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Interview with Connie Moser

CEO of Navenio

Connie Moser is the CEO of software company Navenio, one of the 2022 UK Technology Fast 50 Women in Leadership winners.

Navenio has developed infrastructure-free indoor location solutions - built on research from the University of Oxford - that utilise existing smartphone devices to localise people, transforming workforce productivity in healthcare.

Having spent 33 years working in healthcare for companies ranging from SMEs to huge corporates like McKesson, Connie’s journey has been focused primarily on creating workforce efficiency, patient throughput, productivity and supply chain logistics.

Since winning the Women in Leadership award last year, how have the last 12 months been for Navenio?

I've got a great team who have been able to evolve from a research company to a commercial company. You’ve got to make it ready for scale, make sure it's stable, make sure you have quality services, and that you understand what markets you're looking at.

We also completed the NHS Innovation Award in the last year, and we were one of the few companies to be able to fully complete that with validated outcomes by the NHS. We’ve decreased our deployment from nine months to nine weeks. Full scale, full stack in nine weeks. We've been able to improve task volumes by almost double, and up to 94% in some cases. We’ve decreased the response time of our service providers by 31%.

What’s most important about those stats is that people are getting in the beds quicker – and if that nurse can orchestrate care and collaborate more efficiently, then you can get the patient out quicker. The patient has a better experience, and the staff has a better experience.

How do you motivate a team who are making the shift from a university spin-out to something that’s much more commercial?

There’s a lot of teaching, and it also requires patience which sometimes I don't have – but over time, you’ve got to figure out how to empower them to embrace it and to evolve. If they come to me with a problem, I ask, “What would you do about it?” They may say, “I don't know, I'm coming to you with the problem.” But if I answer the question, I’m going to be wrong 50% of the time. They’re in the position and therefore closer to the answer, but I will help them debate and work through it.

Because of my experience, I have different perspectives, but I don't necessarily have the right answer. I ask them to come in with three options, including their recommended option, and then we debate it.

Once they realise the value of that, then you become more of a team. They also realise their value and I get so much more out of it. In a company, you need to figure out the right chemistry, with the right people in the right positions, and you move them around a little bit to get that interaction going. I also had to get them to believe and trust in collaboration across departments. It's amazing how even in a small company, you get siloed. Now they cross lines. They trust each other which is critical for scale and for quality, frankly.

Navenio has recently raised some funding. The last time you raised was in 2021 when cash was king - how did you approach this differently in 2023?

Be realistic about value right now, because you may never see the multiples or the valuations you got two to three years ago.

Being focused on what you are going to do with the money is critical. For us it's scale, it's sales, it's marketing, it's UK, it's US, it's looking at other potential geographies - but proof of concept in them.

How, if at all, has your ambition for Navenio changed since you joined as CEO early last year?

I believe this absolutely could be a $100 million company in a few years. What we need to do to get there is scale. We are ready commercially – now we’re focused on marketing and sales. This is such transformative technology that when it catches, it will skyrocket. Nobody else does indoor mapping with just their phone. If they do, they only do it with an Apple phone. We use Apple and Android.

When I came in, the company was still in that research phase, trying to figure out how to get to the commercial phase. Practical realism is where I'm at right now for the next three years until we get more of a bite of the market, and we’ve got some really good direct sales guys and channel partners to help us do that. There are two roads: there’s direct to healthcare and there's channel partner to healthcare. We're using both, and that's why I believe in the growth that we can get to.

What’s been the most surprising aspect of this role?

Everyone's been really welcoming. That's wonderful because as a female, that’s not always the case – especially when you're coming in from the outside. I was also coming from the US into a UK company, so I was prepared for a little bit of resistance. I didn't get any of that.

We have a very diverse organisation, which I love.

"When you're younger and you're trying to figure out your leadership skills, you want people that are more like you than different because it's easier. But that isn't good for growth."

Diversity of background, experience, and thought is what makes a company grow. Pulling diversity of thought out of each individual is hard work, but it's rewarding when people can feel safe enough to give their opinion in a constructive way.

What advice would you share for future CEOs of high growth companies?

Women in leadership positions have natural soft skill sets. Use them, and don’t be afraid of them. It's almost like writing and speaking. You're working on it every single day – some days you are really good at it and some days you just aren't. You need to allow yourself that grace and say, “You know what? I interacted with that person absolutely in the wrong way,” and go back at it the next day. The secret ingredients are the chemistry of the team and the empowerment of the team.

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