Planning And Communication Is Key To Success, says Esendex Boss

This blog is based on an episode of our podcast, The Pathcast. The PathCast is an interview series with tech and business experts, discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of business while providing actionable steps for you to implement from the ground up. You can listen to this episode here.

Mark Van Zuylekom has always been a game-changer. Moving from large multinationals to government agencies and not for profits, then back to corporations again, Van Zuylekom has instigated change, in some form, in each of his roles.

Currently, as a general manager at Esendex Australia, a SaaS provider for multichannel automation tools, Van Zuylekom drives change at all levels through the company, be it within his team or delivering a new service to clients.

*As of Oct 4, Van Zuylekom no longer works at Esendex.

Ahead of the interview, he describes the importance and difficulty of adapting your product to a changing market.

“Our platform is fantastic but we need to accommodate new ways of thinking and customer requirements, at the same time we are building for the future, which is Rich Communication Services (RCS) and other Over The Top messaging. This is really important to our customers because of the significant shift in functionality and capabilities to deliver a rich messaging experience. "

Over The Top messaging is where media is provided via the internet connection rather than a cable or satellite provider.

"We also need to build in capacity and capabilities to help identify what the business communication environment of the future may look like, without actually knowing what that is,” he added.

Getting this balance right is critical in any business and is often hard to strike. Customers demand innovation but also reliability. Any business, no matter its size, must continuously monitor customer needs and edge in a shift of focus. People don't like change, after all.

How to succeed in business when driving change

It's really difficult to drive change because it takes many forms, Van Zuylekom believes. There is everyday change, long term change and then change that hasn’t been identified. Despite differences, all of these need to be handled on a day to day basis.

In order to deal with all of these types of change, Van Zuylekom identifies four necessities:

  1. Really good leadership
  2. A well-articulated plan
  3. Clear understanding of the imperatives facing the business
  4. Clearly defined decision matrix

He explained: “If you want to succeed, you want your team to succeed and the organization to succeed, then making changes is crucial. Change is easier in smaller organizations and teams but you can impact change regardless of the size.

“You need passion and patience. Large organizations have a lot of inertia and generally have significant access to resources, while small organizations are much more dynamic but resources can often be lacking.

“Both create problems in generating change, but to leave things as the status quo is not going to drive the results you want that will help you deal with the significant changing landscapes.”

Business advice from Mark Van Zuylekom, General Manager, Esendex  Australia
Mark Van Zuylekom, General Manager, Esendex Australia

Communication is vital, as is planning

Van Zuylekom said he once struggled with delegating tasks, but this is something he’s grown into and believes is essential in any good workplace structure. However, the opposite is also true. Leaders must take care to not micromanage. He came to this realization as a member of a charity’s board.

“I can really see the benefits of having that experience. Having a different perspective on things has helped me become a better leader, and much more transparent than I would have otherwise been. Delegation is one of those things I learned.”

Having multiple roles is never easy, but good communication is will also help any boss manage their workload. Let people know what you’re up to, why, and for who, and they will likely be much more understanding and flexible with their expectations from you.

For Van Zuylekom, planning is his secret weapon. “It’s very easy to be torn and running around in circles if you don’t have a clear plan of what you’re going to do for the day month and even the year,” he said.

“The other thing it helps is that if you have a clearly defined plan. It's very easy to talk to your staff and colleagues, and even your bosses. Let them know what’s coming up. Planning is not just for you, but it’s also important in helping define where the team needs to go towards.”

Mark Van Zuylekom, General Manager, Esendex Australia

...What other tips did Mark Van Zuylekom share with us? Check out The PathCast to find out.

Want to stay in the loop?

If you’d like to stay up to date with Van Zuylekom and Esendex catch them on all of the regular social channels.

  • Van Zuylekom’s LinkedIn: Here here here.
  • Esendex Twitter: @esendex
  • Esendex Instagram: @esendex_limited
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