Leading the way with Richard Adams
Welcome to another instalment of Leading the Way. Today we’re joined by Richard Adams, CEO of CCL in New Zealand. Richard shares his leadership insights and thoughts on the NZ IT services industry. Discover his approach to talent acquisition, company culture, and staying ahead in this exclusive conversation with a tech industry innovator.
Tell us a bit about your role as CEO of CCL – what does a typical day look like for you?
We are lucky at CCL to have a really diverse range of customers so a typical day can involve a wide variety of topics. I try to balance my day so that I am looking at how we keep providing service for our customers in the short term, whilst looking out to the medium/long term to ensure we are investing in the right areas to set ourselves up for success. To be able to achieve any of that we need to provide a strong culture for our people and opportunities to progress in their careers, so a lot of our time is focused on trying to provide that environment.
How does your background in sales and business development shape your leadership style and decision-making as CEO?
I feel very fortunate to have spent a lot of time in roles that have been focused on growth and it has definitely shaped my leadership style. Sustainable growth provides you more freedom as a Leader to invest in your people and customers. I find that many people feel uncomfortable to talk about the need to grow and be profitable, however it is essential so we need to get better as a country to feel comfortable to talk about this. Also, from a company culture perspective, being part of a company that is growing is usually a much more positive environment, so selling more is always going to underpin those outcomes.
What challenges or opportunities do you see for the IT services industry in New Zealand in the coming years, and how will you address them?
Finding and retaining talent will continue to be the biggest challenge. That’s a macro challenge across most sectors in NZ and its no different in the Technology sector. In terms of opportunity, NZ already punches about our weight globally and I believe that to maintain that position we must embrace new technologies to give us a sustainable competitive advantage.
What do you look for when it comes to hiring talent?
Hiring for culture first and then capability/craft is really important to me. We are working hard to keep improving the environment we provide for our people and customers so prioritising the cultural fit when you hire talent is critical. We also have a clearly stated ambition within Spark Group to improve our Diversity and Inclusion position so we take this into consideration when we get the opportunity to bring someone new into the team.
What advice would you give to an aspiring leader or someone who is starting out in your field?
If you can find a company whose values align with your personal purpose, plus you are interested in the outcomes they provide, then you have a great foundation to build from.