Let my hindsight become your foresight
What's the best path to take?
Experience always helps you see the bigger picture. Photography by Christian Mushenko
Deal Making/Negotiations. I have successfully negotiated major contracts with some of the biggest companies in the world generating up-front cash payments in excess of US$150 million. Part of my unique talent is my ability to quickly assess the possibilities presented and to make the most of innovation in order to negotiate unprecedented agreements with long established leaders in the market. This invariably involved dealing with strong negotiators who are accustomed to dictating terms & conditions to potential partners or suppliers and I established terms that had been previously thought impossible. My philosophy is based upon the understanding of the art of negotiation and collaboration. If just making a deal is the intended outcome of negotiation it tends to create a winner and a loser whereas insightful negotiating can lead to successful winner/winner outcomes which then become sustainable and repeatable.
Innovation. I have built dynamic cross functional innovation teams teams. In product development teams I encourage team members to multi-task and not allow themselves to be pigeon-holed by only being capable of one function. Using the discipline of First Principals can take the concept of multi-functional teams to a whole new level. This helps drive innovation and also the speed at which teams can operate.
Business Development. I have successfully negotiated major contracts with some of the biggest companies in the world. Acquiring a US company and integrating it into our corporate structure and culture and negotiated with high quality suppliers for product development components. All this experience can help you grow your business organically.
Leadership/Culture/Team Building/Team Spirit/Motivation. Culture and management style are critical in any growing or emerging company and they start at the top. Leadership style should be one of empowering team members and encouraging them to be as great as they can be. I relish the opportunity to work with high performing team members as I see it as a calling to grow and perform better myself. Obviously it is important to have some constraints and guidelines in place particularly around costs and expenditures but they should be as least invasive on performance as possible. A great example of how this open minded culture can create great innovation is Google/Alphabet. They have created a strong empowering culture as an example their engineers were allowed to work one day per week on any personal concepts that they might have. Cross functional team interaction can be an enormous driver of innovation. However, even with their exemplary track record Google/Alphabet ran into criticism about pay equality. This serves as a valuable lesson that when it comes to building cohesive dynamic teams there is always room for improvement.
Product Design, Aesthetics/User Interface/Functionality/Design for manufacturability. I have led many product development programs from concept to high volume automated production. Including having the ability to understand the importance of aesthetics, ease of use, functionality combined with a design that can be manufactured at efficient unit pricing level.
Finance/Equity Capital Markets. I have listed and led a public company on the ASX and Nasdaq and over 18 years raised over $350 million in the capital markets. I have made many mistakes and also had many successes, I can help you minimize your errors and increase your chances of success.
Investor Relations/Communications. For a publicy listed company in Australia and or the USA it is extremely important to get value for your money from your communications advisors.
Creating a High Performance Culture. As leaders I believe we need to be constantly vigilant and protective of our organizations culture. Business organizations tend to be very hierarchal and historical protocol implies that leaders follow a very specific chain-of-command. I believe that organizations function better and more efficiently when they are more open and inclusive. I believe that to maintain a healthy culture business leaders should spend time with all team members not just the people that report directly to us. It is important that we speak to as many people as is reasonably possible as frequently as possible and do so with empathy, caring, sincerity and humility.
Marketing. I studied marketing at college and after 40 years of experience as an entrepreuner servicing customers needs I believe that I have built an instinct for comsumers desires even before the customer is aware of their desires.
Intellectual Property. Without being a lawyer I have a lot of experience and understanding of the importance of always keeping a close eye from an IP perspective on product development programs and thereby ensuring freedom to operate combined with a strong IP portfolio.
Operations and manufacturing efficiency. In order to maximize cost saving benefits in high volume automation manufacturing it is critical to integrate manufacturability and assembly of components into the product development process. Many companies have different requirements in terms of their manufacturing process such as A) controlling the manufacturing process and supply chain B) outsourcing the manufacturing and supply chain to a contract manufacturer or C) a hybrid of both. However, for an emerging company my experience is that it is financially and operationally more efficient to outsource manufacturing and supply chain to a reputable contractor. The right contract manufacturer can help significantly reduce capex expenditure and utilize their own well established supply chain to achieve product unit cost efficiencies.
Corporate Governance is treated very differently in USA capital markets from Australia. That is essentially due to the fundamental differences in the legal systems. it is extremely important to understand how those differences can effect your business decisions rather than just from a straight legal perspective.
Budgeting. Understanding the value of budgeting applications to the sustainability and growth of any company but particularly a publicly listed one. This is one area in which I have made errors in the past and I am painstakingly aware of them as a consequence but as an entrepreneur it is important to strike the right balance of risk/reward.
Quality Control and Regulatory Compliance. Quality control is often seen in the medical device or Pharma industries as a “must have” headache. In the more traditional established companies where quality assurance is operated as a completely independent department it can create fiction between the Quality Assurance department and operations as their needs and desires can appear to be in conflict due time to such things as time constraints. My experience is that the integration of quality assurance and quality control such as documentation, measuring, testing etc. works far more efficiently if integrated within the business units. Whereby the business units are responsible and held accountable for maintaining an efficient and effective quality system. It can then become a very valuable tool that can help with the efficient operation of the business. Obviously there always has to be independent quality and regulatory oversight which has responsibility for the system through internal audits, training etc.
Entrepreneurial Business Experience. I have been a successful entrepreneur for over 40 years. I won the Ernst & Young(EY) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Greater Philadelphia, USA in 2015. “Honoring those who see past the present to define the future EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. As the First and only truly global award of it’s kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses.”
• Entrepreneurial Business Experience
• Deal Making/Negotiations
• Business Development
• Leadership & Culture
• Building/Team Spirit/Motivation
• Product Design
• Aesthetics/User Interface/Functionality
• Design for Manufacturability
• Finance/Equity Capital Markets
• Investor Relations/Communications
• Building High Performance Product Development Teams
• Intellectual Property
• Planning and Executing High Volume Manufacturing
• Corporate Governance
• Accounting & Budgeting Applications