Bob was interviewed by AdvisoryCloud on 06/09/2019 as part of our Featured Advisor Interview series.
AC - Tell us more about your main areas of expertise for being an advisor?
BW - Through most of my career, I have been most effective and provided the most value for my employers and customers, when I had the responsibility to develop profitable & rapid growth strategies, merging operational excellence with sales and marketing strategies. I have worked with several different companies in different industries and even in different countries. Some of my employers have been multi-national Fortune 100 corporations, and a couple were small, privately-held companies. I have worked in these areas for companies with HQ in the U.S., United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany & Australia. In almost every case, I was asked turn around stagnant divisions or companies, develop new go-to-market strategies for a couple of start-ups and even engaged with acquisitions both domestic and foreign. My areas of expertise are with struggling divisions, product lines, and business units or with helping investors develop and implement a rapid start-up model, developing & implementing strategies & plans for rapid, profitable growth in a wide variety of market segments. I have worked extensively in North America, but also led growth teams in several South American countries, Mexico, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, China and advised colleagues in several other countries around the globe. I also have a great deal of experience defining roles and identifying & selecting the right person for the right role to ensure continued profitable growth.
AC - Describe your main motivation for being an advisor?
BW - I have been fortunate in my career to have some very good leadership examples and mentors. I have also been exposed to some ineffective managers. I have learned valuable lessons both from the good examples and the poor examples that have helped me in my various roles. I get most motivated by developing the next generation of leaders who have adopted the vision and learn how to apply growth strategies with integrity. There have been some instances where beating the competition would be so disruptive to the market, that I negotiated acquisitions and then, over time, merged previous competitors together for a much stronger company.
AC - Elaborate on the types of situations, challenges, or decisions, you feel you could add the most value to as an advisor?
BW - Start-ups that need strategic, personnel & execution plans for rapid & profitable growth in order to maximize the returns of investors. Turning-around under-performing business units from a sales, operations or product perspective and hiring the right people for the right situation
AC - Do you see any disruptive trends on the horizon in your industry or position?
BW - The Internet of Things (IoT) is and will increasingly disrupt every industry and every leader in every industry. According to Statista.com, there are currently >25 billion connected devices in the world, and this number is predicted to grow to >75 billion by 2025. Connected devices and the production and delivery systems that will result will impact large and small companies, and those that can't adapt quickly enough will get passed by. More than even in the past 25 years, the market will be driven by those who learn how to quickly innovate and collaborate.
AC - Tell me about the most impactful project or decision you’ve been involved in as an executive.
BW - I worked for a major global corporation as a Regional head of sales, marketing, and engineering. In my region, we enjoyed several years of growth at a pace that was only slightly above the market growth, meaning that 80% of our growth was a result of market growth and only 20% due to new customers or winning customers from competitors. My employer was pleased with the results, but I was not. I presented a plan to my employer on how to actually growth >100% y-o-y by putting plans in place to actually take away the largest customers of our largest competitors. I promoted one of my reports to take my place as the Regional head, and I was allowed to demonstrate how this might actually be possible. In 42 months, we had converted our largest competitor's 2nd largest global customer by focusing on their global needs, rather than taking a regional perspective. In the next 3 years, I was asked to put a program in place, and we recruited others to focus on other customers in other segments, resulting in >$300 million new annual business for my employer.
If you are interested in speaking with Bob Williams about this topic or others, you can book a meeting with him through his AdvisoryCloud profile here: https://www.advisorycloud.com/profile/Bob-Williams