RichRelevance Values: Own It. Keep it Simple. Get it Done

A strong culture should be substantive and authentic, differentiated and visual. By visual, you should be able to see employees in various work scenarios that unquestionably embody company culture. While hiring teammates for cultural fit may feel burdensome or lengthy during the recruitment process, it ultimately pays off in the rapid assimilation that is created by shared values.

Here at RichRelevance, our shared values come down to three basic phrases: Own it. Keep it simple. Get it done. Weaving all three together is communication—every step of the way, in every direction, through rank and file, horizontally and vertically. Every individual should know “what are we doing every single day to make this company great?”


This may appear obvious to the casual reader but over the years, time and again, I have seen many smart individuals, competent teams and entire companies (from small to large) miss these three basic concepts.

Own it
Each of us at this 200-person small company is effectively running the company. You run your own show and hopefully if things go well, your domain continues to grow. Rather than waiting to be told what to do, be self-motivated and self-disciplined.

A great example of “owning it” was the launch of Relevance 2.0—a complete re-positioning of our company. While the concept was born last October, serious strategy, preparation and groundwork were laid out during the holiday season. Marketing owned the overall re-positioning; but sales owned pricing; technology owned the road map; finance owned the revenue recognition aspect; legal owned new customer contracts; our partners co-owned strategy. Every executive on the team assumed a piece of the effort, and communicated succinctly to all parties from concept to refinement to preparation to full execution.

When we own it, the combined power of phenomenal skills and execution ensures that we will get a lot accomplished. We leveraged the momentum of Relevance 2.0 across additional programs in the new year—at the NRF Big Show, our global Customer Advisory Summits and Partner Summits. All these events continued what we referred to internally as “rolling thunder”—an ongoing volley of product demos, training and public positioning to further promote our most important initiative of the year.

Keep it simple
There is no single scenario where complexity is good.

As an example, for a couple of years, it was evident that we needed to re-vamp our customer-facing dashboard. It was unwieldy and non-intuitive for customers; they were limited to looking at reports and creating rules. More complex tasks like setting up MVTs, modifying layouts and managing strategies had to be handled internally—costing money and creating friction and challenge for our support staff. This forced the realization that we needed a self-support dashboard that could automate and streamline workflow.

So we dug deep into the most commonly used features with aim of reducing complexity, and eliminating repetitive tasks. In one case (creating a new placement), we were able to combine several independent systems into one workflow. We transformed a tedious task that typically took 5 minutes down to 10 seconds. This new UI was easier to understand, and produced more accurate results, as the user could see everything on one screen. Cutting through the layers of complexity to simplify workflow not only achieved the goal of sustainability and self-support, it also more than doubled customer usage, allowing our team to support more sites with same level of staff.

Get it done
Politics are not acceptable at a company of this size.

Continuing with the dashboard, our product manager knew that it would prove a challenge to convince many employees it could be done. The revamp had been tried in the past but absent properly allocated time and resources, it had floundered. But that didn’t hinder him—he went to battle armed with a plan. Using attractive mockups and a deck that detailed the numbers, he proved that the time savings by itself would be a huge internal win. Slowly but steadily, he convinced the rest of the team that not only was the new dashboard possible; it could be accomplished in a short amount of time without having to rebuild everything. By completely redoing the most commonly used pages, and ensuring that less frequented pages could match the look and feel of the new dashboard while remaining functional, he moved the team from tentative buy-in to whole-hearted endorsement. Giving the keys to the kingdom to the customer resulted in client empowerment while reducing internal challenges, creating time savings and enabling re-direction of resources to more strategic initiatives.

We have been going through significant change at RichRelevance over the last couple of years. This has been very demanding to all employees and the amount of work in front of us can sometimes seem overwhelming.

So in case of doubt—own it; keep it simple; get it done. Phenomenal things happen when our shared values and communication ensure that we can always answer the question “what are we doing every single day to make this company great?”

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This post was written by Eduardo Sanchez

ABOUT Eduardo Sanchez
A global technology veteran, Eduardo Sanchez brings more than 25 years of strategic and technical leadership in data, cloud, mobile, social and enterprise technologies to RichRelevance. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President, Strategic Development at MicroStrategy, where he was an early member of the leadership team and played a critical role in the development of the company, spearheading its foray into new lines of business and international expansion. Previously, he was COO at Paris-based Cartesis (acquired by Business Objects in 2007) and EVP of Global Sales at Lawson Software (acquired by Infor in 2011).As CEO, Eduardo is responsible for the daily operation of the company – including engineering, data science, cloud infrastructure, product management, marketing, sales, services and partnerships – and will play a key role in driving continued growth and global expansion as RichRelevance evolves its personalization for commerce across its customer and prospect base of leading retailers and brands.Eduardo received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of La Plata in Argentina and a M.S. in Systems Engineering from George Mason University in Virginia.
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