How Shaking Up the Power Structure Has Helped Psyche Succeed


On today’s podcast, we are joined by the founder and owner of Psyche Systems, Bob Sage. The humble beginnings of Bob’s company began in 1976 when Bob found himself as a contract programmer. First, he worked on creating different lab systems that interfaced with specific instruments. Then word got around, and Bob found himself working for larger hospitals. So, he figured everything there was to know about labs and had some great successes.

Then the company he was contracting with decided they’d move forward without him. And Bob didn’t have a computer. “Back then computers were extremely expensive. I attempted to get a loan from the bank for one, but they passed. So, I was able to meet up with a man who was looking to invest in a small company, and things took off.”

The company experienced significant growth and profitability, but things fell apart around 1987. “We had a few tough years. We were in debt. But we adjusted, started over, and I’ve never borrowed money since then.”

Bob also shared where the name Psyche came from. “It started with thinking about a butterfly and their metamorphosis, so that became the symbol. Then I learned that the butterfly was also the symbol of the goddess Psyche. So, it just made sense.”

The company took another turn when Bob was experimenting with object-oriented programming. “That type of programming is very good at modeling. So, I started to model the company within the program and looking at the hierarchy, and it became clear to me that all the lines within the hierarchy weren’t necessary. Instead, all the groups of people became teams. I knew that teams were the best way to get anything done. These teams didn’t need managers telling them what to do. They did need leaders, but it was kind of like bringing democracy to the corporate culture.”

Bob admits this wasn’t an immediate hit. “People didn’t like it. They complained. We had a lot of turnover. Then we brought in new people that were more in tune with this way of working, plus, it was already in place, so they didn’t have to transition.”

What happened next? How did this new way of thinking revolutionize the company? Listen to the podcast to hear more about Psyche Systems and Bob’s story.

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