TXI’s CEO on Evolving as a Leader and Building a More Resilient Business

Episode Overview

About the Guest

Mark Rickmeier is CEO of Table XI (now TXI), a digital consultancy that gives organizations a pragmatic, human-centered approach to strategy, design, and solution delivery.

If you’re looking for a partner to close the gap between your digital ambitions and reality, learn more about TXI at https://txidigital.com/

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In this episode, Mark shares how TXI overcame a serious customer concentration issue, a formula for sales that works for professional services companies like TXI, and a wealth of leadership lessons.

Topics by Timestamp



3:10 An explanation of pragmatic, human-centered design
5:18 Becoming CEO and both rising to the role and tailoring it to his strengths
11:10 Designing TXI’s sales function
18:41 Elevating from operational lead to visionary CEO
23:55 Key success factors for TXI going forward     
  • Managing Stress
  • Redesigning a compelling culture that is both inclusive and distributed first aSynchronous communication
  • Making remote work practices more efficient
  • 26:13 Redesigning for a distributed-first employee model
    32:40 Overcoming Customer Concentration Risk of Existential Proportions
    38:52 Ops. Conf. (aka Operations Conference) creates next-level “coopetition” between software design firms and provides a solution to TXI’s knowledge, people, and even client acquisition gaps. Its success evolves into a new company, Walk Shop.
    46:31 Mark shares his hindsight Become comfortable with being uncomfortable, sooner Delegate and elevate soonerThe importance of Vision, not just operational guidance


    Management lessons within the guest’s experiences:

    1. Company growth is dependent on its leadership’s ability to grow: That doesn’t just mean learning, but assessing their own abilities, interests and becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable step of delegating to someone more motivated or able. Speed in this practice is also essential. “People associate busyness with value when it’s not the case at all” – Mark Rickmeier
    2. Customer choice and company ethos (mission, vision, culture) need to align, or one will leave, and both are expensive to replace.
    3. Vision and Mission affect business results.
    • When you lead with the company’s plan rather than the vision, you limit success to your own imagination rather than to the collective skills, talents, and ambitions of your workforce
    • True leaders expect you to let them lead rather than telling them what to do
    • The majority of the people in a business do not see a financial windfall from the company’s success and providing a higher sense of purpose motivates people to apply themselves (and others) in a more focused and productive way.
    4. The only way to overcoming client concentration is to increase the effectiveness of marketing and sales, however addressing dependencies to financial strength (e.g. low margin work, A/R outstanding) is an important “readiness” activity.
    5. Culture is the sum total of an organization’s rituals, stories, and shared experiences. Shaping culture, for the post-pandemic workplace or otherwise, requires intentionally revising those rituals, experiences, and lore.


    Resources mentioned in the episode: