Planning for Success in 2016

This past week, the ISI management and sales team were off-site for 2 days (at the Better Business Bureau office) for 2 days of strategic planning. Planning meetings are something we have done at ISI since 2004 and it has proven to be a vital ingredient for a successful year. And this year, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that there is a greater sense of urgency to spend the time to “get it right.” Everyone at the meeting understood that the PRO AV/video conferencing marketplace has changed dramatically in the past few years and that it can’t be "business as usual" any more. In 2016, now more than ever, it is imperative that we adapt, evolve and change the ISI business model to build a sustainable business for the future.   

This year’s agenda included a number of important and provocative issues such as the “state of ISI” where I revealed that the company had grown over 7% in revenue in 2015, increased profit margins by more than 2% and cut overhead costs (office leases, headcount, professional services etc.) more than 20%. A strong financial performance for sure and very proud of my team! And the best part? In last year’s planning meeting, 2015 was the year we committed to dealing with modest revenue growth by increasing company efficiency and profitability. I love it when a plan comes together! And nothing like a positive trend to improve company morale and create positive momentum going into 2016.   

Other agenda items that we discussed included the state of the industry that includes many challenges for ISI to sell new technologies such as Cisco Spark which is a team collaboration service with massive market implications. We also discussed the myriad of investments we need to make as a company such as hiring a network engineer to investing in new FDA-approved Avizia and Global Med telemedicine carts. There appears to be no inexpensive way to play in this market in the future. 


After the territory sales presentations, we all got the chance to see the newly revamped ISI website at Lots of new features with video and case studies and a new chat feature that we believe will drive a significant increase in sales leads, partner opportunities etc. Having a high quality website isn’t a luxury these days, it’s a necessity!   

We wrapped up the first day with a presentation from Bill Catlette on “Building a Championship Team” Bill is a former FedEx and ADP executive who now coaches and advises senior leaders on leadership, strategy and organizational development. His presentation included some great leadership stories about Sir Ernest Shackleton, the famous polar explorer who overcame great obstacles  during the Imperial Trans Antarctica Expedition after disaster threatened to take his life as well as the lives of his men. Bill’s comment about how Shackelton really showed leadership by focusing  on “taking care of his men” really hit home with me since that is what I try to do each and every day at ISI. And I do think when you take care of people they will take care of you. That may one of the many reasons why I believe ISI is poised to have another good year in 2016.

Posted by Jay Myers at 4:24 PM