How Venturetec is coming through the Covid-19 pandemic

16 July 2020 Consultancy.com.au

Consulting is famous for the massive amount of travel it involves – as firms often send their experts out in person to tend to the needs of clients – but amid the coronavirus lock-down this has necessitated a rapid reorientation of the industry. Venturetec Managing Partner Trey Zagante spoke to Consultancy.com.au about how his firm has transformed its operations to cater to clients remotely.

The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged consultants into a period of major industrial change. The job has traditionally required extensive travel and face-to-face support of clients, but under the global lock-down this has proven impossible. Fortunately, consultants are well acquainted with rapid transformation work, and according to Venturetec Managing Partner Trey Zagante, his firm has leveraged this legacy to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal.’

He explained, “Navigating the current operating environment – given that as a professional services firm, demand is driven by our clients, and when the business operations and innovation initiatives of our clients are negatively impacted by Covid-19 and its flow-on effects, we’ve had to adapt to the new reality.”

Speaking about the biggest challenges facing Venturetec and the consulting industry amid the lock-down, Zagante explained that maintaining the health and safety of Venturetec’s people remained a key priority. However, the firm’s tech-savvy culture has enabled it to smoothly transition to remote work.

Trey Zagante, Managing Partner Venturetec

Pointing to one key example, Zagante, “Managing a distributed agile team that is located across Melbourne and Sydney [is a big challenge, but] shifting to working from home and increasing utilisation of digital tools has been quite seamless for us given our prior experiences working across the APAC region.”

Having co-founded Venturetec with Vivian Clark in 2012, Zagante draws on over 15-years of experience developing and executing strategies to launch, grow, scale, turn-around and divest of businesses across a range of industries. He has been involved in several large-scale business and technology transformation programmes across the Asia Pacific region – something which provides him with vital know-how for helping Venturetec’s clients face the challenges of their respective industries.

“[Another challenge was] ensuring that we are available for our partners,” Zagante added, “and that our clients understand we will be with them and we are a long-term partner that they can rely on during and after these turbulent times.”

This has meant that Venturetec has had to adapt its ways of working – transitioning its co-design and co-creation with its clients to the remote digital realm. In this way, the consulting firm specialising in corporate innovation, strategic design and venture building has shown clients it can still readily support them, even when its experts cannot attend to matters in person.

Building for the future

According to Zagante, Venturetec’s agile shift to remote working has centred heavily on a relationship of trust forged between the firm and its employees. This is something he believes his fellow founders and executives could learn from if they are to similarly adapt.

“[Companies need] a high level of trust for people working from home, not having direct supervision,” he expanded. “The trust factor that people will still get the job done, I think this is one lesson that leaders across large organisations were previously unconvinced of, the impact the current situation would have on productivity.”

A large part of building this trust comes from leaders showing that they have the best interests of their employees at heart. Someone who sees their boss confirming they have their welfare at the front of mind will inevitably be willing to work harder to repay that.

Zagante said, “Highlight the focus of health and safety of your own people. In a business-as-usual world, in organisations that are running pretty hard, especially in the professional services sector, it’s all about delivering for clients, perhaps, at times, there’s less of a focus on team wellbeing, this situation has really highlighted the need to look after your own team.”

Having built a solid culture of trust, Venturetec has been able to use its lower number of engagements to focus on improving its operations ahead of a recovery. As a result of increased capacity due to lower level of client engagements, the firm has accelerated its own product development and innovation efforts that have been in its backlog.

“[These developments] focus on what is going to add value to clients, what they will need and want from us in the future,” Zagante concluded. “We’ve also taken this opportunity to refresh and stress-test our enablement tools and made some quick decisions on shifting from different platforms to others, accelerating our own efforts to be digitally-enabled, optimised our digital toolset and have better remote collaboration.”


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