Our new Strategy Manager shares his thoughts on the art of making smart,
strategic decisions and bringing them to life.
By Erlend Mohus, Strategy Manager
For some, numbers, models and research is just a necessary evil. But for me, it’s almost a kind of magic. Because I believe it holds the power to offer essential insight, answer crucial questions and pave the way forward for any business. In my case – for SuperOffice.
As a Strategy Manager, I believe I’m in the same business as fortune-tellers – our job is to predict the future. The main difference is that I don’t use a crystal ball or read tealeaves. Instead, analysis, research and numbers are my mediums.
I spend a lot of my time cracking numbers, looking at models and listening to external experts to find the best strategic direction for SuperOffice. Unlike a lot of fortune-tellers, I’m not looking for that one correct answer to suddenly appear. In strategic management, there’s not one right answer, there’s several. Only by doing the research can we calculate our options and make sure we are making smart, validated and forward-thinking decisions. In that sense, the real magic is hard work, looking at the big picture, and taking every possible outcome into consideration.
How I apply my strategic eye depends on the task at hand. In this sense, I believe strategy managers are a lot like potatoes: we can be used for basically anything. Working at SuperOffice, every day I am applying my strategic mindset to answer all sorts of questions: What will be our key challenges next year, and how do we overcome them? How do we make sure that we deliver sustainable value in a constantly changing customer landscape? And how do we make sure we are on the right path on our growth journey? No matter the question, our decision-making process is always powered by facts.
With a background in management consulting, I am used to looking at hard facts and advising companies from the other side of the table – from finance to oil and IT. Now, as I have embarked on the next chapter of my career as the Strategy Manager for SuperOffice, I am ready to add value with this outside-in perspective. Moving forward, I will make sure to extract the good and the bad from my previous experiences and take my learnings with me. I am sure it will pay off to have “an outsider on the inside”.
Despite my background and experience from the other side of the table, I am really beginning to feel like a part of the SuperOffice family. Since joining, I have been overwhelmed by the openness of this company and how everyone has welcomed my ideas with open arms. It has been inspiring to get to know everyone, and I am really looking forward to establishing even stronger relations across all our commercial units, as I spend more of my time with my motivated and bold colleagues.
Before I joined SuperOffice, it was the company’s history of bold decision-making that caught my eye. SuperOffice has been in the forefront of digital innovation since its foundation in 1990. The company has been able to stay relevant through the .com bubble and the financial crisis, and we are currently in the middle of a complete transformation to a fully cloud-based business model.
Despite all challenges, the company starved for more and raised the ambition level yet another notch by bringing Axcel on board through a strategic and financial partnership. To me, all this shows just how eager every single individual in the organization is to stand up and fight to maintain our position as a leading CRM software provider in the Nordics. I am thrilled to be a part of such a forward-leaning culture, and look forward to head into new, promising territory.
To sum up, you could say that my job is to help us get safely to our destination, making sure we take the right route. As a Strategy Manager, turning ambitious visions into reality is what I love to do. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s just a walk in the park. Right now, SuperOffice is facing a massive change. Our goal is to multiply our growth rate and to make sure that we are – and will continue to be – a CRM software company of the future. Getting there takes a lot of new initiatives and, just as importantly, a shift in mentality. At the core of it, our culture will be the most important piece of the puzzle, enabling us to overcome the challenges coming our way.
One crucial ingredient will be operating as one team. If we succeed in sharing our experiences across departments and countries and start going to market as one team, we will gain powerful impact. But functioning as one team, doesn’t mean that we should all be the same. On the contrary, as we grow, every employee will begin to focus more on their specific skills, contributing with their individual knowledge to the big picture.
Going to work as the strategic fortune-teller for SuperOffice, this is what I look forward to the most – standing side by side as one team of driven and talented specialists. It’s my job to make sure that as we stand there together, we will be looking at remarkable growth and extraordinary results. That’s how I’ll know that my predictions came true.