Announcements

  • Don't Miss The Excitement on Monday Night in Orlando!


    Don't Miss The Excitement on Monday Night in Orlando!


    IT Nation Evolve turns 21 and we are throwing a party in Q4!  Make sure to mark your calendars and book your travel plans to be in Orlando on Monday night.

    Celebrate our birthday with specialty drinks, yummy food, and a variety of games for everyone. You won’t want to miss out on the surprise entertainment either. 


    Monday, November 8 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

    Garden Terrace - Hyatt Regency Orlando, 9801 International Drive, Orlando


    Register for Q4 Here

  • Should I Stay or Should I Go?


     🎵 Should I stay or should I go now?
    Should I stay or should I go now?
    If I go, there will be trouble
    And if I stay it will be double
    So come on and let me know
    Should I stay or should I go?  
    🎵

    If everything went according to plan, I am in Manchester England for the Evolve Q3 meeting in EMEA.  It's been a long road back to international travel, but I’m excited to be with our UK members talking Modes, Security, Retention, Hiring and all the hot topics we talked about last week in Denver in North America.

    Thanks to some great work from Scott Scrogin, Arlin and the rest of the team, we’ll be rolling out the Modes conversation in EMEA this week and in APAC in a few weeks.  If you haven't had a chance yet, check out the new Modes Framework page we've added to the HUB.  

    I had the chance to help introduce the Framework to a few groups in Denver and it led to a couple of "a-ha" realization for some members.  The first was that they were sending mixed messages to their teams by flip flopping between Balance Builder and Value Builder type decisions.  There was a realization that it was creating a whiplash effect with their leaders. The second was a realization that some companies were not aligned in the people they were hiring/promoting as next-level leaders. This included a misalignment in expectations with the mode the owner is currently operating in.  For example, hiring Value Building managers who desire quantifiable metrics, reporting and expectations while expecting the rest of the management team to be operating in that same mode when, in their reality, the reporting, expectations and conversations are much more in Balance Builder mode.  This creates frustration and misaligned expectations that create bad tension in a company and leadership team.

    Here is my question for you as you contemplate the Modes conversation or go through it for the first time in your peer group room.  Once you’ve settled for yourself what mode you should be operating in ask yourself - do you have the managers with the skillsets needed and do you have the right expectations for them to deliver leadership and management aligned with your chosen mode?  If not, how are you going to get those things aligned so the company can start replacing the unhealthy tension of an inconsistent operating mode with a healthy tension focused on driving peak performance?  That should become part of your leadership plan of what you need to change in yourself and in cultivating the right leaders in your organization. 

    It's great stuff that really is powerful if applied appropriately.  We’ll be working on more insight into how this can be used to create stronger teams and performance in your company.

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve.

    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad

     

     



  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For


     🎵 I have climbed highest mountains

    I have run through the fields
    Only to be with you
    Only to be with you
    I have run
    I have crawled
    I have scaled these city walls
    These city walls
    Only to be with you
    🎶

    But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
    But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
    🎵

    Covid virtual meetings certainly were less than ideal – we didn’t find what we were looking for.   But we’re back – in the mid 80% in each geography for our Q3 meetings that start next week in Denver and continue in EMEA and APAC later in August.  Soon things should be closer to what we all want and need in an Evolve meeting. 

    We’re going to let the meeting and being in-person be the lead in Q3, but we want to take one hour of your meeting to introduce the Modes concept I’ve been talking about the past few weeks.   Right now IT Nation is starting the push towards it's most impactful time of the year.  Over the next 4 months we are hosting a number Partner focused events - we have IT Nation Explore (happening right now, for free and with great content), Evolve Q3 owners meetings, Evolve SEPG meetings, Evolve Q4 meetings and our flagship conference in IT Nation Connect.  I know our international friends will likely not be able to attend IT Nation Connect in person, but there are a lot of exciting things happening at that event, so we want to make sure is on your radar. 

    Now – more importantly is what you have going on.  Q3 should be Life Plan quarter. Following this upcoming meeting, between Q3 and Q4, you should be building your strategic plans and budgeting/forecasting for 2022.  As leaders, we need to be out in front of our businesses which means the next few months work will lay the foundation for 2022.  There has never been a time where planning, executing a plan and hitting numbers has been more important.  The stakes are higher than ever with security and industry changes. The money being invested in companies has never been higher which means people are being paid. What this means for you is that the competitive management of those investments is going to further raise the stakes to run your businesses well.  That’s what we’re here to help with – building those plans, equipping you and your people, and helping you execute well while maintaining the balance you want in your life.  It’s an honor to be a part of this community and to be back meeting face to face. 

    Looking forward to Q3 and talking life with you.
    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay health and lead strong!

    -
    Brad

     

     

     



  • Turn & Face The Strange...Ch-Ch-Changes

     🎵Still don't know what I was waitin' for
    And my time was runnin' wild
    A million dead end streets and
    Every time I thought I'd got it made
    It seemed the taste was not so sweet
    So I turned myself to face me
    But I've never caught a glimpse
    How the others must see the faker
    I'm much too fast to take that test 🎶

    🎶 Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    Turn and face the strange
    Ch-ch-changes
    Don't want to be a richer man 🎵

     

    Modes

    Last week I briefly introduced a new concept for Evolve that Arlin and Scott have been working on for quite a while - we're calling it "Modes."  Basically there are 4 modes an owner operates in – Startup, Balance Building, Value Building and Kingdom Builder.  We have a webpage in the works on the Hub for you to learn more now if you so choose.  The link is hub.connectwise.com/resources/modes

     

    Why does this matter? 


    It matters for a number of reasons, but the first one is to realize that, depending on your desired outcome – or which mode you want to be operating in, there are ways to good decisions and goals to be set/achieved that if you were operating in a different mode may not be the right decisions or goals.  The first step for your peers helping you achieve your desired outcome is to define that and  evaluate your current behaviors to see if they line up.

    You know what we find?  A lot of you think you’re in one mode – say Value Builder – but the decisions you make are driving toward a Balance Builder outcome.  It creates inconsistency and tension in your progress that will limit your ability to get the end result you’re looking for.   

    Modes in Q3 Meetings

    In Q3 we’re going to lead you through a brief section in your meeting to assess your mode. We then want you to have conversations where you ask the others if they see you operating in the mode you’ve identified.  If not, why not?  If you’re making Balance Builder type decisions and expecting Value Builder type outcomes you’re going to be disappointed down the road.

    This is all a framework to bring clarity to desired outcomes and how they align with the decisions and behaviors you’re demonstrating over time.  Trying to bring clarity and alignment to help you run better businesses, have a better peer group experience and help each other more effectively.  We’ll be taking what we learn and implementing it into how ConnectWise interacts with partners.

    This is a great opportunity to learn about a concept that could very easily be used with your clients to bring clarity to their goals and how your products and services can best serve them.  It’s good stuff, we’re excited to be introducing it to you in Q3.  It also fits in nicely with the Life Plan focus as an additional check to see if your mode matches and feeds your life plan objectives


    Looking forward to our meetings getting rolling in a few weeks!


    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad

     



  • Start Me Up




     🎵 If you start me up...If you start me up I'll never stop 🎶


    It’s the back half of 2021.  Remember back in April of 2020 when they were talking about a year from now and that seemed forever away?  Well, we’re past that and halfway through the following year actually.  Covid time is a freaky thing – there are many things I’m not quite sure if they happened two weeks ago or 4 years ago.  There should be a name for it.

    I digress.

    Modes

    I want to introduce something that Arlin and Scott have been working on for about a year in the growth department.  It’s in beta and still being formed and named but right now it’s called “Modes.”  We’ll be referencing Modes quite a bit going forward in Evolve as part of a bigger picture framework we’re working on.  You can think of Modes as the operating position or mindset of the owner of a business. 

    There are four "modes" total:
     

    Startup Mode – when you’re in a street fight for legitimacy, living your business life day to day and focusing on just staying viable.

    Balance Builder Mode – you want and have success, but you’re not willing to trade the your personal lifestyle to achieve financial success. Another way to look at Balance Builder mode is one who is taking funds from the business and investing to fund the future rather than leaving it in the business to maximize business value on the balance sheet.

    Value Builder Mode – you’re focused on creating consistent increases in business value over time - growth focused along with strong profitability.

    Kingdom Builder Mode – you’re putting the business valuation focus on steroids by looking to hockey stick the value even if it means higher risk, M&A, whatever it takes to increase the value of the business. 

     

    What To Expect Around Modes in Q3:

    We’re going to do an exercise in Q3 where we ask you to take a quick assessment and then ask facilitators to have a discussion around Modes.  We’re looking for you to provide some feedback into a framework that will shape conversations in the Evolve rooms, how ConnectWise looks at partners and help us determine what content and services we need to create to help you move forward.

     

    That’s it for Modes for now – we’ll be talking more about this in upcoming videos.

    Don’t Forget!

     

    • IT Nation Explore is just around the corner (July 22-Aug 12) – it’s totally free, so get you and your team registered to attend this 3 week virtual conference where each week we'll be focusing on a different aspect of your business including Sales & Marketing, Finance & Operations and Service Delivery. Get registered here.
    • If you’re heading to Denver’s Q3 Meeting, make sure to get signed up for either our Golf Tourney or our Charity Event (Build a wagon/bear) – more details here.

     

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad



  • Quarterly Patterns & Trends Webinar with Arlin and Brad

    Tomorrow! Join Arlin Sorensen, Brad Schow and Andre Gilmore as they discuss current industry insights, such as where the economy headed, Security, back to the office challenges and the difficulties of finding and keeping people. 
     
    Thursday, July 1 - 11AM EST
  • Time (Keeps Flowing Like A River)



    🎵 But time keeps flowing like a river… to the sea... 🎶

    Hey, it’s the last full week of calendar quarter and half of 2021 will be in the books. This year is flying by! We’re getting ready for Q3 meetings where we’re planning on in-person for all geographies! We’re not making in-person mandatory yet, but we want as many of you as possible onsite getting and giving full value in Q3 and certainly Q4. We’ll soon be back to mandatory in-person attendance so get meetings on your calendars now and rekindle the habit of being on-site.

    If you haven’t registered yet for Q3, here is the link. For those attending the North America meeting in Denver, we need to know those numbers now as we’re up against deadlines to submit counts for Food and Beverage and planning Community day logistics. Please help us by getting registered and filling out the surveys for our Community Day activities.


    It's Not Too Late

    This week marks another somewhat big milestone for the broader IT Nation Community as our Secure conference is happening in person in Orlando! Many of us are on-site, so if you’re in Orlando make sure you find me and say hello!

    If you’re watching this on Monday, it’s not too late to either attend virtually or get to Orlando to participate in-person. The virtual option is really great, as it gives you and your entire team the ability to take in the great thought security leadership and content being offered up. If you haven't already you can get registered here!

    Life Plan Quarter


    Q3 is life plan quarter. I’m on blurred background as we are still unpacking boxes and settling into a newer home office setup at our place in Minnesota. We made it a goal this year to be closer to family – grandkids and aging parents – in general. Also, now that travel is picking up, I’ll be gone a lot and my wife wants to be by family now that she is not traveling with me nearly as much. It’s those kind of "life-plan-leading-towards-your-legacy-plans" that you should be updating your life plan with and be ready to share at Q3. Remember, we’re not interested in helping you grow your business at the expense of the more important things in life. We need to keep a transparent check on those things in the room.

    ----------

    We sure appreciate each of you and are looking forward to Q3 where we’ll see most of you in person again!

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve. Stay healthy and lead strong.

    - Brad




  • Join Dr. Larry Little This Thursday!

    This week's Evolve webinar!
    Thursday - June 17, 11am EST
    Join the conversation this Thursday as Dr. Larry Little and Brad Schow continue a two-part series designed to strengthen your cultural leadership.

    This time we'll be focusing on how to deal with the many polarizing topics in today’s world and unite different viewpoints into alignment on your team.
  • One Way Or Another




     🎵 One way… or another… I’m gonna see ya,...I’m gonna meet cha, meet cha, meet cha, meet cha,...One day… or maybe next week… 🎶

    Only a couple of weeks left in the quarter and half of 2021 will be in the books.  Hoping your business is going well and life is good.  


    Life Plan Quarter

    Q3 is Life Plan Quarter for us which is a one year plan towards your Legacy goals.   My wife Robyn and I have recently executed one of our goals for the year.  We made the move to our place in Minnesota so we could be closer to the grandkids and our mothers.  Yep - we left the warm, humid climate of Florida for the frozen tundra of Duluth.  If the past year taught us anything it was not to take for granted the opportunities we have to invest in the things and people we hold dear - and so we made the move!  Life Plan quarter is when we ask you to deliberately plan out what you want to accomplish in the next year around your life.  Put some thought into it, get it on paper and be ready to share with your group what you’re committing to at your Q3 meeting. 


    Q3 Meetings
     

    Speaking of the Q3 meetings - right now it looks like a go for all 3 geographies to be in person!  This is not a formal announcement yet, but things are trending that way.  We will for sure be in person in North America and will be making the announcement in EMEA when the government officially makes their declaration on June 21st.  In APAC we need you to get to the Gold Coast, not only for in person Evolve, but for the broader APAC ConnectWise Connect conference.  Wish I could be there - it will be awesome!

    Our team needs one thing from you - if you haven’t already, go to the registration site and get registered so we can plan for who will be on-site and who will be remote.  We’re looking at Q3 as the last quarter that we need to be relying on virtual as a viable alternative.  In Q4, we want almost everyone in person and in 2022 we’ll be back to it being a requirement.  Time for everyone to get back in the pool as you feel safe - the numbers are looking good so be of the mindset that quarterly travel for Evolve will be part of your routine.  

     

    Q3, Denver

    In North America we have two options for those of you that will be on-site.  We’re having a 9-hole golf outing to have some fun on Wednesday and we’re also doing a philanthropic effort building either teddy bears or wagons for kids.  We’ll also have a way for the golfers to make a donation with something fun at the golf tournament so they can be a part of the charitable efforts while enjoying some golf with your friends. Sign up and let us know which event you'd like to participate in here.

     

    SEPG H1 Meetings This Week! 

    Several of us are in Chicago this week for the NA SEPG meeting.  Great to be interacting with those folks again in person!  


    Don't Forget!

    A couple of reminders on webinars we have coming up:

      • IT Nation Secure Hybrid Conference - June 21-23. Register to attend here!
      • S-LI Webinar this week on Thursday!  - Best Integration Management Practices for People, Process and Tools.  Register here!

     
    Until next week - stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad



  • Baker Street



     🎵 When you wake up it's a new morning...The sun is shining, it's a new morning...You're going, you're going home. 🎶

    I was thinking how I can emphasize legacy and the UK today, because this week we are finishing Q2 strong with our EMEA meetings.  Gerry Rafferty has a song called Baker Street that you’ve all heard – hard to ignore that wailing saxophone riff.  It’s a song from a Scotsman written about a street in London where he would hang out for years trying to settle disputes about the breakup of his previous band called "Stealers Wheel."

     

    Legacy

    It’s the most important of the plans as it has the longest impact and yet I continually find members struggle to give it the planning and execution attention it deserves.  Why?  Because it’s like a longer term infrastructure project for your company and clients keep calling with issues and opportunity.  You don’t really have time to do it.  The reality is you need to make sure the big picture is taken care of and you’re staying on course.  If not, the daily details and execution of life and your business can pull you off course. 

    "Just one more year and then you’d be happy, but you’re crying’, you’re crying now..."

    Don’t let that be you – Plan and execute your legacy plan.


    Webinar this Thursday!

    Tips/Tricks of LinkedIn Marketing - from profiles to sponsored.  Join us as Equilibrium Consulting provides simple things that you can do to improve personal and company pages on LinkedIn and the best practices for sponsored ads and targeting your Prospective buyer. Learn how to improve engagement and followers to increase your brand impressions leading to increased website traffic. Get registered and join us this Thursday!

     

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve.

    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad   

     

     

  • Mask!



     🎵 You’re wearing a mask...You’re wearing a mask...You’re wearing a mask...You look better that way! 🎶

    Iggy Pop from 2001 – That message is certainly not true these days – you look much better without the mask and we are heading towards hopefully permanently taking them off. 

     

    The Road Ahead

    Great Q2 meetings a couple weeks ago in North America and APAC.  EMEA is going to help us finish the quarter strong next week when they virtually get together to discuss business and legacy. 

    I, for one, am excited about the new CDC guidelines that have greatly loosened mask requirement guidance.  Got a taste in Dallas of how sweet it is to be in-person and rekindle relationships face to face. We’re headed for what will hopefully be all 3 geo’s being in person for Q3. 

    We’ve showed that it’s possible to attend a meeting virtually, but we will be pushing through the rest of the year to be ready to hit 2022 running back with the expectation that everyone is physically at our meetings.  You have a great chance to start that in Q3 so make plans now to be in-person for our next meeting.  It's fun to say that and fun to be planning for in-person events again.  I’m hoping for 75% of us in North America in Denver & London and closer to 100% in the Gold Coast in Australia for Q3.

     

    IT Nation Secure

    Speaking of loosening restrictions and in person events, I want to make sure you’re aware of the Secure Conference IT Nation is hosting in Orlando June 21-23rd.  This is a hybrid event but we have worked out an Evolve deal for those of you that want to attend.

    Let’s back up a bit – why should you attend?

    The CyberSecurity industry and threats are moving so fast around us it’s difficult to keep up.  The Exchange breech, the colonial pipeline attack, President Biden’s Executive Order aiming to improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity are all testament that the news is filled with cybersecurity.  Incidents happening weekly, if not daily, directly affect us immediately or are at least pushing for more regulation and oversight.  The Secure conference was put together to get the best cybersecurity has to offer in our space all together to cultivate thought leadership, education owners and lead engineers on current best practices. Our goal is to allow you to build your cybersecurity network to help keep your company current and plugged in to what you need to know.

    Simply put, if you’re an owner or a lead engineer, you should be in Orlando.  So, for Evolve we have arranged for a deal where if you sign up to be in person at IT Nation Secure in Orlando, we’re giving you a company virtual pass so the rest of your company can have access to the content as well.

    For our international folks (including the Canadians in our community) who have travel restrictions still in place, we’re offering a deal where for $99 you have everyone in your company attend virtually.

    How to register:

      • If you want to take advantage of this in North American simply register here and make plans to be in Orlando for the event.
      • If you’re international, you can enter the code EVOLVEINT99 into the code area of the registration and it will reduce the price and give you the entire company deal.


    SEPG Owner Alignment Workshop - this Thursday!

    One last reminder - this Thursday we are doing another round of the SEPG Owner Alignment Workshops!  This is Part 1 of a two part series where we will review the steps you can take to ensure the service management team is aligned with the owner. It is vital to the success and continued growth of your company to be sure that not only the team is aligned to one another but also to the overall company strategy. During the webinar we will discuss tools, habits and industry trends to keep this alignment healthy. 

    Get you and your team registered and join us this Thursday!


    Ok, that's it!  It’s time to get back out there and between Secure in June and our Q3 meetings we have a couple of great opportunities for you to begin in person networking again.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone in Orlando and at your Q3 meeting.

    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

     

     

  • Let's Get Ready to Rumble!



    🎵Un ts un ts un ts un ts un ts un ts un ts un...Y’all ready for this?🎶

     

    Y’all ready for Q2?  It’s here! Real quick video this week as we’re meeting in North America and APAC so really hopefully many of you won’t see this – at least until later.  EMEA, your turn is coming, so get ready.

    I've got a lot of hopes as we head into our Q2 Meetings:

    • Hopefully, you got your legacy plan updated.
    • Hopefully, you and your team registered for the GiANT community day!  (EMEA – you still have time. Get ‘er done!)
    • Hopefully, you had a great quarter Q1 and are getting it done in Q2!  


    As we push forward, I’m hearing positive things.  Sales and marketing are picking up. Projects are taking off. Signs of normal life are re-emerging with more of us getting vaccinated!  We are really looking forward to Q2 as a springboard for you and your companies, as well as, for Evolve as we push to get back to more in-person attendance at our meetings.

    One last quick reminder - this quarter, not only do we have great content for you on Community Day, but we’ve also upgraded our prize offerings. Yep, we have Peloton bikes in North America, Drones in all Geo’s, a Bose Video Bar in APAC and other great prizes for you to possibly win on Community Day.

    Hey – I’m excited for the meetings and I’m grateful and excited that you’re a part of Evolve!  Thank you!

    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad

     

     

  • Roll With The Changes


    🎵You’ve got to, got to, got to… keep on rollin….  Ahhhhhhhhhhh roll with the changes! 🎶


    In case you haven’t noticed my singing is not so much singing as a bad impression of what I hear in my head. It drives my wife crazy who is an actual singer. I find it entertaining. There is a fascinating book called “This Is Your Brain on Music” that explains the science behind what happens in your head as you listen to music.  Fascinating stuff.  There is a TED video that’s similar for those of you like me that appreciate 15 minute nuggets over hour long books. It talks about how the anticipation of a completed musical pattern releases a dopamine hit and can become addictive in some way.  That’s the best part about drumming – nailing the perfect timing and conclusion of a pattern that releases that dopamine hit in you and everyone listening.  That, and being so rhythmically precise that you fall into what’s called “the pocket” where you just can’t help but nod your head or tap your foot. 

    That feeling can work either way though.  It can be good or bad.  A wrong note or an offbeat conclusion and it negatively affects your brain chemistry.  If you’re prepared and deliver the conclusion on time, it’s good.

    With all that in mind, it’s legacy quarter – here is what I would like to not see.  I would like to not see the same old story.  I would like to see everyone get a dopamine hit of being able to experience the fulfillment of anticipation when they say their legacy plan is done and dusted (to borrow a phrase from our international friends.)

    I asked you last week to take an hour. Did you? Come on… really? Put an hour or two on your calendar, get your plan updated and make a little progress.

    This week’s song is about turning pages, moving on, rolling with the changes.  We’re on the cusp (hopefully) of working out of some of the pandemic restrictions and we need to be ready to take advantage, seize the opportunity & beat the competition to the punch.  Let’s get together soon and talk about that. Let's really slingshot each other forward and thrive coming out of this past year of uncertainty.


    This Thursday


    GreatAmerica Webinar: "Things to Consider While Developing a DaaS Program"

      • Register to join us this thursday (11am EST) with guests GreatAmerica to discover:
        • Why DaaS is important / relevant in today’s world
        • What internal changes/decisions need to be made prior to launching a DaaS program
        • How to educate and motivate internal team to sell DaaS
        • How to educate customers on benefits of DaaS

    Upcoming Security Event - Capture the Flag:

      • We'll be will be tapping our Security Team to host a Capture the Flag event this Thursday, April 29th. If you are curious on more details, check out the podcast our Security Team put together describing what a Capture The Flag event is like. During the event we will be hacking and securing servers to win some prizes, so be sure to get Registered Here.



    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

       
  • Do It Again



    🎵You go back, Jack, do it again, wheel turnin’ round and round
    You go back, Jack, do it again 🎶

    Wheel turning round and round. 

    Time to go round again on your legacy plan.  This is the most important plan we ask you to do!  Begin with the end in mind and drive towards that outcome.  Start with Why.  There has never been a year in all of my 15 years with Evolve that legacy planning has been as vital as it is right now. We have a few weeks left before we start our Q2 meetings - here is my ask for this week as you prepare for this quarter:
     

    • Mentally back up and ask the big question – what do you want out of your life and your business?  Then ask, do your plans actually… really… properly reflect what you want? 
    • Drill into it. Don’t do it a cursory once over.  Sit down for an hour, think it through polish it up, add to it, create a list of a few things you need to do. 
    • Bring your plan to your meeting to vet and share. Fine tune it after some input and then execute.

    It almost never feels like the time is right to tackle some of these things, because they are generally not urgent and we are urgency driven people.  Deliberately put it on your front burner for an hour or two and get a few things done. Your co-workers, your family and your friends will eventually be thankful you did.

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

       

  • Omaha



    🎵 Start tearin’ the old man down...Run past the heather and down to the old road…
    Omaha, somewhere in middle America...🎶

    Hey Evolve!

    Our team had its first "mostly-together" meeting in Omaha last week!  A few attended virtually, but most of us were in a room and talking strategy, catching up and beginning to plan out the rest of the year. 

    Preparing for Q2


    It was great to be back together and renew relationships in person.  One thing we did that was very insightful was to go through GiANT's "5 Voices" material and map out our team.  Turns out we have a heavier than normal influence of Nurturers, Guardians, and Connectors and we’re light on Pioneers and Creatives.  On a personal note, I'm a Creative, and, as such, I'm always thinking down the road. This exercise really helped explain why I get my fair share of sideways looks when I’m sharing ideas. From a team perspective, we are all focused on executing right now. This exercise unpacked how different team members view the world. It really brought into focus what’s important to each team member and highlighted how we can execute well together.

    For Q2's Community Day in each geographies, we’ll be working through the 5 Voices. It’s great stuff and as you look to build high performing teams and leave a strong personal legacy, understanding how people think and how to work well with them is very valuable.  Remember to get your people signed up to attend.

    We’re 3 weeks out from heading to Dallas to kick off Q2 hybrid fashion in North America.  Get those legacy plans out, polish them up a bit, make some progress and come ready to share at your Q2 meeting.

    Don't Forget!

    Thursday, April 29, we'll be discussing "Things to Consider While Developing a DaaS Program" with GreatAmerica. Register for the webinar here.



    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

       

  • Workin' For A Livin'



    🎵 Taking what they giving cause I’m working for a livin’ 🎶


    This is me with my close personal friend Huey Lewis (OK, not so close as I met him for 3 seconds and got a quick picture when I was a marshall for the Ryder Cup few years ago).  He came to mind as we’re grinding our way towards Q2 – you know – takin' what their givin' cause we’re workin' for a livin.

     

    Q2 Meetings

    We are heads down getting ready for Q2 meetings.  The final decisions for each geo are as follows:

      • North America: Hybrid (In-person or virtual) – with a logistics FAQ here.
      • APAC: Stu announced this week we will be virtual in APAC for Q2. Bummer, but things just keep hanging on down there. 

      • EMEA: We are virtual in EMEA.  

    We're hoping we can be some kind of hybrid for all 3 geos in Q3, but we’re still not ready to make that call yet.

     

    Legacy Quarter

    I’m working from our cabin in Minnesota this week and was again remined of the important of legacy logistics.  One of my best friends, Pat, died from brain cancer 9 years ago.  His wife, Laura, was my wife’s best friend and we are still close with his family.  He left his family in great shape with insurance money and had most of the loose ends documented and tied up.  He was a small business owner and he had a loan that Laura didn’t know about.  Her name was not on the loan, but because it wasn’t documented nothing was done with it when he passed away.  After a couple of years the company figured out who his wife was and have been hounding her lately to take care of it.  Finally, the right lawyer got involved, connected the dots with proper death certificates and got that company off Laura’s back.  It’s been 9 years and Laura is still dealing with a few logistical loose ends from Pat’s passing.  

     

    Get things documented and don’t make things tough on those you leave behind if something should happen.  It’s no fun, it seems trivial but it’s the responsible and reasonable thing to do.  Take some time between now and your meeting – put an hour on your calendar – and update your legacy papers and tasks and tighten them up.  It doesn’t take that long.

     

    Then come ready to talk about how your legacy plans for your life and business are in good shape and help with accountability for the rest of your group. 

     

    This is a great area to lead strong for yourself and your group.

     

    Upcoming Webinars

    Two webinars to remind you about:

    1). This Thursday, Andre and I will be talking with Larry Little about creating a culture of courage by eliminating fear within your teams. Good stuff as we lead through uncertain times. Register here.

    2). Next Thursday, Great America has some good stuff for you on work from home – specifically building up a desktop as a service practice. Register here.



    Looking forward to getting our Q2 meeting rolling in a month! 

    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

       

  • Changes



    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!


    Hey Evolve!

    Got some changes this week we wanted to bring to your attention.  The first couple are that Brad is on a short vacation this week and we will not be singing in his absence! 😉


    MPD UPDATE


    Our next change on the list is that we have another update to our toolset this week. We will be updating the domain for the MPD between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The maintenance window will run from 6PM EST Tuesday to 10am EST Wednesday. By late morning in the US we’ll be using a new domain for the HUB: mpd.connectwise.com.

    If you've bookmarked the old URL login page, there will be a redirect in place to push you to the new domain. That said, we highly encourage you to update your bookmark to the new URL or simply visit the HUB Homepage and click the login link called "MPD Login" at the top of the page.

    Your same credentials will work and the MFA will be in place as well.

     


    HYBRID MEETINGS


    We have a new challenge that all GEOs will likely be tackling in the next few meetings. HYBRID meetings may impact all of us. We want to give a few pointers for all of us to remember as we join a Hybrid meeting that is a bit different from the virtual and the face to face.

    First, with this Covid season still about us, let’s be Go-Giving and think about others in our meetings. Be considerate of others, whether they are remote to your meeting or in room. We have covid protocols in all GEOs for the foreseeable future that we have to abide by, so your acceptance, grace and patience as we get through this next gate will be appreciated.

    A couple of best practice etiquette behaviors we want to share is that you should always FAVOR the Remote Speaker as they have less context and less presence in the room. One other very helpful best practice is to announce your name before you start speaking whether you are virtual or onsite. The audio we will use should follow you, but it will be delayed, so stating your name allows people to follow the conversation.


    IT NATION SECURE:


    Last item! You probably saw a post from Brad last Friday about our upcoming IT Nation Events that have been announced for the year – IT Nation Secure, IT Nation Explore, IT Nation Connect APAC and IT Nation Connect in Orlando.

    Real important! June 21-23 is IT Nation Secure which will be a hybrid event in Orlando. We are currently limiting the number of in-person attendees to 350 people, so if you would like to attend IT Nation Secure onsite, then make sure to get registered as soon as possible.


    That's it for this week! Get ready for some great meetings whether you are virtual or onsite and, as always, s
    tay healthy and lead strong!


    -Andre & Connie

       

  • It Nation Events have been announced!

    Hey Evolve!

    The IT Nation team has announced its conference plans for the year and in the spirit of streamlining announcements, we want to make you aware of the opportunities coming up for conferences. 

    In short:

      • IT Nation Secure – Hybrid Event in Orlando, June 21-23  – All things security. Time sensitive: we are currently limiting the number of in-person attendees to 350 people, so if you would like to attend IT Nation Secure onsite, then make sure to get registered as soon as possible. 

      • IT Nation Explore – Virtual Event only this summer (dates TBD) – software tools, services and operational focus

      • IT Nation Connect APAC – In-person Event only on the Gold Coast September 1-3 – Australian combination of Connect, Explore and Secure


      • IT Nation Connect – Hybrid Event in Orlando  November 10-12  – Strategy and Leadership focus.


    Our North American Q4 Evolve meetings will be November 8-10.

    If you'd like more detailed information, please reference our our official press release below or reach out to us directly.

    Thanks!

    -Brad

     

    ---------------------------------

     

    ConnectWise Announces 2021 IT Nation Conference Schedule 

    Company unveils conference dates and locations for the year; In-person events to follow COVID-19 protocols.

    TAMPA, Fla. (March 16, 2021) – ConnectWise, the leading provider of intelligent software and expert services for technology solution providers (TSPs), today announced the dates and locations for its 2021 IT Nation events. Of the four conferences, two will be onsite with a hybrid virtual option to expand access to all who are interested in the content and community but unable to attend in person. 

    --------------

    Kicking off the 2021 event calendar is IT Nation Secure, which will be offered in both virtual and in-person conference formats. The in-person event will take place in Orlando, Fla. Like last year’s inaugural event, IT Nation Secure will provide TSPs with a deep dive into cybersecurity training and education. As an industry event like IT Nation Connect, attendees are not required to be ConnectWise partners in order to participate.

    Registration for IT Nation Secure is now openTo register, please visit this link.

    --------------

    IT Nation Explore, which is focused on product training, will be a virtual-only event in order to create opportunities for more ConnectWise product users to engage with the conference. The event will be held this summer, and specific dates will be announced soon. 

    --------------

    IT Nation Connect (APAC) will be returning to Gold Coast, Australia in September. This event will be in-person only. 

    --------------

    Capping off the year is IT Nation Connect in Orlando in November. Like IT Nation Secure, IT Nation Connect will be offered virtually as well as an in-person option in Orlando, Fla. As always, IT Nation Connect will provide intensive thought leadership and training for TSPs, including cybersecurity training.

    --------------

    Registration for IT Nation Explore, IT Nation Connect and IT Nation Connect (APAC) will be open soon


    “We couldn’t be more thrilled about this year’s IT Nation line-up. Anchored by our two Orlando events -- IT Nation Secure in June and IT Nation Connect in November -- with IT Nation Explore and IT Nation Connect Australia in between, these are the premier conferences for TSPs in the industry,” said Craig Fulton, chief customer officer, ConnectWise. “With IT Nation Explore, we realize it’s a huge ask and expense to ask partners to take time away from work to travel across the country, so this year we are making it a virtual-only event, which will allow us to engage as many partners as possible.” 

    The safety of IT Nation attendees is a top priority for ConnectWise. As such, all IT Nation in-person events will adhere to COVID-19 protocols, subject to change. This includes face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, hand sanitizer & hand washing, hotel sanitizing procedures and interaction levels. More details can be found here. 

    “Ultimately, we want to make our events more accessible to all, and to educate and provide resources to as many partners as possible,” continued Fulton. “We understand not everyone is ready to attend in-person events, but after talking to our partners who are ready to meet in-person, we want to create opportunities to make that happen. We also recognize the importance of providing a safe environment for attendees, so we will be following to COVID- 19 protocols for in person events.” 

    --------------

    IT Nation Conference Schedule  

    • IT Nation Secure- June 21-23, Orlando - Focus: Cybersecurity. Audience: Owners, leaders and technical teams who are cybersecurity-focused. 
    • IT Nation Explore- Summer 2021, Virtual Event - Focus: Product Training. Audience: ConnectWise product users.  
    • IT Nation Connect (APAC)- September 1-3, Gold Coast, Australia - Focus: Product/Security/Thought-Leadership Training (In person only). Audience: ConnectWise product users as well as TSP owners and leaders looking to grow their businesses and teams.  
    • IT Nation Connect (North America) - November 10-12, Orlando - Focus: Thought Leadership/Training for TSPs. Audience: TSP owners and leaders looking to grow their businesses and teams.

     



  • Bicycle Race


    "I want to ride my bicycle...I want to ride my bike!"

    Hey Evolve – last week of calendar Q1 – hope you’re finishing strong!


    Legacy

    Q2 is Legacy quarter.  Start with the end in mind.  I was reminded this morning when I got word that a friend of mine from back in the day passed away unexpectedly.  You just never know.  So, do you have your affairs in order enough to ensure those left grieving don’t have too many details to figure out?  Beyond that, do you have your affairs in order that your business could smoothly transition in some sort of functional way?  Beyond that, are you leaving behind important relational and impact investments that really make a difference?  Are you being deliberate about your closest relationships?  Are you vested and investing in things important to you that you can influence beyond your current state and situation?  Lots of heavy, awkward questions that we need to be accountable to each other to answer.  Get ready to ask the hard questions and work through the awkward answers in Q2.

    Exciting Prizes

    *Ding, ding*

    After dealing with legacy stuff, we should go ride our bikes!  Ok – what’s with the bike references?  Our team is so excited to be starting some in person planning for NA Dallas that we are giving away two of the highly popular and in-demand Peloton bikes during our North America Q2 meeting.

    But wait… there’s more! The team was still excited, so they are giving away two $1500 travel vouchers as well to help a couple of lucky winners do some travel after the pandemic is over!

    Of course, there is a catch – and we’ll share more details on how to qualify and enter the drawings as we approach Q2.

    So, we’ve talked heavy with Legacy and light with fun prizes, so I’ll end with tactical/practical by highlighting a couple of webinars you might find useful.

    Webinars

    • This ThursdayArlin and I are talking Quarterly Patterns and Trends coming out of Q1 as well as legacy. Register here.
    • On April 8th I’m having a conversation with Dr. Larry Little about Creating a Culture of Courage – Eliminating fear within your team.  We’re seeing a lot of conversation on angst on back to the office and going on-site and other things that create fear and tension in teams. Register Here.
    • April 15th GreatAmerica is presenting on Things to Consider While Developing a DAAS Program.  Timely as businesses contemplate permanent working environments.  A great time to get involved with that conversation and have options for your clients. Register Here.

    Hey – thanks for being a part of Evolve. Stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

       

  • Don't Stand So Close to Me



    Hey Evolve! 

    "Don’t stand so… Don’t stand so… Don’t stand so close to me…." 

    That’s one of the songs I like from the Police.  You can see I’m setting up my drums again and I’m reminded of Steward Copeland (one of my favorite drummers) and one of their songs I like is Don’t Stand So Close to Me.  That’s the song I have rolling through my head as we’ve been asked a few times what the policies will be in Dallas for the North America Hybrid meeting.  While the news has been talking about lifting restrictions, what they are really saying is they are leaving it up to local businesses to determine their own policies.  We’re doing that with the hotel.  This thing is still serious – I have friends that are struggling with COVID, as I’m sure some of you do.  We’ll be taking safety seriously - unless something drastically changes with the guidance from the CDC and we decide differently with the hotel, we’ll be masked up, social distancing and taking reasonable safety precautions in Dallas. Like the song says…don’t stand so close to me.

    It is very important that if you’re in North America and haven’t registered for Q2 yet, you need to get that done by this Friday the 19th.  That’s our deadline to know numbers to start doing room assignments, Solution Partner pairing, food and beverage ordering, etc.  We need to know if you’re coming AND if you’ll be there for Community Day -  if you haven’t registered get that done ASAP for us, please! 

    Almost through March which means we’re about done with a quarter of the year!  Hopefully you had your plans in place and are ready to hit the ground running – it doesn’t take much to fall behind early and end up playing catch up the rest of the year.

    That’s the thing with Monthly recurring revenue and yearly goals and target.  If you miss in January, it costs you 12 times the monthly payment in revenue for the year.  If you miss in December, it’s just one payment.  Executing well early in the year can make or break your year – hopefully yours in being made right now!  There is a whole rule of 78 concept that we talk about and have built into a forecasting tool we created as part of the “operationalizing your business plan” webinar series we did in the fall.  If you missed it, you should check it out on the Recorded Webinars page on the HUB.

    Speaking of webinars, Arlin and I are doing one on March 25th talking about the Patterns and Trends we’re seeing coming out of Q1 and priming the conversation around Legacy in Q2.  You should be reviewing those plans heading into your next meeting.  It has been very fun to watch so many of you getting ready to turn a corner with your life and legacy through business transactions.  Happy to see this type of activity!  Register for this Thursday's webinar here.

    Hopefully, you’re using some of the leadership skills we’re learning from GiANT with your team and getting ready for more great guidance from them in Q2.  Make sure you have community day Q2 on your calendar as well as the calendars of the leaders in your organization.

    Thanks for a being a part of the IT Nation and Evolve Community!  Stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad

       

  • Push the Button




    Hey Evolve!

    Last week we wrapped up our Q1 peer groups meetings with our friends in EMEA.  All community day content has been broken down and is up on the HUB.  There is a big blue button in the quick links area called “Community Day Content” that will get you to the recorded sessions.  If you want to review or have team members that could not make it watch them, I’d encourage you to get that done – great stuff from GiANT that we’re continuing in Q2 and Q3.

    Our team has been working to get ahead of our communication and content schedule and they are making great progress.  We sent out a webinar newsletter last Friday which lists all of our webinars coming up in Q2.  This will be a once a quarter Webinar Newsletter you’ll receive to make you aware of what’s coming up.  We also have all webinars scheduled for the year up on the HUB and available for registration so you can get the ones that interest you on your calendar.  One stop shopping and you can get there by clicking another of the big blue buttons on the home page of the hub called “Upcoming Webinars."   If you did or did not that newsletter you can subscribe or unsubscribe by selecting yet another of the big blue buttons – this time it says “Subscribe to our newsletter."

    I’ll highlight two upcoming webinars:

    1. S-LI webinar this Thursday, March 11th on Key Analysis from Your 2020 S-L Index Annual Solution Provider Industry Profitability Report.   That is a large deck of insights and data put together by Service Leadership. Always has good stuff and they will be highlighting things from that deck. Register Here.
    2. Arlin and I will be doing a Pattern and Trends from Q1 webinar on Thursday, March 25thRegister Here.


    Q2 NA Meetings

    In North America we’re looking to get you to register for our Q2 meetings if you haven’t already. Remember we’re hybrid in Dallas so if you’re comfortable with travel and meeting in person you should consider joining us in Dallas.  If not, virtual is fine.  Even though Texas has changed their stance (and most likely will again by the time we meet), we will have our own set of protocols set by us and the hotel to ensure proper safety for all attending. Looking for the Go-Giver spirit to come out and to have no push back on the safety protocols we feel will be necessary for our Dallas meeting.

    Always a pleasure getting to work with you all – looking forward to moving ahead!

    Stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

       

  • Come Together


    Hey Evolve! We are finishing up Q1 with our EMEA meetings this week and our team is looking forward to finishing Q1 meeting delivery strong and helping our EMEA partner find success!


    Big news for Q2

    We have some news today we need to talk about for our North America partners. We have made the call with the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.  We are going to come together and do hybrid meetings for North America Q2 in Dallas. EMEA – your meetings will still be virtual in Q2. APAC - your Q2 Meeting is still to be determined as Stu evaluates the environment and restrictions there. Stay tuned for that announcement from Stu.

     

    So, what does this mean for the NA Q2 Meeting?

    This is certainly not a decision we make lightly.  One of the reasons we are going ahead with a hybrid meeting is that this particular Hilton is part of Hilton’s development efforts around safely returning to larger gatherings.  We are working closely with the hotel on safety protocols, local ordinances, etc. to make sure we’re doing this as safely as possible.

    On the continuum (no pun intended) from a typical Evolve in person meeting where there is plenty of activity and gatherings and encouraged networking to the last year of fully virtual meetings this one will obviously fall somewhere in the middle.

    There is no pressure, requirement, penalty, or stigma attached to not being in Dallas.  

    We don’t expect or want anyone to be in person that isn’t comfortable, is high risk, thinks they may be sick or simply it’s not convenient to travel yet to feel any pressure to be in person.  We will be working with the hotel’s AV to ensure we have reasonable technology to pull off a hybrid virtual/in-place meeting.  We have some on our Events Team and some facilitators that will not be traveling.

    Expectations around Safety Protocols

    If you fall into the category of being comfortable with travel, we need to set some expectations for compliance with hotel policy.  Nothing you won’t expect.  We’re still working out some of the details, but you can expect mask or face shield requirements, temperature scans, and social distancing rules to be in place and monitored by hotel staff as part of their hotel safety protocols. If you are ok with travel and willing to adhere to these protocols, then I’d encourage you to consider coming to Dallas. If you’re not comfortable with these requirements, we ask that you attend the meeting virtually.

    Agenda & Logistics

    We’re going to go back to our full-day meetings, so you’ll begin to see invites and agendas being set for 8-5 Central Time meeting days.  We have a couple of options for Community Day that we’re exploring, but what that looks like in-person is still a work in progress.  A lot of what we’re planning with the hotel is changing daily right now as we work through the challenges of hosting responsible meetings going forward.  These challenges include local restrictions we must adhere to which also continue to change regularly. Once we learn more, we’ll communicate what you need to know.  

    We’ll begin working with Solution Partners and SME’s this week to see who and how many might be there. Based on that information we’ll determine what, if any, interaction with those folks looks like.

    We’ll have boxed lunches each day.  We will not be providing breakfast, but we’re told that there are safe, reasonable options available at or near the hotel.  We’ll figure out the coffee situation – there will be coffee!

    Your Support

    I know of a group or two that were planning a meeting at a member site.  Our ask is that you consider being a part of our efforts for a couple of reasons.

      • There will be some interaction with the broader group at some level and we would love for you to be a part of that.
      • This is a toe in the water start for what we and the hotel are hoping to build on going forward.  What we learn will impact what and how we address Q3 and Q4. The more participation we have from those willing to travel, the more we will learn to quickly ramp up the experience as we move forward.


    What We Need from You

    In short, we need to know who is committing to being in Dallas AND who will be attending Community Day so we can get an accurate room size and Food and Beverage count and order in place. In order to gather that info, we've added these questions to our Q2 Registration Page. We’re asking registration to be done by March 19th.  That will give us a date where we can begin to lock down meeting space and F&B and AV details with the hotel.

    We will need you ALL to do the following as soon as you can:

      1. Register for Q2 by March 19th and tell us:
        • Whether you will be attending in-person or virtually
        • Whether you will be attending Community Day in-person
      2. Book Your Hotel:
        • Remember registering for the meeting does not register you for your room – you need to take care of that following the link on the registration page.


    We’ll be making more information available as we know it.  Thank you for your understanding as we navigate new territory and a somewhat dynamic set of circumstances to get us back to safely meeting in person.

    Again – no pressure to be in Dallas but we’re cautiously excited to be planning for us to begin the process of resuming in person meetings starting in Q2 in North America. 

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve!  Stay healthy and lead strong!


    -Brad Schow

       

  • Show Me the Way



    "Wahh…. wah wah wah wah wah waaaaaaaah...
     

    Oh won’t you…. Show me the way...I want you to show me the way!"

    Remember that weird mouth guitar thing Peter Frampton did on that song?

    I have Peter Frampton on my mind as I’ve reflected on Q1, our meetings and the Community day filled with great leadership material from GiANT.  That’s really what we’re trying to do with peer groups and our efforts – show you the way.  By talking to peers who have been there and done that.  By bringing GiANT to community day to help with leading yourself and others.  By ConnectWise acquiring Service Leadership and their methods of identifying high performers and then determining what they do so we can “show you the way.”

    Our mission is to help you achieve your definition of success and it’s such an honor to do that.  One of the lessons I’ve learned late in my career (yes, I am on the back nine of my life) is the importance of vocabulary and language.  A lot of the leadership and management lessons, books, methodologies are not new.  In fact, most of them are rehashes of content that, having been around for a long time, are just reframed using new terms.  I used to think it didn’t matter because we know the concepts, but recently I’ve come to realize that in a business a lot of employees don’t know those things.  They are new to them.  So, a consistency in language and terms really matters.  The important thing is to pick a framework/language/method and stick with it. This ensures the language becomes engrained in your conversations and everyone in your company is talking about the same things. One of the benefits we’re hoping you can get from the GiANT engagement this year is to have your entire leadership teams go through the content, begin to adopt the language and become more productive as a team.

    Andre and I have already starting using the Support, Challenge language as we talk about how we’re leading our teams.  It’s very helpful.  If you missed Q1 in NA or APAC the recordings are up and available.  EMEA it’s your turn next week – get your people signed up to attend.

    A couple of reminders for you this week.

    1. S-LI’s quarterly newsletter came out this week.  Connie has it posted to the HUB.  It’s about a couple new entries in the report book and how to get yourself in the upper right quadrant.
    2. S-LI will be doing a quarterly webinar on March 11th where they will be talking about Key Analysis from their annual Solution Provider industry Profitability Report which you get as a member of Evolve. Register here.
    3. Arlin and I will be talking through the quarterly patterns and Trends we’re seeing at Q1 on March 25th and also setting up Q2’s conversation around Legacy. Register Here.


    I’m going to leave you with another C-Level interview we did at the end of 2020.  This one is Arlin talking with Ryan Walsh and Nick Heddy from Pax8.

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve.  Stay healthy and lead strong!

     -Brad



  • Giant Steps



    Hey, Evolve! Andre here with a quick update this week from Laurie Sorensen and I as Brad enjoys a few days off!

    We're midway through Q1, with North America's meetings in the books and APAC & EMEA just around the corner. This year's focus is all around taking giant steps in building your leadership skills. We can't encourage you enough to take the time to learn and apply the GiANT toolset.

    North America

    GiANT Worldwide did an amazing job in Q1 – the feedback has been very positive. Make sure you plan to attend in Q2 and be sure to take advantage of all GiANT has to offer doing the following:

      • Review the GiANT resources and put them into practice with your team.
      • Take time ahead of the Q2 meetings and ensure your team has signed up to attend these Community Day Sessions via the Evolve Meetings Platform.
      • Have each person take the "5 Voices Assessment," so you can go on this journey together of learning how to more effectively work as a team.

    APAC & EMEA

    Get ready for your Community Day sessions, by doing the following:

      • Ensure your team has signed up to attend these Community Day Sessions via the Evolve Meetings Platform.
      • Visit GiANT's website and sign up to explore all the tools they have to offer. We will be taking advantage this content following your Q1 Meetings.
      • Make sure you’ve planned a way to connect with your team via a backchannel outside of the Zoom platform (MS Teams, conference call, etc.). There will be interactive opportunities where your team can process the content together. Think of it like a watch party.


    Be intentional and lean into this stuff! We're really excited to not only leverage these lessons ourselves, but to also see you guys foster leadership growth amongst your teams as well.

    As always, stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Andre



  • Fly Like an Eagle


    Hey Evolve!

    Q1 is under way with our North America meeting in the books!  Great week talking business, life, legacy and leadership – with a focus on leadership!  Q1 in APAC next week then we’ll finish up the quarter with our EMEA meetings the first week of March.  March already!  That means Q1 will be almost done and we’ll be on to Q2!  Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin….   I want to fly like an eagle!

    We talked quite a bit about Leadership in the groups I lead.  Here are my 4 recommendations for all leaders that I think should be true for not only you as owner of your company but also for each of the leaders on your leadership team.

      1. You should have a mentor.  Someone outside the organization that can speak into their life.
      2. You should be a mentor.  They should be sharing what they are learning with someone coming up behind you.
      3. You should have an industry peer – Evolve can fill that role.
      4. You should have an industry agnostic group you meet with.  Learn and share about leadership challenges with people outside our industry.  


    Those 4 things are pretty common amongst the leaders I see building world class businesses in a functional, sustainable way.  Time has a tendency to get away from us, so I’d encourage you to think about those top two and be deliberate about having and being a mentor. Don’t let another quarter slip away without investing in leadership.


    GiANT Worldwide

    This was our first quarter with GiANT and they were awesome on the North American Community Day.   We are doing the same content in EMEA and APAC with geo specific experts for you on your respective Community Days.  Many of you have already asked about the recordings and Mike has posted them for North America under the big blue link labelled "GiANT" on the HUB homepage.  If you missed it, watch it.  I can’t stress enough to get your next level leaders signed up and have them attend this content.  We’re having them back in Q2 and Q3 and this is an awesome opportunity to invest in yourself and your next level people’s leadership skills.  Plenty of relevant, practical tools and advice for becoming a leader people want to follow and then multiplying yourself in your organization.


    S-LI Acquisition


    I’m sure you’ve all heard by now we announced the acquisition of Service Leadership – couldn’t be more excited to be working more closely with Paul, Brian and their team going forward! For more details, check out our FAQ for Evolve Members.


    CyberSecurity Partner Program


    Also, we took a few minutes to explain to you a new CyberSecurity Partner Program opportunity to sell Security with ConnectWise.  If you missed it, watch the recording and email Bob Gentzler if you’re interested in learning more.


    I love being a part of this community that helps partners grow… help partners and leaders Fly Like an Eagle.  Thanks for being a part of Evolve!

    Stay Healthy and Lead Strong!

    -Brad



  • $7.50 Once A Week - ConnectWise Acquires Service Leadership!



    Hey Evolve, 

    "$7.50 once a week.  They pay me $7.50 once a week."

    This is a later period SchoolHouse Rock song.  Many of you have heard me say that I’m a Schoolhouse Rock type of guy.  If it gets much more complicated than that I’m out – I learned more about English watching School House Rock videos than 12 years of English being taught by professionals. 

    The $7.50 once a week video talks about allowance (recurring revenue) and budgeting for expenses to make sure you’re managing your money well. All in a catchy tune!

    Service Leadership

    We’re kicking off our 2021 Q1 meetings this week in North America and, if you’re reading this, we’ve officially announced that ConnectWise has acquired Service Leadership!  Service Leadership is the Advanced Harvard education around benchmarking and operational maturity to the SchoolHouse Rock I’m more accustomed to. 

    I could not be more excited about finding new creative ways to bring you value with our combined resources now that we are working together.  I’ve had a number of conversations with Paul and Brian and they have done what we try and get all of our members to do- build & execute their legacy and exit plans.  Paul and Brian will continue to do their thing and are happy that the legacy of their “baby” is in a place where it can be more fully leveraged to help partners grow.

    So, what does this mean for you?  Nothing changes now.  We’re obviously having conversations about how we can better leverage these awesome people and resources going forward, but we’re just getting started with those plans.  ConnectWise as a company knows that the next frontier for TSP’s included better leveraging data to drive their business and add value to their client. There is no better resources in the industry than those inside of Service Leadership.

    Paul, Brian and their team will join ConnectWise on the Strategy Organization which is led by Chris Timms who is the ConnectWise Executive VP of Growth.  If you engage with Paul or Brian or the people on the Service Leadership team, congratulations are in order as they executed the next step in their personal and business legacy plans! We couldn’t be happier to have them in the fold and to be working with them to plan how we can bring even more value and insights to the Evolve community.

    For those of you interested in more details about this acquisition, we've put together a FAQ.


    GiANT Worldwide

    One more reminder as we head into the first Community Day of the year – we’re working with GiANT (GiANT.TV) to bring an awesome leadership framework and training to Evolve. We want you to leverage this as much as you can in your organizations.  Put it on the calendar for each of your leaders and make it a part of their leadership development this year.  We’ll be working with GiANT in Q1-Q3 this year, so make plans to attend their sessions with your team during your upcoming Community Days.


    Monthly Newsletter

    Our first Evolve newsletter went out last week.  Hopefully, you saw it.  If you didn’t, check your spam or junk folder for an email from me.  We also will have a form on the HUB available in the next week so you can sign up if for some reason you aren’t getting it.

    Leadership Quarter – let’s start by leading strong with leadership plans in Q1 and fully engaging with your group!

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    - Brad



  • The Leader of The Pack


    Hey, Evolve! 

    Q1 is Leadership Plan Quarter.  Are you ready? Almost all of the consulting we do is around helping partners build and execute a strategy.  The key to that is leadership skills and team development. 

    Let me ask you a straight up question. Do you have a leadership plan – a real leadership plan that you plan on executing – for your individual leaders and as a team?
    How much development are you planning for the most important people in your organization. If there are trust issues do you plan on addressing it? If there are skill or management gaps how do you plan on addressing them?  What is your plan? 

    I almost guarantee you if you don’t get the issues identified and down on paper you’ll be sitting in the same place one year from now. 
    Press into the hard questions at your meeting in Q1.  Does your leadership plan address your leadership growth this year?  Does it address what you expect out of your leadership team this year?  If not – work on it and then work the plan.  Your company will grow proportionately with the capacity of leadership you have on your team.

    GiANT Worldwide

    We’re leading you to water – and this year we’re taking that one step further on Community Day.  We’ve partnered with a company called GiANT Worldwide (check them out at www.Giant.tv) to help equip you to grow the leadership in your company.

    We’re inviting you, andanyone else on your team that will benefit, to attend training sessions on Community Day.  We're also encouraging you to sign-up (it's free!) and access the GiANT platform that has a framework and tools that guiding self and team leadership skill development. I’m beginning to work through their platform and I can personally tell you with confidence, it's good. There's an assessment you do first that nails the type of “voice” you have.  Turns out I am a Creative – “Champion of future ideas, innovation, and organizational integrity.”  It was very insightful to read about some traits I have that I didn’t necessarily realize were true.   It gave me insights into the things I value.  It pointed out things that are challenging to me (repetitive routines and relational disharmony) and predicted how I would behave under moderate and extreme stress. Then it builds a journey I can follow to grow my leadership capacity. That’s just the beginning of their toolset and it's availablefree to all Evolve members this year.

    On Community day we’re going to be led through some of this great content by trained geo-specific GiANT facilitators.  Q1, Q2 and Q3 will all feature different aspects of this leadership framework and practical application guidance for you and your team to use. Get it on your calendar for you and your leadership team to attend Community Day this year.  

    Monthly Newsletter

    We have a newsletter going out this week that is short and to the point on topics that are relevant.  Part of our effort this year to streamline our communication with you.  Look for that newsletter once a month with the most important things you need to know about what’s happening with Evolve.

    C-Level Interview

    I’ll leave you with another C-Level conversation we’ve recorded recently.  This one features Pete Sorensen talking with Garrison Strickland from Nerdio the challenges of a flexible workforce and how they’ve guided partners to make the transition to be successful with changing boundaries and workplace expectations.   

    North America let’s have a great q1 and EMEA and APAC keep working on those leadership plans to share when your turn comes up in a few weeks.

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

  • Driven

     


    I am getting excited about 2021!  Not only what I think we can do with our Evolve team in terms of operational maturity and delivering value, but I’m excited about breaking out of the 2020 dynamic.  The way I’ve worded it with our team is 2020 ended up driving us and we’re going to drive 2021.  Like the awesome, but underrated, song by Rush called "Driven" says – it’s my turn to drive!  It's an anthem for those of us who are tired of being taken where we don’t necessarily want to go - an anthem to regain strategic control. 

    Q1 is Leadership Quarter

    Let me cut to the chase. A company will grow as big and mature as it’s leadership capacity will allow.  Grow your leadership and grow your company.  Grow your leadership team’s capacity and really watch your company grow.  Create a leadership culture and the sky is the limit.  With that in mind we’re looking to address one of the things we’ve identified and know we need to address. How do we get the ideas and concept you discover with your peers and effectively drive them through your organization?  The short answer is leadership, but that’s hardly a help in actually getting it done.

    We’ve partnered with GiANT Worldwide this year to provide you, and anyone on your team, the tools and framework for effective leadership. We’re investing much of Community Day in 2021 to this great material being used by companies like Google. We’re adopting it as our leadership training framework at ConnectWise for our Lead program and we’re bringing it exclusively to our Evolve members this year.

    My hope is that this “primes the pump” for you to set aside the Wednesday of your peer group meeting and invite your leadership teams to attend and participate in the workshops. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the current virtual reality by having this be open to your entire company if you so choose.   I’ll be sharing more specifics next week but get ready to talk leadership plans in Q1. Plan on attending Community day to take advantage of a great opportunity to learn and apply a framework of tools at your company to grow your leadership.

    A couple of logistical notes this week:

    1. On February 6th we’re changing the URL of the hub to hub.connectwise.com.  The old URL with redirect, but this is a heads up that the change is coming.
    2. Look for our first Evolve Newsletter summing up things you need to know in the next few weeks.
    3. We’re using the same platform for our meetings but it’s a new instance.  It will be up and available January 29th. If you are currently registered for the Q1 Meeting, you will be pre-registered for the platform.  Any team members you would like to join you for Community Day content will need to register separately on the meeting platform via the login page above. We encourage you to do that on Friday, Jan 29th prior to your Q1 meeting week.

    I’ll leave you with another highlight reel from a Solutions Partner C-Level interview. This week it’s Arlin talking with Martin Golobic from Great America and Corey Kerns from Collabrance about what last year has meant to them in terms of clearing out competition and the opportunity create wealth going forward. If you're interested in hearing their full conversation, click here.

    Looking forward to a great Q1 – thanks for being a part of evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad

  • Bang The Drum All Day


    I don’t want to work, I just want to bang on my drum all day! Hey – welcome to the last weekly update for 2020. Made it. Done. Stick a fork in 2020. I am ready for a couple of catch-up weeks and a few days off to celebrate and reset. Put the work down and bang on my drum. What a year. I’m mindful of celebrating making it through the year with a muted tone in light of the current situation we find ourselves in. Sadly, I just had a friend pass away from COVID yesterday. The reality of the impact continues even as we’re hopeful for a new year with the promise of a vaccine and a path towards more of something that might be normal.

    Looking back on 2020, I’m thankful for a lot of things – our Solution Providers, our Strategic partners in SLI and Sea-Level and our Facilitators that have gone above and beyond this year. I’m very thankful for you, our members, for how well you’ve executed, how you responded to getting punched in the face and how you enable the world to continue to work. In the context of the business and economic world, I would make the case that you and your teams are unsung heroes equipping the world to keep turning while most people were compelled to stay home.

    While 2020 ended up driving us, the Evolve team is working to drive 2021. We’re excited about what 2021 will bring. We’re partnering next year with SLI and Sea-Level and also expanding some of our content delivery to some great companies that have skills and tools we need in our companies. We’ll be sharing more of that in January. Also, we’re working on some exciting new content we were planning on building in 2020 that will now get some attention and we think it will be well received.

    A lot to be thankful and grateful for as we reflect on this year. With that in mind I’m going to leave you with a slideshow of memories Peggy and Mike Pearce put together. Hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year! Thanks for being a part of Evolve – stay healthy, lean strong and we’ll see you in 2021!

    -Brad




  • Superconductor



    Q1 is leadership plan quarter and, as you’re finishing up your business plans for next year, the next step is to take a look at your leadership gaps (both in yourself and your team) and build plans to fill them.

    The best way to grow your company is to grow your leaders and, with that in mind, you guys are the superconductors to spark that growth.

    Our team has been working on inviting leaders of certain areas to own plans for next year and beyond.  We’re inviting members of our team to step up into new responsibilities, defining topics, giving them the task of building a plan and then vetting the plan as a leadership team.   Trust is being built, workload is being distributed, growth potential is being built into our delivery.  And we’re doing it in a way that allows perhaps a lack of experience to be protected by team input and involvement. We're also making sure the process is getting "buy-in" as plans develop to ensure we don’t get surprised by, either a plan that is way off track, or one running into a situation where we need to make decisions but the planning hasn’t been done yet.  It's fun to watch your team step up, fill gaps and grow your company’s ability to execute and not have the heavy lifting be done a  just a few people.

    That only happens if you get ahead of it, build a plan and then execute the plan.  That’s the focus for Q1.  Are you thinking now about how your leaders can step up next year?  What does that look like for you?  If we don’t put plans in place now we will be forced to “work with what we’ve got” - this results in repeating this year the same as last year and then wondering why we can’t get over the hump.

    Your company will grow where your leadership capacity can take it.  Build into that capacity and watch your company grow.

    Thanks for being a part of Evolve – Stay healthy and lead strong!

    -Brad




  • It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year!

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! There is a reason I’m a drummer and you just found out why – I can’t sing...and it’s not the most wonderful time of the year for the reason’s you may be thinking.  It’s the time of the year when we’re planning for 2021.  Everything is out in front of us.  We can forget about the challenges of this year and build plans to perform better next year.

    Everyone is undefeated in 2021. We haven’t fallen short of any 2021 goals. It’s a new year with fresh possibilities. The imagery of the old man 2020 being replaced by the fresh, full of life baby that is 2021 applies here.

    So, how do you keep the momentum and fulfill the promise of 2021? Plan and execute! It’s what we tell you every year but this year we mean it and you should do!

    Our planning system is built around starting with the end in mind. Decide upon your desired legacy, build your life and business to drive towards those goals and then surround yourself with the right leaders and build your own leadership skills to accomplish your goals. Write these things down, share them with the people in your life, be accountable and execute.

    Pete Sorenson pointed out on the HUB the unfortunate passing of Zappo’s recently retired CEO Tony Hsieh. Some of our younger members struggle with the importance of Legacy. Tony was 46 when he died. With no will. I’m sure he thought he had plenty of time to get things in order. Unfortunately, the reality is you never know.

    Planning is important. Q4 is business plan quarter so hopefully you have your plans locked down for next year so you can hit the ground running. Then we turn our attention to your leadership skills and surrounding yourself with the leaders you need in Q1. I’m excited about 2021 and the possibilities it represents. I hope you are too!

    We have a couple of webinars this week that may be of interest to you.

    This Week:

    • S-LI is doing a webinar on Client Portfolio Management on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 1pm EST. Register Here.

      Stay healthy, lead and finish the year strong!

      -Brad




    • Insights & Opportunities



      Hey Evolve,

      Andre Gilmore here with Arlin Sorensen giving you a weekly update as Brad Schow is in the Great state of Minnesota visiting family.

      As Brad mentioned last week, we’re closing out the year by bringing you some unique interactions with Solution Partners that we hope will bring some value to both you and your key vendors in the channel. Specifically, we have two engagements coming up: C-Level Thought Leadership Interviews and Solution Partner Focus Groups. (For more insight, click the video above to hear Arlin and Andre dig deeper into these two engagements)

      C-Level Thought Leadership Interviews

      During these interviews, we will be having candid conversations with our Solution Partner C-Level leaders about a number of challenges that have arisen in the current environment due to the pandemic. These topics will include how to effectively manage remote employees, how to secure this new remote workforce and what opportunities for innovation should we be focused on in this new landscape. Many of our Solution Partners have been dealing with this new landscape on the Enterprise level for years, so we want to pull back the curtain during these conversations and tap their experience to give you guys some insight on how to navigate the challenges ahead.

      With that in mind, we want you to help us guide the conversation. In order to do that we will be asking the community to submit some questions in the form of a survey that we will weave into the interviews. More on that to come as we start scheduling these interviews, but for now, we just wanted to make you aware of what’s on the horizon.

      Solution Partner Focus Groups

      The focus groups will involve a smaller subset of partners that we’ll invite based on solution partner invite. The goal of these focus groups is to encourage a win-win scenario that is a benefit for both our Solution Partners and you as Evolve members. From a member perspective you get in on the ground floor of what’s coming down the road with many of our Solution Partners, as well as, have an opportunity to shape the conversation and direction our Solution Partners focus on. From the Solution Partner standpoint, they get the input from you as members as to what is working or not working with their products/services, as well as, what pain-points Evolve members continue to grapple with in the industry as a whole.


      In short, we are really excited to bring these two engagements to you guys in the coming months. We really hope you all will participate and get some value from the tremendous knowledge that exist in our Solution Partner community. For now, stay tuned for more information on both the surveys mentioned above along with other opportunities of how you may participate.

      To those of you in America, stay safe and have a great Thanksgiving holiday and for all of you in APAC, EMEA and the rest of North America, thank you for being a part of Evolve!

      -Andre




    • Come Together



      Hey, Evolve!

      We're back at it after our Q4 NA meeting and in planning mode for next year.  We have some definite areas we want to improve and one of those is to find a way to better connect members with Solution Partners.  We know that the tradition lunch and learn model – especially virtually – can leave something to be desired in terms of connecting the right people with the right contacts between your business and the partners you choose to work with.

      In an effort to do that, we’re going to try some creative things going forward by connecting the right people in your organization with the right people at Solution Partner companies.  We hope to accomplish this in a couple of ways:


      Out of Meeting Connections

      We’ll have key people within the layers of a Solution Partner's company connect with key people from your organization who operate in those same layers. For example, we might have the CEO, Head of Sales and Head of Service at a 60-minute meeting where they can share some of what they have learned and their vision for 15-30 minutes. Then we’ll break out into rooms where the sales-people can talk sales, the service-people can talk service and you can get your people connected to the leaders of these organizations in ways that typically aren’t very possible or practical.  We’re going to take advantage of what virtual allows us to do.

      Focus Groups

      Another area that you’ll start to see us working is focus groups.  Solution Partners want to know more about what partners think and we have a great community of partners.  We’re going to help them gather the right partners in the room to provide feedback and help share direction or product or whatever it is the Solution Partners is trying to determine.

      C-Level Thought Leadership

      The 3rd type of engagement we’re doing are c-level interviews where we’ll be talking with leaders of Solution Partners and pick their brain on what they see and the direction they are taking their companies.

      We’re looking for win/win scenarios and thinking outside-the-box to make it happen.  We understand no-one is looking for more meetings, but these are, at worst, go-giver opportunities for you to help the community improve and, at best, a way for you to better connect and engage with the best solution partners out there.

      You’ll be seeing opportunities coming from us to participate and we hope you and your key leaders choose to get engaged.  I think Solution Partner engagements could be one of those silver-linings in these times.

      Thanks for being a part of Evolve.

      Stay healthy and lead strong!

      -Brad 




    • Celebration!

       

      It's meeting week here in North America, so we’ve officially kicked off Q4 2020. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to finish this quarter strong and then have a great plan to tackle 2021. Many of us could use the Psychological reset of a holiday season and turning the calendar into a new year.

      Are you ready for 2021? Do you have your business plan, strategy and goals for next year laid out with your leadership teams? Now is the time – we need to ensure we’re holding each other accountable in being accurate with where we’re at and in building plans to execute to be better next year.

      We are heads down delivering next week, but I want to make you aware of a couple of important videos you and your team should watch as you prepare for 2021:

      • The Microsoft 365 Training we did last week is recorded and posted here. Worthwhile to have your service people review that training.

      • The Operationalizing Your 2021 Business Plan workshop concluded last week and Mike has posted those workshops as well. A lot of good material on moving from 'Managing To What Good Looks Like' to 'Building Teams and Strategy.' I’d encourage you to check those out. The North America Workshop is posted here. The APAC Workshop is posted here.


      Also, in each geography for Q4 Community Day we’re “taking stock” of where we’re at and providing perspective on 2021. For the Evolve session, we’re going to Celebrate the combination of making it through 2020 and also talk with Arlin Sorensen about the 20 years of Evolve. Arlin was, deservedly so, voted the 2020 Circle of Excellence Leader of the Year for his leadership and dedication to creating business value for customers. We’re going to get his perspective on 20 years of helping many of us success in business and life. Then we’ll lay out some of what we have planned for 2021 in Evolve and how you can take advantage of your membership in the community.

      We sure appreciate you allowing us to walk with you – especially this year. If you’re in North American have a great meeting – EMEA and APAC your turn is coming, so get those plans ready!

      Stay healthy and lead strong!

      Brad

    • People Get Ready



      Hey Evolve – One month done in Q4 and we’re buttoning things up for our North America Q4 meeting next week. It’s business plan quarter and I can’t think of a time since I’ve been in the business – 30 some years – where having a plan for what you want to accomplish next year and having team of strong leaders working with you has been more important. It’s time for you to lead strong and it’s your turn to drive your business and your leadership team where you want your business to go. There is big money pouring into and being made in our industry and there has never been as many mature, intelligent, well-funded people & businesses in our industry since it started.

      We’re still in the 20th year of Evolve (what was HTG) and I’ve been involved for the past 15 years. It’s amazing how far I’ve seen many of you come in that time. We're going to talk about some of that perspective on Community day in Q4. Even though this year did not go at all like we had planned, I look back at what we were able to accomplish as a community and I think it’s pretty great. I know our team has worked hard to continue to find ways to effectively connect you with each other, along with great content and outside resources to help you successfully navigate this year.

      Q1, 2021

      Today, I’m letting you know that in North America and EMEA we will be virtual again in Q1. We’re doing what we can to get us back to in-person meetings, but local restrictions and hotel limitations make it impossible for all of us to be in person in Q1. APAC – we’re still hoping your Q4 community day and hopefully your Q1 meeting can be in person.

      This Week

      There are a few really good opportunities coming up you need to be aware of.

      If you attended the first half of our Operationalizing Your Business Plan last week we have part two coming up this week. “Very excited about the conversations and feedback we received from part one and I’m looking forward to part two this Thursday.

      We also have exclusive Microsoft 365 training coming up on Wednesday at 11 AM eastern. Get your technical people signed up – there will be some great training put on by Microsoft for Evolve members. Register Here.

      Q4 Meetings

      Also, a reminder that we’re putting together resources for you to gain perspective as you plan for 2021 on Q4 Community Day. We'll have perspective from ConnectWise with a C-Level panel, perspective on the future of our industry with some of our community’s best forward looking conceiver type people and perspective on Evolve – where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and how you can take advantage of your involvement in 2021.


      Thanks again for being in Evolve – stay healthy and lead strong!


      -Brad