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Changing Planes Mid-Flight

How Hyland continually find ways to stay above the rest of the competition and bring its partners along for the ride

Photo by Philip Brown on Unsplash

In the movie World War Z, there was a Mossad agent trying to explain to Brad Pitt’s character why Israel was far more prepared for a zombie outbreak than the rest of the world. The reason was the 10th Man Rule. The agent explained that Israel’s security council had 10 advisors who looked into big picture issues. If the first 9 advisors dismissed an issue or potential danger to the country, then the 10th man was forced to overrule them on principle and look into the issue no matter how far-fetched the scenario. There’s a lesson in there that applies to exactly how Ed McQuiston, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer for Hyland, says the company tends to operate.

“We’ve got to change planes while we’re still flying and that’s the hard part,” he said. “There’s never that opportunity to just say, all right, let us pause and reset, right? The business continues every day.”

It is contrarian thinking which was written on a napkin right at the beginning and is framed in the Hyland offices. It guided Hyland when it had one of the first 23,500 websites ever in the mid-90s and ensured its survival for decades as it worked with more than 19,000 companies worldwide.

McQuiston was brought in to help Hyland expand into healthcare, a new territory for the company. They were challenging competitors that have been in the industry for a long time.

“They were selling something like our software but the difference was they were selling it very narrowly in the niches,” he said. “We were differentiating and now we had a better story, even though we weren’t as big a company where we weren’t as well-known a company.”

Hyland showed value again and again and the healthcare vertical is now the largest at the company. But competition showed up and it was time to analyze every aspect of how they were approaching the market. McQuiston was not focusing on the profits and losses of the moment, he was looking towards the future and there is always a sense of urgency.

“I talk all the time about the speed of business,” he said. “And I drive my senior leadership team crazy with my sense of urgency. I say all the time I wake up and go to bed with a ticking clock in my head. There’s always a month-end. There’s always a quarter-end. There’s always a year-end. There’s always the next thing. There’s always new technology. There’s always something.”

Hyland is not only making big sweeping pre-emptive changes for itself, it’s a method it brings to partners and customers as well. What McQuistin and Hyland want to ensure, is that the companies they work for do not become too comfortable. They want to guide customers through exercises that point them towards the future.

“I don’t want to talk to you about your technology,” McQuiston said. “I really don’t. I want to talk to you about what keeps you up at night, you know, where are you trying to go with the business, well that may evolve into a technology discussion. That means it’s not just an executive discussion, it’s the idea of what we call enterprise advisors that sit down and talk about three-year planning, you know, what should this look like in three years?”

In World WarZ, there was a group of advisors committed to exploring contrarian pathways and at Hyland a similar process exists to ensure survival for the company and its clients. To find out how Hyland helps customers to change planes mid-flight and how they ensure that they land safely and never run into any zombies, tune into Business X factors.

Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland.

For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to Hyland.com/insights to learn more.

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