Growing, for Good: It’s All About Purpose, People, and Partnerships

An interview with reSolved founder Malcolm Klotz about what’s shaping the company’s dynamic and sustainable growth.

In 2007, Malcolm Klotz was consulting on a project for a client and thinking about what he was going to do next. Then the client approached him with their latest ‘puzzle’ – because Malcolm has a reputation for solving puzzles of all kinds. They had acquired a new and powerful software platform, but nobody in the organization knew much about it.

Little did Malcolm realize that solving his client’s puzzle would take him on an incredible entrepreneurial journey. Later that year, Malcolm founded reSolved, a startup tech advisory and implementation services provider. Fast forward sixteen years: That client is still a client and reSolved has become one of the Canada’s fastest growing SaaS technology services companies. It’s a dynamic, diverse organization that powers purpose for some of the largest, high profile NGOs, corporations, government agencies, universities, and research institutions in 100 countries around the world.

We had a chance to talk with Malcolm about reSolved’s growth, and to hear his take.

reSolved has experienced incredible growth. What factors have contributed most to the growth of the company?

In my view, it can be attributed to three things: purpose, partnerships, and people.

Our purpose: We like to say that we’re growing, for good. This gets to the heart of our purpose, which is to partner with organizations that do good and help them be better. We empower our clients with technology, delivering solutions that make their processes more efficient and enable their people to be more effective, which helps them deliver greater impact. We’re fortunate to be in the business of helping organizations make positive change and knowing that our work makes a difference drives us. We go the extra mile for clients and work hard to exceed their expectations.

Our partnerships: Great alliances are essential to success when you are in the business of implementing technology. The technology we use matters because it can make or break our clients’ effectiveness. We work with best-in-class solutions, and we know there is no limit to what our clients can accomplish whether it is to meet their needs now or in years to come. But a partnership is so much more than that. When done well, together partners create greater impact for clients than when they work separately. This is how we strive to work with our partners. Our strengths complement each other, and we collaborate to achieve the best solutions and outcomes for our shared clients.

Our people: Our people thrive in diverse teams and teamwork is at the center of everything we do. Our people love solving problems and developing solutions to complex challenges, as change is a constant for our clients. Every day, our team members bring their knowledge, along with curiosity, collaborative spirit, integrity, and accountability forward to work with our clients. These shared values have been essential to our success. Without our incredible people, we would not be where we are today.

What are some of the challenges reSolved’s clients face and how do you help them?

Our clients are organizations that do good. Whether it’s addressing social justice, tackling climate change, finding ways to eradicate disease or support the arts, the organizations we work with operate in a complex landscape with increased urgency, constrained resources, and limited funding. Their ability to make data-driven decisions and demonstrate impact on their investments is an essential differentiator that makes them stand out. To be more effective in pursuit of their missions, our clients are collaborating more closely with their stakeholders (including other funders, employees, volunteers, nonprofits, and the individuals and communities they serve) to work on shared challenges and causes.

These factors, along with a laser focus on addressing issues of access and equity among their stakeholders, have sparked and accelerated digital transformation initiatives, prompting funders to rethink strategy, redesign processes, and implement more flexible solutions. Technology has advanced to meet these needs, but the deployment of it is often accompanied by a complex or unique set of requirements. This is where we come in, and how we have provided value to our clients. reSolved is adept at understanding both the business and the technology issues. We have a knack for “untangling the knots” and developing right-sized, future-focused solutions that can evolve as clients’ needs change and grow.

You’ve said that partnerships are paramount. reSolved has a long-standing alliance with SmartSimple. How did it start and why is it so successful?

How it started: We have a strong, fifteen-plus year partnership with SmartSimple, a leading developer of cloud-based automation and collaboration technology. It started when SmartSimple needed a partner that could handle bespoke, complex implementations. While we support organizations of all shapes and sizes, our reputation, along with our deep market and technical know-how, made reSolved exceptionally well-suited to do this particular type of work.

Why it’s successful: Across our two companies, we possess a set of shared values, and above all, respect for our clients and each other. We find that working together – it just works! Our organizational strengths are complementary, and we partner seamlessly at all operational levels from sales to support, working hand in hand to support our clients’ success.

How has your custom work for specific clients led to better solutions for all clients?

Building the right solution sometimes involves looking beyond what is possible with current technology and developing complementary solutions. In our work to meet some of our clients’ unique challenges, we have extended the functionality of the SmartSimple Cloud platform with tailored products, features, and integrations. When it’s possible, we take a sector-wide view of the challenge or requirement and devise a solution for not just one client and its community but rather the community-at-large. These value-added solutions allow a larger segment of clients to take their systems further, harness more insights, and work more efficiently and effectively to create greater impact. Our business has changed and grown substantially as a result, and we have a robust team that works with clients to implement these types of enhancements.

What are some recent trends that have influenced the company’s strategic direction?

Our clients want to see their technology investments translate into a strong experience for their users – staff, applicants, and grantees alike. In our work to implement technology and train and support our clients’ users, we have a good sense for what works and what doesn’t. In recent years, we saw something that wasn’t working, and by all accounts it was a widespread and expensive problem.

As clients deployed the latest features, rolled out process improvements or implemented new technology, many users were having a really hard time. They were struggling with so much change. What’s worse, traditional approaches weren’t working. Training wasn’t sticking, and users were reaching out for help more often, straining resources and creating inefficiencies.

Our journey to find better change management solutions for our clients led us to digital adoption platforms. We found them to be very effective in helping accelerate user adoption of technology. We partnered with WalkMe, whose mission is to fundamentally transform the productivity of humanity by harnessing the power of technology. There has been a great deal of interest in our digital adoption solutions. To meet our clients’ needs, we have added new team members with digital adoption expertise and cross-trained existing team members to support them, as we anticipate the need for digital adoption solutions to increase in scope and intensity.

reSolved’s growth has been rapid, and it has been global, with clients in 100 countries. How has this influenced your hiring strategy?

When you’re building a team for growth, you need the right people, at the right times. You need a blend of technical and business expertise. Blue-sky visionaries and end-to-end systems thinkers. Architects and analysts. People to seize opportunity, and people to build the infrastructure that can support it. It’s a delicate balance, and you need these things in different doses at different stages in the business. We’ve been really planful about our people and the skills we needed at certain stages of our growth. It has enabled us to make good talent investments – the right people, at the right time, for the right roles.

Due to the nature of the services we offer and our expertise in handling complex business requirements, reSolved has had an international focus from its inception – our clients tend to be large organizations and the solutions we implement are deployed around the globe. We have been committed to employee diversity since our founding, and our team hails from around the world, bringing the benefit of a global perspective to every client. In recent years, we have also expanded our operations beyond Canada to the US and Europe.

Is there one behavior or mindset that you look for in every team member?

We have a culture that is centered around continuous improvement. We’re all committed to it. When we recognize the need to do something better, we act. We bring teams together to solution challenges, for our clients and for our business. We believe that this is one of the most important things we can do to ensure our continued growth and satisfaction for our clients and our team members – to listen, to hear, and to act. And we’re always considering how we can do this better, because we believe that this is one of the most important behaviors that sets an organization apart and can make it a truly exceptional one. This is who we strive to be, so this is what we look for in our people.

How do you measure success for the company and your team?
Success for the company is quite simple to put in words: If we are successful, our clients will recommend us as a partner to other organizations. We have been fortunate enough to receive referrals from clients and our goal is never just to simply finish a project, but to develop a successful and positive working relationship with every client. In the same way, if we are successful with our staff, we will receive referrals for their colleagues to join our organization. That is true success.

Malcolm Klotz is Founder and CTO at reSolved

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