Leading the way with Richard Adams

Leading the way with Richard Adams

Posted November 22, 2023

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.

Leading the way with Jamaine Naicker

Leading the way with Jamaine Naicker

Posted September 15, 2021

Welcome to another instalment of Leading the way. Today we are joined by Jamaine Naicker, Digital Engineering Manager at Watercare Services Limited NZ, who talks us through her career journey, the biggest shifts that the technology industry has gone through, and the importance of mentorship. Let’s get into it.

Tell us a bit about how you started your career in tech and the journey that led you to your current role.

I started my career as an analyst programmer and worked my way through a lot of different roles in IT. I always had a passion for software delivery but as my career grew, I realised my real strength was leadership.  I enjoyed growing and mentoring people.  My thirst for continuous improvement and growing high performing teams was a key contributor to my career success.

What does a day in the life look like for you?

No two days are the same. I find my day filled with context switching, problem solving and mostly helping technical people focus on delivering strategic outcomes that offer customer value. The diversity of my role really energises me and allows me to bring alignment across the key pillars of delivery.

You have been in the tech and digital sector for quite a few years. What do you feel has been the biggest shift in that industry?

Having the right people with the right attitude in my team, is way more beneficial and successful.  Early on the focus was mainly hiring based on skillset. These days, having a culture of continuous improvement and challenging the norm with a growth mindset are invaluable.

Do you have any mentors? If so, why would you recommend having one?

Yes, I have had a few mentors over the years and would highly recommend it.  As you go through your career you always have people you aspire to become, who seem perfect and far out of your reach.  Having a mentor reminds you that everyone has challenges, and the people that succeed have only done so because of their resilience and tenacity to overcome their obstacles.

What is your biggest learning that you would want to tell someone starting out in your industry?

Self-doubt or imposter syndrome.  Too often the high expectations we set for ourselves, are the very thing that trips us up.  Failure is all part of growing as an individual. Set small achievable goals and never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something. In fact, for me it is the very trigger that motivates me. The more I am told I can’t do something, the more I want to prove them wrong.  It has made me stronger and in the process a lot more confident.

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