Building a Culture of Success with COO Michael Assi

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Valsoft’s success is driven by empowering leadership at every level in a decentralized business model. This commitment is underpinned by a culture of humble ambition—a philosophy encapsulated in the company’s ethos: “Be humble, stay hungry.”

Within the company, COO Michael Assi is renowned for his dedication to nurturing leaders capable of forging long-term careers and instilling the philosophy of perpetual learning—a principle he ardently upholds since day one at Valsoft.

Recently, Valsoft leaders came together for a face-to-face with Michael to gain valuable insights into strategic objectives and the driving forces behind the company’s leadership. This unique platform allowed participants to ask questions about future plans, advice on overcoming challenges, and provided the unique opportunity to engage directly with Executive Management.

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Q: Can you share some insights into Valsoft’s goals for 2024?

Michael Assi:  In 2024, our focus is primarily on enhancing customer satisfaction and driving organic growth. We aim to improve talent density across the organization to foster internal growth opportunities, alongside prioritizing customer-centric initiatives. Additionally, we’re heavily investing in both sales and homegrown AI initiatives to better capitalize on revenue opportunities across our businesses, all while continuing to grow inorganically via acquisitions.

Q: How does Valsoft address leadership challenges within its growing portfolio?

Michael Assi: Adaptive and situational leadership is key for managing diverse teams and driving growth. We recognize that there are many different leadership styles. It’s about striking a balance between mentorship, coaching, and autonomy based on each team member’s needs and maturity level. Our culture is highly entrepreneurial; making mistakes is acceptable, but learning from them is crucial. By fostering self-development and empowering leaders, we ensure that our teams can navigate challenges and seize opportunities effectively.

Q: How does Valsoft support the development of middle management across its portfolio companies?

Michael Assi: Developing middle management is crucial for sustained growth. We prioritize identifying individuals with both the capabilities and the potential to grow. Through targeted development programs and mentorship, we aim to equip managers with the skills they need to lead effectively. Additionally, we encourage cross-company collaboration to share best practices and leverage collective expertise in addressing common challenges. We offer several forums for leaders to learn, network with peers and share best practices, including onboarding program, leadership summits, M&A summits, fireside chats, and on-site Quarterly Business Reviews.

Q: How does Valsoft ensure consistency in operations across its portfolio companies?

Michael Assi: Maintaining operational consistency in a decentralized model is a delicate balance. We provide a blueprint for best practices and encourage knowledge sharing among portfolio companies. By fostering open communication and leveraging our business systems, we facilitate collaboration and alignment across the organization. Ultimately, it’s about empowering individual departments to operate efficiently while staying true to Valsoft’s overarching vision and values. The key is to align on the “What”, provide clarity on the “Why”, and offer guidance on the execution or the “How”.

Q: What do you believe is the most important aspect of a good company culture?

Michael Assi: Founder’s mentality. It’s about staying hungry in your desire to make customers happy, constantly learning, and driving excellence. It’s essential to maintain this mentality even as companies grow to ensure customer satisfaction remains at the forefront. You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the business processes and products.

Q: How does Valsoft address challenges in the different verticals?

Michael Assi: Regardless of the software and industry lifecycle of the business we acquire, we’ve found success by acquiring companies and implementing strategies tailored to each market. For instance, despite initial skepticism about declining industry revenues in certain verticals, our businesses continue to thrive with good organic growth. We’ve leveraged our current client base to find opportunities by adding services and products. On the other hand, there are numerous insights from one industry that we can apply to others, particularly in technology and digital transformation.

Q: Any advice for new CEOs or team members?

Michael Assi: ‘Humility. Empathy. Hunger’ is our modus operandi. Open-mindedness and continuous learning are essential for success at Valsoft. Second, understanding the “why” behind what we do is crucial. We encourage transparency and logical reasoning to ensure everyone understands our goals and strategies. It’s necessary for CEOs to grasp the business thoroughly to effectively lead their teams.

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