The power of peer advantage: MASS Communications
When Darren Mass, Marc Gold and David L. Schwed came together and started their company MASS Communications, they were already using the power of peer advantage to change the game in the telecom industry. The trio was committed to creating an innovative model that would set them apart from competitors by attracting a loyal and active customer base, while establishing a company culture that put its people first.
All three of them were passionate about delivering an experience that went above and beyond in how they cultivated relationships with customers, vendors, and most importantly, their employees. They were, in fact, their own kind of peer advisory group, dedicated to building a company that inspired more than just transactional engagement.
“We had a genius idea that we could do it better than any of the other companies in our space,” says Mass, who is the company’s CEO. “We wanted to be not only customer service based, but to also go above and beyond when taking care of our customers — because we truly care about them.”
To do that, they would take the same collaborative, group-oriented approach they used to start their business and weave it throughout the cultural fabric of the company. In practical terms, they’ve fostered an environment where any and every employee can bring a new idea to the table, with a better than reasonable chance that it will move forward (if it’s appropriate and makes sense). Transparency and open-door policies help ensure that everyone feels included and invested in the overall direction and future of the company.
In just eight years, Mass, Gold and Schwed have not only created the structure and discipline needed to bring out each others’ “genius” in evolving the company’s systems and processes as the company grows; they encourage their team to do the same.And now, they’re maximizing that peer advantage effect outside of their firm.
As fairly new Vistage members (all three joined in the last year), they’re already reaping some of the benefits that come with having an objective network of peers who are facing, or have faced, similar issues and challenges.
No matter what the makeup of the group, peers are there to provide a sounding board for making tough decisions and helping to navigate through times of uncertainty. The group operates as an inner circle of advisors who listen, help troubleshoot and offer validation for your experiences. With diverse backgrounds and a mix of industries represented, top execs often see an increase in revenue complemented by a decrease in costs as result. Perhaps even more importantly, the strong bonds that are formed with other members, in a space that is safe, allow members to return to their offices with a fresh and re-energized perspective.
“I couldn’t even quantify how much I’ve learned. I’m the guy that goes to these meetings and brings back ideas the next day,” says Gold, who is president and COO of MASS Comm. “And we’re all exposed to different Chairs and different groups so we have three different perspectives but can speak in a similar language when learning and sharing new concepts. We’ve grown a lot as an organization since joining Vistage.”
For more powerful stories of peer advantage, check out the new The Power of Peers or leave your story in the comments below.