Our own Ed Healy, CEO of RF Code, was recently recognized as a QuantumShift 2017 “Top Entrepreneur in America” by KPMG LLP’s Private Markets Group and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
QuantumShift assembles up to 40 founders, owners and CEOs of private, high growth U.S.-based companies to boost their development through an intensive, five-day learning, networking and collaboration program featuring sessions with faculty from the Ross School of Business and talented industry professionals. Through his work at RF Code, Ed was selected to be part of the QuantumShift 2017 class by demonstrating a strong track record for revenue growth and future growth potential.
Having recently completed the 2017 seminar, we were interested in learning about the key points Ed brought back from the keynote speakers and insights gained from leaders of other high growth, private companies. Below is the first part of the interview.
RF Code: The QuantumShift program recognizes the achievements of high-growth entrepreneurs and helps them lay the groundwork for the future. What advancements at RF Code do you think caught their attention, resulting in your selection as a QuantumShift 2017 “Top Entrepreneur in America?”
Ed: RF Code has undergone a major shift in its business model from a hardware company to a software services company that leverages IoT for data gathering. This shift clearly places RF Code at the forefront of two major technology waves: IoT and data analytics. This, together with my history of starting companies, taking them public and merging them with larger companies is perhaps what caught their attention. RF Code also has many Fortune 500 customers using the CenterScape platform to move their physical asset business processes from manual to automated, thereby eliminating human error in data collection and doing it in real-time. This too may have been a factor in RF Code's selection.
RF Code : What key points did you take away from the five-day learning, networking and collaboration program?
Ed: The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is one of our country's top business schools. At its core, the school's classes revolve around the concept of positive leadership. Whether it's finance, marketing, or entrepreneurship the topic of positive leadership found its way into the class subject matter. The power of positive leadership is undeniable and it reinforced the concepts of leadership that I learned while I was at the United States Military Academy at West Point. We spent the entire week together as a class from breakfast to dinner to after-dinner sessions, talking about our unique and sometimes similar challenges; challenges such as hiring, culture building, sales growth, and fund raising.
|Ed Healy and Sam Zell|
Another key takeaway was the importance of values and culture in a company and how important it is to get this right. We talked about how each of us did this and shared
insights into what worked. The guest lecturers included Sam Zell, Chairman of Equity International and the owner of the largest REIT in our country, and former NHL star and hockey coach at the University of Michigan, Red Berenson.
Both emphasized the importance of trust and value-setting. Sam Zell also added that if the merits of a business cannot be explained in two sentences or less then he'd be very skeptical of the business.
|Ed Healy and Red Berenson|
On Friday, after our program ended I went for lunch at Zingerman's along with two fellow CEO's. We went there because this deli restaurant is one of the most famous restaurants in Ann Arbor. It's known not only for great food, but for its customer service. In fact, Zingerman's is so well known that the owners are business consultants to service companies around the world. The restaurant is often referred to as "the model service" company. Our experience reinforced this "service first" mentality. We arrived with luggage planning to leave for the airport immediately after lunch. While waiting in line an employee immediately came over took our bags and stored them while we ate. We were offered samples and could have tried anything in the store. The service was over the top and all the employees served with happiness and pride. It was a great example that encapsulated much of what we learned over the week.
This concludes the first part of a two-series post capturing Ed's key learnings from the QuantumShift program. For additional information about QuantumShift, please visit www.quantumshiftus.com.