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Journey to Chief Operations Officer: People, Strategy, Growth

Welcome to The Leadership Series!

At Mojo Soup we are always proud to share our story. In this Leadership Series, we’re excited to shine a light on our Executive team, so that you can learn more about the people leading our business, understand how they have shaped and evolved our business, and see what inspires them.

So, we’ll be presenting a profile on each of our leaders over the coming weeks, with a spotlight on Ben Chambers first as our Chief Operations Officer, followed by Euan Kennedy as Chief Technology Officer, and David Lockie as Chief Executive Officer – watch this space for more!

Meet our extraordinary COO, Ben Chambers as he talks people, strategy and growth

Tell us about your background, Ben. What led you to this point?

The one word I’d use is ‘diverse’. I’ve held roles in aviation and defence maintenance, I’ve established, owned and grown a recycling company, and taken more corporate roles across multiple sectors including mining, and working for prominent global IT service providers. At one point, I worked in Montreal with a French-speaking team which came with its own set of challenges and opportunities.  My time here began as an Associate, working closely with the team as a PPM specialist and delivery manager, until it became clear that Mojo Soup was where I needed to be. Then I transitioned into a full-time role, helping to shape our strategy and optimise our operations.

What were the biggest learnings from the early phases of your career?

Getting into operational leadership was a game changer. This happened when I was working as an Aircraft Engineer. This taught me to understand the importance of customer service delivery, accountability and precision. I now reflect that there are clear parallels between the meticulous testing required in aircraft engineering and the IT sector, because both carry critical consequences and demand a rigorous approach to guarantee reliability, functionality and customer satisfaction.

What are you most proud of delivering at Mojo Soup?

The introduction of the Customer Experience program at Mojo Soup (our Moj-X) has been a particular highlight. It’s changed the way we operate and elevated our service delivery to new levels.

I’m also immensely proud of implementing whole of business agile training which has enabled us to refine our delivery approach and define our Mojility framework. From there, we’ve introduced our quality (TASTE) framework and created a one page Social Contract signed by ourselves and our customers to ensure a visible reference of our commitment and alignment as a team.  

All of these projects improve the customer experience, add value and emphasise our adaptability as a business.

Are there any tangible results you can share with us?

Taking the reigns on our strategic goals, KPIs, customers and people has been hugely successful over the past three years. During that time, we have delivered a revised business model that is geared for growth, more than doubled our team with extremely capable consultants, introduced a customer experience program and achieved a ‘promotor’ level NPS score,  and have delivered significant revenue and margin growth year on year which I am very proud of.

When have you taken a risk and it’s really paid off?

One pivotal decision which has profoundly influenced our growth is our recent strategic investment in data and AI capabilities. The positive signals for the growth potential of our investment in data and AI are clear indicators that this technology is ready to take off and significantly contribute to achieving our growth goals.

Our upcoming move to a larger office marks an exciting milestone, as outgrowing our current space reflects our remarkable growth.

Who inspires you and why?

I draw inspiration from various sources including mentors and sports professionals but most recently Ben Hunt-Davis, Olympic Gold medallist and author of “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster”.  This book is a great read for anyone looking to understand how ‘big hairy audacious goals’ can be achieved, and the importance of team alignment to support common goal achievement.

It was a combination of this book, and John Doerr’s “Measure What Matters”  that led to refining strategic decision-making by prioritising attainable outcomes, scrutinising initiatives against our expansion goals, and applying insights from the books to actively seek the right questions from the team and directors.

I’ve embraced the role of the ‘squeaky wheel’ in our strategic decision-making, regularly questioning initiatives and ensuring that every move aligns with our growth trajectory and accelerates business success.

What does employee engagement look like at Mojo Soup?

It’s all about collaboration and shared focus to achieve something greater – Connected Brilliance is the way we work, and how we operate as a team every day. Our people are our greatest asset and we’ve created a number of ways to ensure we’re meeting their needs.  We’ve created an employee management framework with 12 engagement points annually including retrospectives, succession planning, and surveys to track and measure our eNPS metric which is a distributed responsibility across middle management.

Quarterly updates and tracking progress toward goals are important, understanding that individual goal setting goes beyond utilisation and revenue. We’re human first, technician second, so establishing achievable and diverse goals, and rewarding our team significantly contributes to improving our business.

Tell us about the future of your role at Mojo Soup?

My job isn’t done until the directors achieve their goals and I hope to be a member of Mojo Soup in an executive role for a long time.  I’m pursuing an MBA for accreditation, to gain skills and apply sustainability concepts which contribute to Mojo Soup’s continued market profile, relevance and growth. We cannot rest to achieve our growth targets, nor can we do things the way we have done them to this point if we want to continue our climb in customer experience outcomes, capability and growth.  Mojo Soup has deliberately not set a destination to its journey, rather we have set a promise to continually better ourselves in every dimension, focusing on people – customers and Soupians as a northern star.

How does work / life balance apply to you?

I am a very disciplined person when it comes to management of time, this helps me fit everything into my day. I rise early, not later than 5am…which my wife will tell you is not normal. This is where my brain function is at its peak, I typically create my to-do lists, tick off what I need to, and get some self care or gym time in before getting kids up and off to school.

Through the week we have a very full schedule as a family, my 2 daughters are involved in sports and dance after school, my wife plays soccer, and I coach a basketball team…our Saturday mornings are a little compressed to say the least but I love being involved in sports and support my family where I can to do the extras.  On top of that I am studying an MBA which I enjoy applying lessons from into my work and everyday life.

I constantly find connections and relative concepts between sports and work, the key element for me being the team, and how the performance of a team is defined by alignment, role clarity, goals and celebrating success.

What do you enjoy outside of Mojo Soup?

My interests outside of work include basketball and sports in general – anytime the competition is fierce I am compelled to watch a game of anything. Motorcycling has been a big part of my life and I enjoy riding and tinkering with my custom Suzuki that I built a few years ago (when I had more time). On top of that, I have an amazing set of friends that we are lucky to spend time with on weekends and travel with…recently to Hawaii for our wedding.

And of course, the 3 beautiful and intelligent women in my life keep me motivated, they are funny, competitive, and way smarter than me (which I am constantly being reminded of).

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