The goals at MorphWorks this year might sound a little different than the stated objectives at a typical tech shop.
“We are hyperfocused looking at growth more as a ‘What are the challenges we can solve for our current and potential clients?’ and we know that the revenue growth will follow,” said founder and CEO Chris Oglesby. “For 2019, we are asking, ‘What challenges have we solved for our clients and can we use that to support others?’”
MorphWorks, which offers services in areas the company defines as technology and risk evolution, said leaders hope to gain more clients this year but, ultimately, Oglesby said, they’re looking deeper than the numbers.
“While the shutdown of 2019 did test our culture, it solidified our strategy to continue to grow our commercial space as well as helping out government organizations with their decisions on moving to the cloud, infrastructure optimization, and working the risk management side of cybersecurity needs, but ultimately looking to find cool challenges for us to support,” Oglesby said.
Oglesby was most recently senior vice president of business development for Knowledge Consulting Group, a cybersecurity services firm, which was acquired by ManTech International. He has also served as chief business development officer for Policy Studies, Inc., which was acquired by MAXIMUS, and in various sales leadership and execution roles at Electronic Data Systems (EDS/HP Enterprise Services).
The idea for MorphWorks was born over the holidays in 2016. Oglesby said he gathered his experience at different levels within different organizations — as well as running his own consulting business — and decided to bring those skills together into one cohesive effort.
“I really wanted to open a company that was focused on opportunities and work that was exciting to people,” he said. “I really wanted something for people to be able to sink their teeth into and projects that were professionally challenging … The other side was really trying to help organizations work through some of the challenges in today’s technology environment where everything is moving so fast. I wanted to work with organizations to map out a plan around the technology, the process and the organization to best meet their needs.”
The plan that emerged involved tying the goals of professional satisfaction and client satisfaction together into MorphWorks to have “a consulting organization that allowed professionals to be challenged, helping clients drive their enterprise evolution.”
The company currently supports three organizations within the federal government as well as a slate of commercial clients.
Beyond growing its client base, MorphWorks has a focus on a “culture of execution,” Oglesby said.
“We want projects that we can complete,” he said. “We want to have something that we can hang our hat on and say, ‘We did that.’”
The “culture of execution” also drives MorphWorks’ attention to the emotional side of technology-related change. Oglesby believes in addressing those issues and helping organizations transition through them.
“The technology is so ingrained in everything we do every day,” he said. “(For example), if your email is down for a period of time, there’s a pucker factor that goes with that … If you address and understand the emotional side of what’s going on with the technology changes, the ability to change rapidly and adopt the technology solution is easier.”
Growing up near Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, Oglesby spent his summers working in the construction industry with his grandfather. His grandfather’s passion and principles continue to influence him today, he said, as does the idea of a “culture of execution.”
“In construction, until you had a structure up and everybody was satisfied with the completion, you didn’t have a past performance,” he said. “You couldn’t just build a house for 15 years and say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s my past performance.’ Well, yeah, but you never finished it. (At MorphWorks, we) start with, ‘What is the end goal? What can we execute on and complete for you?’ That is a huge part of what we see as our differentiator.”
Outside of work, Oglesby enjoys golf and attending youth sporting events with his three children. He and his wife Karen have been married for 21 years.