Placecube works with its customers to co-create open and connected digital platforms. They accelerate the transformation journey through the reuse of well-designed digital services. Placecube works collaboratively, ensuring that their clients never pay twice for the same development and differentiate themselves through their actions and behaviours, living by the core principles that they have defined to ‘Do the right thing.’
In an interview with Placecube’s CEO, Jason Fahy, we discuss his day-to-day role, the challenges of the position, and how he got to where he is today.
Tell us a bit about your role! Is there a “typical” day?
I typically try to deal with emails over breakfast and then when I wrap my day up, which might take between 15 to 60 minutes. From 9 am to 10 am, I might drop in on some of the daily stand-ups that are taking place to manage the various in-flight projects. These are typically 15-minute sessions and may include clients alongside our technical teams. The rest of the day includes various meetings, either with existing customers and prospective customers, or internal operational matters. One thing I have learned over the years is the importance of breaks and thinking time. Since the pandemic, it seems even easier to fill diaries with back-to-back meetings, which is not sustainable in the long term, so it is important to get the balance right for yourself and to respect others’ time. One benefit of the pandemic is the need to travel less as our customers moved to online meetings. Previously I was spending 6 hours per day, two or three days per week, commuting. I live in Devon, so it takes at least 2 hours to get anywhere! Whilst I have not missed the travel time, I do welcome the opportunity to have some face-to-face meetings back in the diary.
What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position?
The biggest challenge was being brave enough to step out of the corporate world and take on the responsibility of paying my team’s salaries and ensuring that all our futures are secure. The timing of this was also important, as the right opportunity presented itself.
What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?
I grew up in West London, where my entire world was in one council housing estate, with grandparents, aunts, and uncles all living in different flats across the estate. By my teens, my immediate family had moved to the suburbs, in Middlesex, and that is where I attended senior school and started work. I met not only new people but different people. Different in terms of ‘class’ and it was notably less diverse than where I had come from. I think the role that this has played in my career is to inspire me to build a better life for my family and remove some of the barriers I faced.
What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?
My biggest career win is the acquisition of a software business. I achieved this a few months after a management buy-out of my first business. The two businesses combined are what I saw as the vital components of building what is now Placecube. The stand-out element of the acquisition and the MBO was bringing the existing teams along with me. Their belief and support in my vision have made the journey, thus far, easier, but also fueled a shared ambition to do more.
If you could go back to your teenage years, would you have done things differently? Do you have any regrets?
I tend to think about the present and the future, with the wins and losses of the past guiding my decisions. I have no regrets. One thing I have tried to encourage my children and now my grandchildren to do is to back themselves. To do what they enjoy and to seize the opportunities. And to try new things before they decide whether it is for them or not.
When you think about your team, what is the thing that matters to you the most?
A sense of unity is high on my list. By this, I mean that we are all working toward the same objectives, supporting each other and our customers. Everyone on the team has a voice and feels confident enough to express their opinions. I see a great togetherness across my team and want this to continue as we grow. I sense the pride the team has in Placecube, the work we are doing, and what we stand for. This makes me proud.
What is your one big dream for the future of the industry?
More of a wish than a dream, but for Education and Industry, to be more connected and to provide a clearer route and more support to those on the journey from the classroom to the workplace.
What are your top tips for professionals and other aspiring leaders?
My top tips include building your network, being nice, and above all, doing the right thing.
If you would like to learn more about CEO, Jason Fahy, and the fascinating work they do at Placecube, click here to be directed to their website.
Jason Fahy is Chief Executive Officer at Placecube.
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