unison. Making sure that people value each other – and feel valued in return – will increase cooperation and spark appreciation towards their colleagues’ strengths.

Therefore, creating a culture of trust is essential, and should be put into practice as soon as a new mind joins the business. In fact, it has been found that a pleasant onboarding experience lowers turnover figures by 157%. What’s more, it increases employees’ dedication and interest in the role by 54%.

As a manager, you need to take steps to ensure that you are trusted too. The truth is that humans tend to trust people that they like, so building positive relationships with your team members can generate sentiments of respect. Get to know them and check on their feelings from time to time. This shows that you care about them not only professionally, but on a personal level too.  

Consistency is also important, as walking the walk makes you a manager that your fellow workers can rely on. Have you promised to carry out something? Have you organised a meeting? Follow through with your appointments, or your team’s drive may soon start to fade.

3. Communication is key

There is no hiding that communication is the magic glue that keeps teams united. Indeed, from mitigating conflicts to solidifying team building, it conceals an array of crucial benefits. To nurture a close-knit, high-performing team, try to promote interaction at all times. Why should employees keep innovative thoughts to themselves? Why should they not share ingenious solutions with their colleagues? Saying things out loud and discussing specific ideas collectively can help teams work towards the same goal in an effective manner.   

In this respect, make space for thinking time and creativity sessions. Allowing your employees to spend time consulting each other will favour decision-making processes, helping them tackle any challenges with confidence and originality.

Furthermore, you should consider cultivating a transparent feedback culture. Sometimes, giving unsolicited feedback can lead to awkward situations. In fact, people may feel uncomfortable sharing their advice, and the recipient may not accept it gladly. However, providing constructive feedback can nip potential issues in the bud, and therefore enhance group performance. Normalise this process and encourage team members to frequently offer advice to one another.

Also, don’t shy away from praising hard-working employees. Everyone appreciates some well-deserved recognition from time to time, and it will work wonders on their motivation levels too!

4. Create sense of purpose

Finally, it is vital to instil a sense of purpose inside your team. Employees will feel more connected with their squad, as well as with the business on the whole, if they are presented with a common goal. What are the company’s targets? What should your staff be aiming for as a group?

With clear directions and well-defined ambitions in mind, your team can truly thrive. Working towards shared, key objectives is what a team needs to optimise their productivity. Hence, to raise a group of high-performing people make sure to set out a well-organised itinerary for them to follow. You will be delighted with the end result!

So, what will be your next steps? From establishing clear roles and building trust to outlining common goals and valuing communication, you will be providing your team of employees with the tools they need to excel.  

Unlocking Human Potential in the Workplace: How to Help Your Team Shine

Having a stimulating, rewarding occupation is an essential prerogative for most employees. It drives motivation and satisfaction in the workplace and encourages workers to unlock their talent in an effective manner.

As a manager or business owner, ensuring that your team members have the chance to unleash their potential is crucial. Not only will it benefit the well-being of your hard-working employees, but it will also boost the productivity and efficiency of your organization.

Here, with Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we take a look at some tips that will allow you to maximise people’s skills and qualities, helping and educating companies that are truly want to make their workers shine.

What are we doing wrong?

In 2021, 48% of American employees were actively job-hunting and keeping an eye open for more engaging opportunities. In May alone, about 3.6 million US workers resigned, registering a record-high number of unfilled roles. Disengagement, as well as people’s inability to showcase their true worth, were – and still are – among the driving factors of this daunting trend.

So, how are businesses failing to unleash human potential? Firstly, it is important to highlight that most people crave goals and purpose. If employees are working in an organization that does not provide them with personal missions and targets, they are bound to lose interest in the (not so) long run. What this also means is that, if your team is not dedicated and lacks motivation, there is a good chance it will not operate to its full potential.

Moreover, being constantly on the receiving end of decisions, processes, and assignments can repress people’s creativity. Of course, it is normal for managers and business owners to instruct their employees on specific tasks to carry out. However, depriving them on a regular basis of some much-needed autonomy can be detrimental, and hinder workers’ personal qualities.

Another mistake that organizations tend to make is to neglect training and development opportunities for their people. Who knows what incentives a learning course in digital software or proofreading can spur in your employees? Failing to nurture your team’s hidden skills can limit both your workers’ and company’s ambitions.  

Unchaining your team’s potential

It is fair to say that managers and directors should always proivde guidance and support, so that their employees can perform their duties in an adequate way. Therefore, if you are hoping to get the most out of your skilled workers, you may have to consider a leadership transformation. What can you do to favour and unlock your workforce’s talent?

Explain the reasoning behind tasks

There is no hiding that, from time to time, your team will have to deal with uninspiring assignments. It is likely that your employees will act professionally and complete the task without complaining, but there is a chance that they will struggle to find the motivation to perform the job with creativity and enthusiasm.

Make sure to set aside some time to explain and guide your people through tasks, highlighting the reasoning and usefulness of specific assignments. Not only will it provide them with a clear goal and objective, but it will also shine a light on the importance of their contribution. Furthermore, it will offer you the opportunity to reinforce the organization’s mission and vision and help your employee feel like they are a fundamental part of the company’s ambitions.

Nurture relationships and schedule one-to-one meetings

How can you unleash a person’s potential if you do not know ‘what they’re all about’? Some may have a soft spot for writing, while others could have a strong interest in computing or maths. Ultimately, the best way to discover your employees’ hidden skills is to get to know them personally.

Regular one-to-one meetings, for instance, could serve your purpose just right. They offer the perfect platform to provide feedback on their overall performance, strengthen your personal and professional relationship, and learn more about their passions. As a result, you can confidently assign the right tasks, goals, and incentives to the best-suited worker.

Furthermore, advocating for social relations within your organization is an excellent move to help everyone embark on a shared and common project. You can enhance your team’s sense of belonging and improve both their proactivity and creativity.

Compliment and reward

If a team member has achieved a remarkable result or has exceeded their personal target and your expectations, make sure their success is celebrated. It only takes an acknowledgement, a pat on the back, or some words of appreciation to boost your skilful employee’s morale.

If you would really like to reward your deserving employee, you could also repay their efforts with some exclusive incentives. Do they like soccer? Offer them a ticket for an upcoming match. Are they into plays and theater? Treat them to a seat in the auditorium.  

Compliments and recognition can stimulate people to keep up the good work and incite them to showcase their full potential.

Train your workers and create internal opportunities

As previously mentioned, overlooking people’s professional development will hinder both their career and the company’s progress. Training is a vital tool to further employees’ knowledge, enlarge their skillsets, and reveal undetected qualities. Gaining new competencies makes jobs feel more worthwhile, and prepares workers for higher achievements and greater performance.

What’s more, as your team members absorb new notions and professional tools, they may seek to tackle diverse challenges. Why should a talented employee be blocked within the limits of their role description? You may want to consider offering unusual, interesting assignments from time to time to satiate their curiosity and versatility. More often than not, people put a lot of effort and dedication into tasks that appeal to them. Providing them with enticing assignments can actively unchain their creativity.

Everyone has an array of skills and qualities that can drive their career in the right direction. How can you make the most of people’s true potential? From training and curating relationships to pinpointing objectives and acknowledging success, you can unleash your team’s talent and benefit the productivity of your business.

Fostering Innovation

Established in December 2020, Zoom Fibre’s mission is to build a connected Africa, meaning an all-inclusive environment with high-speed internet access to all. In light of company CEO, Mohammed Manjra’s CEO of the Year 2021 awards success, we profile his career and the company to learn more about what is on offer for clients.

Zoom Fibre is a fibre network operator, born out of the pandemic as the need for fibre and employees being equipped to work from home arose. This therefore put the company’s product in high demand.

In selected suburbs where the demand is, Zoom Fibre rolls out a Fibre-to-the-Home network, a dedicated fibre optic network which is installed into the ground, or via overhead cables. Fibre optics are made from glass which allows data to travel at the speed of light. Zoom Fibre looks after the physical fibre optic network installed in each area, while the network is Open Access and customers can select their choice of service provider.

Fibre is highly considered to be the most effective and reliable medium of delivering internet to anyone. A fibre network has the capacity to handle extremely large quantities of data, meaning customers get a reliable, stable internet connection that won’t let them down when they need it most. Zoom Fibre also designs its network to makes sure each customer gets the speed they pay for.

With core values of ‘We act, We help, We care, We show grit, We have guts, We remain humble, We do the right thing, We have each other’s backs’, Zoom Fibre’s dedication is shown as it fosters and enables growth across multiple sectors while being led towards the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

It has a positive company culture that encourages staff to put customers first, work hard, and have fun at the company, while it has zero tolerance for apathy and believes that corporate culture is the enemy. It encourages free expression and diversity, employing individuals of all ages, races and creeds and cultures. Overall, it has a very young dynamic which keeps the company relevant and trendy. CEO, Mohammed Manjra is also very enthusiastic about incentives, with all departments within the business qualifying for varying incentives to keep everyone motivated.

Mohammed is a firm believer in his philosophy of developing the leaders of tomorrow and he lives by the culture of ‘People, Products, Profits’, in that order. He has a firm belief that the environment should foster innovation and that having fun along the way adds to the nature of building up team confidence and motivation.

A graduate of the University of Johannesburg, Mohammed has a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry. He is skilled in business development, cross-functional team leadership, strategy, change management, and product management, and is a strong operations professional with a meticulous eye for detail. He has travelled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, Australia, and Far and Middle East countries.

Ultimately, Mohammed is ambitious and proud of what Zoom Fibre has come to achieve so far. The company’s product has played a significant role in keeping companies moving remotely during what has been a very difficult time. With an outstanding reputation for its product and service, it is surely inevitable that the company has a bright future ahead of it, and that it will achieve its goal of becoming a household name.

For business enquiries, contact Mohammed Manjra from Zoom Fibre Pty Ltd via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.zoomfibre.co.za

CEO of the Year, 2021 – Kentucky, the USA

The Balance in Innovation Center (BIC) aims to use teams of minority and women engineers, developers, and scientists to create an environment void of the biases of misogyny and bigotry. These prejudices are evident in the current culture research and development departments in medical device companies, so BIC intends to avoid them in their entirety. In addition, it promotes career growth and leadership positions within start-ups for the women and minorities in BIC.

Balance Innovation Center LLC follows the venture studio model of taking concepts to a functional prototype and spinning off a company of that prototype, all whilst bringing in high quality, under-represented minority and female engineers and scientists to work. These professionals then work with the best medical professionals to pioneer creative medical devices. Moreover, BIC will then provide board members, mentors, consultants, and additional services to these start-ups, aiding medical advisors with new concepts, new talent and thus, continuing a cycle.

Overall, the company primarily focuses on products in the medical device industry. The logic behind reaching a functional prototype is to remove much of the device’s risk and set the company up for success. Additionally, BIC provides an accelerator/incubator space for medical device start-ups, focusing on those with minority and women founders. The services provided are focused on delivering tools explicitly needed for medical device development.

CEO Jill Mari Embry believes that the most rewarding mission anyone could have is to give back. Jill explains, “I was raised by amazing parents that taught my siblings and me that it was our responsibility, given all of the blessings we have, to give back. As an engineer, it has been difficult to find the model to follow to do so; however, BIC is a means to reach back and help others by providing career paths in a diverse, inclusive environment.”

The goal for Jill and the company is to create an ecosystem of career opportunities for those that have not been able to thrive and excel in traditional STEM careers.

In addition, BIC has a non-profit organization, LegUp, a STEM program for K-12 and college and university students. It provides programs for K-12 students and mentors, role models through BIC, and creates internships for college and university students, start-ups, and tenant companies within BIC.

Jill states, “I believe in a collaborative style of management. Although I may be responsible for the end decision, I respect the voices of everyone. I believe that good ideas can come from unlikely places. Each person comes with a lifetime of experiences and knowledge, so it doesn’t matter what your title is; I have an open-door policy, with the caveat of honesty and respect.”

For Jill, regarding her management style, it has been noted that it has not changed much over the years. “What I have learned is that it is important to hire people that are going to thrive under that style. It is also important for me to surround myself with other leaders that can buffer some of my expectation, which at times can be unrealistic for some to meet, or to deliver messages for me in a softer, more tactful manner,” states Jill.

Overall, the staff of BIC is the key to its success. The company hires professionals with the same inclusive mindset that its founders have and ensures that anyone who works for BIC will be treated with respect. Jill explains, “The company is a team where every member adds value. Although each product will have its specific team, everyone at BIC can give input on any project. I grew up in a basketball family, and the key I take from that is that it doesn’t matter what your position is; you contribute to the win. Regardless of how you get there, it’s the end goal that is important.”

The company’s clients are the tenants and start-ups in its facility and those that BIC would license technology from. Jill explains, “Currently, we have a relationship with the University of Kentucky (UK) to license technologies developed by physicians and researchers associated with the UK. Additionally, we are in the process of developing a relationship with the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs as a source of potential technology to license.”

However, currently, the biggest challenge BIC has is raising capital. Of the billions of dollars of VC money being spent, only 0.39% goes to black women-owned businesses. Furthermore, only a small percentage of that goes to minority or women-owned companies, and even less in the medical device area. “Recently, we have been approaching large companies that have pledged to support programs for diversity and inclusion, with the majority of these companies being focused on internal programs or non-profit, STEM education,” Jill explains.

One of BIC’s concerns with this is that the cultures in these companies and the medical device research and development departments are not being addressed. There have been talented minority and female engineers, scientists, and developers for decades that have left such companies and industries because of the challenges.

Jill states, “We are determined to get our initial start-up capital in 2021 and will be working closely with those in the city of Lexington, KY to provide what resources they can. We are also working with the University of Kentucky to identify technology that would allow for a one year to start-up – two year to market technologies, knowing that these initial successes will be critical.”

BIC is currently investing in these minority sectors by investing in itself. Its work is paying off as its CEO’S reputation is renowned as being the best in Kentucky, if not in the country. Her efforts inspire those with her, around her, and who are partners with her during these projects. As a result, Kentucky’s business industry is better in the long run, with someone like Jill behind it.

For business enquiries, contact Jill Mari Embry from Balance Innovation Center LLC via their website https://balanceinnovationcenter.com

CEO of the Year, 2021 – York, United Kingdom

PureClarity started from a passion for AI and e-commerce and was established to deliver a truly personalised onsite experience for e-commerce businesses. We spoke to company CEO, Rachel Swann in light of her CEO of the Year 2021 awards success.

PureClarity’s software as a service emulates the best instore experience and tailors the individual online shopping journey into a mutually engaging conversation between browser and merchant, serving up real-time personalised content. This means browsers get to engage with things they’re interested in, seeing only relevant content, and customers enjoy significantly increased conversion from browser to buyer, increased average order and basket values, a higher number of items per basket, and more loyal customers.

The customers particularly rave about PureClarity’s onboarding process, expertise and insight.  This involves working with – rather than against or for – the customers.  PureClarity asks the client questions, while actively listening to the answers, around what success looks like for them, how they’re going to measure it, and how they’re going to report and quantify success. It is a straight-talking and transparent company, which reflects its easy-to-use and -understand product.

Rachel said, “We used to be product-led, based on extensive e-commerce knowledge, which means that the product really does what it should, every time, it is scalable and, frankly, absolutely amazing. For the last year, we’ve been market-led, really listening to what our audience is really looking for.

“During 2021, our customer base has grown significantly, across all our go-to market routes, and our monthly recurring revenue has increased by 166% as a result; our customers are in the UK, the US, Ireland and mainland Europe, and cover B2B and B2C.  We’re specifically working closely with the SME audience, enabling them to – directly and successfully – compete alongside the ubiquitous e-commerce giants. We have a great product, a great proposition and great people – both our customers and our team, and our customers tell us we are trustworthy and supportive – and truly innovative.”

Rachel joined the company in November 2020, in a lockdown, so it was about three or four months before she actually met anyone in person. She said regarding meeting her colleagues in person for the first time, “So, I think the fact we all really did have legs was a surprise. We have been able to use video meetings to our advantage, and using different tools for different types of team engagement was really helpful, so for example, we use zoom for more ‘official’ meetings, and slack for more ad hoc, one-on-one chats. It has also meant that actually meeting people in person, including people we’ve recruited – remotely – has become something really special and we get more out of our ‘in real life’ meetings than we may have done previously.

“The flexibility that this gives our team, especially around childcare and school runs, for example, has meant that people have really actively engaged in making the business market- and customer-led, to great success. So much so that we are seeing an amazing opportunity for us to take PureClarity truly global and continuing its growth trajectory.”

Rachel’s journey with PureClarity has been a year of high-speed excitement, and now, on the cusp of company-changing investment, she is so excited to take the company to new levels. She said, “This is my first official role as CEO and it’s been exhilarating to start realising the vision for the business. I suspect many people will hear voices of self-doubt and see challenges, so to be where we are is fabulous. As for where this takes me personally, who knows? But I do know that my energy isn’t expended yet. People will read articles and meet CEOs who are passionate. Come and chat to us; let us show you what real passion is – we’ve got an amazing product that delivers amazing results, an amazing proposition, an amazing customer base, and an amazing team and we can prove it. I don’t know how many people can genuinely say that and know it’s really true.”

Indeed, PureClarity has seen significant growth this year, in numbers and in stature, and is set for a period of yet more growth, aiming to quadruple its annual recurring revenue by the end of 2022 and more than trebling that by 2023. PureClarity is using personalisation in e-commerce to continue to deliver revenue benefits for all parties.

For business enquiries, contact Rachel Swann from PureClarity Ltd via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.pureclarity.com

Why Leaders Need to Take Holidays for Personal and Professional Benefits 

Why do holidays exist?  Traditionally – people took holidays to celebrate events of religious or cultural significance, and they were seen as an opportunity to connect us more closely to our family and community.

Today taking our annual summer holidays can give us time to relax, get away from our normal working environment and have a change of scene. Yet many leaders are reluctant to take a prolonged period away from work and find themselves checking emails by the pool or taking a call whilst they are wandering round a shopping mall with their family. This means they never properly switch off and relax to allow their brain to recuperate and get away from the ongoing stresses of a day job.

 

Changing perspective can encourage creativity

When we take the opportunity to have a change of scene it gives the brain a chance to be creative. Some say that’s why they do their best thinking whilst taking a shower. When we are relaxed, with no problem to focus on, we can allow our natural creativity to emerge, and allow our brain to make connections that we were not aware of before.

Businessman Nick Woodman decided to go on holiday to get away from it all after his business failed, with the hope that it would give him inspiration as to what to do next. It was doing the activity he loved that gave him the idea for his next venture when he realised, he wanted a wrist held camera to capture his surfing exploits.  That idea eventually turned into Go Pro.

 

Enabling others to step up

Stepping away from the helm for a period, gives others in the team a chance to step up and gain valuable experience. It’s worthwhile particularly when planned well in advance because it may be that there are elements of a leader’s role that subordinates can take on, without the full-blown responsibility of the entire job. With some preparation beforehand, and reflection time afterwards, a forward-thinking leader can help guide a high-potential employee to use the experience to advance their decision-making capabilities, and gain insights into senior leadership.

Sometimes leaders are reluctant to do this because they are fearful that it will reveal their own inadequacies or put talented individuals into the spotlight.  It takes a strong confident leader, to have one eye on succession planning and to build a team around them that have the potential to ultimately take over at a senior level. However, ultimately that will build a more sustainable future for the business.

Building stronger bonds and connectedness

Finally, many leaders use holidays as a time to relax with family and friends. Creating these shared experiences is a wonderful way to build stronger bonds and connections with loved ones. It’s important to be able to be ‘present’ and to taste the food you are eating, listen to what others are saying, and to see a holiday as a chance for an adventure. Many older people reminisce about trips they took with their family when they were younger, and these shared times together are meaningful. Rather like saving money in a bank account, investing time with people you trust and enjoy the company of, can bring a positive return when there are times of stress later in life. It’s those folks that are more likely to reach out to help or provide support if a leader finds themselves in need.  Friendships and family time can be priceless.

Sue Stockdale is an executive coach supporting CEOs and senior leaders in some of the world’s top companies, and author of EXPLORE: A Life of Adventure. For more info www.suestockdale.com

It’s A Beautiful Day

Aesthetic Today LLC is a beauty hub that provides only the finest quality products to its wide variety of customers. Here we talk to Jumana El Khoury Maalouf as she wins CEO of the Year, 2021 – Dubai, The United Arab Emirates. Her determination has led the company to an exponential growth rate that is leaving other beauty companies behind.

Aesthetic Today is a premium beauty website and mobile application that offers a large selection of high-quality skin care, hair care, beauty, health and wellness brands that all have one thing in common: the wish to provide the finest quality products to a widespread customer base. All items are 100% authentic and from well-known, respected brands that have all come together to create something wonderful.

With over 100 brands and 1000 products available, there is a huge number of products to browse, discover, and choose from. It caters for women, men, and children so that there is something for everyone to treat themselves or their loved ones with.

Aesthetic gives its customers the chance to purchase exclusive items that are changing the industry. From brands like Esthederm to Acqua Di Parma and other featured exclusive brands that change over time, Aesthetic offers only the cream of the crop.

Providing products from bath treatments, to makeup, fragrances, and even halal beauty products. Aesthetic has a vast assortment of inclusive and exclusive products that guarantee to make people happy. With its wide customer base, it is growing at an exponential rate and sees itself doing so for the foreseeable future.

Aesthetic’s secure online shopping site provides a secure shopping experience for its thousands of customers, and it offers 24/7 support for any queries that customers may have. With a friendly support team, Aesthetic has created an online portal that allows individuals to explore top-quality products with ease. They can navigate its site without any worries, for if they ever get stuck there’s always someone there for them.

Its mission and purpose are to share its large portfolio of beautiful items with as many people as possible, whilst keeping the costs extremely fair and competitive. For its customers in the United Arab Emirates, everything is made easy as its site includes everything a person could want for an exclusive and original shopping experience.

Its members can enjoy points and benefits such as savings on retail prices so that they can save money on returning purchases. Due to these benefits, Aesthetic has been creating long-lasting relationships with customers who will happily return again and again for their beauty needs.

By saving a substantial amount on products, Aesthetic’s customers are able to purchase more for less. This not only keeps them happy, but it also keeps them coming back for more. Aesthetic’s passion is that of sharing the best products for a more beautiful future. Some brands charge excessive prices for their products, but by teaming up with brands, Aesthetic is able to negotiate deals and reduced prices for its customers so that they may enjoy more products for a fraction of the full retail price. This is another reflection of how Aesthetic sustains long-term connections and even friendships with other brands that it features on its site.

Due to COVID-19, Aesthetic has noticed a huge jump in online users. This may be due to the fact that more people have been working from home, furloughed, are unemployed, or are simply spending more time at home due to various lockdowns and restrictions. This is something that is not predicted to decrease, especially now that so many customers have seen the products that Aesthetic offers, the prices, and the ease of access for their shopping standards.

As a visionary leader with a focus on goals and aspirations, CEO Jumana El Khoury Maalouf has now won CEO of the Year, 2021 – Dubai, The United Arab Emirates, for everything that she has done for the company.

“If the plan doesn’t work change the plan, but never the goal.” With this attitude, Jumana has come extremely far and has achieved her dreams of setting up a thriving online and mobile business that reaches a lengthy list of customers in the United Arab Emirates and beyond. Her focus on long-term plans means that she has worked her way to the top and she has become a true inspiration.

Jumana tells us, “you need to be extraordinary to get noticed and build relationships with your target market. Whether you sell a product or service, you must deliver the utmost experience.” Due to the hard work that she has put in, Aesthetic has countless, fulfilling relationships with new and existing customers that are all looking for the best in the industry.

Everything that Aesthetic does is based around the satisfaction of its customers and it has built an amazing inventory of excellent products that are good for everyone’s bodies and bank accounts. In the future, Aesthetic plans on continuing down its path of revolutionising the online and mobile beauty world with its selection of products and exceptional customer support.

By creating the future of skin care and a community of great, loyal customers, Aesthetic Today is flourishing and making a huge difference in the beauty industry. By working so hard on its online features, it is allowing customers to find everything they need to feel their most beautiful selves in a quick and easy way.

For business enquiries, contact Jumana El Khoury Maalouf from Aesthetic Today LLC via their website – https://www.aesthetictoday.com/

The Three ‘T’s of Project Management Education

Being a foremost and front-running IT and project management school, Three T Institute has become renowned in the educational sector for giving students ‘everything you need for a successful IT and project management career’. Run by Mahjooba Bianchi, the ‘Most Influential CEO’ in 2022 for Virginia in the USA, her business has helped thousands of learners to unlock their potential over 21 years of combined experience between the team, and she has great pride in everything that she and her students have been able to accomplish over the years.

Being a woman-owned and woman-led company that thrives on making positive change in people’s lives, Three T Institute has built its renown on providing training and consultation services to the federal government, private organisations, and individual learners who come to it seeking better ways to approach IT and project management. The CEO and founder, Mahjooba Bianchi, has held down several senior and leadership roles in a wide variety of different companies, bringing something new and invaluable to each as she built her professional career in the handling of project logistics and administrational leadership. Having been a project manager for both Technatomy and ERPi, as well as a Chief Executive Officer for ADV consultants and a senior project manager for Inova Loudoun Hospital, she has put her credentials as a Master of Business Administration from Strayer University to good use throughout her career.

Now, as the leader of Three T Institute, she uses her incredible levels of success to foster the same sort of success for other professionals. Nominally, her founding principles were ones of providing simple yet effective learning for her peers, allowing them access to ways to boost their careers and enhance their personal development in order to let them get to their next career milestones. Aiding each individual professional and her industry in the macro scale by ensuring that everyone has access to impeccable service, knowledge, and support through Three T Institute, she was able to hit the ground running with this business ins 2019, as many already knew her from her outstanding career of diligent, hardworking business management.

So, why the ‘Three T’ Institute? Well, in essence, the name reflects the three pillars upon which the company has been built. Firstly, there is the pillar of technical knowledge: this handles the nitty gritty, the ins and outs of both project management as an applicable skill and informational technology as a field. The second pillar is that of soft skill, which speaks to a person’s ability to use their own talents, gifts, and energy to make a genuine connection with a team of people or a set of information, grounding the business management specific skills in with the personality that each student brings to the table. And, lastly, the third pillar is mindset. This speaks to a person’s own driving forces, their ambitions, and the attitude with which they approach their role.

When all these things combine, they are sure to make an impeccably skilled and incredibly effective project manager or informational technology expert. Boasting a hybrid way of teaching that combines classroom and online learning experiences, Three T Institute has cut its teeth on creating educational services that bring excitement, motivation, and – eventually – career success. Indeed, Mahjooba Bianchi herself has funnelled significant effort into ensuring that each provider of such educational services within her company is a truly incredible teacher who deeply cares for their learners and wishes to get to know each one of them on an in-depth and personal level. By doing this, the tutor in question can more effectively implement the kind of teaching that will stick with them for years to come.

After all, one of the most important aspects of learning is the applicability of said learning. Thus, its service of the Northern Virginia area has involved bringing an incredible level of empathy and understanding with it to classroom environments both in person and using online learning tools, aiding each person who walks through its doors to obtain professional certifications. Such certifications can be of use in aiding employee retention, professional growth, and bolstering the proficiencies of the staff within an organisation, making it an exemplary way to share in a combined mission and vision.

Moreover, it is never one to upsell a client on something they do not need, and will only ever be doing its best to help a client get the most out of its services; to this end, its free professional development coaching sessions allow its intensely knowledgeable and empathic staff to help a learner map out their career. From there, Three T Institute will be able to talk a client through where it will be able to help, and what they may need to do to unlock certain milestones. When they have been thoroughly and comprehensively informed, should they wish to progress in an education with Three T Institute, the company will welcome them with open arms in order to bolster their confidence and give them the tools they need to succeed.

This hands-on approach has certainly endeared it to a wide range of learners. Over the years, its e-learning and physical teaching alike – emboldened by the tenacity and drive of the founder herself – has become synonymous with a personable and effective approach that never fails to help a client come out a more prepared and supported professional than they started. Indeed, this support and firm dedication to client satisfaction and wellbeing is what has made it such a cornerstone of the IT and project management training industry, using classroom work, coaching calls, and a sense of community to boost confidence and prepare its professionals to handle the challenges and opportunities of the future.

For business enquiries, contact Mahjooba Bianchi from Three T Institute via their website – threetinstitute.com

Engineering Excellence At Every Level

As the world enters a brave new era, the role technology will play is vital. The team at Williams Advanced Engineering, led by Craig Wilson, are a key part of bringing something new to the table. Now recognised as one of CEO Monthly’s CEO of the Year, 2021 – the United Kingdom, we thought it appropriate to catch up with exactly what Craig and his team have been up to.

Williams Advanced Engineering can trace its origins back to 2010, when Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations. The embryonic business has grown over the last decade into a 350-person strong organisation, delivering world-leading and innovative technology and engineering services to a global customer base. The team combines cutting edge technology with the industry’s best engineers to achieve success.

Throughout his career, Craig Wilson has been involved in engineering environments. His first job was as a technical engineering apprentice with Toyota in Australia before joining TWR Group in the UK where he held many senior operational and program positions, including Managing Director. Here he oversaw important projects such as the Aston Martin DB7 and the Volvo C70 as well as being responsible for the concept designs for the Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin Vanquish, and the Audi RS4. It placed him in the ideal position to join Williams Advanced Engineering in 2013 as MD, before working his way up to the position of CEO.

Perhaps one of the keys behind Craig’s success is his ability to create an environment where open communication is possible. Any issues or problems that occur, at any level, are quickly discovered, discussed and solved. There are many places where this is not possible, and it always catches up with people. Williams Advanced Engineering stands apart because its team are comfortable addressing the challenges they find themselves in.

Craig’s leadership of the firm has seen many changes to how it operates. The two biggest challenges facing the world currently are the aftermath to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The latter has seen the Williams Advanced Engineering team adapt quickly to demand for a whole raft of engineering requirements. Around 80% of what the team do revolves around electrification, and the pandemic has only accelerated this progress. Companies and countries around the world are moving towards reducing their carbon footprint, and depend on the expertise of the Williams Advanced Engineering team to do so.

In many ways, Craig has opened the door to a whole new world for the business. The team are constantly opening the doors to new opportunities. In the last three years, for instance, Williams Advanced Engineering began working with the world’s largest mining companies to help them achieve their goals of zero emissions. The possibility of this hadn’t even occurred to the team back then.

Naturally, the sustainability sector is one that is relatively young and there are many discoveries still to be made. Craig has ensured that his cutting-edge team are always exploring and researching new technologies that might become the next ecological breakthrough. As the journey to decarbonisation begins to accelerate even further, the challenge will be finding better solutions that embrace every possibility.

The world is constantly changing, and this has been perhaps the most disruptive period for the engineering industry in decades. That said, under Craig’s stalwart leadership, the team have been able to thrive, achieving the remarkable on behalf of their customers. He has ensured that his company is in the ideal position to play an important role on an international level in the future.

For business enquiries, contact Craig Wilson from Williams Advanced Engineering via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.wae.com

The Power of Branding

To succeed in business, entrepreneurs are always looking for an unfair advantage. Though his firm, Elysian Fields, Fergus Hay has adapted his considerable skill in marketing to assisting businesses in their growth and development. Named as one of CEO Monthly’s CEO of the Year, 2021 – London, the United Kingdom, we thought it time to explore precisely what Mr. Hay is offering to the community at large.

A great product isn’t enough to achieve success in the modern day and age. To truly thrive in today’s society, a great product must be supported by specific targets in terms of who to sell to and creating a space in the market for the product to flourish within. These factors are just as important when it comes to defining the trajectory of growth.

When Mr. Hay founded Elysian Fields, he wanted to create a consultancy which could help progressive businesses secure unfair advantages in their pursuit of growth. The firm operates as a fundraising and marketing advisory and is designed to make a real difference to the operations of businesses around the world. This formidable challenge was one he was well equipped for, with a proven track record in commercial transformation, product innovation and growth.

Mr. Hay has been proud to create a space which has expanded beyond the purview of traditional agencies and engages with a discrete network of elite founders, investors and sector specialists. He works closely with various founders, venture capitalists and business leaders to not only develop this network, but to expand the reach of his company. Having worked around the world, based in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore and now London, Mr. Hay knows the power behind almost every market and the strengths that go into making them a success. It’s this incredible skill and knowledge that he brings to his clients at Elysian Fields.

Often the clients that Mr. Hay works with are venture-backed start-ups, normally in series A to series B level. These organisations have made enormous promises to investors and need to build traction and gain customers to create tangible results and returns. Elysian Fields is built on a model that exploits all of the potential levers for growth, from commercial models to brand building to building a sales team. His work takes a holistic view, not simply focusing on marketing but on ensuring the pillars of good business practice are firmly in place.

The principles that Mr. Hay developed and became successful for in marketing have continued to serve him well during his time at Elysian Fields. While branding might not seem like a calculation in the success of a business, it helps to define a company’s position as well as how it stands out from the competition. By considering all of these factors, he has been able to make a real difference to the success of many of the company he and his team advise.

When an investor is looking at a business, they aren’t just looking for a good product. They are looking to ensure that they are going to be making a sound investment. Working with an experienced name like Mr. Hay and the incredible team behind Elysian Fields is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing that every part of your business doesn’t just look the part, but is actually the part. When it comes to growing to new heights of success, it pays to have the building blocks recommended by Mr. Hay and Elysian Fields firmly in place.

For business enquiries, contact Fergus Hay from Elysian Fields via email – [email protected]

Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Dubai, the United Arab Emirates

Dr. Arturo Lujan, CEO for Al Ghurair Ventures, is an exemplary leader whose drive, tenacity, innovation, people development, customer-focus, sustainability, and impeccable education continue to pave the way for business growth, expansion and transformation.

As the CEO for Al Ghurair Ventures, Dr. Arturo Lujan has established a name for himself as an influential leader and a driving force within Al Ghurair Investment, one of the largest and most reputed family business groups in the Middle East. In terms of industrial footholds, Al Ghurair has established itself in the sectors of foods and resources, property, construction and services, energy, mobility, and ventures.

Al Ghurair Ventures comprises a broad and diverse portfolio of businesses, all primed for growth and to support in driving the overall transformational journey of the wider Group. Al Ghurair Ventures companies range from automotive, printing, retail, education, financial services, exchange, travel, and shipping, amongst other diverse sectors. Since joining the company as CEO, Dr. Arturo Lujan has been steering Al Ghurair Ventures towards the future, with a focus on innovation, sustainability and transformation. As key demonstration of this drive, AG Ventures companies recently achieved both the Middle East and Africa Regional Innovation Award and the Middle East and Africa Regional Sustainability Award.

Moreover, the Dubai 2020 Expo Passport, produced by Al Ghurair Printing, ranked as Amazon Best Seller Globally for five consecutive months during the Dubai EXPO 2020. This milestone was a record achievement, as a first-time accomplishment for a company in the MEA region. Additionally, AG Retail business, within AG Ventures as well, achieved the Dubai Business Excellence Award, as a recognition for its outstanding customer-centric excellent service.

Earlier this year, Dr. Arturo was himself recognised with the prestigious distinction of “Friends of Spain in the UAE”, awarded by the President of Spain in recognition of his outstanding contributions toward business leadership, economic expansion and supporting bilateral trade relations.

Dr. Arturo Lujan has previously achieved personal accreditation for his leadership in joining the ranks of Spain’s 10 top CEOs and Presidents. The base of knowledge and depth of experience that have led to his coveted place on the international arena has been built following a 25-year career as a business leader, comprising positions across five continents. Directing companies from the positions of President, CEO, Private Equity Partner, and Board Member, Dr. Arturo’s experience extends across a number of Global Fortune 100 companies in the spheres of consumer, business-to[1]business, industrial, healthcare, and information technology.

“As the CEO for Al Ghurair Ventures, Dr. Arturo Lujan has established a name for himself as an influential leader and a driving force within Al Ghurair Investment, one of the largest and most reputed family business groups in the Middle East. “

Fundamentally, Dr. Arturo’s drive and ambition have created companies that consistently achieve outstanding financial results and are reputed for becoming great places to work for their employees. His efforts in maximising employee engagement and enhancing customer loyalty are widely recognised, with his name now synonymous with long-term value creation, profitable growth, and financial strength.

With a passion for innovation, sustainability and circularity, social impact and environmental conscience are topics close to his heart, and are embedded into his purpose-led business strategies. Through his business leadership and private equity work, Dr. Arturo has lead companies in five continents and developed a remarkable network of business leaders around the world, reaching from the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, powering far-reaching impact.

Essentially, Dr. Arturo’s purpose-focused and transformational leadership have become a driving force in the corporate world, ensuring his continued personal growth in such a way that allows his achievements to become the success of the company he works for. With his place cemented as a cornerstone of modern corporate leadership, Dr. Arturo is primed to push Al Ghurair Ventures to further success.

Of course, his well-rounded approach to his business career has been greatly aided by his perspective to everyday life: leading by example when it comes to his passion for learning, and towards becoming a better version of himself, every day. Dr. Arturo holds an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of Business in the USA, and a BSE — focusing on economics, finance, management and marketing — also from Wharton, graduating from both programmes with Honours. Moreover, Dr. Arturo has completed his Advanced Management Programmes from Harvard Business School, further expanding his leadership competencies and global network.

This year, Dr. Arturo Lujan was presented his Doctorate Degree, awarded in recognition of his extensive contributions to business transformation and community impact. The Council of Doctors voted unanimously for Dr. Arturo to receive this prestigious distinction of Doctorate Honoris Cause in the historic house of knowledge, Ateneo of Madrid, Spain which is the highest distinction awarded by this prestigious institution.

For business enquiries, contact Group Press Office from Al Ghurair via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.al-ghurair.com

San Diego-based Jason Hughes Reveals Secrets to Senior Brokers’ Success

San Diego executive Jason Hughes co-owns one of the most sought-after tenant representation companies in the nation. He says a major force behind its success is the commitment from his team, especially his brokers.

With more than 30 years of industry experience, the San Diego-based businessman says he’s been fortunate enough to work with the best brokers in his field. He says that the average broker at his firm generates more than $1.9 million per year, which is nearly 20 times higher than industry counterparts.

Jason Hughes states all of the brokers that join his team end up seeing his company as a beacon of light in an otherwise challenging industry.

“Brokers who have joined our company from other firms in the industry universally say that our company is beyond what they could have ever had hoped for,” he reveals. “That’s extremely fulfilling for us because it’s proof that we are changing the industry. We’ve created an amazing company for brokers to excel beyond their wildest dreams without the drama and internal competitiveness seen at most companies, while also taking tremendous care of their clients in the process.”

 

Why Company Values Matter in San Diego and Beyond

Jason Hughes believes in his brand’s core values, which he helped craft with his original team during a meeting in San Diego. Building lasting relationships based on trust, pursuing growth and learning, and maintaining proactive communication are just a few of the values that made the list.

Jason Hughes frequently addresses what’s most important to the team at meetings, and core values consistently come up.

“I’ve often been asked what the secret is to success in the brokerage business,” Jason Hughes says. “The obvious answers are intelligence, ambition, charisma, and work ethic.”

Jason Hughes acknowledges that it takes more than that to get to the next level. He says it takes innovative thinking — and a common mistake senior brokers make is a lack of innovation. Many times, senior brokers fail to empower up-and-coming brokers — supporting the antiquated thinking that younger brokers have to “pay their dues” before success — and it can create a negative vibe in a company. At his San Diego headquarters, he asserts that keeping team members motivated is always a priority.

“To those highly talented freshmen brokers, I say: Don’t let the seniors hold you down,” Jason Hughes suggests. “If your current company doesn’t embrace your enthusiasm and energy to reap large financial rewards, penalize them by going somewhere else.”

Jason Hughes notes that it’s essential for senior brokers to avoid getting a sense of entitlement after spending years in the industry, and that they shouldn’t equate tenure with industry superiority.

The San Diego CEO adds age shouldn’t even play a factor in a broker’s success.

 

Jason Hughes Reveals How Senior Brokers Can Remain Relevant

The San Diego leader declares that mentorship is paramount. Jason Hughes recalls the mentorship he received when he was younger that made a huge impact on his career. When he was in the ninth grade, he was paired with a commercial property broker for an interactive career day of sorts. After touring various buildings with him, Hughes admits he was immediately attracted to the field. It ultimately inspired him to go into the industry full-time after graduating college.

He also lives by the quote: “Success is not an entitlement. You need to earn it every day.” His company’s meetings end with this adage, which he got from one of his business heroes, former (and now returning!) Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Hughes has read all of the billionaire’s books, and he and his family had the opportunity to meet the storied entrepreneur in person for a private two-hour meeting at the coffee giant’s Seattle roastery.

The meeting led to him receiving life-changing advice on proceeding with company decisions after asking the simple question: “Will this make my team proud?”

Jason Hughes is extremely proud of his team and refers to them as “the secret sauce” in what has made his firm extraordinary. During team meetings, which he opts to hold in an office living room or at a giant farm table in lieu of a traditional conference room, he likes to ask his team members what they’re most excited about or what’s energizing them at that moment. Ensuring his team feels supported in pursuit of personal growth is another core value of his mission.

As Jason Hughes continues to take his brand, which started in San Diego, onward, he remains focused on reminding senior brokers not to get complacent and that a strong work ethic is still the driving force behind every successful broker.

“There is no free lunch in this business, regardless of how long you’ve paid your dues,” he says. “The top talent is embracing innovation. Without it, the end is near.”

Embracing Disruption and Driving Change

Trabelsi Loeb Legal Consultants is a dynamic and unique legal consultancy firm, founded in 2020 during the unprecedented pandemic with the determination to bring continuous and innovative solutions despite the disruption. Leading the firm through the storm is CEO, Malak Trabelsi Loeb, who has been awarded the title of CEO of the Year 2021 – Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Embracing global change, Trabelsi Loeb Legal Consultants provides legal solutions and strategic guidance to its clients. Its unique legal practice is driven by passionate, visionary, and multidisciplinary legal consultants who strive to solve the various corporate and personal matters across the most complex legal systems and disrupted business sectors.

Trabelsi Loeb’s core values are echoed throughout the service it provides, which are ‘responsible business’, ‘diversity and inclusion’, ‘sustainable approach’, and ‘innovative solution’. CEO, Malak Trabelsi Loeb said, “As the firm leader, I make sure that our practice anchors our core values in all aspects of our services, and parallelly, I focus on contributing toward the greater good of the global society and volunteering to ensure justice and equity.”

The Trabelsi Loeb team is multinational with an inhouse and remote international presence. Its success is in its diversity, multidisciplinary knowledge, complementary qualities, innovative solutions, vision, and out-of-the-box thinking. As a team, it utilises years of expertise and forward-thinking to deal with ever-changing disruptions and assist clients in facing legal challenges.

Diversity, equity, and passion are crucial to innovation and excellence. Thus, the firm’s leadership model embraces a culture that encourages creative thinking. Trabelsi Loeb’s culture is crafted to serve its clients, with the help of a passionate, knowledgeable, and relatable team. The result is an environment in which people support and challenge each other to solve complex legal issues and boost efficiency and service quality.

Trabelsi Loeb’s clients benefit from inclusion in a complex ecosystem within a dynamic global landscape. They are innovators, start-ups, companies, investors and other organisations and individuals who continue to drive disruption, operating on an international scale to challenge or be challenged by the international legal system. These clients come to Trabelsi Loeb seeking solutions to minimise their legal risks and ensure their business continuity across jurisdictions amidst uncertainty.

The firm’s lawyers and legal advisors are well-versed in disruptive technologies, sectoral and technical know-how, business management, economics, and various other disciplines. Such added value to the firm’s legal knowledge gives Trabelsi Loeb a competitive edge and attracts businesses to find out-of-the-box legal solutions to the most complicated of situations within complex ecosystems. The firm also supports start-ups in their early stages by offering them cost-effective strategies and robust commercial solutions.

Indeed, the business environment is ever-changing, thanks to technology developments and constant uncertainty about the future. The requirement to keep investing in technology and adapting processes is a challenge in itself, and this is possible only through the acquisition of technical knowledge and investment in soft skills training. Fortunately, this is a strength of Trabelsi Loeb, as its team is passionate about development and continuous learning.

Consequently, disruption in the legal sector began long before the Covid-19 pandemic, as technologies and entrepreneurial approaches underwent significant evolution – evolution that was accelerated by the measures taken to manage the health crisis when the pandemic struck. Trabelsi Loeb’s international practice and multidisciplinary knowledge allowed it to not depend on litigations and its operations continued to be maintained despite the lockdown and other measures, thanks to its swift and effective transition to remote working.

Alongside managing the firm of consultants, Malak has launched two sister companies: Vernewell (business and tech consultancy) and Medusa Cysec (cybersecurity consultancy). These complement Trabelsi Loeb’s goal of offering complete solutions to clients. Through her companies and her motto of “Embracing disruption and driving change”, Malak is striving to lead technological development by offering legal, business and cybersecurity assistance.

Ultimately, Trabelsi Loeb is determined to bring the best services to its clients, and it is welcoming new strategic partners to join its network and associates to see this ambition come to fruition. It has also signed various agreements to bring knowledge to youth by being involved in Africa’s legal education field and opening opportunities for students from developing countries to complete their internships within the company – thereby supporting the next generation as they continue to embrace disruption and drive change for themselves.

For business enquiries, contact Malak Trabelsi Loeb from Trabelsi Loeb Legal Consultants via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.tl-legalconsultants.com

Sustainable Approach Secure Success

The chemicals industry lies at the heart of so many others, securing the colors, effects and functions that we take for granted in the modern world. The work of Archroma, led by the incomparable Heike van de Kerkhof, has allowed them to thrive in a changing marketplace. We take a look at Heike’s track record of success, following her being named CEO of the Year, 2021 – Basel, Switzerland by CEO Monthly.

Based in Basel, Switzerland, Heike van de Kerkhof’s business empire reaches out around the world. With 26 production sites, 3000 employees and a brand name secured in 34 countries, it’s easy to see how Archroma has become more than such a business success – it has become the go-to name when searching for chemicals that do exactly what is required.

Heike joined the firm in January 2020, fresh from holding the title of Vice President at Castrol and having held a variety of different business leadership and operational roles in various organizations over the last thirty years. In short order, she was charged with tackling the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and in finding quick and effective solutions to the rapidly growing climate crisis that would allow Archroma to thrive in a changing world.

Archroma had already established itself as a business that was ready to do what needed to be done, and Heike’s appointment reflected this. Throughout her career, she has believed that industrial leaders must fight for climate and environmental protection. The team had already put plans into place to make the firm’s business and its operations as sustainable as possible. Through the firm, from R&D to raw materials, from procurement to production, Archroma has tried to find ways to positively affect the firm’s carbon footprint. This approach has been  called “The Archroma Way to a Sustainable World: Safe, efficient, enhanced, it’s our nature”, and much of Heike’s work has been to enhance and enrich this important strategy.

Leading through a crisis such as a pandemic, having only just arrived, might frighten some leaders. For Heike, it was a chance to secure a vision of sustainability through even more of the company. Brands and companies around the world see this sustainable vision as essential, as customers pay more attention to the matter, and see Archroma as the obvious partner for products which are already sustainable. The team bring their own R&D-enabled solutions which optimize the costs of production for all.

The success of the firm through these trying times is a credit to Heike’s leadership. Her style is one which does not dictate, but empowers people to speak their minds and contribute to the results of a project. To her, everyone has their own ideas and potential which deserve to be brought to life. The benefits, she considers, are clear. With the right combination of leadership and inclusivity, modern businesses can not only move swiftly, but simply to producing solutions that customers want. In a marketplace where the production of solutions is not only relentless, but essential, having the freedom to move has been a key part of her success.

As an internationally recognized name, it’s little wonder that Archroma is an incredibly high achiever in the industry. That said, the recent success of the firm during some of the largest challenges that any business has had to face is thanks to the guidance and expertise of Heike van de Kerkhof. With her knowledge and trust in a remarkable staff, the firm has been able to strive for even great heights, and is well positioned to achieve great things moving forward.

For business enquiries, contact Heike van de Kerkhof from Archroma via their website – www.archroma.com

Iconic Marketing, Iconic Leadership

Steve Pailthorpe, the current leader of Iconic Digital Marketing Consultants, has earned renown as the ‘Most Influential CEO’ in 2022 for London with his philanthropic behaviour and exemplary work in the marketing field. During the pandemic, this professional has been keen to help his peers through a time of tumult, and donated thousands of pounds worth of resources to struggling businesses in order to help them survive it.

London based Iconic Digital Marketing Consultants has made itself a true friend to its peers over the time it has been in operation, especially so in the past few years since the start of the pandemic that has wracked the world’s economy. Critically, CEO Steve Pailthorpe has thrown himself into aiding such businesses in their pivot to fit themselves to the emerging new paradigm of remote enterprise. Therefore, since 2020, he has been writing a great number of business resources that have helped a countless number of professionals to take their businesses to the online arena and avoid stagnation as foot traffic and in-person retail came to a standstill.

With books including ‘The Digital Revolution’ and ‘The Little Book of Twitter’, Steve and his company have been working hard to show the modern business world the importance of flexibility and a healthy, online, digital footprint, through which clients can understand who they are and what they do instantly. In this manner, Iconic Digital Marketing has been able to help many of its peers and professional partners continue to thrive even throughout a time of increased tumult and global stress – not just through its work in creating its dynamic and digital marketing strategies – but in being the support system its market needed.

Additionally, its own client service has increased exponentially in renown as it has continued to gain traction in its sector. Producing the most effective, quantifiably results-yielding, and market-specific promotional materials, it has developed a worldwide client base that has benefitted from its ability to handle all aspects of online marketing. From SEO to PPC, marketing automation, social media, and content developing, its omni-channel digital strategy promises to help clients reach out to their end customers with the right message, at the right time.

Iconic Digital Marketing Consultants can also handle web design, branding and creative design, lead tracking and AI software, CRM and database management, and so much more. Fundamentally, even through these services each cover wide areas of internal process, a client can rest assured that putting their faith in it is always the right choice, with this company’s talented and gifted staff showing their in-depth and detail oriented professional excellence in a reliable manner. It is the hope of Steve Pailthorpe and his team that they can continue to serve the market in this manner, with front-running digitization that gets them ready for the future, promising that its clients can count on it every step of the way.

For business enquiries, contact Steve Pailthorpe from Iconic Digital Marketing Consultants via their website – iconicdigital.co.uk

Putting The Social Back Into Social Media

Marketing is an enormous challenge, with companies seeing the need for engagement in order to connect with customers. It’s easy to artificially build engagement, but this does not last. Lasting connections require the personal touch. That’s precisely what Wheeler Marketing Agency excels at. With three years under her belt as CEO, Danielle Wheeler has achieved overwhelming success. Named by CEO Monthly as Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Oregon, the USA, we thought now was the right time to find out more.

Danielle Wheeler would describe herself as the sort of person who sticks to her guns. When it’s something that she’s passionate about, she’s willing to go above and beyond to make sure that it’s the success it deserves to be. Nowhere is this clearer than in her approach to social media, where she feels the word “social” has begun to lose its power.

“It was all about connecting with each other,” she tells us. “That’s why these platforms were created in the first place. But as time went on, more and more users forgot about this aspect and only focused on only trying to make a sale.” That might seem odd for the CEO of a digital marketing company to say. After all, her business depends on profits made thanks to social media. But the important difference is that these are not profits directly because of it.

Wheeler Marketing Agency was made with the goal of putting the social aspect back into social media, focusing for the most part on Instagram. This platform sees brands paying thousands of dollars for ads, only to reach people that will eventually see them as a faceless brand. “I’m going the opposite way,” Danielle explains. “Building engagement, making brands the talk of the town, and creating a space where users want to go and be a part of is what we do. Connecting with your community is more important than ever. And it’s the only tried and tested method through which any brand can put itself out there and form a bond with its clients and create brand loyalty and ROI.”

The growth of Wheeler Marketing Agency was a result of its success, but it did take Danielle by surprise. She has been CEO of this former side-gig for three years and in that time has built a team of remote workers dedicated to building new communities. “I had no experience leading a team so it was definitely a learning process,” she laughs. “There were definitely some growing pains as WMA expanded and I learned how to clearly communicate goals and expected outcomes. But now? I completely trust my team to manage their responsibilities without me constantly looking over their shoulders.”

Her team is not one where the boss is constantly breathing down their necks, but more akin to King Authur and the Knights of the Round Table. A diverse team of people come together to discover the best path to success for clients. One person makes the final decision, of course, but everyone is involved in making it.

The importance of social media is clear to any business, particularly during the pandemic. “Many brands and businesses turned to social media as a way to generate revenue,” Danielle explains. “However, because many of these businesses hadn’t been connecting with their customers before the pandemic, it was a challenge for them to improve their sales using Instagram. Our ability to connect brands with their audiences helped them to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side. In the months since the pandemic began, we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for our services, and we expect that trend to continue well into the future.”

The future looks bright for this incredible team, and Danielle intends to stay at the forefront of whatever they do. “You can’t preach connectivity and not be connected yourself,” she says. “By staying active and engaged with my team, clients, and our social audience, I can help to create a strong sense of community and support that is essential for a successful business.” There are already plans in place to enable the team to take on more clients without compromising on quality over the next twelve months. It’s clear that the passion which led Danielle to start Wheeler Marketing Agency has not diminished in the slightest: “I think it’s going to be a great year – we’re going to achieve a lot and learn a lot too. I can’t wait!”

For business enquiries, contact Danielle Wheeler from Wheeler Marketing Agency via email – [email protected] or on their website – wheelermarketingagency.com

Most Influential CEO, 2022 – Cardiff, the United Kingdom

In a world of online shopping, adopting digitalisation is one of the biggest challenges facing small high street businesses. Victoria Mann, Founder and CEO of NearMeNow is leading the charge in the revival of Welsh high streets by empowering businesses and communities to build smart digital towns. Ahead of the launch of the brand-new product VZTA, we are taking a closer look into Victoria’s journey of becoming a high street hero.

NearMeNow all started with a vision to bring people together and better connect the high street with consumers. Sparked by a visit to the hairdressers, Vicky Mann saw first-hand how businesses were unable to easily, and effectively, connect with their own customers. An experienced senior analyst within the finance industry, Victoria founded NearMeNow in 2017 and has worked with hundreds of stakeholders since then to understand the underlying digital needs of our high streets and the businesses within them.

Small businesses often don’t understand and are unable to exploit digital technologies to the extent of larger businesses. Digital infrastructure is crucial to the future of high streets and town centres; it is as important as our highways, roads, and pavements. With the digital gap widening in rural, post-industrial, and coastal towns, Victoria and the NearMeNow team knew that digitising high streets needed a radical approach with robust digital toolkits that would give businesses the ability to collectively communicate, transact, and advertise in one place.

NearMeNow has created VZTA, a product that meets this need, working with a ground-up approach to make town centres a better place to visit, live, work, shop and learn. VZTA has been likened to ‘social media for the high street’, providing a digital tool that gives businesses the means to communicate with their customer at a time that suits their customers’ need. The entire platform is underpinned with a “no town left behind” approach to ensure post-industrial, coastal, and rural destinations are not left behind in a tech marketplace that often takes a city-centric approach.

NearMeNow has gone door-to-door in order to hand hold businesses through the journey to digital high streets. It knows that the current digital tools available to high street businesses are inefficient and have had to include businesses and consumers in this process to ensure their product is fit for the purpose of businesses, consumers, and local authorities. The NearMeNow team is currently working with the Great British High Street Champions, Treorchy, taking the small business owners on a digital journey and hand holding them through digital upskilling whilst crucially understanding the needs of their own businesses. Victoria has inspired the most digitally isolated business owners to embrace the technology, future-proofing their business and ensuring the creation of robust smart town ecosystems.

NearMeNow knows the high street like no other. It has spent years working with, engaging, and supporting local high streets. From shop owners to consumers, local authorities, and government, the team has immersed themselves in the environment and people they seek to serve to make VZTA the perfect fit for the needs of town centres. They continue to listen, learn, and adapt everything they do to ensure relevancy for the high streets they work with.

By empowering the whole community, from consumers to businesses, NearMeNow has delivered a system that allows businesses to compete with online giants and drive footfall to high streets. VZTA helps businesses achieve more together. Saving time and money by working together and supporting businesses to increase sales. VZTA is more than just a digital high street, it connects consumers, businesses, towns, and local authorities for a completely joined-up approach to create the world’s first smart towns ecosystem.

For business enquiries, contact Victoria Mann from NearMeNow via email – [email protected]

How to Retain Your Staff During Financial Crises

How to Retain Your Staff During Financial Crises

How to Retain Your Staff During Financial Crises

The current economic situation has resulted in a bizarre labour market that looks healthy and unhealthy at the same time.

For example, in the UK unemployment levels are relatively low considering the economy temporarily shrank by over 15% during the 2020 Covid pandemic year. The BBC reported that in May 2022 the number of job vacancies exceeded the number of officially unemployed adults for the first time since records began.

This results in good outcomes for employees, such as greater security of employment and less pressure on the individual if they are made redundant as there are plenty of work opportunities available elsewhere.

However, this flips on its head for companies, some of which are chronically understaffed and unable to fill vital vacancies that will allow them to resume normal operations. This employment crisis is leaving fruit rotting in the fields and airports unable to process the summer boom in holidaymakers.

While recruitment remains this difficult, companies must retain as many staff as possible to maintain service levels and alleviate the burden on their HR teams, and the financial pressure on their cash flow.

Here’s a summary of methods companies could use to retain their staff this year:

Conduct a market-based pay review to ensure that salaries are competitive

A number of firms use internal ‘bandings’ and performance reviews to decide how much to pay staff and what pay rises should be applied year on year. In periods of low inflation, this provides a fair and transparent way to link performance to pay and provide employees with a progression in their salary.

However, with inflation currently sitting at 11% and wages surging in many industries, a purely inward-looking pay review process is likely being completely outpaced by other employers desperately bidding to attract new employees.

Your employees aren’t naive and will be aware if competitors are hiking salaries to poach talent, therefore you will need to respond to retain your team.

Conduct an external pay review, possibly with the assistance of an external consultant to provide assurances to your staff that your pay remains competitive with the rest of the market and should give them no reason to pro-actively look around for more compelling packages.

Focus on total reward

Total Rew