The right combination at the right time became the key to unlocking the potential of companies and more important, people.
Hello, my name is Monjie
One question has always nagged me, "What makes a company succeed and others fail?"
To me, why would some people succeed and why they fail has become an enduring curiosity. When I had a chance to run a software company that was struggling after expanding to the USA, I finally had a laboratory to probe deeper into this question. It was a live environment where my choices had real impact so it was far more than an academic curiosity.
By sharing my quest with this question, perhaps you can glean what I know, how I might be of value to you and how we can answer this question.
For those of you who want the short version of what I have mastery over or what is my value/expertise is, it is this: scaling companies regardless of industry and country. Yes it is a bold claim. I invite you test me with all humility. The result I believe is universally desirable success measures. A higher valuation and an opportunity for founders and CEO's to exit more on their terms.
For those who would rather know more details, read on.
There are books I read, from Jack Welch to Jim Collins (Good to Great), but like riding a bike, one has to experience it first hand, right?
I began the process of understanding the problem of why the software company had hit a stall, several aha's came to light. First sales being one of the issues, the sales people were spending more and more time 'away' from customers. Sounds simple enough, right? It wasn't apparent until one looked at the long distance bills. Because the activity reports didn't reveal where the sales resources were really focusing on. Next was customer perception. Although Canada and USA spoke english, even NY and Texas spoke a different version of English, what more between Canada and US. So we removed any reference to Canada and instead focused on what American's value: the underdog, a start up. Everywhere we looked in the company we applied the same process of questioning. Why and who benefits? We developed something uncommon, common sense.
In short order, the company returned to profitability. But the real story was only beginning.
My quest to understand the original question kept nagging.
The clues to the answers would only reveal themselves after many more countries and companies. It was then that I started to appreciate and understand the often quoted saying of "keep it simple". What I learned is that I like many others even harboured many assumptions. Assumptions that cloud my thinking, observations and even listening abilities. IT was only when I could strip away these assumptions that the answers to complex and complicated issues would reveal themselves.
Although I turned around the software company, a turnaround guy, actually what I did was listen without my interests getting in the way. That was my first aha. Fortunately I had the time and authority to accomplish what needed to get done but still it was an enlightening experience.
My curiosity and early stab at success led me to further opportunities to answer that nagging question. Next were opportunities industries in real estate development, gaming, startups, professional service companies and in one of the oldest organizations, the catholic archdiocese. And that led to a new countries as well. Each teaching me how assumptions and ego get in the way of creating outstanding companies that can serve their customers.
Where I am now is in applying what I have learned in the capital markets. If people and ideas are fundamental to a vibrant growing company, capital is the fuel.
The first venture in the capital market is Bespoke Private Equity. With the right approach, we think capital can enable founders and entrepreneurs to reach even greater heights. Balancing the interests of the investors and the entrepreneurs is the challenge and the opportunity.
We hope to capitalize not only startups but rejuvenate mature companies while applying the lessons learned.