Podcast - Stephen Canning, JCS CEO, Shares His Story with Unsung Business Heroes

Podcast - Stephen Canning, JCS CEO, Shares His Story with Unsung Business Heroes

It's the book that business leaders are talking about. Unsung Business Heroes features inspiring stories from highly successful Australian business founders, owners and CEOs from SMEs and family businesses to large, ASX-listed corporations.

In this podcast, Stephen Canning, CEO of JCurve Solutions (ASX: JCS), revealing his insights on creating a winning company culture. Stephen talks about employee engagement and how JCS created core values to align and inspire the team. JCS' values serve as a constant reminder of the company's purpose, mission, and vision.

Play the podcast to hear Stephen's insights.

"We wanted values that highlighted the essence of what it means to work here, what the behaviours represent."


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"These days it’s about understanding what’s happening with customer expectations and then exceeding those expectations. Whether you’re a small business or a very large business, customer expectations are constantly evolving."


See below for the full transcript of this podcast and video:

I'm Stephen Canning, I'm the CEO of JCurve Solutions. We deliver business management software which enables businesses to achieve operational efficiencies, and improve their bottom line. It's really software to manage all aspects of your business from sales, CRM, finance, accounting, reporting, inventory. We're absolutely passionate about our culture. I truly believe the saying that the customer experience will never exceed the employees experience is true.

We have three core values that we work with our employees to define. Those core values are act as one, live above the line, and make it happen. Act as one, it's team work but it's a bit more than team work. It's about supporting each other, it's about helping each other celebrating together. Making it happen is another one of our core values, and it's about getting things done with a sense of urgency, but with discipline. Living above the line, actually means living above the line of choice, and choosing above the line behaviours, which for us are taking ownership, responsibility, and accountability. We don't accept below the line behaviours, blame, excuse and denial.

It's really, really important that we make sure that those values are real, not just words on the wall. We put a lot of effort into making sure that's the case through out recruitment, induction, and all of our meetings, employee recognition. All of it's about reinforcing our values. Our competitors can copy our sales and marketing collateral. They can undercut our prices, but they can't copy our culture.

I think it's really, really important as a business leader that you focus on your business performance of course. But you've really also got to look at the human aspect, and the personal aspect. It's all about making sure you're looking after your health, that you're eating properly, exercising well, that you're sleeping properly so that you can perform at your highest level.

I certainly worked with several coaches that helped me with business aspects, also personal aspects of my life. I studied martial arts, I'm very keen on philosophy. I study historic philosophers, and I find a lot of them had learnings from the stoic philosophers from 2,000 years ago are so relevant to life today, both for personally and professionally. So I think in taking that holistic view, very, very important.

The leader in any organisation has to lead by example. It's up to myself, and all the leaders of the business to exemplify our values, and that's really, really important to us and part of how we've made our values real, and that culture alive is that we all gave each other permission to call each other out if we're not living the values. If I'm making an excuse, somebody should, and is expected to call me on it. We've all agreed that that should happen, and it's safe for that to happen. So I think as a leader, you've got to remember to do it all the time, every day, even when nobody's looking. And you've got to remember the small things. You've got to remember to say thank you to people.

I sometimes joke that my title should be Chief Reminding Officer, because it's all about ensuring everyone's really clear what's our purpose? What's our mission? What's our vision? Where are we going? How do we behave on the way there? And when everyone understands all of that, everyone's aligned and that's when the magic happens.


Find out more about Unsung Business Heroes Series 2 and be inspired by the stories.