During the past two decades I have witnessed hundreds of CEO presentations – at industry events, private equity conferences and venture capital fairs.  At some point during the talk, there is a high probability the CEO will break out the hockey stick growth chart to illustrate the dynamic and sustained revenue rise the company has achieved.

I anticipated the inclusion of the hockey stick during MAXIMUS CEO, Rich Montoni’s, talk to ACG National Capital members this past Friday at the Tower Club in McLean, VA.  Although it certainly would have been appropriate, thankfully Montoni steered clear of the cliché and focused his comments on how this publicly traded provider of health and human services for government customers has been disciplined and effective in its business execution.

Here are a few quotes that illustrate the most salient points from Montoni’s talk:

“Growing to $1B in annual revenue is often the most stressful stage in corporate maturation.  The business typically transforms from entrepreneurial to being professionally managed.  Executives must be experienced at managing risk, as well as managing opportunity.”

When commenting on the company’s growth from $600M in annual revenue to $2.5B during the past 10 years.  “We have two strategic pillars at MAXIMUS, each defined by focus.  We have focused our service offerings on business process services in the health and human services markets for government customers because it is a big market opportunity due to population growth, aging populations and more complex health needs.  Second, we have a risk management strategy that involves getting things right the first time and ensuring the potential reward validates the risk.”

“We have emphasized three priorities in running the business. First, we must keep our existing customers.  Customer satisfaction is the foundation of any business.  Second, we must find new market segments or new capabilities that can be promoted to existing customers.  This was the rationale behind MAXIMUS’ move to international markets.  And finally, use smart acquisitions to enter new business lines.”

“I always remind people that the two most important assets are not on the MAXIMUS balance sheet – customers and employees.”

This article was contributed by Marc Hausman, the President and CEO of Strategic Communications Group, a B2B marketing agency that connects engagement to demand for clients in the technology, software, security, professional services, healthcare and financial services industries.

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