Tag: CEO advice

Prevayl Company Culture. Q&A with Adam Crofts

Adam Crofts, CEO of Prevayl®, has been building the business from day one. Since setting up Prevayl he has put in place one of the most talented and innovative teams in the industry.

We sat down with him to find out how he approaches creating the right team and the importance of company culture in a start-up.

1.Why is company culture so important in a start-up?

Company culture is important in any business, but even more so in a start-up where the pace of change is so fast.

Getting company culture right from the outset enables you to establish the pace and ambition of the business, set the values, and define how we represent ourselves in the world. It’s essential not to be too rigid with it though and to ensure it’s flexible and respectful enough to keep a growing team happy and productive.

It can sometimes be a hard balance to strike, but it can be so effective when you hit that sweet spot.

2. What makes Prevayl different?

The nature of our mission and our day to day work means that we have to hire a really diverse mix of people. I like to refer to them as an “eclectic mix of amazing minds”.

The disciplines required within the business are as diverse as the people who lead each team. We always welcome new personalities and require those that think outside the box and approach new challenges with a different mindset. That’s essential for how we work.

It’s also crucial to instil a collaborative culture both for our internal day to day operations and for the future of the business.

3. How much of this is influenced by your own experiences?

From my previous experience working within and leading businesses I’ve been able to identify those things I don’t like or haven’t enjoyed, whether that’s big egos or rigid, regimented structures. That really doesn’t sit well with me.

What I do like and always look for in the people we employ at Prevayl is respect, drive and motivation. If you have that, you can go far.

4. How do you approach building a team?

The first step is to identify those areas in which you want the business to excel in. You then have to search far and wide to find the right people with the desire, hunger and talent to propel you forward.

Following that, it’s all about trusting your instinct. If you get a good feel for someone then it’s important to go with it and trust your gut.

For a start-up that’s undergoing rapid growth, as a CEO you simply can’t be everywhere. There are key things that I need to focus on and make sure I’m excelling in myself.

In order for the business to flourish, you need to establish and trust leaders within the team and surrounding yourself with energised and motivated people that want to learn and share your vision.

5. The Prevayl team is multi-disciplinary with team members experts in very different fields, what are the key attributes that link them?

Apart from all being the very best at what they do in their own respective fields, they all share a genuine ambition to create a product that will change the world we live in today. You can feel the excitement and drive every single day.

6. With the team growing so quickly, how do you make sure you’re hiring the right people? That they are the right fit for the business?

Beyond the usual process, like a great CV and references as well as a gut feeling, I like to be able to enjoy a one on one conversation with them on my own.

It’s super important that I feel comfortable with the individuals we hire. As the business grows it’s vital for me to be able to put a lot of trust in the people we have hired to continue hiring the same calibre. Introductions always go a long way.

7. How have you structured the team at Prevayl?

Our team structure is extremely robust.

We have experienced leaders and some of the best brains in the industry across each workflow. Below that is a super capable, innovative and motivated team.

Most importantly we are all aligned and driven to work towards the same shared vision.

8. How do you make sure every member of the team sees their value in the business?

We’re a new business, so that means putting thought into this is super important.

To me, we’re only able to progress if each individual is working to the best of their ability. People do this when they feel valued and appreciated.

We hold regular monthly awards with categories like MVP, behind the scenes boss, fastest feet and best energy. It’s a great way of showing appreciation and a good vehicle for regular team bonding. I also find that simply saying thank you and acknowledging the amazing efforts people are going to, always goes a long way.

9. Lastly, what do you and the team do for fun?

Well, we’re working on that. The team might see a few surprises coming this month!

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Meet our CEO, Adam Crofts  

Adam Crofts, co-founded Prevayl™ in April 2019. We sat down with our CEO to find out how the journey’s been so far, a little more about him and the possibilities of Prevayl™.   

What gets you up in the morning?   

The motivation to push Prevayl™ to where we know it can be. We’ve got a team of people that are working at full capacity and you want to be there for them, to make sure you’re leading everyone in the same direction.

I believe in a balanced life and have always maintained that a work life balance is crucial to ensure you and your team are running at full potential and most importantly, happy. Everyone needs to come up for air and be offline and we try to respect and maintain this company wide.

Sometimes it can feel like there’s so much to do that you can’t stop for even an hour of a day as you may miss an opportunity. That’s why having a happy healthy team in place team is so important: we work together; we work smarter to make the right decisions for the business.

What is the role of a modern CEO in a start up?

I believe the role of a modern CEO has to be more inclusive. It’s about surrounding myself with the best possible minds with the right strategic approach to help us achieve our mission. The guys in the team are all seasoned professionals and have the ability and desire to drive the business forward.

It’s crucial for me to ensure that we’re all aligned, working towards the same vision. The talent in the business will then help us achieve our goals.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?   

Speak to and get advice from as many different people as possible, to make informed decisions. Don’t try and do absolutely everything yourself.

Remember to listen. A lot. Don’t initially act on that first piece of advice or insight given. Get the biggest range of feedback that you possibly can from as many different sources and consider it. It’s important to take time to make decisions, as well as making sure you have perspective surrounding a situation and other people to bounce ideas off.

When you’re first starting out, it can be too easy to get pressured into decisions and easy to get influenced. What may have worked for someone might not always be the best way. There are always other ways to do things.

I always like to let people talk a lot. I then digest it and think what’s the best approach for me.

What’s been the biggest challenge in the first seven months of Prevayl™?

Alignment is a big challenge.

With what we’re doing, the scale and the scope is so big, that keeping the right direction is paramount.

If you can get an experienced, innovative team together, aligned and working towards the same goal, you can begin to move fast. The earlier you get that vision and alignment, the faster you can move.

How did the idea for Prevayl™ first come about?   

It first came about from being obsessed about the body, performance, and how to improve and importantly maintain one’s own health.

I started looking into all these areas with the notion that with data you can always create valuable insights. So the question was, how do you extract data from the body?

That got me looking at existing wearable technology. I did extensive research into other brands from around the world and the capability of the technology, looking at what data they could acquire from the body and in what format.

The idea for us was to be able to receive more information from the body than all of these put together and feed it through in real-time to create pre-emptive insights.

The whole idea is based around how to look ahead of time at what’s about to happen, whether in performance or in healthcare, and be able to act before it actually happens.

It was with this idea that I first thought about developing wearable technology that could feed this kind of infrastructure to give these predictive insights, to help you know ahead of time the balances in your body, how to steer away from pulling a muscle or stop yourself getting an injury, or just how to live better.

What are you doing differently to other wearable tech companies?   

Firstly, we don’t want to be known as a wearables company. Wearables, either Prevayl™-owned or Prevayl™-enabled, is the initial vehicle to feed data on the human body into our unique platform.

Through the development of the Prevayl™ platform, we’re creating a heath-tech ecosystem that provides human insights in line with the data recorded by the wearables. We view Prevayl as a health insights provider.

One key thing we’re doing is not closing ourselves off. We could see other businesses in this space as competition, but actually through our platform they can work with us to improve their own offering. That’s one main difference.

Secondly, everything now is focused on historic information that you have to download and react to. What we’re trying to do is create information streaming in real-time so you can react on it in real-time. With the AI we’re applying comes the idea of a pre-emptive diagnosis and vital signposts towards a healthier, more informed life.

Our wearables are also different. They’re something you can interact with daily, that won’t run out of battery in an hour, or that you have to consciously activate. These are clothes that you wear every single day, and from brands that you already wear. You can wash them, work, go out and train in them. You don’t have to make a conscious choice.

Where do you see the business in the future?

I see us as a tool that enhances peoples lives, that empowers people to take healthcare into their own hands and make conscious decisions on their lifestyles based on their own data.

I still see us being the leading provider in biometric data, but the changes will be in how we visualise and interact with this information, enabling everyone to create their own personalised health eco-system.  

Now we need phones, in five years’ time there may not be any use of phones, but everyone is always going to wear clothes. 

By 2025 it’s expected that at least 10% of the apparel market will be connected and constantly receiving information from your body. 

The likes of immersive reality will potentially be how we interpret it.   

How important is data for the future of healthcare?   

Data and self-monitoring is the future of healthcare.

People will be able to make informed decisions and will be able to act fast ahead of time. There’ll be no miss-diagnosis. Real-time information will be key.

How can the use of the Prevayl™ eco-system help people to be better in the long run?

The biodata in our platform is just one aspect of it. This will provide amazing insights on its own.

It’s when you look at the information from the rest of your life that you really see the potential.

When you look at your sleeping pattern, how many emails you answer in a day, your driving and travelling habits, as well as your spending habits. By building up this holistic view in one platform, you’ll be able to understand your health and emotional behaviour. There isn’t another platform in the world that can offer that.

What is the ultimate goal for Prevayl™?  

I want to immerse people in their own healthcare information so that they can interact with it and make judgements that steer them towards the right decisions, that is always based on informed decisions regarding their own health data.

Clothing is our initial method of data capture from the body as it’s something that people can wear day in day out. The vision is a wardrobe full of connective and enabled clothing that betters your life.

This is just the start.

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