We haven’t officially opened yet, but the need for a local business accelerator seems obvious, and companies are already moving in. Small companies in Gwinnett and the surrounding area are looking for all of the advantages of an incubator, but without the commute to Midtown. With growing interest and excitement of the possibility of a local incubator, we are proud to be able to house these entrepreneurs. Peachtree Corners Technology Incubator, PCTI, is located right off Peachtree Industrial and is dedicating over 20,000 square feet of space for qualifying start-up companies. (more…)
On Friday, I had the pleasure of presenting to Tech Mahindra’s Innovation Day event at Georgia State. In preparing for this meeting, I researched the massive change that has occurred in technology over the past 25 years – in hopes to shed some insight on what I think will be the future for innovation. My conclusion: everything is now aligned for disruption in every industry. Nearly all of the traditional barriers have been eliminated. Disruption and innovation are inevitable now, and your company will likely be innovating and changing your industry—or a competitor will do it for you!
I advised CEOs and CIOs to totally rethink their mindsets around IT. In the past, all innovation involved large capital outlays, and obvious limits existed on creating value with existing technologies. Let’s look at the traditional barriers one by one:
Before office dinosaurs ruled the business world, managers interviewed and hired employees based on who they thought would perform best in the job. They also had the freedom to fire those who weren’t performing and to give raises as they saw fit based on performance. As the company grew, HR departments started helping managers with the hiring and firing process. In theory, it all made sense and usually worked well. HR professionals were trained at screening candidates, following applicable laws, and describing corporate benefit plans. Managers even liked that some of the tedious process of interviewing was no longer on their plate.
I have worked for large companies, sold to large companies, and consulted with large companies, and I am always amazed at some of the procedures, policies, and strategies they implement in the name of cost savings or efficiency. Some of these strategies last for years, if not decades, until someone with some common sense looks at the process with a different lens. Over the past few years, some of these dinosaur strategies have become more evident. New technologies have created tremendous opportunities for companies to drive innovation, enter new markets, and cut costs. Yet, these decades-old practices thwart innovation and inhibit creative managers to drive change within their organizations.
I was surprised by many of the comments I received. For example, several said something like, “Thanks, I am now going to put my swimming career on my resume.” I was obviously wondering why it wasn’t already there, in bold print! Parents of swimmers often commented with statements like, “I am showing this to my daughter to demonstrate that hard work may help her succeed in a business career.” Again, I would have thought that was obvious.
One of my goals in starting Relus Technologies has been to create an exceptional work environment. Last year, we were named one of the best places to work in Atlanta, so I think we are well on our way to that goal. We created an industry-leading compensation plan for our Infrastructure, Cloud, and Staffing teams, which undoubtedly has more upside than most plans in our space. But, for 2015, we have added a few new things to our sales compensation plan to ensure we retain our best employees and attract more team members with great skills.
Throughout my career, I have started small companies and worked at large Fortune 500 companies, and in both scenarios there was a strong belief in conducting annual planning sessions to prepare for the coming year. A little over a year ago, I founded Relus Technologies, my fourth start-up, and we are now going through this same exercise. I have learned a ton in past iterations of business plans, and I will hopefully use some of this knowledge in preparing our 2015 plan.