Sooner or later, every business finds itself at a crossroads. Adapt or die, as they say. For many companies, that push for change has been dramatically accelerated by COVID.
Over 28 years ago, Dave Reeve founded a tech company called InvestorCOM that provides compliance technology for the wealth management industry.
Even in an industry where change is relatively slow, it was apparent to Dave that he’d need to dramatically change his business if he was to adapt to the changing times. More specifically, Dave would have to let go of the business model he’d honed for nearly three decades and switch from a service model to a software model. And this move would mean lost jobs for some long-standing employees.
Armed with a deep understanding of where the business was headed, he chose to pivot. But the most challenging part wasn’t making the actual choice. It was stick-handling the fallout with employees and carving out a plan to get them behind the new direction.
“We knew early on that we had to be open and transparent with our employees,” said Dave. “So, we sat down with them and explained the situation, our rationale for the new direction, and that we’d need all their support to continue being successful. Then we set out to have weekly meetings to keep the conversation going so we could build this together.”
Although keeping the dialogue open and keeping employees informed was a crucial part of getting buy-in for his strategy, Dave also credits the role of data.
“During our meetings, we did more than just share ideas, thoughts, or feelings about how things were going. We sat down and looked at the numbers together. When we kept seeing that the old side of our business was declining while the new side of our business kept growing, it became very clear to everyone that we’d made the right call.”
“Opinions are always welcome,” added Dave. “But the numbers are numbers. And sharing those numbers consistently and early on made a huge difference in shaping the way our team looked at our new direction.”
The next time you find your team at a crossroads, don’t just think about the words you’re going to use and the feelings you’ll need to share.
Also, think about the numbers.
To hear the full 20-minute episode “Reinvigorating a 30-year-old business model” with Dave Reeve on our Toughest Call podcast – listen wherever you get your podcasts.
We don't email often.
When we do, we contribute value.
If you don't see the value, we make it easy to unsubscribe.