December 12, 2013

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Two ‘Big Picture’ Questions for Tech Companies

By Rachel Madison

December 12, 2013

Salt Lake City — When it comes to success in the technology world, it’s all about transformation. So says Fraser Bullock, co-founder and managing director at Sorenson Capital.

Bullock spoke to a group of technology company executives during a Utah Technology Council industry breakfast event on Wednesday about two “big picture” questions every company leader should ask. The first question was “What is your company’s next transformation?”

Bullock said he likes to take a step back and look at his company every six months to see if there has been a transformation. If there’s no fundamental shift, then something’s missing.

“When you focus on the day to day, sometimes you miss the big picture,” he said. “Transformations within a company add value.”

Bullock, who served as the COO, CFO, and later the president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002, used his Olympic experience to reiterate these thoughts.

“When Mitt [Romney] brought me on to the committee in 1999, Salt Lake was considered the bribery capital of the world because of bribery scandals that had taken place to bring the Olympics [to Utah],” Bullock said. “Mitt transformed Salt Lake by 2002. He changed the culture, made sure every penny mattered and focused on operational excellence. Now the 2002 Olympics are considered one of the most successful.”

Bullock said it was amazing to watch the media and the world’s perspective about Salt Lake City and Utah change after the 2002 Olympics because of the transformation the organizing committee had made.

The second question Bullock said company leaders need to ask is “How do I want to be remembered?”

“I don’t mean after you die, I mean next year,” he said. “What’s your brand?”

Bullock said leaders need to ask themselves several questions to put things in perspective. These questions include: Am I a positive person? Am I fair or greedy? Am I generous? Am I an incessant talker or a careful listener? Am I a claimer of credit or a giver of credit? Am I consistently reliable or am I the guy no one can count on? Am I unfailingly kind?

Overall, Bullock said companies will be successful if they can focus on transforming the company as a whole, as well as each individual within that company.

“It’s important for companies to be successful, but it’s just as important for individuals to be successful,” he said.

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