Meet the Nivo team: Introducing Michael Common, Co-Founder and CEO
Welcome to our newest series: Meet the team, where we’ll introduce you to the people behind the Nivo brand. We know that we owe our success to our people, follow the series to find out who they are, what they do and why they’re working at Nivo.
First up, our Co-Founder and CEO, Michael Common.
Hi Mike, please can you share a little bit more about yourself?
Thank you for having me. I’m a big family man who loves spending time with my wife and kids! Holidays together are a big thing in our family, and we’re in the process of getting a campervan, which should lead to more exciting trips. Outside of the office I am getting into running and cycling after hanging my football boots up following a few injuries. I still enjoy watching the football, although my team tend to put me through the wringer these days! I also enjoy a good book / audiobook / podcast!
What do you do at Nivo?
As CEO, my main job is to set the company vision, goals and objectives, and to engage the team and create the processes that can execute the plan. That requires me to get involved in many areas of the business: product, fundraising, finance, HR, sales, marketing and operations.
Sometimes I’ll be a leader, sometimes a manager, sometimes a contributor and sometimes a doer.
What are your credentials and past experience, for working in your position?
I spent over a decade working in a big bank. I had a few different roles, but each involved creating and delivering new things: new technology, new products, new operations and new teams.
In my latter years I was probably best described as an ‘intrapreneuer’ where I created my own position by identifying problems, obtaining funding and support, building a team and delivering solutions. This was my steppingstone into entrepreneurship.
What is the biggest challenge people in your industry have to deal with that you directly fix?
In regulated industries like financial services, there are many complex products that require people and organisations to collaborate together to deliver them. Typically getting these products is characterised by long, cumbersome, inefficient processes that frustrate all the people involved. This prevents a lot of business happening at all.
People spend decades trying to solve these problems with Digital Transformation projects that cost £millions and often overrun and ultimately disappoint. Nivo fixes that with message-based-digitisation. This allows much of the process to be automated whilst enabling collaboration between the people involved to be secure, efficient and effective.
What do you like about working at Nivo?
There are many things that make me proud to have Co-Founded Nivo, but one highlight is seeing how people can come together and become passionate in a shared objective to grow something valuable, different and better for the world.
What are the values that drive you?
1. Solving difficult problems that make things better.
2. Giving people an opportunity to succeed.
3. Working collaboratively.
Finally, what are your top three podcasts/books recommendations?
I read and listen all the time so this changes frequently for me.
Recently, ‘Play Bigger’ and Steven Bartlett’s ‘The Diary of a CEO’ have been influential. I love stories about company growth and evolution. ‘The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons in Creative Leadership from the CEO of the Walt Disney Company’ is another recent read containing valuable lessons.