If We’re Not Willing to Obsolete Ourselves, Somebody Else Will.

AtTask (www.AtTask.com) is an Inc. 5000 company based in Lehi, UT that is changing the way Corporate America views Project Management software.  Scott Johnson (@scjnsn), Founder and Chairman, took some time to sit with Ascent Advisor (@ascentadvisor). Peter Wride – Ascent Advisor: When you founded AtTask in 2001, what vision did you build the company around? Scott Johnson: The vision for AtTask really came out of an interactive agency that I co-founded, and as that agency grew I had similar questions that other business leaders have: “Who is doing what?  How much is it costing us? How much more can we do?” Back in 2001, it was not even called Project Management software. We didn’t know exactly what to call it, and that may be partially true today, too!  As we look forward and we see that project management software as a category, it represents this tired management thinking of top down command and control. How do you control your resources and force them into buckets?  We’ve experienced that the most effective organizations are collaborative, they’ve democratized the work, they empower people and give them responsibility to solve their own problems.  What management really just needs is intelligence and ability to provide some direction, so AtTask became a collaborative work management software. The bucket of project management still continues to be this sort of second best place to put it.  Ascent Advisor: AtTask has a very strong culture and brand.  Was that intentional?  Did that grow from the founders? Scott: From day one we’ve really tried to hire people who are willing to challenge the status quo, who are passionate about...

Pioneers Never Have Arrows Shot in Their Chest.

Aribex (www.Aribex.com) is a Inc. 5000 company based in Orem, UT that has developed handheld x-ray equipment that is revolutionizing patient care across the world.  Ken Kaufman (@_KenKaufman), President and CFO, took some time to sit with Ascent Advisor (@ascentadvisor). Peter Wride – Ascent Advisor: Your book, “Impact Your Business” recently won an award from the Small Business Trends.  How has the experience of writing this book affected your view on managing a company? Ken Kaufman:  What I found in working with literally hundreds of different businesses was that there were some constant themes that were not being adequately addressed.  For the most part we found that business owners did not have the information they needed to gain clarity about their situations so that they could make the best decisions possible.   All business failure really boils down to one thing: bad decision making. What I’ve found is that when you improve your decision making, you improve the potential outcomes. The motivation for the book was to describe this common theme that I’d seen over and over again, explain what I found works to solve that, which is what the book calls the six scoreboards every business needs, and put it into story format so that it wasn’t like reading an accounting book. Ascent Advisor:  How have you implemented the scoreboards at Aribex? Ken:  The foundation for all of them is the monthly scoreboard that is comprised of the monthly financials, where the business is at, and where it’s going. In addition, we use the rest of them to obtain clarity around our key business drivers and how to improve...