Lead: The 2018 Hyland Annual Meeting

It’s that time again. Last year, the focus of our annual meeting was ‘united.’ It was a call for those of us at Hyland to come together to further our success.

This year’s focus is leadership, something we know a thing or two about.

A responsibility to lead

First up was Hyland’s President and CEO, Bill Priemer, who talked about our company’s leadership status in the tech industry.

“It is our responsibility to lead our category,” said Priemer. “No other company is better positioned to define what their technology is and explain what their solutions can do. No other company is better positioned to create the definitive content services platform and deliver on a vision of a world-class customer experience.”

That’s because we’ve been helping our customers capture and access the information they need for more than 26 years. We were there at the beginning of “document imagination,” and we’re leading the way as our industry shifts from enterprise content management to content services.

“It’s our responsibility to be the product leader, the thought leader, the customer experience leader, and the innovation leader. It’s our responsibility to lead our customers,” said Priemer.

Having worked with almost 18,000 customers around the world, we’re experts. As such, we need to quantify the value of our solutions for our customers, so they know there are solutions for their business issues. Solutions that provide cost savings, reduce information silos, and optimize processes.

It’s up to us.

“But we also need to lead ourselves,” said Priemer. “We have the ability to create our own OKRs (objectives and key results) every year and then inform the entire company that these are our priorities. We all have the responsibility to decide what’s best – and to lead.”

Our focus is on enabling organizations and their employees to achieve their full potential. To continue to lead, Priemer noted, we need to continue to improve our customer, partner, and employee experience.

To do so, we will continue to build on our foundational core values:

  • Conducting ourselves with honesty, integrity, and fairness in our relationships with our partners, customers, employees, and shareholders
  • Delivering configurable business solutions that are intuitive to use
  • Treating our employees like family
  • Being motivated people who are passionately dedicated to the success of the company

A vision to lead

Chief Financial Officer Chris Hyland followed Priemer by asking: How can we all lead?

“Leading starts with being excited about contributing and looking for ways to add value,” said Hyland.

“Some ways are obvious,” he said. “Like developing new products, bringing on new customers, or servicing current customers well. But being a leader also means helping to onboard new employees and making them feel welcome and special.”

Leadership, he said, is about helping others. And sharing knowledge with each other is a great way to create that relationship.

“Leadership can be as simple as elevating the people around you with energy and encouragement or as complicated as speaking up about something that is not right,” he said.

Hyland then segued to the essentials his father – Packy, Sr., one of Hyland’s cofounders – taught him about leadership:

  • Show up

“You cannot lead and be a winner if you don’t show up for challenges. And that means being fully present and committing the best of yourself.”

  • Be self-responsible

“That means doing what you say you’re going to do, being accountable, and being thoughtful and in control – ready to deal with issues without letting emotions take over.”

  • Face inevitable issues in appropriate ways

“Don’t run from issues – take ownership, react thoughtfully and responsibly.”

A strategy to lead

Next up was Brenda Kirk, Hyland’s Executive Vice President & Chief Product & Strategy Officer, who talked about leading our software products into the future.

Our product vision is to:

  • Create a world-class customer experience by elevating our content services platform to utilize cutting-edge development paradigms, cloud computing practices, and user interface designs
  • Empower end users with rich, intuitive experiences on any browser and any device
  • Equip administrators with simple, configurable tools to build solutions and integrate with their core applications
  • Provide organizations with pure and hybrid cloud solutions, business-to-business connectivity, and more frequent releases

“It’s bold,” Kirk said, “but is well-aligned with the definition of our marketplace.”

How will we execute on this vision?

“By re-architecting our platform,” said Kirk. “We will fundamentally advance our ability to execute by building shared components one time that all teams can use to propel our innovation forward at unprecedented speeds.”

The inspiration to lead

Closing the meeting, Hyland’s Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Ed McQuiston, talked about when he and his two sons met Dabo Swinney, whom Clemson had just promoted to head football coach. Swinney spoke to a small group about leadership.

“Swinney didn’t talk about football,” said McQuiston, “he talked about teaching our children respect for themselves and one another. Respect for their parents, their teachers. He talked about them turning into young men and women, then college graduates and productive members of society.”

McQuiston noted that he felt like Swinney was talking directly to him that day. He was inspired. He was motivated. He wanted to get out on the field and play football for Clemson.

“That,” said McQuiston, “is leadership. Leaders lead by what they do, sometimes by what they say, sometimes by how they act – by how they conduct themselves every day. We follow leaders because we choose to do so, not because they demand us to do so.”

Just like Swinney, Hyland asked McQuiston to step up and lead its sales department. That’s when McQuiston coined “The 5 Es” of Hyland leadership, which consist of the following attributes:

1. Energy

Passion is a differentiator.

2. Education

Possessing more knowledge than your competitors sets your organization apart.

3. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm for a common purpose helps you find ways to win.

4. Execution

Each day, find a way to make it happen.

5. Engagement

The involvement as individuals and an organization with our community outreach, volunteerism, and charitable donations is how you lead. It’s about performing “off the field.”

“If you can bring these five things with you each and every day in your personal and professional lives,” said McQuiston, “you can make a difference. You will be a leader.”

“In your actions, in your words, whatever it is that makes you unique – be a leader. Do common things in an uncommon way,” said McQuiston. “Relentlessly pursue your goals, and then set new ones. But remember, the goals we achieve pale in comparison to the daily commitment it took to reach them.”

So, how will you lead in 2018?

Scoop Skupien

Scoop Skupien

Scoop Skupien is a former radio station mascot. A rabbit, if you really want to know. These days, he's a content marketing manager at Hyland and the editor of this blog. An author with an MBA and two books in print, he’s been writing about tech for Hyland for a decade. His industry certifications include CDIA and ecmp.

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