Peer Power Blog
This blog is about the power of peers in the IT space. It is designed as a place to share things I have learned the past 24+ years running a business as well as meeting the growing demands of business owners we experience leading the Heartland Tech Groups - a peer group network for IT business owners.
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Lessons From Peers II
Earlier this week the HTS management team took a field trip to cold and even a little snowy Minnesota to visit Marco in St Cloud. Our mission was to spend time looking under the hood at a company that is extremely successful and has experienced many of the challenges we face on our path to growth. Having been members together in HTG2 for years, we were welcomed with open arms and had an amazing experience learning and observing the team in action.
We were particularly interested in understanding centralization of roles and functions - particularly around dispatch, helpdesk and managed services. We were able to spend time with the management team and get the honest and frank realities of making that transition. At the same time that we were interested in centralizing things to improve efficiencies - we also were focused on understanding effective ways to manage remote offices. Seems like contradiction doesn't it. But in realilty - both are real challenges we face and needed the perspective, experience and ideas from an organization who had been there and done that. We found them in Marco.
We talked sales and sales management, creation of a management structure that will scale, hiring and HR, process and discipline in execution. The topics were varied and our questions flowed pretty much non-stop for the 24 hours we were there. The team at Marco graciously shared from their experience. They gave us samples and policies and documents to speed our ability to make changes. They were the perfect example of being Go-Givers in action.
Of course the hard work still lies ahead. We have dozens of ideas of things we need to consider and change. But we can't do them all at once, and so now we must prioritize what comes first. Then we need to lay out the plan for how and who will drive those changes. Of course without a timeline and accountability - nothing happens - certainly not quickly. The HTG matra of "vision without execution is hallucination" will be the outcome. We have to be focused and disciplined.
The power of peers shone brightly as we finished our time there. No secrets - full transparency. Our company will be changed forever as a result of the sharing - at least if we execute well it will. We are blessed and grateful for peer partners like Marco. More of us need to take advantage of these types of visits - everyone wins when we spend time together sharing. Of course the relationships that have been formed will open doors for ongoing sharing over the coming months and years. The power of peers continues - we just need to plant the seeds and put it in motion!
I am just a plain old Iowa farm boy who loves technology. Fortunately I have been blessed with a job of putting the two together, living here on the farm and leading our companies in the Heartland family - HTG, HLG, Varvid and HTS Ag. The real fun is the learning shared with peers through HTG Peer Groups. It is the relationships that make life worth living, and this industry is full of really awesome people. I am blessed every day!