October 12, 2015

CC Pace 35th Anniversary – Part III: What the Future Holds

Written by P. Henricks

We conclude our three-part 35th Anniversary blog series about our past, present and future by talking with Mike Gordon, President of CC Pace, on his vision for the future of CC Pace. Mike has built and led a company that has grown by attracting people with a common set of beliefs that focus on quality, integrity and keeping customers’ best interests in mind while delivering results.  As our leader, learn how he plans to drive the company forward.

What are you most excited about when you think of CC Pace’s future?
A new set of leaders who will set their own vision and their own path to get there.  We have a lot of very talented people here who, combined with some people we will bring in from the outside, will become our new leaders. It is these new leaders who will bring new ideas and approaches to help us provide innovative solutions to be delivered to our clients in the future.

What one goal for CC Pace tops your list when you think about the next 3-5 years?
One goal that stands out when I think about the future is leadership development and transition.  We are focused on grooming and mentoring our leadership from the inside, receiving outside leadership training, and the opportunity to try (and sometimes fail) as we pursue new business opportunities and models for execution.  We are in a people-based business and we need to be spending sufficient time developing our current and future leaders,   while still delivering on our current day-to-day business and the needs of our clients.

In what areas do you see CC Pace growing in the next 5 years?
From a revenue standpoint, the federal market will likely see the most growth.  We have made a committed investment there that we are just now starting to reap the rewards.  On average, the projects for the federal space tend to be larger and longer-term than private sector projects.  That being said, I also anticipate growth in all of our practice areas. The Financial Services industry is starting to turn around and rebound, and new opportunities are developing there. For Staffing, I see us continuing to stay in the high end of the value-oriented staffing arena versus commodity-based staffing, and I see increased demand for this type of service. Our Agile practice, which includes training, coaching and software development, will expand as a result of our marketing strategies and as we introduce new offerings to the market.

From a corporate perspective, it’s in marketing.  Finding new, quality clients is fundamental to sustaining and growing any vibrant business.  We’ve long lacked a dedicated strategy and commitment to marketing and let repeat/referral business drive revenues.  Today, under our Corporate Marketing Manager, Jenna Bayer’s leadership, we’ve made tremendous strides to change that, and I expect that this marketing initiative will continue to grow and develop.

How does CC Pace’s current focus prepare us for the future?
Two things that prepare CC Pace for our future is the type of people we hire, and our business model.  The people we hire are adaptable, creative and solutions-oriented. They are good at solving problems and are very customer-focused, which is key for a B2B business. Our people have strong values; you can teach people a lot of things, but values is often not one of them. These values are important because individual values need to be in alignment with our company values.

The market is constantly changing and our business model is designed to be very adaptable. We are able to look at what is going on in the market and determine what solutions will work for each unique situation. Part of this adaptability is the diversification of our three business units (Enterprise Solutions, Financial Services and IT Staffing) which complement each other.  CC Pace’s business model focuses on delivering value to our clients and it is this outcome-driven business model that sets us up for long-term relationships with our clients.

When you think about the future of CC Pace, what is the biggest challenge you see for the company?
The biggest challenge I foresee is dealing with change. Change is good, but it can be a challenge. While we deal with change management frequently with initiatives at our clients, it’s often difficult to apply those lessons ourselves.  In order to be successful in the future and move to a new leadership team with new vision ideas, we will need to change and grow as a company and as individuals.

How will CC Pace continue to be successful in the Agile space in response to Agile methodologies that are constantly evolving?
The methods will continue to advance and change. We want to be on the forefront both for when we are using the methods to deliver solutions, and when we are training and coaching others to do so.  We’re seeing a change right now with Kanban, DevOps, Scaling methods, advanced Agile engineering methods and tools.  Ideally, we have a good balance of training/coaching vis-à-vis development – we are able to have our trainer practitioners vacillate between exploring new ways and gaining new experience, and then being able to share that knowledge with others.

What is the one bit of advice you’d like to bestow upon the next generation of CC Pace?
My advice would be this: be clear about your goals and be patient to get there.  Make sure that you have people who are aligned with what you are trying to achieve.  Most importantly, recognize that it is less about the speed by which you get there and more about staying focused to arrive at your desired target.

The future of CC Pace is in the hands of our leadership team; a team that Mike Gordon has successfully led and mentored for three-and-a-half decades.  As CC Pace continues to grow and evolve in the years to come, we will remain a committed partner, whose goal is creating value-added results and solutions for our clients. Stay tuned for the next 35 years!

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