Tim Wren is the Commercial Director for BSI Group Americas, responsible for strategic growth and key customer programs for the past 2 years. Tim joined BSI 4 years ago as the Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for Certification, Training and CE mark business throughout the Americas, leading the sales, marketing, operational delivery, technical review, and compliance activities.
Prior to joining BSI, Tim held many executive and senior leader roles in both civilian and military settings. In the chemical industry, he worked as Vice President of Product Management in South America, Vice President of Environment, Safety, Health and Quality in North America, as well as Vice President of Operations and other leadership roles in the commercial and finance functions. Tim also served in the US Army as a military intelligence officer for 5 years. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Strategy from Northwestern University, as well as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The United States Military Academy (West Point).
You previously worked for companies who would be BSI clients, in a variety of roles such as Business Development, Product Management and EHS; what value did certification bring to you in your previous roles?
The certification of the businesses that I had direct responsibility for were in quality, environment and safety. Certification was valuable for our clients and prospective clients as the certificate associated with completing successful audits was a signal to our clients that we had strong practices and followed them across our global organization. Certification also helped us qualify for many pieces of business as proof of utilizing best practices and consistent performance. Additionally, as a leader in the organization, it helped me identify where the opportunities for improvement were and areas that my team and I may want to spend more time on to reduce risks in our business.
What makes BSI so strong at helping our clients build organizational resilience?
BSI has been working to help organization improve and build resilience since its beginning in 1901. BSI is unique in its ability to leverage its knowledge of best practice standards, transfer the knowledge to our clients and then continue with them on that journey through implementation as objective experts auditing or helping them through implementation as consultants. The structure and alignment of BSI is designed to help companies build resilience in key areas of supply chain, information and operational resilience. Leveraging the expertise of our teams, BSI can accelerate an organization’s learning curve globally and consistently. We work with our clients individually to address the specific area of resilience they are in need of assistance and helps them along their journey.
Why is Organizational Resilience (OR) important to our clients?
Organizational resilience is important to our clients because it is the measure of an organization’s ability to not only survive but to prosper long-term. It’s a holistic framework to manage risk, react to incidents and plan for an organization’s future success. All organizations have 4 things in common: leadership, processes, products and people. The characteristics of each of those determine the state of an organization’s resilience. Companies continually adjust these areas to remain relevant in the market. For instance, they may adjust its product line to be relevant to the marketplace or create a competitive advantage; they may change their leadership vision and purpose to be more relevant to investors and attract employees; they may adjust processes to increase their speed to market and reduce cost; or they may change their training of employees to drive best practice or upskill them to help drive new growth. OR is important because everyday decisions as well as big decisions impact the current stability and the future sustainability of an organization.
As a leader you continually focus on the concept of one team and one goal. Can you share why this is so important for success at BSI? For our clients?
I actually like to say “One team, One Fight!” I enjoy being a part of and leading teams. That is the main reason as I looked for a post-military career, I was attracted to business. As a young athlete I had the privilege to be a part of great teams. As a young military officer, I was a small part of a big team that was able to accomplish great things through the efforts and work of many individuals. As a mature business leader, I’ve seen global teams take on a challenge, develop a solution, and implement that solution and exceed expectations. I’ve also seen failure of teams and organizations along the way. My observation is that no matter how good a solution is, if the people executing the solution don’t act as a team, it will not meet expectations. On the flip side, I’ve seen some poorly conceived ideas exceed expectations because the alignment of the team and the commitment of each individual to the cause. As individuals we can be good and even great, but as a team, those individuals, aligned can exceed any individual expectations. There is great power in being a part of a team with an aligned goal where people are pulling all together and provide discretionary effort to help others on the team. I can’t say that this is required to be successful as there are companies that one would describe as successful where this behavior is not exhibited. However, I have never seen any company, client or employer, that acts with this mindset that isn’t successful.
In your opinion, what is 'next normal' and how does BSI help our clients be prepared for and/or successful during this phase?
I think the “next normal” is that there is an everchanging normal more quickly than ever before. In developing thought on organizational resilience and researching the tenure of companies on public indices, I was surprised at the fact that in 1965 in the S&P 500 index the average company was listed for 33 years and, after approximately 50 years, that has changed to right around 20 years. The trend is that tenure of public companies will continue to get shorter. I interpret that trend as a stronger influence of uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the market that requires more agility for BSI and our clients. Looking together as partners to anticipate needs and address them will differentiate vendors from solution providers. BSI will continue to share best practice through standards and leverage that knowledge to accelerate the learnings of our clients. Being at the forefront of shaping best practice with our clients and innovating with them will ensure both BSI’s and our client’s resilience.