In this edition of CEO Insights – Martin Kits van Heyningen, CEO of KVH.
Digital Ship’s ‘CEO Insights’ feature asks the leaders of maritime IT companies to give their views on what makes a successful business in the sector, and how they go about the daily running of a shipping technology company.
What's the first thing you do each morning when you start your workday, and the last thing you do in the evening?
MKVH: Check my email. With offices all over the world, somebody is always working somewhere.
On a day-to-day basis, how much of your work is structured and planned, and how much is done ad-hoc in response to daily events?
MKVH: Outside of the planned meetings which represent at most 3 hours per day, most of my day is unstructured. That leaves time for thinking and inventing as well as fire-fighting and motivating.
What is the single most important source of data for you when making strategic decisions for your company?
MKVH: The single most important source of strategic input is regulation discussions with our customers talking about the problems and challenges they face in their businesses.
We’re strong believers that our products and services are most successful when they solve significant customer problems, and their input often leads us to create unique and innovative solutions that our competitors may not have considered.
How much of your decision making is collaborative, and how much is led by yourself?
MKVH: I like to collaborate with people throughout the company and involve them in the decision making as much as possible. I’ll lead the discussions by introducing themes and ideas I might have, but everybody freely debates the topic and has the opportunity to provide input and make their points.
Once we have all the input we’ll make a decision, but we often have a consensus developed during the discussion so we move forward with a group decision more than me telling people what we’re going to do.