Neil Chivers was recently appointed as CEO at Chorus Intelligence. We sat down with him to find out a bit more about his career, life, achievements and biggest motivators.
1. Tell us a bit about you. What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
I live in Cambridgeshire, UK and am married with two daughters. In 2021, I also became a grandfather for the first time.
I started work in 1991 working for a local authority administering the Poll Tax, then Council Tax and Housing Benefits. Dealing with the public on an often emotive subject gave me a fantastic grounding on how to deal with people at a young age.
I decided to gain a degree level professional qualification between 1994 and 1998 to help me progress my career and it was one of the best decisions I made.
I was promoted numerous times until in 2004 I decided that the time was right to make the move to the private sector and have been working in software companies ever since. My roles have spanned Project Management, Operations Management and latterly Business Development and Sales. The combination of this experience led me to Chorus Intelligence in August 2020. I am now the CEO of this great company.
2. When not being a CEO, what do you like to do?
My family is at the centre of my non-Chorus universe, I spend as much time as I can with them – we also have a 6-year-old Labradoodle called Dougie. I am an early riser, so I like to get to the gym or go for a long walk before work to get ready for what crosses my desk through the day!
I am an avid Manchester United fan and the last few years have been a barren time, this season seems to have promise at the time of writing though.
3. How did the position of CEO of Chorus come about?
The Founder and now Executive Chairman of Chorus (Boyd Mulvey) asked me to take up the position of CEO in the latter part of 2022. Obviously, I accepted without hesitation.
Chorus is a great company, with dedicated people and a very important mission. This mission is not only about the growth of our organisation but to fully support and assist our clients in the work that they do with digital investigations.
I firmly believe that we will continue our success story over the coming years, and I will do my utmost to help our people and our clients to meet their objectives.
4. What motivates you?
There are several things that motivate me. I want to win; I want our team to win, and I want our clients to win. Our client advocacy is awe inspiring and we must continue with that. Growing our market share in the UK and North America is facilitated by that set of principles.
We put a great deal of emphasis on developing our people and already we have several individuals and teams that have either taken on new senior roles or wider remits. Anything that I can do to facilitate that development is very motivating for me.
5. What has been the biggest achievement of your career?
This is a very difficult question to answer as I think there have been a few but they are all relative to the various stages of my career to date. So, in general terms the achievements that have given me greatest pride are as follows:
• Leading a large local authority team in my mid-20s;
• Winning a few multi-million deals in sales;
• Establishing Chorus in North America across 2021 and 2022.
I should also say that being asked to be CEO of Chorus trumps all of this, shouldn’t I!
6. What is the best way to build a great team?
I think that there are several components that make up a great team, these are just a few and I am sure that there are more:
a. Ensure that everyone contributes and understands the Vision and Mission of the team
b. Create a sense of belonging and comradery
c. Try your absolute best to make sure that values are aligned
d. Be sure that a wide range of skills are in the team and that perspectives can be and will be challenged to underpin the Vision and Mission
e. Facilitate and include views from various personalities
7. How do you motivate people to go the extra mile?
I am not a firm believer on “going the extra mile”. I just want to embody a team with a winning mentality and approach that embodies everything we do, throughout every day that is available to us.
At the heart of this is the establishment of a growth mindset. This is not just about revenue or profit growth but for individuals and teams to approach every part of their work with this mindset at its heart.
I am also a great believer in curiosity – every team member should be naturally curious – this could be curiosity to work out what a client’s problem is so we can genuinely position our solution through to curiosity to solve an operational problem like a software bug.
These are two quotes I like that remind me of the importance of a growth mindset and an approach to motivation:
“Since most problems are created by our imagination and are thus imaginary, all we need are imaginary solutions”. Dr Richard Bandler
“Motivation gets you out of bed in the morning. Drive keeps you moving further and faster than you ever thought possible”. David Goggins
For more information on the appointment of Mr Chivers, please see the official press release