Presenting a keynote presentation at the 2020 FEDA Conference was Robert Herjavec, CEO of Herjavec Group, an IT security firm. He’s also a cast member of the television show Shark Tank.
During his hour-long presentation, Herjavec covered a variety of topics. Here are a few key discussion points:
Digital transformation: It’s something that people talked about before COVID-19. And it’s happening now. There’s no other road to travel. You have to have an online presence today. We are seeing digital transformation grow at a rate unlike any time in history. In a three-day period in March, global internet traffic went up by 30%. That’s more than in the previous ten years. It’s astronomical when you think about it.
Evolution of work: Social distancing, more space and the way we think about interconnectedness is changing. The key is how do we collaborate and create connections in a digital age when we can’t get together? The companies that will succeed in the future are the ones that can maintain that digital connection. Companies will need to maintain their relationships but will have to do so in a digital world. This impacts everyone.
The business environment: Business is a highly competitive place and if you want to do well you have to innovate. It’s about having more courage in order to drive the business forward. Fear drives most human reactions. We do everything in life because of fear and happiness. And guess which one is more powerful? Fear.
Herjavec also shared his three basic principles for success: Belief. Action. Results. It’s great to believe you can get there. But belief without solid action is nothing. And for results, well, the world does not reward intent. The world rewards results.
After wrapping up his presentation, Herjavec joined FE&S Vice President Kathy Langlois for a brief question and answer session. What follows is a brief transcript of that conversation.
Q: What does winning mean during a pandemic?
A: If you are trying to sell in this environment, it’s going to be really hard. Maintain the relationship and look for the opportunities. People are looking for people that can help them and not for companies that can sell to them. There will be massive opportunities. This business is not going away but you have to stay connected and close. If you do that, your customers will come back to you.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome in transforming your company?
A: There’s an old Lexus tagline “The constant pursuit of perfection.” You have to embrace that while building your company with the understanding that you are probably never going to get there. For us, it was really about being able to work as a larger team. Communication, establishing relationships and making sure everyone is moving toward the same goal. During COVID this has become harder and more important than ever.
Q: For companies that are behind the e-commerce curve, how can they catch up?
A: Our advice is before you buy more technology — software or hardware — take a step back to rationalize what you have and be clear about which technologies you have, which technologies you need and what road you will travel.
Q: How do you motivate your team to keep moving forward instead of standing still and being complacent?
A: The companies I admire don’t think about that stuff. They embody it. It’s kind of like their mission statement. They don’t have it written on the kitchen wall. They embody it. It is very difficult to take the DNA of the founder out of the company. As a company, we love to work hard and love to win. We are highly competitive, and we try to find people who are like that. In our company we have a lot of people that were great athletes. And it’s not that they are great athletes that works for us but that discipline of practicing. The second part of it is we try to give people big goals and big opportunities. If you are given a big opportunity you have to grasp it. You can’t wait for the world to be perfect in order for you to advance.