No. 35 – NineSigma

NineSigma – Andy Zynga, CEO

Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Like so many companies, NineSigma was impacted by the recession of 2008 and 2009. Many of our clients were forced to cut back on spending and re-evaluate business priorities which in some cases meant freezing external innovation budgets. By tightly managing the sales process and shifting our focus to higher-demand services, we were able to overcome the market downturn. The volatility in the market caused us to assess our portfolio of services and accelerate investment in new, higher value-add service offerings.

Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

An innovative mindset is part of our company’s culture and is present in everything we do. As the company’s leader, it has been my job to create an environment where people feel it is OK to make mistakes and try new things as they strive to meet the evolving needs of our clients. We are constantly pushing the envelope in terms of how companies utilize Open Innovation to increase their competitive advantage and drive growth throughout their organization. By staying close to our clients and the marketplace, we have stayed on the leading edge of our industry and set new standards for how Open Innovation should be practiced.

Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?

I have learned through past experience that a good manager must have faith in people’s ability to create something good. I worked for a CEO once who micro-managed every single detail and ultimately lost sight of the big picture. We have a very cohesive team of highly intelligent people, yet we all approach things a little differently. I firmly believe there are many right ways to get the desired result, and I try to empower people through my words and actions so that they can perform their jobs knowing they are supported.

Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

We have a number of clients and solution providers in the Northeast Ohio area that we have helped to create profitable business opportunities by connecting them to new innovation partners through the NineSigma process.  We employ high-quality talent from a broad range of science and technology fields, and retain that talent by making NineSigma an exciting place to work and grow professionally. We look forward to creating more job opportunities within the region as we continue to expand in the coming years.

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