Note: This is the second of a two part series. If you have not yet read part one, please click here.
As the last entry detailed, the QuantumShift program recognizes the “Top Entrepreneurs in America” each year. RF Code CEO Ed Healy received this distinction as part of the 2017 selection process and joined 37 founders, owners and CEOs of other private, high growth U.S.-based companies to boost their development through an intensive, five-day learning, networking and collaboration program.
Ed shared some of his key learnings from the 2017 QuantumShift program in our last blog post, which covered important topics including the achievements of RF Code that factored into his selection, a broad view of the significant lessons Ed learned, and a description of the overall experience. Ed continues to shares his insights gained from the seminar below and how they can benefit RF Code in the future.
RF Code: How do you think these lessons can be applied to RF Code to help build on its recent growth in the data center industry?
Ed: RF Code is well on its way to being one of the most successful businesses in Austin, Texas and the U.S. At the foundational level, the company has a solid set of core values that each person understands and is beginning to internalize. It's "who we are." The company has a core focus and is developing a message that can be "explained in two sentences or less". We've recently kicked-off a program called #rfcodegivesback to not only give back to our community, but to also reinforce values such as teamwork, respect, and accountability. We're also beginning to place much more emphasis on innovation. In our QuantumShift innovation class taught by Professor Jeff Degraff, he pointed out that for companies seeking growth “innovation is not your best friend, it's your only friend."
RF Code : Out of the 40 “high growth, high potential businesses” selected to take part in the 2017 QuantumShift program, the majority (53%) were from the technology sector. Did you find that you shared common goals and/or challenges with these companies and did you find unexpected similarities with businesses in other industries?
Ed: Absolutely - many of the challenges tech companies face are similar: creating an innovative culture, growing sales and creating sales leverage through channels and partnerships, and managing change. Hiring was also a common theme as we discussed techniques and sources to use to "hire the best." One of the interesting topics that we discussed outside of technology, in the food sector, was how to manage a crisis. In particular, what happens when the unexpected hits and you find yourself having to make very difficult decisions? In the instance of the food industry, an all too common example is what happens when you have to recall food because of contamination leading to sickness and potential death. How do you manage a crisis like this? The takeaway for me was that leaders draw from their company's values: Who are we? What do we stand for? One can easily move right to the lawyers and PR but the best leaders stay true to themselves, their companies and their values. It was an inspiring lesson.
RF Code: Part of the QuantumShift program focuses on developing company culture, which you also believe is integral to the success of any business. RF Code has been focusing more on this important area through the #RFCodeGivesBack campaign, in which the staff supports the community in a variety of ways through volunteer projects. Did you develop any unique strategies or hear of relatable initiatives from other QuantumShift companies that can be applied to RF Code’s charitable work?
Ed: Though this topic didn't receive the attention it might deserve, several participants mentioned community involvement and how important it was to their companies and for their employees. For example, one company used plastic 5x7 cards to illustrate his company’s values. On one side of the card was inscribed company values and on the other a sentence with missing words. In an all-hands meeting, employees were asked to fill in the missing words; describing how they felt community involvement helped the company/team achieve their goals. These cards were collected and taped to a wall. What a wonderful exercise I thought and one that we might consider using to reinforce our values and our commitment to our community.
This concludes the two-series post capturing Ed's key learnings from the QuantumShift program. For additional information about QuantumShift, please visit www.quantumshiftus.com. To keep up withfor #rfcodegivesback, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.