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Business software is a team game
“With a truly integrated system, one person’s action is visible to all, and those who need to respond are prompted to do so. They succeed because everyone is working towards that common goal.”
The player had the ball and was headed for the try line, with one opposing player to beat.
He had team mates to either side of him, screaming for the ball. Passing to either of them would have guaranteed a try. Instead he tried to be a hero and go it alone. He was tackled, and the try went begging.
Stuart Wild, Director of Greentree partner Hoge 100, was at that match, watching what should have been a triumph turn to seething frustration.
“It’s meant to be a team game, but that guy lost the plot,” Stuart says. “And I’ve seen that happen with businesses too. You have somebody who wants to demonstrate how wonderful they are, or perhaps the principles of teamwork and communication aren’t there. Too often the result is more harm than good.”
It's not just about you
“In a previous existence I worked with a company that was very successful because they had the right sort of ethos of working together and communicating with each other,” Stuart recalls. “To be honest, I find that’s lacking in too many companies I encounter these days.
“One I’ve seen recently has this umbrella organisation above them that’s supposed to coordinate things, and they couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery. Nobody talks to each other; they’re all blaming each other and squabbling. Individually the people are quite reasonable, but working together they’re not achieving anything.”
The problem is, in today’s tough, highly competitive business environment, it’s easy for an individual to become narrowly focused on their own performance. There’s so little time, so much pressure. With everyone else around you head-down and nose to the grindstone, you can fall into the trap of concentrating just on your own job, never mind what others are doing – let alone how your work might affect theirs.
But businesses that are getting ahead, even in difficult economic times, understand that team work is not a nice-to-have; it’s essential to get that winning result. The same principle applies in business, and when it comes to business systems, the best technology supports the team dynamic.
In the best business systems, the playing field is one cohesive environment, not a series of silos where people work in isolation. A truly integrated business system will help to foster teamwork by containing all the essential tools in one package, and ensuring seamless communication. Yet many software companies continue to sell systems which they claim are “integrated”, but actually are not.
“I find the majority of organisations, when shopping for business systems, still think of them as individual components”, Stuart says. “They’ll try to find what they believe is the best CRM system, the best Finance system, the best ERP system, and then they’ll try to stick it all together – which just doesn’t work. What they really need is one system that does everything.
“When I approach a customer, I explain to them what an integrated system really is. For example, Greentree’s Workflow has BPM and Approvals & Alerts, which means everyone in the business team is connected. One person’s action is visible to all, and those who need to respond are prompted to do so. The ball is passed, and the team scores – a new sale, a new customer, maybe a new market. The key to that success is everyone working together, towards that common goal.”
Teamwork gets the win
As a rugby fan, Stuart believes that teamwork trumps individual brilliance. He cites the Exeter Chiefs, a team of relative newcomers in England’s Rugby Premiership who’ve been performing well and winning regularly, despite their lack of international players.
“They’ve beaten sides that are brimming with internationals, but the internationals are playing as individuals where the Chiefs are playing as a team,” he says.
“That’s why Hoge 100 sells Greentree. It’s an integrated business system with great constituent modules, supported by dedicated developers, consultants and support people, all working together with the customer to provide one system that will work to put the business in a position where it can post the win.”
About Stuart WildThe software world is a far cry from life on the ocean wave, but Stuart spent 10 years in the Royal Navy before switching to business on dry land. Having gained a B Sc. In Physics and an M Sc. in Operational Research, his Naval stint included design and maintenance of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Database, and two years at sea aboard an ocean survey ship.
Once ashore, he rose through the ranks of Admiral Computing (later Admiral PLC), finishing up as Main Board Director before going into business for himself, first as Owner-Director of business consultancy Solomon Ltd, then on to his present role as Director of Hoge 100.
Stuart’s love of sport is documented here – rugby, cricket and golf all figure in his free time, and he likes the odd open air concert “when we have a summer!”