#TeamHable Interview with Managing Director Sean O’Shea

Our Managing Director, Sean O’Shea joined #TeamHable in January 2019. As he reaches the end of his first year with us, he takes some time to reflect and look ahead to his vision for Hable’s future.

Hi Sean! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. We can’t wait to share your insights. Let’s start by learning more about your move to Hable. What attracted you to the company? 

Having worked in Microsoft for ten years, I’ve seen the evolution of Office 365, from the humble beginnings of Live@edu and Exchange Online to BPOS, and finally, to the incredible platform it is today.  Over that time, one thing was always consistent; lots of emphasis was placed on buying and deploying the tech but not enough on its impact on people.  The potential of Office 365 to change how people work is fantastic, but to reach that potential you need to put people first, not the technology.  Having felt passionately that more could be done about this for a number of years, I decided to do something about it myself!  

Hable stood out to me for a number of reasons.  Firstly, they focused on people, not technology, which is unlike a lot of companies who try and do both for their customers.  Secondly, Hable started as a group of people passionate about education and learning, and they carried that into every industry they worked in. Focusing on how people learn and creating the best environment for them to do so is fascinating, and for me it’s the difference between successful change management and another failed IT project. Lastly, Hable have been doing this for 5 years, so they’ve built a deep level of experience and expertise in this area. I knew I could learn a huge amount from some amazing people whilst doing a job that I loved, so it was a no brainer! 

Like Mark, you used to work for Microsoft. I’m sure there are many differences working for a smaller business, what are the positives for you? 

I really enjoyed my time at Microsoft and I have so many positive memories.  Microsoft are a crucial partner for Hable, so now I actually have the best of both worlds – seeing former colleagues and creating new ways to engage their customers while experiencing something so different with Hable.  Any smaller company has more opportunity to be flexible and creative in ways that larger companies may not, so that excites me.  You learn so much at Microsoft and it surprised me how much I was able to apply to my new role at Hable. Developing an inclusive culture that retains and attracts talent whilst providing the best environment for growth, deciding what company values are core to the company we want to create and work in, focusing on bringing in diversity of personalities, experience and perspective and constantly challenging yourself to have an open mindset are all lessons I took from Microsoft. The difference now is that I’m able to apply them in new ways as we grow Hable.  

Any stand-out moments for you since you joined the Hable team? 

 So many!  I genuinely have said “this was me at my best” in the last 12 months more than I’ve ever done in my career to date.  It’s a real lesson for me on the importance of first understanding what it is you love doing, then crafting a career out of that.  

Can you tell us a bit about the company culture at Hable? What is it like being part of the team? 

We’re creating a company that respects and learns from each other.  A services company that is geographically spread across the country, and one that provides flexibility to work when you want to, from whatever location suits you is positive in so many ways, but it means that we have to be deliberate on creating connections and opportunities to learn and share.  To continue to grow and be successful, we need to achieve more than the sum of our parts, and the only way that we can do that is through collective intelligence.  That means people need to be open, and willing to help others. It requires a mindset where knowledge isn’t hoarded and the success of peers isn’t seen as a threat to you. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved at Hable to date, and that is 100% because of the people we have. I can’t wait to see who else joins #TeamHable over the next 12 months! 

“I have genuinely said, “this was me at my best” more in the last 12 months than I’ve ever done in my career to date. It’s been a real lesson for me on the importance of understanding what you love doing first, then crafting a career from there.”

As the Managing Director, what impact do you hope to have within the Hable team looking forward to the next five years? 

 My priority is to focus on our people and culture first, in order to provide the best environment for us to grow and maintain the quality of service that we’ve provided so far. Secondly, I’ll continue to focus on developing our Microsoft partnership at all levels as a key partner to Hable. I also will continue to spend as much time as I can with our customers. The best way for me to make strategic decisions for Hable is to continue to understand the reality for our customers, and so whether that’s Change Management Consulting, Training Workshops or Floorwalking, I’ll continue to dedicate time to that.  

And what impact do you hope Hable can have on the world in the next five years? 

More organisations feeling that they have great value from their investment in Office 365, and more people feeling like they love the technology they’re provided with at work 😊. 

“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved at Hable to date, and that is 100% because of the people we have. I can’t wait to see who else joins #TeamHable over the next 12 months!”