As a business leader challenges are what make you strong and effective. Learning from your mistakes creates a blueprint for future success. Being a woman in the technology space comes with its own set of difficulties, not the least of which is trying to establish effective business relationships when you are the only female on a leadership team or a project. “I found that by facing this challenge head-on, rather than ignoring it, I was able to have frank and open discussions about differences in work style and processes which ultimately helped me achieve success while levelling the playing field,” says Janet Schijns.
Janet is the founder and CEO of JS Group and is known for her exemplary leadership skills. She states, “You could say that fast is the new big when it comes to the current environment; move now or prepare for your competitors to outpace you.”
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and Janet Schijns:
Describe JS Group’s offerings that address all the needs of your customers.
The technology space is in hyper-growth mode, yet not everyone profits in a fast-growth era – in fact just the opposite occurs.
Companies with the right channel and go to market plan will drive record high double-digit or triple-digit growth while other less well-prepared firms will see declining profits and wonder what happened. The key difference? The speed at which they adapted to a hybrid, always-on, change the rich environment. This is where JS Group comes in. We have three practice areas: channel evolution, go to market enablement and sales activation all designed to help our clients prosper. Our channel evolution practice is focused on devising a plan to expand routes to market and penetrate sales channels. Our go-to-market enablement offers are focused heavily on digital marketing with our SEO and Social Media offerings returning double-digit ROI for our clients. And our sales activation programs focused on social selling are delivering 33x ROI in the market by retraining sales teams and providing a programmatic approach for them to build sales via social media selling. You could say that fast is the new big when it comes to the current environment; move now or prepare for your competitors to outpace you.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in the Management Consulting industry through your expertise in the industry?
Because I have been in the technology and consumer goods go to market space for decades I have seen and managed through both good and bad times in the market and know how to respond effectively to maximize profits and growth.
Our entire team at JS Group has similar experiences and tenure enabling us to come into even the most challenging situation and create a winning team game plan.
What are the challenges you and your team at JS Group come across in your day-to-day operations?
Every business in every industry is becoming a technology company, technology is now the fabric of our lives. In our day-to-day operations, we see many firms that fall in love with their technology and think it will sell itself. But the reality is even the best product of solution needs to be positioned and promoted to win. Many of our new clients struggle with the day-to-day go-to-market and sales operations needed to succeed particularly in the channel. This is where our team comes in designing the right plans and activation elements to ensure success.
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you?
There have been so many influencers in my life, but my most recent one is Ashlyn Szilva my daughter and founder of her own social media business; a sub-division of JS Group. She has shown me the power of connecting digitally and building relationships while virtual and remote. Her programs have netted our clients’ large gains in the past year and a half and are poised to continue to grow our clients’ bottom lines.
Taking into consideration, the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your organization to sustain operations and ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
Our teams have always been remote, we select the best talent and are location agnostic. We set a firm policy in place that travel will be at the discretion of the team member, those who are not comfortable with travel will not have to travel. This does not mean then that everyone has an equal opportunity. If clients need people to be at an event or an on-site consulting engagement those team members who choose not to travel will be at a deficit. However, we feel that our team comes first and so we must honour the life decisions they make.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives JS Group.
Our values are simple: Results: work towards success, not pretty PowerPoint presentations we don’t win if our clients don’t win. Integrity matters: do what you say you will do, right the first time every time.
Innovate for Impact: inventions earn patents, innovations earn our clients money, focus on innovation. Kindness: be kinder than the situation calls for in every instance.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for JS Group?
We plan to continue to grow JS Group through our innovative programs to grow profitable revenue for our clients. Because we focus on results our programs and our brand reputation continue to flourish. We have a strong bench of senior leaders who will ultimately lead us to the next level of growth who are day in and day out working on making JS Group the best option in the industry.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Hard work matters – if you work on the right things – don’t confuse what appears to be the overnight success of those who came before you with luck, it wasn’t luck, it was determination and hard work. Draft a plan with your success goals in mind and then execute on the plan. It’s not fancy but it is how success works.
Quotes: “We are experiencing an ever-escalating continuum of change, managing that change versus waiting for a return to normal that will never come about is the first key to success”