You are currently viewing Strategy Meets Governance, Sage Advice Sage Partners CEO, Chairman, Cofounder Thomas Doorley Show 039

Strategy Meets Governance, Sage Advice Sage Partners CEO, Chairman, Cofounder Thomas Doorley Show 039

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0:00you’re listening to the listen up show
0:01startup entrepreneur podcast on Mitchell
0:03shadow your host today on shows your own
0:0639 today we’re here with Thomas orly co
0:09founder CEO and chairman of sage
0:12partners friend your business is your
0:18family you’re like let’s get started
0:21what are we going to talk to tom about
0:22today you worked for deloitte bought
0:25your company out and now you’ve got
0:26these 15 partners and you’re all over
0:28the world we work with Kimberly are just

0:31don’t think about starting up start
0:33thinking about scaling up to how does
0:35the startup prepares to scale up or how
0:37it is the startup in these even in these
0:39early days gets ready for the next big
0:41challenge which i call jumping the chasm
0:44which is to scale if you look at first
0:46virtually any industry sector over the
0:48years there are always tons of young
0:50fast-growing companies by the time the
0:53dust settles
0:54there are only a few of them and there
0:56are some reasons for that going to be
0:58the advantages of scale the advantages
1:00of of establishing brand all that sort
1:03of thing but you go from lots of
1:05fast-growing companies early on to a
1:07very small number of winners at the as
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1:56if you think about sage partners
1:57described generally that we are seasoned
1:59group of people and you bring good ideas
2:01into play and that idea of the bridging
2:04concept and then to more clearly define
2:06the two areas of business of the
2:08strategy and governance business on the
2:09fee-for-service side and adventure
2:11acceleration business
2:12and to do a split right at the beginning
2:14about that so that if you’re a young
2:16company say I’m you’re looking for
2:18advice on how to you know take this
2:21great idea that you have and and and
2:22find its appropriate markets into you
2:25know raise that next 10 million dollar
2:27section you know that then you turn left
2:29if you’re kimberly-clark you turn right
2:32skater sponsors our startup around for
2:34all your hosting needs head on over to
2:37Mitchell Chad / hosting again
2:41that hostgator head on over to Mitchell
2:43Chad flash hosting for all your
2:46web hosting need how you doing today tom
2:49i’m doing fine it’s snowy here in
2:52England how is it in the Philadelphia
2:54area you know what it’s not bad
2:56we just had a a light dusting of snow
2:59the other day
3:00western Pennsylvania ins consider
3:02themselves Midwesterners guys and
3:04Philadelphia as Eastern process where so
3:08we just go ahead as he is the breakpoint
3:10yes back in 2001 you started your
3:14current organization called sage
3:16partners can you tell me a little bit
3:19about each partner’s what what exactly
3:22is it that you do
3:23yeah we have what we refer to as a
3:25strategy and governance advisory firm
3:27and we have two groups of the of the
3:29client one we refer to as vetrix
3:32celebration and this kind of falls into
3:34the category that is the focus of your
3:36of your podcast in the sense that it is
3:40companies that have started off have a
3:43great product or to have some initial
3:46concepts and all that sort of thing
3:48customers and all but our role is to
3:51help them get to the next stage and one
3:53of the things that turns out to be as
3:56big a problem for young companies as
3:59starting off is how did you do what we
4:01call jump the chasm you go from being a
4:03day 0 idea company or stage one company
4:08i just described we’ve got a couple of
4:09customers of product or something like
4:11that to get to be where your sustainable
4:13where you have a process where you have
4:16an organization where you can in fact
4:18take a hit if if something comes by and
4:22that referred to as are better
4:23acceleration practice
4:24the other side of our practice is the
4:27more traditional strategy practice
4:29strategy consulting practice for
4:30strategy advisory practice but it’s had
4:33a strong element of governance since the
4:36early 2000s when the the governor’s will
4:40changed enormously with the likes of
4:43Tycho and enron and worldcom and all
4:45those sorts of things seem to repeated
4:47themselves more recently with arrows and
4:49others where people turned around and
4:51said wait a minute wasn’t the board
4:52supposed to be watching over those
4:54guides and and then sending up a flare
4:57if there was something wrong so our work
5:00which started in helping the c-suite
5:03deal with issues of strategy has evolved
5:05to wrap around the relationship between
5:08the board the oversight governance
5:10responsibilities and this c-suite the
5:14implementation the management of the
5:16strategy side you how do you market your
5:18services your solutions to and then tell
5:21me a little bit more about your team or
5:23primarily we do it via networking we
5:26obviously use our website as a way of
5:28the triggering things we send out notes
5:31but where we do ideas and develop ideas
5:34and send them out then around to focus
5:36on our network and we use the
5:37relationships we have it is really
5:39relationship marketing and one of your
5:41webcast or your podcast rather you
5:43talked about relationship marketing and
5:44we really very much believe in that you
5:46many many years ago I met an old
5:48consultant he was 16 is probably but in
5:52my view not sold anymore but he talked
5:55about how he had had a 40-year
5:57consulting career with only 10
5:59individuals as his client 10 individuals
6:01who went across 30 companies and in that
6:03sort of struck me as being the way in
6:04which you do things you do things with
6:07with with somebody you do the well and
6:09then that person refers you and you do
6:12it well with the next person that’s how
6:13it works so that’s sort of our primary
6:15our primary theme what we’re working on
6:17also his ways in which to reach out
6:19beyond our own network and that’s one of
6:21the reasons why i found the possibility
6:23of talking with you and doing your
6:24podcast to be it to be very helped away
6:26what we’ve talked to the entrepreneurs
6:28out various different distribution
6:30channel deliver you know your message
6:33out to the various community
6:35these and so this is just another means
6:38or another way for you to collaborate
6:40that correct yeah that’s right that’s
6:41right i personally into a lot of public
6:43speaking on conferences and those sorts
6:45of things most recently I worked with
6:47NACD national association of record and
6:50what they refer to as their masters
6:52class with the final piece of education
6:55they do with directions before they can
6:57become the hollow of the of the NACD and
6:59it was about this issue of strategy and
7:01governance so I do that how did you get
7:03involved with them because it here you
7:04know your professional director of the
7:06National Association of corporate
7:07directors tell me about that group and
7:09and how do you had a Jew sort of come to
7:11them and obviously you know you’ve
7:13reached out to various crew be able to
7:15do these speeches
7:16how do you sort of develop that type of
7:18business well because I’ve gone to some
7:20of their conferences and met various
7:21people and shared what it is they do
7:23they invited me so they reached out to
7:25me but the fact is I knew them and again
7:27it’s that sort of relationship side of
7:29our they National Association of
7:31corporate directors is probably the arm
7:34outside of the academic institutions are
7:36the best educational group or or group
7:39that teaches people how to in fact
7:41actually become directors which is not
7:43obvious sometimes the things you need to
7:45understand about the governance process
7:47and they do a very good job of that on
7:49and so recognizing that and recognizing
7:52the fact that i have advised boards and
7:54set on board and all that they’ve
7:55invited me to teaching this master’s
7:57class I’d probably not the guy you want
7:59to teach the basics to you know how it
8:01is you what you say hello to your
8:03corporate secretary but what type of
8:05companies have you actually sat on the
8:07board of some examples of the type of
8:10clients that you’ve helped doesn’t have
8:12to be names but whether the industry and
8:14and what you did to basically help the
8:16choice on on the under board side of it
8:18i’ve sat on and led i want to sort of
8:21each type of board you might you might
8:23pick up with a company in the UK who was
8:27in the secondary ticketing business
8:28called advanced ticketing systems help
8:31them as they work their way through some
8:33financial difficulties to eventually a
8:35successful merger with a ticket master
8:38or acquisition by ticketmaster so there
8:40was sort of a young company point of
8:42view where they eventually acquired yes
8:44they were by
8:45ticketmaster yes and you and you
8:46basically while you were on the board
8:48you you were involved in an obviously
8:50leading leading that charge
8:52yeah yeah then perhaps one of the more
8:54the longest-running example is a company
8:56called a strap read where r average
8:58which is a data analytics company that
9:00has been acquired most recently by am
9:03legendary analytics legendary films of
9:05their and their analytics division of
9:08the CEO map meralda work for me as a
9:10business analyst and as he was getting
9:12ready to go to business school he had an
9:14entrepreneurial bent so I helped him set
9:15up a company to do some data analytics
9:18or do I which he did for several years
9:20he went on to talk he used the work he
9:23was doing in analytics this goes back
9:25now to 1999 at the dartmouth stuck
9:27school for his mba and he won the atoms
9:30prize as the best entrepreneurial idea
9:32of that year graduate from talk that’s
9:35it up build the business into three
9:36segments i’m on this board I help him
9:39sort all of that out and then to be
9:41acquired by legendary films at the
9:43analytics division so that one went from
9:461999 to 2015 and and that was called
9:49scrap bridge correct 802 pastry yeah
9:52when that’s required does he does he
9:54stay on with the new company that’s
9:57acquired them or is it a cash deal and
10:00then he’s out or what happens if you get
10:02your involvement
10:03yeah it can actually very at the event
10:05ticketing systems james gray the CEO
10:08essentially sold out he stayed over for
10:10a transition period this is a company in
10:12the UK
10:13he then came back to the US to to be
10:16involved in other things so he
10:17essentially cashed out stay there for
10:20probably at 18 months or so in Matt’s
10:24case member oldest case his knowledge
10:27and and sort of understanding of this
10:30space the the analytics space the big
10:34data space was so important that he has
10:36stayed on and is likely to stand for as
10:39long as they think he has value which i
10:41think should be for quite a while
10:42because he is just a brilliant at
10:46understanding how data works how to
10:49inspire developers to develop these
10:52algorithms that
10:53bring life to to data that sort of thing
10:56so there it is on the young company side
10:59i served as a lead director of a company
11:02called natural which is a vitamins and
11:05minerals company out of California
11:06working with the the CEO obviously
11:10director and was there for three years
11:13when this may sound like a familiar
11:15story about it because necessarily need
11:18to be so where the company was acquired
11:20by an Indian company by name of platico
11:24which wanted to have a bigger position
11:27in in the US market based on the fact
11:30that they’re vitamins and minerals
11:31company out of out of Asia that was a
11:34very interesting thing because it being
11:36a public company you have the public
11:39company issues strap bridge and advanced
11:41ticketing systems were both private
11:43companies but these were public
11:45companies or this was a public company
11:47with the issues of compliance and
11:50reporting and all that sort of thing
11:52how do you have ID your partner’s you oh
11:55yes it’s a partner yes we do
11:57there are 15 of us and we are all to use
12:01the expression late in our careers so
12:05we’re all experience we all have 30 to
12:0740 years of experience we have all work
12:10in large companies and small companies
12:13we’ve all been leaders founders
12:16directors and so our special sauce in
12:19terms of whether working for a younger
12:20company or whether working for an
12:23established company is the bridge the
12:25gap between good ideas and how you
12:28actually have impact how you get things
12:30to be actually to actually work and and
12:33that is the that is the magic that we
12:35bring together the 15 of us have come
12:39across probably every issue you could
12:41possibly face dealt with them sometimes
12:44successful in sometimes have learned
12:46from things that didn’t work but are and
12:49I don’t use AAA purposely strong word
12:54brilliance is the fact that we’re able
12:57to take what seemed like good ideas
12:59figure out how they should actually work
13:02in practice and then put them in
13:05practice when we sit with a
13:06director you know chairman of the board
13:09and whatever we know we have said in his
13:11seat as well as we sat in the seat of
13:14the CEO that he’s working with now as
13:16far as governance goes and strategizing
13:18and helping sounds as if they’re more
13:20seasoned company so for example some of
13:23the younger companies that we talked to
13:25on our show are a little bit more
13:28startup in nature maybe a few years out
13:31their entrepreneurial and they’re trying
13:33to take it to the next level is that
13:35that’s a little too early for you to
13:37work with i mean obviously they have to
13:39have some type of wherewithal some type
13:41of finances in order for you to deal
13:42with them
13:43what would you be able to do to help
13:44startup that six to nine months out they
13:47have an idea they filed for their patent
13:50for example we just interviewed a fella
13:52with wearable technology for for asthma
13:54management there waiting to get the
13:56patent pending
13:57bye-bye filing for that how do you work
13:59with a company like that or don’t you
14:01why don’t we do it but and then so so
14:04that’s where we talk about this concept
14:06of jumping the chasm
14:08how did you go from being an idea
14:09company to be a company that has enough
14:13process and enough stability that they
14:15can actually have to give example right
14:16now we’re working with a young company
14:18that is based on three scientists one
14:22physicist and to md’s who have developed
14:26a new radiation oncology approach they
14:29have the idea they’ve gotten grant
14:30funding that has proved the fact that
14:33this technology works and small animals
14:35are what they need to do now is to jump
14:38to the next step so they raised through
14:40these grants you a couple million
14:41dollars which have been able to do their
14:43clinical research now they need to be
14:45able to take this idea and put it into a
14:48are closer to commercial application and
14:51that’s going to cost you know 10 to 15
14:53million dollars so they need to jump to
14:55that stage they need from us help
14:57building the pitch document we’re really
14:59good at that
15:00getting connections to the investment
15:03community folks who might be able to see
15:06this as an opportunity and and provide
15:08the 10 to 15 million dollars for portion
15:09of it and further help them find a
15:12management team but one of the the good
15:14launch management team one of the good
15:16things about this particular group
15:18is they know that they’re not the guise
15:19of the people who are going to be able
15:21to take this to a billion-dollar company
15:24because because they have no expertise
15:26their scientists there there there
15:27physicist their biologists are there
15:29md’s you know so that’s not the
15:31capability so in that case we’re helping
15:33them with all of those aspects when
15:37these companies are coming to you
15:38whatever the prices and whatever the
15:40structure is and we can talk about that
15:42a little bit hang you to not only put
15:45them in contact with this additional
15:47funding but obviously helped them build
15:49out I’m not only their board but their
15:51advisory team helped them flush out some
15:54of the ideas that they have what what
15:56else for example we’re already doing on
15:58no to earn in itself so their particular
16:01case they need a CEO who knows how to
16:07take a business from really good idea to
16:10commercial somebody who is on it works
16:13with them full time they need a a CFO of
16:16somebody who can make sure that if they
16:19do happen to get the 10 to 15 million
16:20dollars they know where it’s going and
16:22how it’s being spent and can report to
16:24their investors such as needed 17
16:26yeah there’s different business models
16:28when working with a company like this
16:30they’ve had some success in getting some
16:32grants and and raising some money that
16:34that way and they might have some of
16:36their own funds that they’re putting
16:37into the company early on but you know
16:40we talked to a lot of the entrepreneurs
16:41that not only listened but but also come
16:44on in terms of leveraging the resources
16:46so what are the different pricing
16:48structure so for example we just had on
16:51the other week boost linguistic where
16:53it’s a young it’s a young
16:55entrepreneurial team you know they’re in
16:57their early twenties and they’re
16:58building out this text editor they
17:00approach you and they say we don’t even
17:02have our first customer yet but here’s
17:04the technology we’ve already proven our
17:07we’ve already proven the case by going
17:09to let’s say the first 200 people and
17:11they’ve gotten good feedback they
17:13approach you and how do you engage with
17:15them in terms of what you’re gonna
17:17charge and and how they’re going to be
17:19able to sort of work with you to sort of
17:21get to that next level before they
17:23starve sure that’s always a good point
17:27so there’s sort of two
17:29chunks are two ways in which that that
17:32we work with them
17:33one is we actually do charge of the
17:35small fee and we charge movement of the
17:37fears is relatively minor because that
17:40indicates that there are serious enough
17:43about working with us to put some skin
17:46in the game so it’s like a buy it for me
17:49like a buy-in you know it it’s it’s just
17:53the kind of it’s a it’s a token to
17:55basically say you know we’re serious
17:58we know that you know that you need to
18:00be paid for your time and and that that
18:02c-could could range depending upon the
18:04the solutions of the services you know
18:08whatever that pre-arranged he’s going to
18:11be correct
18:12yeah yeah well as little as a thousand
18:14of two dollars a month the other two if
18:16it’s those companies little further down
18:18the line to five or ten thousand dollars
18:20a month
18:21yeah okay all ripped but our real win is
18:25to align our incentive with theirs and
18:28so therefore we take some sort of it
18:30carried interest and that can be
18:32described in any number of ways I could
18:34be described in terms of options that
18:36triggered various times and so the only
18:38way that we actually get full value for
18:41our time is if they’re successful and
18:45what it is they want to do a transaction
18:47you going public finding a strategic
18:51investor that sort of thing that the
18:54carried interest we have however it’s a
18:57described actually has value so one of
19:00my ma sage partners of points out that
19:03if we work with a company over a year or
19:06two whatever it is and nothing really
19:08happens then we have discounted our
19:10hourly rate enormously yes things go
19:14well that it works for us and works for
19:16them and so we have every incentive to
19:19try to figure out what could make them
19:23successful and really work hard to make
19:25them successful because then we’re
19:26successful as well so with 15 partners I
19:30mean realistically you can only be in so
19:33many places at once at any given point
19:35in time the 15 of you have a certain
19:38number of clients that that you’re
19:41working with i mean
19:42and you know can you can you share with
19:43us a little bit about you know what
19:46those numbers are and and you know where
19:49you’re looking to take the the
19:51partnership then it as far as that goes
19:53just so the 15 of us because we
19:55typically work in pairs of war or more
19:58sometimes if it’s on the advanced
20:00ticketing systems there are three of us
20:01because it was you know complicated and
20:04often all that sort of thing that we
20:06needed a different expertise that each
20:08of his head so i would say at any one
20:10time we could handle us in the range of
20:13fifteen to twenty companies are because
20:16we do have other work that we do which
20:18is the more traditional strategy and
20:20governance arena which is
20:22fee-for-service so all of our work isn’t
20:24for the young companies but the good
20:26chunk of it is in right now probably a
20:29in a range of half of our work is for
20:32these young companies and the other half
20:34is for the more traditional strategy and
20:36governance companies which they’re a
20:38fee-for-service basis those companies we
20:41can lay out a project developed a what
20:43it is we’re going to do in milestones
20:45and all that sort of thing and they pass
20:46a certain amount of money on a daily
20:49rate and do you see that that that mix
20:51changing from 50 50 to 60 40 or 7030 I
20:55mean do you want to take it you know you
20:57want to start to focus in in other areas
20:59and it’s so what were those areas be
21:01actually I i like the balance and I like
21:04the balance keeping it sort of romaine
21:06that 50 50 range now at any one time
21:09like a couple years ago we had some very
21:11large fee for service clients and so the
21:13balance was tipped more towards the the
21:16strategy and governance side for
21:18Rousseau typically who would be your fee
21:20for service on the government side I
21:21mean whether you can mention names or
21:24not but the types of companies and you
21:26know what you as an organization of the
21:29partnership could you know to to hit a
21:31home on you know expect to earn from
21:34from those companies to come to you and
21:35say you know generally speaking this is
21:38what you’re going to pay sure and again
21:41obviously it depends on the nature of
21:43the work and and all that sort of thing
21:45but our clients have included the likes
21:47of companies like a kimberly-clark
21:49hasbro the the toy company and in others
21:52like that and even those idiot
21:54is it in the same category a
21:57not-for-profit by name of health wise
21:59those are all companies of me that we
22:01can tell you who the names are so
22:03they’ve actually come to you and they’ve
22:06engaged you and a project that could
22:08last you know it could be 44 asset thing
22:10like for example governance or a
22:13specific project that might last a
22:15certain period of time correct yes
22:17that’s right yeah it has a focus
22:19something we’re trying to do for them to
22:22look for Hasbro for example what what
22:24what what typically would be the project
22:27there and for how long and and you know
22:29i guess i’m trying to get a sense for me
22:32to know about the about the health wise
22:34one because that’s sort of more even
22:36though it’s a not-for-profit don’t think
22:38of it that way because health wise as
22:41the company headquartered in boise idaho
22:44who provide information that if you go
22:48to go on to the doctor while website or
22:53web md any of those websites and a
22:55suggestion about well if you have the
22:58information get comes from health wise
23:00so they take information around your
23:05problems people have and all that sort
23:06of thing and find ways to package it so
23:09you can ask a question that can get an
23:11answer is not supposed to replace your
23:13conversation with your position was
23:15supposed to do is to make you prepared
23:17to have an intelligent conversation with
23:19the with your physician they had
23:25recently retired a terrific a CEO who
23:29talked about the fact that they have to
23:31find ways to be connected with people to
23:35generate to generate revenues in order
23:37to be able to accomplish the things that
23:39they want to do and so I did he
23:40describes them is without margin there’s
23:43no mission and so here’s a
23:44not-for-profit which in fact has a very
23:48commercial orientation so we help them
23:52and a predecessor company located in
23:54Boston called complicated name the
23:57informed medical decisions making
23:59foundation and the validation which was
24:02our original
24:04contact @ lost their go-to-market
24:08channel company called the health
24:11dialogue which kind of disappeared and
24:14so they needed to find a way to take the
24:16research and their research based
24:18organization on into the market to make
24:20sure they could generate revenue to stay
24:22alive talked about building
24:23relationships you had initially come to
24:26health wise you had come to this other
24:28organization that having other issues
24:30and what I guess how did you get the
24:32health wise er we first got to ended the
24:35foundation through the CEO who had a
24:39conversation with somebody that I’ve
24:41known for years who said look here’s my
24:42problem is he got a call tom dooley and
24:45and so so he did and that led to a
24:48diagnostic where we looked at how they
24:51were doing what their issues were
24:53figured out the problem was that this go
24:56to market the company they’ve been
24:58working with was not going to be able to
25:00help them in the future we then looked
25:03for and found that a candidate to merge
25:06with which was health-wise and through
25:09the course of that reset and advised
25:11their board on various issues they have
25:15what is your was just out of curiosity
25:17because obviously entrepreneurs want to
25:19know this whether it be on each side of
25:21of what you’re doing we’re talking about
25:23government what is the pricing structure
25:25there because we talked we talked about
25:27on the other side where they sort of
25:29initially give you a fee and and that’s
25:31a good faith type of thing that to then
25:33do more diagnostic to find out okay what
25:36are all the various issues and what’s
25:37the potential here for you guys but but
25:40on the other on the flip side of that
25:41the work that you were doing for them
25:43how do you pricing structure that sure
25:45what we want to to work with the company
25:49i like that which it has more
25:50wherewithal we have a day going rate
25:54which we discount on a not-for-profit
25:55side we discounted by a third because at
25:59this stage in our career we can afford
26:00to do some things that you know will
26:03have to pay as many of the light bills
26:04as we had when we were in our thirties
26:06you have here are some flexibility and
26:08so it’s our way of it’s a way of giving
26:11I don’t think we need to talk about
26:12exactly daily rates but we are
26:16in the range of the the daily rates of a
26:19partner at a significant consulting firm
26:25corrected for the fact that their
26:28overhead rates are forty to fifty
26:29percent and r10 we keep our overhead
26:32rate low under ten percent of of total
26:36revenues not including other lawyers in
26:38the the accountants and you know the
26:42website and all that other sort of thing
26:44by the time and the insurance we carry
26:46four partners so by time to put all that
26:48together a traditional consulting firm
26:51is carrying a forty to fifty percent of
26:54revenues overheads and are so in terms
26:57of these projects i mean can you give me
26:59a broad range in terms of you know from
27:01from a very small project that might be
27:03xyv to a larger engagement that covers
27:07all these various things in terms of
27:09what types of fees that you could be
27:11talking about forever for you and I want
27:14to get on to another topic but for a
27:16young company that as I said whether
27:20it’s purely strategy or its governance
27:22or some combination of that for a very
27:25young company our face might be a
27:28thousand to a month and then to the
27:30extent that we worked with them over a
27:31period of two years we might get a
27:35equity stake in the range of five
27:38percent which vests over over the course
27:41of that time invest over a quarterly
27:43typically cycle something like that so
27:47he so that would be the disease for a
27:50company like that if we’re talking about
27:52a company that lets the public company
27:54in the mid cap or or larger range our
27:59project fees for let’s say something
28:02that might be a defined project for for
28:05two or three months worth of worth of
28:07work might be kind of in the range of 50
28:10or so per month then again it depends on
28:13the project depends on the company but
28:15we don’t expect those levels of of cash
28:18to come from young companies those would
28:22for example the this company i mentioned
28:25the secondary ticketing company
28:28we did have fees that were more like in
28:30the i think five or 6000 month range but
28:34we had them the same sort of carried
28:36interest that that i described so it is
28:41important that a young company pay
28:45well you better tell you one company
28:47that we’re working with which is an
28:49established company but to go through
28:50some an establishment a young company
28:52but they’ve been in business for a
28:53couple years and they’re going through
28:56some difficulties right now with in fact
28:58deferred most of that most of that fee
29:00so we show up as a liability under
29:03balance sheet but it’s not a drawn their
29:06cash flow so it’s it’s a serious
29:09commitment in that case they know it
29:11they’re bored knows that they’re coming
29:12at how did you get to work with Kimberly
29:14Clark I mean obviously they’re there are
29:16fairly heavy hitter and so I think that
29:19people would want to appreciate you know
29:22in talking about building relationships
29:23I mean you know we we had the people on
29:26who who developed barefoot wine and and
29:30they sold it to EJ gallo and that that’s
29:32pretty kind of cool because you know i’m
29:35not a big wine drinker but that’s
29:37probably one of my favorite brands and
29:39and so having them on and learning about
29:42building those relationships and turning
29:45around and selling it is a pretty pretty
29:48awesome story so how did you how did you
29:51come to them the ball an amazon company
29:53sponsors are fastpitch my book club
29:56recommendations that get Mitchell Chad / audible that’s new book great
30:01I Angela dock where it speaks to the
30:04important of persistent and passion vs
30:06town to see more of my recommendation
30:09and recommendation of our guests just go
30:11to Mitchell Chad / audible it’s
30:14your number one resource for book
30:16reviews and recommendations productivity
30:19at linkedin and for under a hundred
30:21dollars he keeps a journal to keep track
30:23of all these ideas activity in DD
30:26original contact came to the fact that
30:28we worked with the company at the BF
30:31Goodrich and the CFO they’re moved over
30:34to become the CFO at kimberly-clark and
30:37when they did i send him some
30:38information some insight
30:40that we had by doing a little research
30:42on some of kimberly-clark issues he said
30:45hey that sounds I personal he recognized
30:48he knew the work we had done back at
30:50goodrich and felt good about that and so
30:52he said come talk to us about some of
30:54those issues you raised i did that led
30:56to conversations with the CEO and and
30:59led to led to the work so that was one
31:01where it was a network relationship
31:05butBut almost once removed
31:07hey it’s pulling a a a senior manager or
31:10following a member of the c-suite from
31:13one company to another company and and
31:16we’ve tended to do that fairly success
31:18it’s okay to think big
31:19even if you’re in the startup a to a lot
31:22of entrepreneurs that should be the goal
31:24I mean you know you’re building this
31:25thing up you can only meet so many
31:27one-on-one clients and we take that take
31:30your traditional consultant he’s just
31:31going to be one-on-one maybe he can you
31:34know consult with whatever but the whole
31:36idea is by scaling it up you could
31:38eventually turn around and sell the
31:40thing because thrown the thing to a
31:42certain level where you know you can
31:44sort of never get out of the way and in
31:46terms of some of these early stages so
31:49when we found my first company which is
31:51a strategy consulting firm called
31:52Braxton associates and this goes back
31:54into the seventies so we set the partner
31:57and I set up this setup this company and
32:00we had some first-principles one first
32:02principle was that we looked around and
32:03saw that there were tons of companies
32:05tons of them in our space there were two
32:08three four five people and so we said we
32:11want to at least get 225 and then we get
32:13225 we’ll see how big we can be so we
32:16had a an objective that said we didn’t
32:18want to just be two or three people
32:20the second thing we said is we had to
32:21have a particular product or service
32:24area that differentiate us from the guys
32:26in the in the marketplace and then the
32:29third thing we said if we’re going to be
32:30of any importance and all we needed to
32:33be global so we couldn’t just be based
32:35in Boston so we had some principles like
32:38that where are the even though we didn’t
32:40have our first customer first client as
32:42we call them at the time which are
32:44really important since it simultaneously
32:46about the same time that that we set up
32:49our company Braxton a company called
32:51berwick associates with set
32:53and they were a group of four people and
32:56they could never agree and and didn’t
32:58early on about the first thing about
33:01scale about focus and about and about
33:04going over the g at geography spread so
33:07they started for people
33:09the maximum they got to about eight and
33:11they finally dissolved into two groups
33:13of two and and part of it was they had
33:16two younger guys who did want to grow
33:18larger to order guys who wanted to coast
33:20home and it was it just couldn’t work so
33:23one of the elements of advice I give to
33:26young companies ok so you’re trying to
33:28figure out where you actually have a
33:30product that somebody’s going to buy and
33:31that’s really important but you have to
33:33look beyond that because at some point
33:35if you find somebody wants to buy your
33:38product you’re going to have to start
33:40dealing with how you go from being an
33:42idea to a product to a company or to an
33:45enterprise and so there’s sort of the
33:48area in which a lot of companies a lot
33:51of companies have have trouble now it’s
33:54possible also that you your scope or or
33:58your point of view of the world is as
34:00long as I can make some money by selling
34:01something that that it looks like pretty
34:03good technology to somebody else that
34:05I’m okay and my favorite book right now
34:08and it’s not exactly a business book but
34:10it’s almost is a book called Brett gri t
34:13by by a psychologist my name of Angela
34:16Duckworth and it talks about the balance
34:20between talent
34:22yeah you did you hire talent would you
34:24have hire somebody who can tough it out
34:26and the address has to be sort of a
34:28minimal amount of talent but what you
34:30get into sort of a minimum regional
34:32amount of talent zone it’s all about
34:34perseverance it’s all about grip and
34:36it’s a terrific example of how you have
34:40to find people who can fight through
34:41difficulties because hell we all have
34:43will have we all have difficulties one
34:47of the things i can talk about in terms
34:48of advice to the entrepreneur is
34:50something that back in my first round at
34:53the Braxtons Associates we actually
34:55tripped over and did not do it was a
34:57mistake it turned out not to be failed
34:59but it was a mistake and that is that a
35:02Harvard Business School professor who
35:04was part of the team the road originally
35:06a book called in search of excellence
35:08that Mackenzie did Tony 80 said you know
35:11what you want to do is you have to form
35:13a working group of people who are in
35:16companies like yours in the Boston area
35:19so you can have breakfast with make it
35:22who you can talk to about the problems
35:25you’re having but they’re not your
35:26competitors so that would be sort of a
35:28younger coming from a young law firm a
35:30young advertising agency all that sort
35:32of thing and and that would have been a
35:35brilliant idea we actually didn’t do
35:36that so that was in the state we
35:38overcame it by binder on hiring a fellow
35:43who worked with us full-time from the
35:45procter & gamble who is a senior
35:47management of person who had retired
35:50looking for something to do and he could
35:52help us think through those things but
35:54isn’t that he’s masterminds that you’ll
35:56hear people get involved with whether it
35:58be letip or they refer to them as
36:00masterminds where they they have a
36:03certain number of people in their quote
36:05on quote mastermind and it can be the
36:08only problem I have the sum of those is
36:09the group is to get the group’s get too
36:12large and so you don’t have enough time
36:14to really dig in in-depth into into your
36:17issues and sometimes I get too far field
36:21so in our case and what I what I would
36:24feel for a for a young company will be
36:26outside of hiring us of course which
36:28would be the best example would be to
36:31have it be a relatively small group with
36:34organizations who are facing the same
36:37sort of issues that you’re facing but
36:39but are not your competitors right and
36:41so when you’re working with
36:42entrepreneurs obviously you have various
36:45issues from intellectual property
36:46digital ad i mean our you’re obviously
36:48you have relationships with other people
36:50are you you say to the entrepreneur
36:53you’re paying us this fee to bring in
36:54all these other various people that you
36:56then need to sort of bring in and you’re
36:59paying them or saying like myself you
37:02know i’m coming to you to basically help
37:03me you know help me with the patent help
37:05me with what have you and I’m gonna pay
37:07you and then you’re going to your intern
37:09then going to pay all the various other
37:11professionals that you have to bring in
37:13to basically execute on whatever needs
37:16to be done
37:16generally we do most of the work
37:17yourself with some exceptions for
37:20sample if you need to write a specific
37:23legal document that can go to the FDA or
37:26something like that
37:28war do you need to write it in a way in
37:31which the Patent Office will prove it
37:33that special expertise so we would not
37:36would not do that we would bring
37:38somebody in to do it for them when we go
37:40out and hit help them find and hire a
37:44management team that’s on us then once
37:47they get the management team paintings
37:48on them because they become full-time
37:50members of you mentioned 15 partner open
37:53so the 15 of yet but you’re all from
37:55various different industries computer
37:57graphic locations yes from financial
37:59services to healthcare and you’re
38:01located in different parts of the United
38:03States or even outside the US correct
38:05you mentioned working with companies
38:06accessory folks in the community but
38:08might be attorneys if you’re doing some
38:10of the legal work is that correct some
38:12of your CPA says some are doing the
38:14accounting work obviously thats what
38:16you’re doing with the government you
38:17give and receive for example is a is an
38:19attorney yes our wrap-up around is
38:21sponsored by snap for all your graphic
38:24design needs head on over to Mitchell
38:26Chad / napa that’s sna PPA not
38:32only about business but it’s about
38:33family and life so I mean you know it’s
38:35about it’s about telling the
38:37entrepreneurs that you know things need
38:39to be balanced
38:40you know you can’t just focus all on one
38:42without you know affecting the other
38:43areas so is there any other background
38:46information that you can impart that you
38:48think would be helpful to an audience to
38:51get to learn about you a little bit more
38:53w here’s something i can tell you so in
38:55in the december i was given an honor by
38:59the New England region of Deloitte as
39:03they have a Hall of Fame as they call it
39:06for the retired partners and i was
39:08honored in that Hall of Fame as somebody
39:10who has been above all great for client
39:13service you know I’m a good person in
39:15the ferment two are things like that and
39:18they invited me and two other folks who
39:21are also honored in the different areas
39:24of to speak to the assembled group of
39:27two thousand folks who are the other
39:30folks are from the from the doing
39:31practice and what I talked
39:33them was how it is it’s possible given a
39:36because they’re all as you might imagine
39:38much younger than me
39:39our holidays you can if you if you want
39:42to achieve a balanced life and i pointed
39:45out that particularly in my early days
39:47that I used to laugh about a 40 hour
39:50week and i would say it’s noon on
39:53Wednesday and I’ve got my 40 hours with
39:5440 hours in already and I was but is
39:57putting in 70 80 or so hours and was and
40:01I was traveling yeah and then this was
40:03before the days of cell phones and all
40:05that sort of thing
40:06sure contacting your family was I was
40:09difficult so we did some things
40:11my wife and i would first thing i did
40:13when i got up she and i would talk on
40:15the phone from wherever it was last
40:17thing before after she put the kids to
40:19bed before she went to bed we were
40:21talking about what happened that day and
40:23what the things were so I worked hard at
40:25making a contact the first day our first
40:28child or first son had his parent
40:30teacher meeting it was on wednesday at
40:34two o’clock in the afternoon and I
40:35didn’t make it is a cheese Wednesday two
40:37o’clock in the afternoon is terrible so
40:39we went to the school we said listen is
40:41there any way we could do these at the
40:43beginning of the day on Monday or at the
40:46end of the day on Friday days and I’d be
40:48a witness said sure and I made the next
40:5021 of them in a row so I want out of 22
40:53but my point two people was that if you
40:57want to do it you can do it
41:00I’m an exerciser and I’ve learned to get
41:02up at five o’clock in the morning to get
41:03my exercise in when i was home so I
41:06could have breakfast with the kids and
41:07even drive them to school so it was
41:09about how no matter what if you want to
41:13you can achieve balance now it’s not the
41:17same amount of time with my kids as I
41:20would have spent if i was living in you
41:22know if i had a job at home and work a
41:2440-hour week or whatever but i would
41:26have been as good a person for them
41:27because because that wasn’t who I was I
41:30needed to be doing things I needed to be
41:33building a company and
41:34and working with the kimberly-clark so
41:37the world whomever doing a lot of the
41:39same type of work is deployed so I mean
41:41I was a part of is a partner to life
41:43before I retired and then for the first
41:45four years that we set up sage how many
41:48years were you at deloitte as a delayed
41:5015 years because my first company
41:53Braxton associates i sold merged into
41:57deloitte the back in the back in the
41:59eighties while state i stayed to build a
42:01practicing and we’re a hundred people
42:03when i joined when i joined the what has
42:06become the strategy and operations
42:08practice of Deloitte on and it was
42:10almost a thousand people when i left we
42:13went from three offices one in the US
42:15and to overseas 221 offices three
42:18takeaways that time provided us great
42:21focus and vision
42:23how’s everybody going to stay in contact
42:24with Tom Dooley that’s easy
42:27his website is sage partners dotnet
42:31email prom at T doorly that’s T d 0 r le
42:38y at sage partners dotnet or connect
42:43with him on his favorite productivity at
42:47at LinkedIn / in / tom
42:54doorly I think we will
42:56Thank You Mitchell I enjoyed it thanks
42:57again tom take care be good now but in
43:00closing let me ask for my listeners help
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