Driving the buisness forward with a people-management approach has been the key to success
In an industry that relies heavily on technology, machines and systems, Cameron Tuesley, managing director of specialist IT delivery firm Integral Technology Solutions, has helped drive his business through the effective management of the people behind it.
After a spell working for a US company during the dotcom era, Cameron founded Integral himself back in 2001 after spotting a segment of the market that wasn't being serviced well. He says his leadership philosophy of empowering his workforce has helped the company reach the level it is at today.
'The key is to hire good talent and let them do their thing, to let them drive the process,' he says.
'We try to really provide a free-ranging environment where people can maximise the opportunities of their work in the business, so it's quite unconstrained.'
TEC mentoring has helped to overcome challenges in changing economic conditions
Cameron also points to Integral's unique recruitment structure that allows it to leverage existing relationships to source the best talent. Integral only hires people it has worked with previously, which Cameron feels is the most efficient way to find and develop the ideal talent for his business.
'Giving people the opportunity to work with other high-quality individuals is the best way to develop young talent, it's something I'm quite passionate about,' he adds.
It's an innovative business model that definitely appears to be working, judging by the high-profile awards Integral has scooped in recent years. Just last year, the company claimed dual accolades in the environmental sector, winning both the Asia-Pacific ICT (APICT) Award and the AIIA iAward for Sustainability and Green IT.
Both awards were in recognition of Integral's Climate Smart Project, which delivered over 350,000 smart devices to homes across Queensland to help households reduce their energy consumption.
In addition to its environmental responsibility, Integral has also played its part in developing Australia's future engineers through its TeamArrow initiative. This exciting project, which ran in conjunction with other TEC members and the Queensland University of Technology, saw bright young engineering and IT talent in Australia come together to design a solar-powered vehicle for the World Solar Challenge race.
These achievements are especially remarkable when you consider the unique challenges Integral has faced in the IT sphere.
'The IT industry is a very dynamic industry, it moves rapidly and constantly,' Cameron says.
'But the big challenges we've faced recently probably aren't that different to the ones we've faced historically, which is to establish yourself within that moving market and be relevant in that market, so we are constantly changing our business to do that.'
Integral wasn't immune to the effects of the GFC either.
'IT is a discretionary spend for many businesses, so most people make do with the systems they've got if they have to,' Cameron explains.
However, he points out that the GFC did coincide with him joining TEC, and the timing could not have been better. He says the executive coaching he received has helped him and his business navigate the choppy waters of the crisis.
'TEC's been a great sounding board for our business in terms of giving me access to people that are going through similar experiences, and it really helped push us forwards with the sophistication of the way we run and manage the business,' he says.