Accelerating Value
Accelerating Value

Episode · 1 year ago

The Opportunity Cost of Creating Value w/ Kevin Moriarty


Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a challenge to define value for each of your business functions, vertically and horizontally, let alone to assess if it’s being created regularly.

Helping us define value in context, in today’s episode of Accelerating Value, is Kevin Moriarty, Principal at KMM Ventures, LLC.

What we talked about:

- Defining value

- It’s not a business case if it doesn’t explain how it creates business value

- The relationship between value and time

- Value-based decision-making in an uncertain world

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Today, every budget approval is an investment deal. If you're a marketer, sales or business leader, you had to promise to deliver value and impact. Writing the wave to get there is hard enough. Finding your way through the storm is even harder if you're looking for that path forward so that you don't wipe out. You've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Hey, guys, this is Mark Stuce with accelerating value, your weekly podcast that we talked about value, how we created how we think about it, how we define it, how we invest in it, how we ultimately prove that it happened or didn't happen. So it's a fairly unique podcast. I'm not really aware of anyone else who's talking about value creation in the same way. We're very horizontal in terms of the people we talked to. We're also fairly vertical in terms of people we talked to. So different industries, also within a function, will go deeper than a leader and and hear what people who are further down in the organization how they think about value. Is that really the best way to think about value? How they ultimately connect their vision of value to what their cee sweet member might consider value. So that's what this is all about and we as a result, we have some really great guests and today is no exception. So today is Kevin Moriarty. So Kevin is a public company CFO. I first met him and worked with him at Honeywell Aerospace. So I was leading marketing and communications at Honeywell and Kevin was the CFO for honeywill aerospace, and so he and I were frequently in conversation about this whole issue of value. So, Kevin, welcome, thank you work. This is that this is going to be a great conversation because you know, you you're kind of the judge, jury and sometimes executioner right in this whole conversation about value, right, because you're not just as it applies to anyone function like marketing, but you're really kind of looking across all of them, right, and you're making judgment calls or helping the team make judgment calls. And it's not just about are you, you know, delivering value, it's about relative value. It's the opportunity cost associated with different choices, presumably, that are creating value. So it's very much from your perspective. I think this goes back to some of our previous conversations, like managing a financial portfolio. So I'm really excited about this. All right, terrific. So when you when you when you think about value creation, let's let's kind of set some fundamental ground rules for anyone who's listening. How does a CFO, even a growth orent and CFO like you, how do they define value? I mean, it's value sort of up for grabs here a little bit. Or is is there an actual definition? That's kind of like this is a black letter concept. Well, yeah, and again this is all going to come from like my own perspective or my own kind of thought process. They you know, from the CFO perspective, it's value is what type of revenue generation, earnings cash flow that is only adding to the growth of the of the enterprise. You know, another dimension would be how our margins performing. Are we you know we're getting the right value by seeing margin expansion, by creating products services that are generating, you know, that incremental value to the organization. And I think from my Lens, you know that it's monetary in many dimensions. Right. It's not, you know, thinking about okay, what stay from an employee perspective of other perspectives. But as a leaders, the finance leader, as you're looking to grow the revenue earning cash flow of an organization, it will only create more opportunities for your employees, for your suppliers, for your customers based on the services that you're creating. So to mean, that's how I view to be the value. And so by by definition, then value is something that has monetized correct again, being the finance guide, that's definitely, to mention, of some importance to us. Yeah, and I would I would say this right. I mean one of the things, one of the reasons why I really want to have you on the show was, if there's a language of business, that language is ...

...numbers, and you and people like you, or the keeper of the numbers, right. I mean you're so. Yeah, so, I mean you know. So, I mean you're sort of the top of the pyramid in terms of interpreting value based on earnt yeah, I would definitely say that that reporting, that measurement, the accountability, if you will, as well based on I think that's the key aspect of the finance function. So how, regardless of WHO's doing it, how do you feel when someone approaches you with a business case, that doesn't include how this investment is going to monetize to the benefit of the business, even though it may be part of a function that's you kind of like an accepted expense, right, but how do you feel about that? Yeah, I for me, I think when you sit down with a peer or somebody coming up in the organization itself, it's when you point out, okay, maybe it's not well thought out or I definitely am type of individual I want to participate perhaps in those dialogs to frame, but so much of what I strive to do with leaders in the organization is, okay, we have to have some foundational plan. What are they going to be? Some of the KPIS and a milestones. You know, I definitely come at it from incremental spend, if you will, to generate incremental return and sitting down with a business leader, there's only so much available funding right. So if I'm sitting down with a budget owner and that budget owner has a certain capacity, how have they thought about, within their own function, maybe bringing up capacity to invest, or are they looking for I the CFO, to figure out where else can we raise the money? But so much of it gets into okay, what is the concept. But what's the targeted area we're looking at? What's the plan and how do we dimensionalize the plan? What KPIS are we looking at? Weekly, monthly, quarterly? How best are we going to frame it to judge some level accountability in the organization? But I definitely come from it myself as incremental, meaning how do we demonstrate success with that level of investment to prove to ourselves that it's a valid idea, of valid concept and then slowly, if it begins to take off, make sure that you get more incremental funding behind it. And that's alway supposed to be in my own bias on the topic is to kind of come in and sit down with a business leader if they have an incremental idea, is to really make sure, okay, what's the market? What's our target, and then what are the right milestones or post we're going to be looking at? And then what are the KPIS? What's those measurement? And earlier we were talking about value. So is it incremental sales? Is An incremental cash flow? Is it incremental? What is it that we're looking to do with that campaign and is there a is there a a timescale on this that you consider to be, for lack of a better way of putting it, acceptable or ideal. Like are you are you have a bias for rapid, rapid, super rapid pay payback or like? How are you balancing this in your head? Sure, and I think it depends on the dimension of the of the ask and the size of the ass right. I think you know. If the ASS is incremental, then and aligning with that, whatever the business leader is, that's part of the foundation of okay, what's the land and if we collectively feel that this is something we should see your return on within, say, one quarter, ninety days, then that would be a dimension of time. If the and again to me IT market, gets through, what's the size of the ask? And also what I would say is it depends on what business cycle are. Are We along cycle business? Are we are short cycle business? What is it were in? Because part of those investment decisions, if I'm in a short cycle business, like something that is really quick, I need to make calculated I have a new product launch or I have something else happening, a new service offering. I may want to see a payback within, say, one to two quarters, because again, there's different dimensions of where you can invest dollars, but working with your peer and trying to figure out that measurement and is this idea solid or not? And I'm a big proponent in you know, fail fast to the best you can learn from it. But also, if you're successful, then how do you continue to feed that success? So I guess in answer to...

...your question, it would go to what business, business are you in? And from a time to mension? You know, unfortunately in the CFO sweet most suits, you're living quarter to quarter. Right you're living ninety days to ninety D s. But I also think as a cfo you need to be making truncated risk calculations on something that will pay out in nine months, twelve months. You know that time dimension and that's a tricky equation that you know, everybody among the executive team has to play, and I'd say you know, notably the CFO. You know, when I was at HP they had a number of classes that they took some people and put them into and and one of them was about this issue and it was they had written a piece of software. Internally. It was a simulator with business simulator and and you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that they were talking about the personal systems group. So this was the PC business unit at HP. And you have all these different levers and you would you know, in terms of things you were investing in as the GM, the global GM. That was your role in the simulation, and you'd all of a sudden get a message that says, Hey, carly, you know expects you to contribute, you know, twelve cents of EPS This quarter, right, and so you're going to have to make some choices immediately. And so you would make some of those choices and then it would show you the consequences, the ripple effect consequences of those choices, you know, six, twelve, eighteen months later. Right. So if you cut back product development, for example, well, now you your whole product line is way late in your behind the competitors and all this kind of stuff. But one of the things that was really fascinating about this and was probably the object lesson, is that there wasn't any perfect choice. You were there was no free lunch. You were always going to get hit by something. So when you think about, you know, when you sat in meetings at Honeywell or some of these other companies that you've been the CFO for and your kind of calibrating these choices across time and space, realizing that you, like everyone else, have no idea what might happen in the world or to your industry or whatever. And twelve months, how do you kind of ultimately shake all this out in your head, which is got to be kind of there's a there's got to be a practical, process driven side of it, but there's also kind of got to be this philosophical, almost metaphysical aspect of the decisionmaking. To write. So how do you do that? And I think part of it gets that knowing you have to have some level of conviction right in terms of where what instinctively may feel right in terms of those investment decisions. But nonetheless, as a business leader, every one, to your point, everybody has targets need, no matter the organization, and then really thinking through, okay, do we have a line of site to those targets and how are we going to attain them? But nonetheless you always have to be thinking about where am I going to be allocating, with the management team, investments and then where else, as a management team, maybe de emphasize investments because it's that tradeoff that you it's orchestration, if you will, among the teams and organization to say we're best for us to free up capacity to make these investments for the future. But so much of it comes down to you can sit in the world and say, okay, it's all cost driven us, the CFO. There's a real comfort level in you know, to certain dimensions that okay, I can just issue targets, I need five percent reduction, ten percent reduction, and everybody go off and go march on that path. Well, that will only get you so far, right, because over time if you're not effectively balancing and then figuring out, okay, we're what services, what products, what markets, what geographies? So I always found it in my just in my instinct or working with my peers and other leaders within the business, is how best to effectively think about that while you're managing to hit the current months numbers, the current quarters, no numbers, but then orchestrating, if you will, away to free up and my point earlier about making small bets or incremental bets in terms of okay, if we're going to say where we want to open a new market, we think that we should look at Southern York and we want to...

...put in x and number of sales, folks Presales, and we want to do x amount and we believe it will take x amount of time. One of my roles to see if I was or how are we going to fund that and how we're going to free at the capacity. But that's my point about you can be one or you could be the cut cost cutting CFL person, but that that, that can only get you so far and I think you can only take the dollars out one time. That and that incrementally. Then is how do you realocate? So for me there's an instinct to it, but then there's an orchestration to it. But it's also, I think, when you're working with the C suite or the next level or two down, it's how do your create that headset of what's the objective and that how do you not create the fiefdom mentality of I have to protect my budget, where you kind of create the atmosphere of come to me as the finance leader, to your point earlier in the question, come to me. You may not have something well thought out, you may not have it all baked out, but let's dialog and you know, have some sense on what maybe attainable and then let's collectively figure out how we're going to finance it. So, and I was going to originally ask this in a more broad sense, right, but but I think we might help for people listening to it to if we if we made it more concrete. So when marketing comes to you during the budget season and makes the case, what is typically missing in your mind? Sure, sure, because when you're asking earlier, what I frequently find missing is the dimension of time, meaning what what kind of Kevin? If we're going to run this type of campaign? Here's our campaign plan, here's what we're looking to do. I would say understanding of business. Who Give me a time dimension? What should be the say KPIS. What are the indicators that we collectively you know, because I view it from a finance standpoint. Sometimes we need to do better job of collaborating more with the marketing organization. But if we understand, like my education would be for the marketing folks is, what are those key milestones or indicators we should look at as we're thinking about initiating a campaign, investing in a campaign, at what point in the trigger right, because it always seems you need to get to the n of the milestone to see Nirvana. We need that thing. You see it right, and that my whole coaching or my perspective would be, you know, educate me and if it takes six months, then let's figure out what's that investment requirement. But then what's the accountability we should hold each other to to see how that campaign is doing? And that, to me, is what I find sometimes, that I frequently find as missing, is the dimension of time, because frequently everybody wants to Big Bang and they want it now. Like Kevin, we need a million dollars now, Kevin, we need five million now, and instead of saying, you know, if we ask for two hundred and fifty and we do x by month of one, see how this is proving out right, and I think that's what's I find frequently is missing. And then the overall business case on incremental revenue, incremental cash. What is it that we're striving to attain with that program you know, when we kind of think about the exchange on this, one of the one of the things that I think I've seen with a lot of companies now is that the the CEO and the CFO assume that everyone understands the rules of the game and and and they actually don't write and and there's a there's a like I had a conversation with a CEO not too long ago and and obviously it was very polite and all that kind of stuff, but it was essentially me saying, Hey, you know, you realize that you co own this problem that you have with marketing, you know, and and he was kind of like what do you mean? And I said, well, have you explained the rules of the game? We does everybody know how you win and lose in this game? Well, no, that's probably true. We haven't done that. Is there a way, that a scalable way that people can do that, where that we kind of like literally put a, you know, a nail through this problem? It is a no doubt an organizational dynamic in that from it particltly if you're a public company or even if you're a private equity. You know, because usually two folks in front of the Board or shareholders, and I think to the extent that you know, the CEO and...

CFO engage more proactively on the communication of what external constituents are expecting to kind of create that awareness, but I would say that organization alignment. It's so much of it as tied to the messaging. You know, one of the things, one of the things I would advocate for is, you know, I fear the head of marketing, your the head of engineering, your the head of and you're having staff meetings, you know, proactively half you know the CFO or cf CEO at ten and and not engage in understanding that the top but understanding your team should be asking them questions of the CFO and really trying to drive that. Brought her awareness, but peer to peer, I think it's it's owned by both constituents, be it, you know, the CFO, the head of marketing, head of engineering, sales, for everybody to kind of understand what the measuring post are or what's the accountability that outside investors have, the board has of the organization, because we can debate a lot of different things, but if outside constituents have five key things that they're looking for organizationally, things have to kind of align to post five things. Much of it is that socialization, if you will, within an organization, to drive the awareness and the alignment between the the CEO, the CFO and and the peer grew. So maybe maybe this is another way of asking the question. So one of the things that you have to do, in conjunction with the CEO, is issue annual guidance and then your and your you know, that's obviously out for borders into the future. And then every time you go in front of the shareholders, the investors, right your you're on a quarterly basis, you're giving them updates against that and potentially revising the guidance, hopefully only in one direction. Correct, yeah, because that's the lower is that a good time? Right? So how do you exclusive of everything else for a second? How do you do that? What's your process or deciding what your guidance will be, because I have a feeling that there's a lesson there, or functional leaders right when they're going through that same process with you. So you're now the investor right in their function and at budget time you're asking them to issue guidance. Is Part of their business case, right, and then they have to come back and they have to give an update against that. Right. So how do you form your guidance? Sure, I think so much of this it's comes from most organizations, I would say, has a three to five year planning cycle and fundamental to that, like in Honeywell, we would do the straps corrected, be at Honeywell, be a five year plan. Having that APE and so much of that leads to expectations that we as an order internally right. Things have to be set up internally. But then when you start thinking about okay, you would not want to see a business and decline right, if you're there at the table, you would have to figure out, okay, what is it we need to what is it we collectively need to do to drive x amount of revenue growth, margin expansion, earning his growth, cash flow growth, and that's kind of fundamentally where it starts. So that pistol most organization should do that. Depending on what your fistical year is. You do that usually six months before your fistical year begins. And what I have always witnessed is you go from the three to five year vision of how glorious the world is going to be and then then three months. Then you get three months down the road and then you begin the annual planning process, that next year's planning process, and something oddly happens in a ninety day, two hundred and twenty day time prison, all of a sudden that vision you had in the strategy session is no longer attainable in your one. So collectively you got to say, okay, here's what we've done for the last twelve months, the last eighteen months. So I personally am a big proponent of run rate to understand, okay, what's the momentum in the business, what's happening? And then when I start thinking about the next year, obviously you got to show some level of growth in the metrics we've talked about right as at this value creation. So you got... fundamentally say, okay, how are we going to do that? And then look at, okay, lines of business, investment levels, beat in product, beat in marketing, beat in sales. What are those investment levels to drive that plan? So when I think about an organization, obviously I'm going to hold the team internally to a threshold. So when I think about targets, those are usually going to be higher than when I'm going to message to outside constituents. Again, it's my own bias, but you're going to have to have a buffer or some be a you know, there's different terms for contingency break itch, all different terminology but you us, the CFO CEO, you're going to hold the team to a higher accountability than maybe you're going to message outside. But then traditionally I would work with, say, Management COMP committee others to ensure that the team gets incentivized properly to get there. But I think when you look at a functional level, historically mark people will come in with last year's budget and Kevin, I need five percent on top of that and I have always struggled with you. Gotta press back as the CFO to the head of marketing and say, well, what was in that original eight to ten percent of the company budget? What did you do to re up capacity you within your own function, because everybody thinks it's just a layer, layer, layer, but we collectively as an organization, we might want to put more into R and D next year. We might be in a product refresh cycle. We're there. May Be things happening as an organization. Again, it's up to me to ensure the head of marketing or head of sales understands that. But it's kind of what are you doing as a functional owner, as marketing, to look at your improved to the CFO that hey, we we did do some X, Y Z to free up capacity. But we believe by doing these incremental investments, here's what we're going to be able to drive and here's our here's the dates, here's the milestones, here's the accountability I'm going to have. So I hope I'm answering your question, because I know I answered a couple of different things, but yeah, totally so. One of the questions that I was asked by a listener to ask is when. So this is all in the context of two thousand and twenty, right? Sure, in this particular company, finance came to marketing in like April of two thousand and twenty and said, guess what, we're cutting people in programs by forty percent. They obviously felt a lot of pressure, right to to be that conservative. Of the question is this our our business leaders? Do they think about the long term or longer term effects of a cut like that, or are they just really focused on meeting a short term number? Yeah, that that is that is a really challenging question, right because fundamentally you have to figure out as an organization, if you make a commitment or a number, doing everything you can, but in the Hindset of two thousand and twenty. The question to earlier were talking about what business business am I in? Am I a short cycle business or am I in a longer cycle? And when I might when I bring up longer cycle, I'm thinking about brand awareness. I'm thinking about pipeline growth versus point click generating sales and a shorter cycle business. Right. So I think fundamentally, business finance leaders there's a lot of pressure right to say, okay, fundamentally we just lost fifty to sixty percent, seventy percent of our sales. You know what's the best way for us to meet numbers? And I would say that they're definitely is a lot of thought that goes into it. I would say mark, one of the things when we were at honey well, there was a lot of critique, a lot of debate pipe one of the smartest things we did to protect long term intellectual capacity capability during the financial crisis was furloughs. Very controversial decision made by the executive team of honey will at that time, but in order to achieve the financial requirements, that was some of the decisions that had been made. I think when somebody says, okay, we got to reduce marketing by forty percent. I think again it's said having the... in court, if you will, for the marketing leader and others in the organization to talk to CFL about what what tradeoffs are they thinking about? And maybe it's thirty percent, twenty five percent, but I assure you're doing that crisis period of time. You Do, you get into target mentality. Right, everybody needs to participate, everybody needs to share. But then there's got to be that ongoing dialog between the leadership team on why is this good or why is this bad and what, what harm can we be doing to the business? But again it's go it gets into what cycle of a business are you in? Because in that person's business, right when they were asked to give up forty percent of the marketing dollars, how much sales were being for gone during that period of time? Right, if I'm running an airline, I would have cut marketing by eighty percent, ninety percent, right, I mean because there's no brim or reason to doing it. So that that's kind of it's a sensitive question, but it's a trade tradeoff question as well. It seems to me that if you're waiting as a marketing leader or anyone else right to make that case when when you get approached for that kind of cut, it's already too late because if they had a real clear understanding of the value that you were creating for the business across multiple time horizons, they would obviously probably think about that cut a little differently. Is that are there? Is there in your mind? Is there sort of a stack rank of functions? I'm not asking you to list them, but is there a stack rank of functions that you feel like, over time, have earned the benefit of the doubt versus those that haven't? Yeah, and I would say in primarily just for the marketing, you know, some opaqueness to it right between the two organization, because if you're a rd right that's primarily a people oriented product development, then you have sales where, okay, you know how many folks are on the street, you know what the revenue numbers are going to be or what the expectation is going to be. What I would say for marketing again, and this is where this relationship with the finance teams, there's a pinkness to me as a finance leader around advertising or marketing and what are the true results you're getting from that? Investment and and really pinpointing that I give, like x amount of investment leads to x amount of returns, revenue, earnings, cash flow. That only the cause and effect, because it's very difficult. Like for me, historically it was just what, how best does that advertising and marketing really generate that revenue value? I've been part of organizations where Marketing Organization. They're not mark you never did this, don't get me wrong, but for every sales that was every created, marketing took a hundred percent of the credit. So then I said, okay, well, what's the Sales Guy Doing? And then it was like the things in tandem. So there are things that I feel there's an opaqueness that perhaps marketing and finance jointly working together, can really do more. On the criticality of advertising and outcome and value creation that you talked about earlier. Is there is there a function in your experience across different companies that more often times than not, really has this nailed? I'm going to reference one particular organization because it's a dimension of what they're held to on a quarterly basis, and its sales is the sales organization, meaning you know, there's a expectation on revenue and you know, there's an expectation on conversion and just certain things that are happening and a drumbeat of measurement. And they may not be the perfect organization for me to be referencing right now, but what I always felt was, you know, they broke it down to how did we do this month? How did we do with the leads? And there's a cadence and they have tools that they're better able to measure progress and how they're doing with leads or just that running track of information. So when I think of organizations there are under maybe there was a former leader you and I know well that used to talk about you can measure by a watch, but you can measure by a calendar. And I felt sales always to me felt more as a we have to understand where things are and that that that's one organization that comes to my mind.

First to say R and D. It's you know, you can miss milestones and you're not going to miss your quarterly external revenue earnings numbers right. You can have a delay of x amount of time. Do you find product organizations generally have their business case buttoned? I would say they would have definitely a lot of the core metrics understood to be able to portray and then also layout milestones that they would want the organization to hold them accountable to. Now that's not to say that expert set of certain markup, sorry of product R and D efforts may not be executed properly and you could always have product delays, but definitely they would have some understanding of what it was that they were trying to get to. So when we talk it, when we think about this, you know you've mentioned Kpis several times. I think one of the challenges in a function like marketing is that by the time something is a KPI, it's in the past and there's nothing you can do about it. And it also isn't it's like a score of NBA game, right. It'll tell you who won and who lost, but it won't tell you the story of the game. What actions cause that score to happen when you think about cause and effect just in general. So again not just talking about one function, how do you how do you think about that? Right? I mean are you? Is it, as it been feasible in the past, to operationalize analytics to the point where you can really run cause and effect analysis on pretty much whatever you wanted to in the business? Or is that been a an area that it's kind of been challenging for you? I'd say, and I'll put a time dimension on it, right, if you go back, you know I historically there be so much data, there be so much information, but it be very difficult, to your point, to pinpoint that intersection point on what what led to x result based on that level of investment. Right. And you know, if you think about I want to put x amount of salespeople in a territory, traditionally you could see, right, what did that mean from x amount of value or time, revenue for sales guy, revenue per sales guy? You could see, you know, certain metrics be commission certain things would but again, to your point, it's a delay in terms of KPI. Right, you would initiate, but you might not know. Maybe you depending, if you have my dean it, depending on the leaders DNA, you might put it more frequent measurements on monthly versus quarterly or versus annually. How is that? That situation evolving and happening. But I would say, and again this is the time dimension right. The technology today and the capabilities of today versus, say, even when you and I were working together back in the two thousands. It's such a different capacity because that the analytics to capabilities of the data today with the right framework. You know, I'll point to earlier I talked a little bit about the sales organization. I think one of the most powerful tools that's help that organization and the Finance Org with sales force really really tracking through performance on the leads that export and being able to really track that. That is much more of a on your earlier point about a delayed KPI will. To me that's a actual living document right. It gives you true measurement. It's not something that you're looking at, but I have KP as within that that I can look at very frequently. We're fifteen years ago we didn't have that capability right. So I think technology, that data, the data that we always historically took, you know, Twenty Finance Folks With Twenty Marking Folks, twenty sales folks to aggregate put on Excel that that world is so much evolved in the last, you know, twenty years. That's really enabled such, you know, of an inflection point for us to be able to measure things more timely than we did, I think, years ago. Yeah, I mean you know the when you and I were at Honeywell, I mean the what it took for us in marketing to run the analytics absent any automation, was brute force. You know it was. It was a route for solution of lots and lots and lots and lots of data, scientists right correct compiling all that, and it made it...

...very, very difficult to operationalize the analytic correct. You always struggling to get the analytic fast enough where the opportunity in the future that it identified was still far enough in the future for you to actually do something about it. No question and I was, I've been part of a couple of different consumer product company organizations, or maybe short cycle and the lad mark right. You would do a in like a campaign. You do something and you don't like get proof points maybe every six months, twelve months in terms of how how are you doing? What's happening with that? where? I think in today's world there's a much more efficient capability that organizations now can look to to give them that those inputs, those insights, more timely. It's double how should we be doing things right again? Back in the day we used to have tail the build boards, print rate, something called Radio and TV and you allocate x amount of money. Me, and not sure many folks on them on the podcast here from Er coupons, some of us of our error would be but coupon. Like you, you decide all right, how much money, how much, how much are we going to allocate to these respective areas, but you wouldn't have enough perspective to know how are those investments doing, and then you couldn't do the toggle, the tradeoffs. where I feel in today's world, to your point about from a marketing standpoint, I think there's definitely been advancement and make stority to understand from, if you will, from a control how our control perspective on? How are we doing? I think that capability is definitely only accelerated for most organizations. So I have one last question for you. It's a little bit of a tradition on the podcast already, and that is when we think about value creation in our personal lives, our families, are communities, causes that we care about. How how are you? How do you think about that, and how did you think about it? Say Twenty and forty years ago versus now, and how how do you kind of think about that whole question? Sure, wow, that's a great question. I would say this. Maybe I'll start with a history of and an Upbridge to today. I'd say, you know, twenty years ago it was value. How do I create value from myself? Right, because in terms of me meeting my wife, those were the early days of that value, creating value only for our relationship but value for my career. Right. It's really where I was investing in time, gaining a lot of personal value, stimulation, energy out of pursuing a career in finance. Right, that that meant a lot. Say, ten years ago, kids enter my you know, my arena, and I really start thinking about, okay, how do I create a livelihood, create the right experiences for my kids and to have that occur while I'm balancing career and family. Now that I'm, you know say ladder of the back nine of the career, it's definitely more philanthropic for me personally, where I'm spending more time trying to give back. I've been very fortunate in values that I been able to attain and now it's all about how do I try and give back to, you know, those may be less fortunate or those that need, you know, some finance help, be philanthropically or other things. And that's where, like for me now, that's where I get my value is in that dimension. I hope I'm answering your question mark. I really is over that time horizon of where you are life journey and somehow you got to balance, you know, those different dimensions over time. But you got to me early on you have to add, you know it definitely have to allocate more of your time to the career and that foundational growth that leads to career success. It doesn't mean at least to other successes, and that's where you got to really balance the formula as you go through life to you know, your family, your career and then your other outside hare is your friends, everything there's there's definitely a formula, but...

I don't know what the perfect formula is, but I think it definitely evolves over time. So then one be on this question. Right is and actually there was somebody who knows knows you that ask me to ask you this and that is and it's sort of a predictable question, but I think it's everyone has their very much their own answer to this. So what did two thousand and twenty teach you boy? Obviously the criticality of you know, I always use a word North Star. So the North Star of it like knowing the criticality and importance of family, right. I think that was of utmost importance to me. I think, you know, if it was the thank God for technology, right, thank God for thank God for the science, thank God for the technology to create that that interaction. But I think just knowing, you know, the importance of family in the importance of just knowing you know, knowing that and knowing that we were all going to get through, you know, somehow persevere through it. Obviously was a very difficult, difficult time. I think that one of the things that really made it difficult for a lot of people was the uncertainty, right, not only day to day, but also the timescale. Is Sure Right, which is sort of like coming full circle, is very similar to what some of the stuff we were talking about in business right. How do you? How did you? How do you, how would you counsel people coming off of two thousand and twenty and even into right now, because there're still a lot of volatility and velocity and change right now. To think about those issues right. Uncertainty, hot do you like? How much do you miss to get risk versus? You could make this personal or make it corporate, but how much do you mitigate risk versus saying, you know what, I'm just going to freaking surf the way right. I'm going to try and make the most of this that I can. How what's the what have you learned? I perpet again, it's all personal, but I definitely believe they're they're definitely better days ahead, right. So, you know, in terms of but the whole patients and understanding that right. I think everybody's looking for some type of quick answer, quick thing to happen, and it's just it's sometimes it just takes longer to see things be from an investment standpoint. Personally, it's that you got to have that perseverance. Right. And as a business, are you committed to your the mission of the business? Two products of the business, to people of the business? You know, similar to your family, that there's so many dimensions to it. But I think one of my life's greatest learnings is the criticality of douring be during a crisis, during hard time. It's perseverance, right, and you gotta somehow find it in yourself to be able to kind of persevere to that next opportunity. Right. Life's going to give you challenges, life's going to give you opportunities, but it's just then, how do you sustain it during this period of time? And I think as we're coming out of two thousand and twenty to two thousand and twenty one, you know, I think there's definitely perseverance. Has Been really important for me that, but that goes back to other challenging times I've had, you know, throughout the life's journey. Right, I think it's it's just a one of the things that I feel is of high importance. And then the other thing, mark, I always talked about as context. Right. It's my finger favorite English word because everything's got to be put into context for every individual, for every situation. We all look at things from our own lenses and it's context and putting things into context in a very proper way. With a hardship or with success, it's all comes down to how do you how do you personally frame it, and how does that look to you and what's the context for you? Hope that makes some subsense. That was great. Thank you very much, Kevin. Thank you mark. Absolutely so. Guys, you know what, I hope you really enjoyed this right. It's a it's it's something that all of us are moving through right now. I don't care what function... have. We we to obviously talk about marketing a lot, but this is something that cuts across every part of an organization and it also impacts every person's life, right and so I hope that you've enjoyed what Kevin had to say, even the stuff that was sort of hard and maybe not what you wanted to hear, but I hope you profited from it anyway, because we are definitely here to create value for you. Thanks so much. See you next week. The sooner you can optimize your marketing spend, the quicker you can start delivering clear, measurable value to Your Business. That's exactly where business GPS from. Proof analytics can help learn more at proof analytics DOT AI. You've been listening to accelerating value, where raw conversations about the journey to business impact help you weather the storm ahead. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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