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Entrepreneur Profile: A Conversation with Glen Bertini of Novinium

May 20, 2012

“Entrepreneur Profile: A Conversation with Glen Bertini of Novinium”, BIC Magazine, May 2012 Issue

A conversation with Glen Bertini of Novinium

Glen Bertini, president, CEO and chairman of Novinium, believes in adopting a strategy to only hire excellent people who share similar values and thrive under values-based leadership.

BIC Magazine recently visited with Bertini to learn more about Novinium’s “honesty is the best policy” school of thought in which no one ever gets in trouble for telling the truth as well as the company’s open, honest and innovative culture.

Q: What led you to start Novinium?
A: Novinium was founded in 2003 to remedy a lack of innovation in the cable rejuvenation market. I left a leadership role — at what was then the only cable rejuvenation company — when it became apparent my vision for continuous improvement (safer formulae, improved injection processes and increased product reliability) was not shared by the new corporate owners.

Q: What was your biggest start- up hardship?
A: The litigation brought on by my former employer — the monopolistic cable rejuvenation supplier — was certainly the biggest hardship both Novinium and I faced. Besides the obvious financial drain legal fees impose on a start-up, litigation is mentally and physically exhausting, and it distracts you from your normal business duties. I spent every free moment researching the public domain for “one more instance” of proof the claims being made against us were unfounded. My attorney was relentless (rightly so) in driving me to find more and more evidence that could be used in court. Sleep was a luxury that had to wait until after
the case was heard. Although I hope to never go through anything so taxing again, a lot of good came out of it. Novinium’s legitimacy was solidified by the outcome of the case, and we learned a great deal about protecting our intellectual property in the process.

Q: Are the ideals and culture of Novinium what you initially envisioned?
A: Absolutely. The company’s mission statement mirrors my personal mission statement, and because we have taken great care to hire people who have similar ideals, our culture is every bit as open, honest and innovative as I set out for it to be. We have an “honesty is the best policy” school of thought at Novinium, and no one ever gets in trouble for telling the truth. Mistakes are considered an opportunity here. We learn from them, we take precautions to avoid making them again, and we move on. Because we don’t dwell on mistakes, our employees have the confidence to try new things, to innovate and to become masters in their respective fields.

Q: Why is Novinium successful?
A: Our people are what make Novinium successful. In the early days, I hired brilliant people I knew and trusted, and after my colleagues and I exhausted our networks, we adopted a strategy to only hire excellent people who share our values and thrive under values-based leadership. At the end of each day, we judge whether we cherish our job by the mastery demonstrated by our colleagues. I look forward to each day at Novinium because I am ceaselessly amazed by my teammates.

Q: What are you reading right now?
A: I am presently reading “Gifts” with my 12-year-old son, which is a novel about imaginary people with extraordinary gifts — some good, some bad. In the book’s conflicts between good and evil, the good believe if you use a gift, you must give a gift. It is this metaphor — each of us has been given a great gift and we have an obligation to give back — that makes the book a valuable read. An entrepreneur has an obligation to repay his gift by providing gainful employment for his team and products or services of value to his customers.