The Honest IT Company: June Edition

5 minutes with Chris, MD of Glo

Here lands the first edition of The Honest IT Company. What is that you ask? It's getting the lowdown on Glo from how business is doing to where our sights are set, what's downright awesome in the world of tech, and the things we've learned over the last month. We virtually sit down with Chris, Managing Director of Glo, and dig into his thoughts. Unfiltered. Honest. And, hopefully, helpful. 

Hey Chris, what's new with Glo?

We have finally moved our accounting software to Odoo, something that has been in the running for a while. We are already reaping the benefits and improving processes for Glo. By using it in our day-to-day, it also helps us to spot even more great features that we can recommend to our clients.

Our most recent board meeting at Glo was the first of its kind that took place outdoors, away from all forms of technology and on a walk. It was AWESOME! Taking place as part of the typical working day, we spitballed ideas, followed an agenda, and had a great conversation. When you are walking and surrounded by nature, trees, and breathing in the fresh air, it can offer some real benefits and create a completely different structure to the meeting. For my birthday, I took two days off work and enjoyed walking whilst forgetting about the usual responsibilities and concerns. My wife and I were able to just relax and I hoped that others could experience this enjoyment too. I recognised that simply because I had enjoyed it, doesn't necessarily mean the team would feel the same. However, they loved it! And bonus: fresh and exciting ideas came out of it as a result of this quite literal BlueSky thinking. 

One of the things we discussed in this meeting was what really makes Glo stand out from the crowd and how do we prove it? Most businesses claim to provide great customer service and value for money so boasting about these factors just keeps you on a level playing field and meets the basic expectation from a customer. We are looking to enhance the services we already offer by swotting up on Office365. We are already very familiar with and offer Office365 services but now we plan to learn and understand all the intricacies of the system to better serve our customers. Most clients pay for and use it, but there's a ton more stuff that you can do to benefit from a system that is already ingrained in your business. Moving from an Office365 implementer to a dedicated expert means we can help businesses get more from their investment and we have even more reason to stand out from the crowd. 

What has happened in June that you think is AWESOME?

It's been announced that the first fusion reactor has been signed off, which could mean a complete energy revolution for the planet if successful and a big step for humanity. How we generate energy at the moment is nowhere near sustainable but this event could be a positive move in the right direction. I'd say that is pretty impressive!

Tell us about something you have learned this month?

The art and power of listening. Case in point, during the board meeting I purposefully gave the others more space to speak and really focused on listening to what they were saying. Listening properly is not forming the next question while the other person is talking. It can be really powerful, but not many people listen 'properly'. This was born from a conversation in a Vistage group I am part of that discussed coaching people. I've already found that I'm having richer conversations from this and gaining way more insight than before. I still have a LOT of room for improvement!

How is the business doing?

We have had a really good month with lots of little projects being tied up and finished, and invoices coming out. The introduction of our new Pricing structure has bedded in with around 80% of clients moved on to our new packages. 

For the first time in 14 years of business, we have lost a team member that has moved on to work at another company. We totally understand, that's life. In fact, we see this as a positive in that our staff turnover is so great that this is the first time this is happening. We are now considering at what level we replace him and have been busy on our recruitment mission to find the next additions to the team. One of the recent members to join our team is Ben Guzman, he's been busy working on our sister company Glodo and has brought us a new customer already! 

A business is made up of money and people. Money: to survive and continue churning, people: critical to the success of any business. In the last couple of weeks, I've been reminded several times of the fragility of life and the notion that tomorrow really is not guaranteed. Tomorrow is a luxury and we should live our lives for each day that we are gifted. I'd urge people to live for the now, not the future retirement. Take a couple of days off to enjoy yourself, that's what is important.

Time for the curveball. What would improve your working day or make your professional life easier?

Having a better level of reporting or effective KPIs that could demonstrate how well each team member is doing would be a great help because I wouldn’t have to second guess. I just have to trust that everyone is using their time productively and effectively. In the world of Tech Support, this is notoriously tricky to do. Once you start to track numbers then naturally the focus is on numbers, whether that be how many issues are fixed or phone calls that are taken. This is not necessarily an effective way to measure success nor is it motivating for the team. It's worth noting it is not just a matter of hiring engaged, great people for the job. You can be unquestionably hardworking but working hard towards the wrong goal. Aligning the goals of the company with the team is an important step in the process. We are moving the HelpDesk into Odoo which should be another step closer to resolving the issue of tracking team productivity. 

The ultimate gauge is feedback from people. Each customer has different preferences so a one size fits all survey isn't a solution either, but it is brilliant when unprompted feedback is given. Plus, we like to celebrate 'WOWs' as we call them in Glo, this is when a customer randomly gives us WOW-factor feedback on our team. 

Thanks, Chris, until next time! 

What questions would you like to ask? What do you want to know about Glo?

Drop us a message and let us know! We will tackle it in the next edition.

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