Meet the Nivo team: Introducing Elizabeth Gooch, NED
Thank you for joining us today, Elizabeth. Please tell us a little about yourself and what your role with Nivo entails.
Hi, My name is Elizabeth Gooch and I am a Non-Executive Director (NED) at Nivo and have been since early 2019.
What do you do at Nivo?
As a NED, my role is technically to sit on the Board to support the Founders and other Executive Directors in executing the company’s strategy. For Nivo, I am also an Investor Director representing the interests of a syndicate of investors who came in on the last investment round.
I have specific responsibilities for ensuring remuneration policies are properly implemented and proper accounting processes are implemented and maintained.
In early stage companies, though, the role often involves rolling up your sleeves and helping out with whatever the company needs. So supporting sales and marketing is also something that I have done at Nivo, as well as implementing KPI’s and investor reporting.
What are your credentials and past experience, for working in your position?
I built my own software company that was listed on AIM and then acquired by a US Software Company in 2017. I built my software product and company from scratch, traded in 50+ countries, employed 150 people across the world, outsourced finance and part of our development team, and also had numerous professional and retail investors.
I think the most important experience though is that my company made a significant impact on operational excellence in global service sector companies in the same target markets that Nivo now operates.
What is the biggest challenge people in your industry have to deal with that you directly fix?
There are two answers to this question.
Firstly, as a Non-Executive or any other Director, our role is to safeguard the interests of the Company and other stakeholders; including the employees, customers and the investors.
Sometimes that might mean disagreeing with decisions that are proposed and it might make things uncomfortable... but thats my job. A lot of NED’s shy away from this because they don’t want to offend or they need the job. But I was taught by my first Chairman that being a Non-Exec is not a popularity contest or a “job”...it’s a position of responsibility, work that is done on behalf of others that should be taken seriously.
My first Chairman is the most altruistic person I have ever met in business and I never forget those words. It’s not about me, it’s about the people you serve!
Secondly, there is the challenge faced by our Customers. In my company we saw first hand the impact of “noise” in the customer on-boarding process. Significant delays, multiple hand-offs, lots of paper AND all of that impacted the customer journey and the efficiency of customer operations. Nivo fixes that, and it fixes it quickly. Time to value for our customers is a matter of days. I love that!
What do you like about working with Nivo?
Well firstly, the product. I fell in love with the proposition and the impact it could have from the off and then I met Mike and Mat. Mike was the first person I met and I saw myself in him many years ago. And then I met his Co-founder Mat....the product strategist....Mat is also very like me. He knows how Nivo can transform businesses and could project their performance into the stratosphere. That’s just awesome!
What are the values that drive you?
I have always been very clear on my values and they start with:
1. Making a difference - Delivering results for our customers is my number one value. Don’t just sell software licences but help customers get value from them as quickly as possible. Time to value, expressed by the customer, is a key metric for me.
But more importantly, I want customers to be raving fans about the results we have delivered - so good they want to tell all of their friends. That’s when you know you have succeeded for them.
2. Integrity - It’s very important to me that I act with integrity at all times. I won’t be swayed by the popularity vote. Things have to be done right.
3. Passion - I think everyone knows I am a passionate person. Either for or against something, my passion is clear. I am either all in or all out and money won’t sway me.
4. Freedom - simply put, I absolutely don’t like being told what I can and can’t do. Being a Non-exec is a great position to be in. I am independent and I can act with independence, and the people I represent can take comfort from that.
5. Fun - Well, if isn’t fun, don’t do it. In my business we had great fun, both as a team and as partners with our clients. Life is too short to be serious all the time. Why shouldn’t business be fun too. Work hard and play hard is my motto.
Your top three podcasts/books?
Really struggle to narrow it down to three as I read/audible at least one book a week, but these have had the most impact on my life:
- The Goal by Eli Goldratt - I built a business on the theory of constraints from this book.
- The E-myth by Michael Gerber - Helped me build a business that worked without me and that should be the ultimate goal of every founder.
- Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore....The most insightful book I read as a Tech Founder but the last few chapters are the most important and many don’t concentrate on those or ignore them altogether!
What are your hobbies?
Well I love what I do, so the whole “work-life balance” thing has never been an issue for me. I am also very interested in “business” and only choose to work with companies that interest me and I’ve learnt such a lot from them .
But, to relax I have a one year old blue-whippet who keeps me busy and I love walking him. He’s just getting into his stride so we can now go hill-walking, which I love. I don’t think there is anything like the feeling of freedom standing on top of a mountain after a long hard climb! Well, maybe a nice gin or two, I suppose!