by Adrian Moise
As the CEO of a digital product development and design agency, I’m often asked where I turn to for inspiration. I respond with ACETECH each time. The fact that there’s an organization which supports CEOs through a peer network right here in Vancouver, is definitely something to take advantage of! The connections I’ve made with like-minded peers are invaluable—these are the individuals I turn to for help in levelling-up my skills and my company, Aequilibrium.
ACETECH has provided value to me in three domains:
- Education: access to seminars and thought leadership
- Execution: participation in a CEO roundtable
- Inspiration: participation in the annual Whistler CEO Summit
I was first made aware of ACETECH when I attended the CEO Networking: Season’s Launch event. It was at this event where a fellow CEO talked about building and leading a cross-functional team that led to a multi-billion dollar business unit. It was also at the same event where I learned about the Growth Strategy Program—a step-by-step process to help CEOs find and implement a rhythm for growth. Shannon Susko, a former CEO and serial entrepreneur turned speaker and executive coach, ran this session. Needless to say, the timing was perfect. I was looking for a strategy framework that formalized a lot of my ideas about how to run the business, and this program allowed me to bring together vision, values and strategy with concrete goals and an action plan.
ACETECH members are also generally part of a roundtable of about 10 CEOs from non-competing companies. Our group, Knights of the Roundtable, meets once a month and follows an agenda that varies based on the topics of most interest to our group. The group is lead by a Chair, who acts as a facilitator for the meetings, ensures alignment on the purpose and format of the roundtable, and interacts with ACETECH and other Chairs to exchange best practices on how to keep the group best engaged. Last fall, the group entrusted me with the privilege to be their chair. It’s always fun to facilitate thought-provoking conversations, bring in top-notch members, and act as a catalyst for the new direction we chose!
Our roundtable meeting structure has evolved over time to better adapt to the needs of our team. A roundtable meeting typically follows this format:
- 5:00pm: arrival, followed by an informal social discussion
- 5:30pm: dinner starts, concurrent with each member presenting a three minute status update consisting of a qualitative dashboard (revenue, profit, monthly burn) and quantitative summary (business and personal)
- 6:00-7:00pm: main topic of the agenda which can vary from someone in the group presenting their OPSP, to a discussion about how to use ESOP to engage the executive team
- 7:00-7:30pm: “411s” (hot issues) brought forward by a team member
The hot issues in particular is a great opportunity for a roundtable member to tap into the collective wisdom of our group. The time is split evenly between presenting the challenge and the ask to the group, asking for any clarifications, and sharing insights and feedback.
The highlight of ACETECH each year is the Whistler Summit, a three day retreat for CEOs to improve their effectiveness as leaders, explore innovative ways to increase their company’s performance, and build relationships with their peers. Last year’s event provided a great mix of relevant seminars, networking and socials. The agenda for this year’s summit is equally as exciting and more than anything, I’m looking forward to a week of learning and inspiration from my peers.
The most rewarding part of being a member in the ACETECH community is that my peers are usually going through the same concerns as I am. When we come together, there’s a feeling of community—a feeling of trust. Engaging in open dialogue with those who are going through the same notions as I am is frankly, comforting. ACETECH not only provides me with a platform to grow personally, but also one to grow Aequilibrium to reach new heights.