Lessons from a first birthday
Turning 1 or a rebirth?
In Dubai, September 2017 I asked Ruchir, now my CEO, if there was anything else to cover.
“We’ve been in discussions with getabed UK for the past 18 months and we are thinking about merging.”
Thus begun 20 of the most challenging months of my life. The lessons and reflections?
Keeping secrets is tough
We knew we had to fix the pricing on roomsXML. We knew that the new contracts would result in dramatic improvements. I knew four months before I could tell my staff, four more before we could tell the industry. We had to wait.
Our sales team showed great resilience and patience, knowing that eventually the message would become “You said we were too expensive, time to have another look.”
“They” all did, with sales up 50% plus in Q1.
Not everyone likes change
Mergers include big and small changes. As Ruchir said “it’s still the same person doing the same job at the same desk, it’s just a new logo and email address”. For some, enough to re-evaluate everything and move on.
Others saw the spaces left as ones they can grow into and improve the business and themselves. It’s not always the superstars who blow you away.
It’s a great opportunity to challenge, everything
In November 2018 Stuba suggested I become CIO, managing the team from Australia. Our Melbourne office was partially renovated, staff were still working from our second lounge room, big family changes were underway, I was in the UK, Christmas was coming…
I said yes. It’s been hard-core. But I’ve thrived.
Most satisfying has been the ability to challenge just about everything in the way we do business. So often we do the same things because that’s the way we’ve always done them. Loosening the shackles was liberating.
The secrets are simple
We’ve gotten off to a cracking start, but we are nowhere near where we want to be.
You seldom have all the information you want when making decisions. Making decisions and creating momentum is essential. Not a 100% the right decision? Its still better to make and enact one that is 75% correct. Being stuck in an analysis paralysis will prove fatal.
Asking the right questions is vital. “How do we make ourselves better” is not the right question. There are 10 questions under it, half of which include answers outside of my control, so why bother.
Finding questions where we can influence outcomes has been the pathway to improvement.