Episode 63 Transcript

How Hybrid Business Models & Value Pricing Drive Organizational Success w/ Caroline Johnson

    Brent Trimble Welcome to the Professional Services Pursuit, a podcast featuring expert advice and insights on the professional services industry. Again, I’m Brent. Today, I’m joined by Caroline Johnson. Caroline is the co-founder of The Business Model Company and has been instrumental in helping some of the largest agencies and marketing services organizations develop and deliver sustainable business models. Their work is the subject of a recent book called Madison Avenue Makeover, which was written by Michael Farmer. You can listen to that in episode 48 of our podcast. The book is all about the transformation program that The Business Model Company ran for the global IPG network agency, huge.

    Before we get into that, Caroline, I’d love to just welcome you to the podcast. We’re excited to hear about the firm and some of the trends you’re seeing. When we recorded that episode with Michael, it just seemed like a natural fit. So, welcome.

    Caroline Johnson Thank you very much. I'm excited and delighted to be a guest.

    Brent Trimble Kantata, as a platform that’s 100% focused in the professional services space, we see, Caroline, this move by our clients, certainly the industry consultancies, management consultancies, agencies to begin to evolve their business model and to begin to productize their offerings as part of their transformation journey. I think the listeners would really benefit from your insight because really, that’s from the outside looking in, that’s the genesis of your firm.

    Why don’t we dive in? We’d love to hear about the origins of The Business Model Company, what need did you see in the market, and what’s your pitch to firms as you are going through this journey with them?

    Caroline Johnson If I take you back to before we founded The Business Model Company, which, as we know, was founded nine years ago, I was working as a partner in a corporate advisory firm. We were transacting and doing deals for the global professional service firms and marketing services. We gained extraordinary insight at that time because what became very apparent as we were delivering those deals and supporting the sellers was that different business models, as long as they are perceived as authentic and real, actually attract completely different valuations and multiples.

    For example, a consulting business or professional service business that has huge confidence in its capability, its relevance, and its growth potential, if it has any form of legacy pricing, for example, selling time, then it will be valued as a service business because it’s equating effort to value. If you then repackaged that same business into an authentic consulting model with the right commercial model supporting it, the valuation or multiple that would be applied if that business was looking to transact or exit or bring in investors was double. If it was then a program and platform consulting business, it was triple.

    A service business is between six and maybe nine. A consulting business might be 11 up to 18, but a consulting business which delivers programs and products is even higher. I think that insight and experience being in the absolute coalface of transactions in the corporate advisory world gave us enormous expertise in how to spend time helping those leaders and the executive teams of those businesses transition their business models safely to attract the highest valuation.

    When we founded The Business Model Company, we recognized that a significant part of the professional service industry and the marketing service industry is on the wrong business model. That causes a huge constraint on how they deliver value, how they capture value, and how they create value in the marketplace. Those two things coming together was the founding principle to work through The Business Model Company with our clients across the industry to help them transition those business models into something that is absolutely a reflection of the market that they are in.

    Your business model needs to be relevant to the market conditions. That is really important and it absolutely needs to be relevant to how your clients want to engage with your talent and your capability and your expertise. So many great businesses with a fantastic value proposition, great clients, great case studies are completely constrained and reduced, I think, and pushed down the value chain because they are operating in the wrong business model.

    That became our founding principle, our mission, our ambition. We’ve had nine years of fantastic experience with the clients that we’ve gone on the journey with who are now post transformation and are able to also share their story of how they achieved it, what were the conditions for success, and what would they have done differently if they had the knowledge that they have now, which is quite fascinating, really.

    Brent Trimble That’s a great story, and I like that focus on valuation. Of course, not every consultancy marketing services agency starts their journey thinking of their exit, but that quantification of how they’re valued as a firm, the value they deliver back to their clients, how they reward their talent, deliver equity is so important.

    We’re going to get into a few of the successes later in our discussion, and I know there’s a few, and of course, the book references the big transformation. But what we’re talking about and what we’re seeing in the market and for our listeners, we speak to service leaders every day of all shapes, consultancies, marketing services, deep strategic consultancies to more transactional managed services all the way through agencies and everything. There does seem to be this prevailing notion of change afoot and a need to begin packaging differently and begin to really quantify the value they deliver to firms, not simply hourly rates.

    One of the things you note in some of your speaking and also in some of our conversations quoted in your success stories is “change is scary but not changing is terrifying” and we’re going through again yet another cycle of change in marketing services. There’s a lot of discussion about the need for change. Some of the biggest catalysts right now, of course, are this notion of just selling time as a race to the bottom. We need to shift into selling value.

    I don’t want to turn this into an AI discussion, there’s plenty of talk of AI, but it does seem that it has a particular potential for disruption in marketing services, even in consulting, because so much of that model now has been about transacting stuff that goes in front of clients that then in turn goes in front of consumers. When we look at hype cycles of the past couple of years, NFTs, Web3, certainly AR, this one seems to really have the potential to impact the landscape, take out head count, do the things that a normal agency fee structure in the past would have executed with a client with a fee to hours model, studio production folks, junior art directors, designers, proofing, all those things can now effectively be replicated.

    Are you seeing that as well in the market? Is your phone buzzing and people reaching out saying, “Look, this landscape is shifting under our feet. We do now have to heed this call to potentially think about moving from this hourly model and the landscape is changing.” What are your signals in the clients you’re talking to in some of the reach and the interest you’re receiving?

    Caroline Johnson I think, first of all, there’s a lot of paralysis about changing, particularly pricing models. That paralysis comes from fear of essentially having the wrong belief system, and that belief system being based on the wrong assumptions. I think we’ll cover that probably a little bit later in this interview. But I look at what’s happening in the industry at the moment as a burning platform, and the burning platform is the disruption and those external forces that we can’t control. But I look at it slightly differently. I look at it as it’s actually a gift.

    The reason I say that disruption is a friend, not a foe, and it’s a gift is because if you think about it, if you have any element of time-based charging, you’re actually pricing your effort. Your effort is what you are charging for. Whether you’re a consultancy or an agency or any professional service firm, that firmly puts you in the service camp, regardless of your investment in talent and capability. That is much more commoditized, it’s more competitive, it’s much more packaged around your services that are delivered through effort. That’s a very hard place to sustain yourself and certainly to scale.

    If you have that mentality, but also that pricing model, the rapid acceleration of AI adoption is actually a great gift because it actually gives you an opportunity to confront yourselves, but also, when necessary, to be very strong with your clients that the charging by time model will not be sustainable for much longer simply because you cannot charge by the second.

    If you think about it, in however you adopt and leverage AI for yourselves and for your clients, to even think for one moment that you can charge AI as part of a time-based legacy model is absolutely insane. I think that is really helpful because that paralysis and fear that’s based on the wrong assumptions and the wrong belief systems actually starts in the external marketplace around internal mindsets that our clients won’t let us, procurement won’t allow it, we won’t win RFPs. That fear keeps you paralyzed in a completely non-viable pricing model.

    AI is your greatest gift because it actually, I think, as this burning platform, almost becomes non-negotiable, that for you to remain relevant and to reflect the actual market conditions that you’re operating in, then you are going to have to transition fairly quickly and safely to a much more appropriate and sustainable commercial model and pricing model. I think for the first time ever, we’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to stand extremely strong and resolute in the purpose and commitment to eradicate time-based charging and service mentality and actually move into pricing for the value you deliver and the value that you create and realize in your client’s business, which is best supported and served by being a program solutions business with beautiful products that make up those programs rather than commoditized services that from a client’s point of view seem the same as everyone else’s.

    I would use this year, 2024, to ensure that journey of transformation is properly understood, committed to, aligned behind, and executed carefully, which we can talk about. I’m sure we’re going to talk about how to do that in a moment. But this is a gift. This is 2024. You will either come out of 2024 and thrive, or you will come out of 2024 and be in rapid decline, and I’m not sure there’s much middle ground. If you saw the Forrester predictions report for 2024, it picked on some particular service areas, for example, within marketing services to say these types of businesses will not be around by the end of this year. They will not be sustainable in this marketplace for all these different forces that we all know only too well. I’m a big believer that this is a gift. This is the year. Paralysis and fear was 2023. Actually, operationally realizing that transition safely for yourselves and for your clients is what 2024 has to be about. I personally find that exciting, and I think it's actually a helpful push.

    Brent Trimble Listening to you articulate that, and to deviate a little bit from our topic, I have been an athletic coach a little bit in some of my kids’ sporting endeavors, like ice hockey, and I’m thinking you could deliver a pre-game speech in a locker room, and we’d be ready to run through walls for you. That call to 2024 to be the year of change is really exceptional. We have seen that Forrester Research and I’m sure lots of folks in the industry have been, but for you to double back on the paralysis comment, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of that marketing services principal, many of whom and a lot of the larger firms of course, they’re investing in AI capabilities and in different things.

    But for those firms that have been now through several years of wild gyrations, business falls off a cliff in the pandemic, it comes roaring back, we can’t hire fast enough, then the brakes come on for the recession that may or may not ever arrive and we think now, finally, folks are settling into whatever a new normal is. But for those principals, what do you say to those who hear this inspiring call to arms, they agree in principle, yes, we need to change. But this year is all about recovery, tightening down on costs, margin, surviving a bit, clients have cut back. Maybe next year is a year for change or the year following.

    What’s your advice to firms? What do you think is the hardest part of change for most businesses? Is it time? Is it distance? Is it fear? You mentioned paralysis, but what are the assumptions they make that you think are holding them back?

    Caroline Johnson If I can break it down, I think a lot of really fantastic, strong firms are working on the wrong belief system. I think if we take it back to the essence of what we’re dealing with here, the belief system needs to be challenged. We see this all the time, which is that the devil is in the market. The enemy is external that your clients won’t let you, procurement won’t allow it. You’ll always be pushed back to time and rate card. Your competitors will win the RFPs because they are compliant. That is the belief system. The belief system is that change is difficult and you’re going to be the lone runner in this game with something different. That is simply not true.

    If your clients see you as an authentic consulting business or an authentic professional services firm or advisory business or program business or productized business, then you’re playing in a different game. The rules of the game and how they procure you and engage with you changes. For example, in our firm, TBMC, we’ve been operating for nine years. We work with procurement, we work with large brands and advertisers, we work with marketing services, businesses, consultancies, when we’re being procured by large global procurement companies, we have departments, we have never once been asked for a rate card or time because they know it does not exist, and we won’t play that game because it’s not in their interests that we operate in that way.

    For me, the first thing to talk about is this belief system that the enemy is external, the enemy is within, the devil is in the inside, it’s in changing the belief system, the wrong assumptions, challenging them, replacing them with something that is much more honest and appropriate and also ensuring that when you’re looking at a business model change transition, you also recognize that it is mostly about cultural transformation and the changing of language and learning a new language. You can change the business model but not change the belief system and the behaviors, and therefore it won’t work.

    The other thing I think to say is changing pricing on services, so productizing services and adding value pricing, output pricing, product pricing, if it’s a service, your product pricing, it won’t work. That’s going to be a lot of people in your audience who are going, “What does that mean? That doesn’t sound at all right. That’s what we’ve been told to do. We need to productize our services.” What we don’t advocate is productization from the bottom up, from the ground up. Now that means you do not take productized services and maybe do a little bit of repackaging and then sell them as products because we explain this with a concept called circles and squares.

    A service business in terms of its mentality and its commercial model and its engagement model has what we call a circle mentality. When you productize, you’re creating what we call squares. If you create some squares but give them back to the circles to sell to clients, then that is very conflicting for your internal talent, but also it’s not authentic for your clients because they know you are predominantly still a service business in your beliefs and your client engagement model and your valuing of effort and time, but you’ve done a little bit of productization and those services just still look like services that have been productized. That is when you get pushback from your client community and your client buyers. It just doesn’t work. It’s not authentic and it muddies the water because they know the circles are still available to them, so why would they pay more for squares when they know they can just push and push and push and get the circles back?

    We do something really different. We do what we call top-down program development and productization. Change the eyeline from services and trying to recover more value to actually thinking about your clients’ highest business challenges that you are able to deliver outcomes and value to, and actually start the new narrative and the repackaging with a completely top-down client-focused value proposition. Then, at the highest possible level you can imagine, start to think about what outcomes you can deliver to those challenges and therefore what would be a longer-term program that would ensure the most efficient delivery to that outcome. It’s at that highest level that the repackaging of services, which are much lower down, into programs and products, which are at the highest elevated space you can take them, that’s where repackaging and the productization starts.

    I think that’s another key observation we have. Productization is not bottom-up. It’s top-down and it’s not enough to just productize services. The actual services have to actually leave the building and the language has to change because they are really quite commoditized and it’s not enough of a transformation for it to be sustainable.

    Brent Trimble That’s a really good point, and it’s interesting. You started off noting you’re essentially getting paid for effort. I’m reminded of some time when I was in a consultancy and we were working with a large, one of the FAANG companies, and we had this discussion about a decade ago and then noting, we really don’t want to be paid on your effort, we want to be paid on success and developing at that time a rudimentary success model with some SLAs. It was a bit of a different kind of business, but I’m struck by that. Your colleague and mine, and he’s been on the podcast as well, Tim Williams, famously said we get boxed into this thinking, but the clients didn’t come up with this economic model, we essentially gave it to them.

    We’re going to give listeners an opportunity to reach out and read some of your thought pieces and how they get in contact if they want to have an engagement in transformation. But for those that are contemplating this, mid-sized shop that’s doing okay who wants to do better, is probably in a bit of maybe controlled paralysis at the moment, and they’re listening to us and they’re listening to you and they’re just thinking, gosh, we don’t like to answer RFPs, but we know we have to. We’ve been through new business training and win without pitching and we grow organically, but many times, we want to get those really big wins. We’ve got to fight the procurement battle. We’ve got to go update our rates and roles and margin in Ariba or Procurify, whatever the platform is, and be compliant, to your point, because, gosh, our other competitors will be.

    What’s your advice for them getting started? After, I want to hear, because I think everyone, as we conclude the conversation, we want to hear some successes. We know some firms have been successful and I’d love to hear about that. But for that firm that’s right on that precipice of change and to your point, that fear comes from within, what’s your cliff notes for getting started in that?

    Caroline Johnson First of all, let’s look at the RFP situation. When you enter into an RFP, you’re entering into a particular game that has its own rules which are well-established, and that game is client-controlled. That is the brutal facts of an RFP. Using an RFP opportunity when you’ve entered into it to launch and communicate a new commercial model or a new business model is a really suboptimal time to be doing that because you’ve entered a game that has its own rules. Everyone knows how it works, no one likes it, it’s client-controlled, and you’re going into that and saying, “Hey, we’re not going to fill in that resource plan and we’re not going to give you our rates because we’re on a different model.” Sometimes that will work in your favor, and there are plenty of instances where clients have actually put that firm and business to the top of the list because they’ve actually stood firm in their commercial model and it speaks volumes about their values and integrity, so sometimes it can play in your favor. But often it can’t. I think the first thing is to have a look at if you feel you are reliant on RFPs, why are you reliant? Because that is a difficult time to achieve a change in the client engagement model.

    You said something really interesting, which is there is pressure every year to win big clients and big clients are normally looking for new partners through an RFP process because there’s significant investment involved. One of the legacy issues of the outdated business model is actually the revenue model you’re in. There are three revenue models for your audience, and those revenue models are the value model which looks flowerpot-shaped, and it’s the old-fashioned model that we’ve all grown up with, which is based around 15 to 20 large clients every year. The behavior, how you run that model, is you need to pitch and win for large clients, and you want to be the partner of record. You want to be the most important person with that client. That model is not sustainable in the market we’re in. If you are reliant on pulling in really big clients every year, you’re missing an opportunity to again reflect the market.

    There are two other models, and the one that’s going to be most interesting to your audience is actually something called the hybrid model. The hybrid model isn’t based around 20 huge clients. The hybrid model is based around 50 clients or 50 engagements, and they are divided a third, a third, a third. You still have space for your big clients in the top third, but it allows you through productization to think about the middle third of your revenue and the bottom third of your revenue through the lens of different models. Now, if you’re running a value model, you will likely be not very adapted to taking your profit off the table at the beginning of an engagement. That’s because you are thinking about overservicing and onboarding, and the honeymoon period with the client means you overinvest.

    In a hybrid model, you have the opportunity using your products and your programs to work in a much more flexible way with your clients and that changes the client engagement model because there’s less pressure on RFPs and trying to win really big clients every year because you know that you can make a fantastic profit and deliver an absolutely excellent, superb product really quickly. Clients want shorter, more efficient, more transparent engagement with their professional service partners and you can set up a product store where you have repeatable products which are completely on point for your clients and the market that allows you to get in and out very profitably and deliver significant value. That takes the pressure off the need to be always looking for RFPs and overinvesting in big pitches because a third of your revenue is in much quicker turnaround, more agile.

    They can be and should be high level. We’re not coming down the value chain here. They should be really high level consultative strategic engagements. But because you’ve adapted your business model and you’ve productized, you can operate really successfully in a completely different engagement model with multi-touch points across your clients, where it’s not about pulling in the big pitch or RFP, it’s about delivering a consistent and sustainable, agile, efficient product delivery model, which is absolutely geared to your clients’ business challenges.

    In our clients where we’ve introduced and moved them from a value model to a hybrid model, it has completely liberated them. Their need to run the wheels of the old revenue model, that’s taken off their shoulders and their profitability and margin is absolutely secured in a hybrid model that is completely adapted to the current market conditions. You have the best of both worlds. We’re not taking anything.

    The third revenue model is the volume one, and I won’t go into that now because it’s less relevant to this audience. But again, I would urge everyone listening to this to think, are they in that old-fashioned flowerpot that isn’t really viable because the market can’t sustain it for you? You’re always chasing something that is going to elude you. How could you think about your client engagement model and what you would deliver to your clients in a hybrid model? That alone is quite transformational as a switch in our clients’ business.

    Brent Trimble That’s fascinating and great insights and grounded in reality of the sustainability of the model going forward. I think it’s a great impetus for those considering, let’s begin this transformation. Let’s use 2024 to really start evolving this. What everyone, of course, wants to understand and notably the reason we reached out or were introduced and thought this would be a great episode for our listeners is of course the references in Michael’s book, which we talked about, again, in episode 48, for those interested. But Huge as use cases are the only firm you’ve worked with, and you work with a variety of firms and types with a lot of work in the marketing services creative and advertising space. Could you give us a few examples of successes? You don’t have to name the clients. You could talk about the category maybe relevant size and some successes you’re proud of helping them really accelerate and be the catalyst for that change.

    Caroline Johnson Well, thank you for that opportunity. Let me start at the other end of the scale because obviously Huge, a massive global network, big transformation program, is quite well known as a case study now. But I’m going to, for your audience, let me start at the other end with one of our clients that we’ve been working with here in London, actually for the last probably 13 or coming up to 14 months. They are independent. They were a startup business three years ago. They set up as an absolutely fantastic strategic business to help their clients achieve brand marketing and enterprise-level growth. When we first got introduced to them, they had a huge relevance to their client community and they had a lot of confidence and belief in themselves, which is always fantastic to see and be part of. But, and this is the but that I’m sure you all know is coming, they had set up on the wrong model. They had set up on a strategic services model selling time and running what we call utilization. How many hours can we utilize for our people? That was limiting the value that they can deliver for their clients, and it was limiting their scalability and their investment in talent because often, the most senior expensive talent is actually the least utilized. That puts commercial pressure down into the engine room of these businesses to turn those wheels even harder and faster.

    The reason I mention this example is because hopefully going forwards, you might want to invite this particular owner, founder, CEO onto this podcast because he’s now post-transformation and he has an awful lot to say about the wrong belief system and assumptions he started the journey with. His biggest fear was his two most dominant clients who are extremely well known to all of us and heavily procurement-led. They’re probably the worst offenders of rinsing professional, and you can probably guess who, everyone’s probably having a guess now who they are. We’ve all probably worked with them at some point or other. But if you’ve got two dominant clients controlling you, which are 50% of your revenue, imagine the fear in changing your business model when you’re three years old. These are big leaps of faith. Even working with us, I still respect what we are asking our clients to do. What I hope you do is get a chance to speak with him because what is so fantastic is not only are they now in 30% year-on-year growth, they have doubled their net margins through now running programs and products. But the thing we’re most proud of is that those two dominant clients are now not only extremely comfortable and settled in a different business model, but they are now giving them transformational briefs.

    What has changed is the way clients engage, so that elevation, that creating significant more space for your capability and your ambition of what you can deliver to clients, that has now been adopted by the clients. They are getting long-term transformational briefs as a consulting partner at levels that they could only have imagined before. I think that is a really lovely story around the power of transformation and that often your greatest fear is actually not what you’re facing. That is not what you’re facing.

    Let me just talk about one of our large network clients that everyone knows well, for a moment. They had a similar fear, but in a slightly different direction, which was if we have all these products then we’re going to have to sell an awful lot of products to get to where we would get to in the old model. It’s product by product by product, which was little piece by little piece.

    Actually, when we were creating the program solutions, we were encouraging them to create program solutions with an investment case attached for three-year transformations. Every brief and opportunity that came in was reframed for themselves and for their clients as part of a longer-term program solution with the investment case and the business case. Without the investment case and the business case, then it’s not believable. It’s way too much risk for the client.

    The first program that they sold was reframed as three years. The client engaged with the first two years and the investment that was attached by the client to that program was more than they could ever have imagined or even hoped to have won through a pitch process and RFP in the first year of investment. I think that really made them realize that when you’re working in programs, you are working in a much more continuous long-term partnership with your clients.

    I think when you’re productizing services, you think product by product by product. You’ve got to do a lot of products to get anywhere. But actually, if you’re thinking about how do you work over a year or two years or three years with a client to deliver value, as long as there is a commercial case attached to that, then again, it changes the nature of how long you can partner with a client for. I think that was one of those moments where you think, okay, now they’ve really seen the power of programs. They’ve actually witnessed it and evidenced it for themselves.

    The other really smart thing that can happen, which again, I think some of your audience is going to be really interested in, is when we’re looking at packaging up programs, we actually start with what we call creating three new front doors. Those three new front doors are new gateways or pathways into your business for your clients. But the separation is really important because you can have different front doors which have different value propositions at the highest level.

    But where it gets really interesting is when each of those front doors has its own KPI model and it has its own operating system, and that separation makes that front door authentic to your clients when they’re engaging. But if you’re a business that is independent and may sometime in the future want to transact or raise investment, then what we’ve achieved many times over is that the front doors can be used to apply different valuations.

    One of our businesses, this is a London-based business, but it was actually running globally, but mainly the head office was London, we were able to separate out from the services areas of capability that should sit on a different pricing model, different commercial model, different operating model, different business model. For example, data and analytics as a division was stripped out of what we called the goodwill service model and not monetized properly, put behind its own front door, and scaled. The change in margin and profitability was significant because it was now operating and being scaled in the right model.

    Equally, another front door became a high-level advisory consultative front door. When those front doors were successfully scaled, we achieved the KPIs and that business wanted to transact. We were able to apply successfully different valuations to the different front doors. That allowed this business to transact at more than double the multiple that it would have expected in its wildest dreams as a predominantly service based business.

    There are really smart things you can do in terms of separation of different types of capability into different models behind the front doors, which is the engagement model and the way in for your clients that actually has a significant impact on any future valuation. That is something that we’ve done a lot in the US and again, there are case studies written up and our clients that are able to talk about that post-transformation life, which I always think it works extremely well when it’s not just so much me talking, but actually what people really want to hear is what is post-transformation? How do you operate? What does it feel like? How do you know you’re post-transformation? I get asked that question quite a lot, and it’s a really good question. How do you know you’ve arrived? What is true arrival defined by? Those are really important questions to start exploring.

    Brent Trimble That is a great segue to wrapping, but this is simply a sign off for now because I think everything you’ve articulated is so prescient and so timely. I think our listeners will find it extremely compelling. What I’d love to do is just give you an opportunity. We talked a little bit about the firm at the intro of the episode, but what’s the best place for our listeners to find you? Are you a prolific tweeter? Do they go to your website? Do you have a TikTok channel? Give us a sense as we wrap and then to your point, having some of these clients’ post-transformation would probably be great episode ideas as well. How do listeners find out about transformation, maybe some of your thought pieces, and then ultimately, the best way to contact you?

    Caroline Johnson I think we post a lot of our podcasts and articles and white papers onto LinkedIn, so you can find me at Caroline Johnson on LinkedIn under The Business Model Company. We have a website, The Business Model Company Global Ltd. I’m caroline@thebusinessmodelco.com in terms of my email. Something that your audience might be interested in is what do I see as the conditions for success in terms of a partnership between our firm and one of our clients? We’ve both got to commit to go on this journey and the conditions have to be right for both of us because we only want successes. We are only invested in successes.

    The final thing I would like to say today is there are three things I think to consider when you’re exploring this option. They’re the three essential things we look for before we would ever engage or commit. Those are first of all, you need confidence and you need belief. If you think you can’t do this, you won’t do it. If you think you can do it, you will. It’s as simple as that. First of all, have that conversation with yourself. Do you have the confidence and the right belief to do this?

    The second is, do you still have relevance in this market? If you’ve lost relevance, then changing the business model may be not enough. You have to have relevance to the market.

    The third one is commitment. Our most successful businesses are the ones that have the most committed leadership, and that stands out like a beacon every time. Again, commitment to go on the journey, stay on the journey, protect the journey. Those would be my message to this audience if they are starting to think, where does this fit and sit with us? How do we feel about this? It’s an emotional response. Those would be the three things that I would want to be exploring to ensure that the conditions for success are set up right before you start, before you go on the journey.

    Brent Trimble That’s great. Thank you so much for the time. We were really anticipating this episode and think it’s just packed with both inspiration as well as really practical, hard-hitting advice. Caroline, thank you so much for joining us today and investing your time. For our listeners, as always, thank you for listening to the podcast. If you have any follow-up questions for Caroline or myself, as always, feel free to email them to podcast@kantata.com, and we would love to answer them.

    If you enjoyed this podcast, let us know by giving the show a five-star review on your favorite podcast platform and leaving a comment. If you haven't already subscribed to the show, you could do so anywhere you get podcasts on any podcast app. To learn more about the power of Kantata’s purpose-built technology, go to kantata.com. Thanks again for listening.