IT and Culture with Bobby Hopewell from MHR

We want to go to work in a place that we actually enjoy, right? That’s something culture is all about and there are a lot of organizations realizing it’s not just about checking the boxes for necessary features when we make these IT decisions.

During Build IT Together in May of 2015, we spoke with Zach DeYoung of Maestro, Elanor Riley of Bell’s Brewing, and Bobby Hopewell of Medical Health Resources, to get 3 different perspectives on how IT can impact company culture (and visa-versa). Bobby Hopewell is the CEO of Medical Health Resources and the mayor of Kalamazoo, and he shared his experience, empowering MHR culture technologically, through the employment of an IT provider. In the last installment of a 3 part series, here’s a recap of Bobby’s talk from the event.

Building culture from the ground up

“I’ve only been CEO at MHR since 2014. We’re a small company, just about 12 individuals in Lansing. I’ve had to find ways to change the dynamics of how we deliver service, our expectations from technology within the organization—the group there had more or less settled for what was in place.

I’ve had to find ways to change the dynamics of how we deliver service, our expectations from technology within the organization—their culture previously depended on the CEO for everything. He was the CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO, any and all of the other C’s. My board of directors, which is made up of 7 ambulance companies, was enlightened when I walked in and said “I’m not doing all that.”

A technologically empowered team

“It really has been this changing culture in that you can ask for help—you don’t have to be afraid of walking in the office and saying “hey, the printer’s broken again, do you think maybe we could get a new one?” When it comes to technology, we now have a go-to guy—Luke at Newmind Group—who can give good advice on all those things.

I’m a paramedic by trade, so I’m used to going in and solving challenges, or at least preparing for a solution, and I’ve found myself using my medic skills more often than CEO skills, to help them understand that it’s a new day—we can be comfortable with asking questions, addressing what needs and opportunities there are. I think it’s freaky for some of them, too—feeling empowered to address opportunities on their own, rather than waiting for leadership to direct their attention.”

 
This type of empowerment is what Build IT Together is all about—encouraging your team to tackle new problems, without being afraid to ask for advice along the way. Want to learn more about culture and IT? Check out previous recaps from our Build IT Together culture series!

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About

Daniel Proczko has been working with organizations and individuals to build & grow the entrepreneur community of Kalamazoo, MI. From organizing TEDx events, hack-a-thons, and documentary screenings to engaging with business leaders, Dan strives to inspire individuals with new ideas and better thinking. Having always been interested in tech and understanding the value of innovation through IT, communicating the importance of strategic IT thinking is one of Dan's primary goals within Newmind Group.