There are several ways one can view an obstacle. It can either be a roadblock or deterrent to your ultimate goal, or it can merely serve as a bump in the road. Those with big-picture perspective will opt for the latter, every time out. Glenn Laverty, senior vice president, Ricoh Americas Marketing and president and CEO of Ricoh Canada, is one of those who absolutely refuses to be deterred.
“We set our course and we won’t be denied our goals,” said Laverty, a 2017 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “Timing may shift, but if we plan and execute well, we achieve what we plan. I’m pretty matter-of-fact about that. If you have a grasp of the facts and a sound, well-aligned strategy, structure and people, it drives momentum and success.”
Having that strategy, structure and people in place has helped facilitate Ricoh’s services transformation, a navigational process that has proven chaotic yet rewarding for Laverty. He feels fortunate to be standing shoulder to shoulder with teammates who are energized by the degree of change, transformation and innovation taking place.
It’s been a long and winding journey in the office technology for Laverty. Upon graduating from Western University in London, Ontario, he spent nearly 10 years as a sales manager for Xerox Canada, also based in London. Laverty then started his own business, Titan Office Equipment, which he operated for more than four and a half years.
His career with Ricoh Canada kicked off in 1994 when he took a position as a branch manager. Since then, he’s held a number of positions ranging from vice president of marketing to general manager and vice president of direct operations. He was named to his current roles in 2008.
Along the way, Laverty has garnered several nuggets of wisdom from individuals who have touched his life and career. One of those teachings is to make one decision at a time and resist the urge to make every call at once—otherwise, it will lead to a mess. And since business is about people, he was taught early on to constantly work on his emotional intelligence, an integral aspect of both sales and leadership.
To this day, Laverty also carries with him a poem, Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” which his mother gave to him while at Western University. “The poem speaks to what it means to be a man,” he said. “And in the context of today’s world, what it means to be a good person and a good leader. It is full of good advice on a personal level.”
Fortunately, Laverty has kept his head without all about him losing theirs during the growth of Ricoh’s services business and its go-to-market strategy. “We identified the importance of being unified in front of the customer, and began honing in on how to do about that…from how we engage customers on the front end to how we are aligned on the back end,” he said. “I think it’s a monumental milestone, one that will pay dividends and one we will look back on as a game changer.”
One of the goals moving forward is to create the borderless marketing organization that Ricoh has been developing and discussing during the past six months. As 2017 draws to a close, Laverty also wants to contribute to the globalization of marketing for Ricoh.
“You can talk about milestones for market share or revenue, but my true goal is moving the needle, getting us aligned on data and strategy, at every level. With this new approach, we can deliver an industry-best, exceptional customer experience,” he added.
Laverty is married with three adult children—a chef, a bird trainer/zoologist and a recent college graduate who has a focus on nanotechnology. Aside from travel and spending time with his family, Laverty enjoys golf and fly-fishing.