Original Article posted by Delaware Online, August 17, 2014
Written by: Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal
Kyle McDuffie runs his Christiana-based consulting business, CSols Inc., with a high degree of trust.
His management philosophy? Provide employees with the resources they need to succeed, and trust them to get the job done right. And don’t make them work on Saturdays.
“When you’re supposed to be working, do your best work,” says McDuffie, president of CSols, explaining that he encourages workers to dedicate their time off to family or community pursuits. “When you’re not supposed to be working, don’t work. Spend time with your family. Volunteer. This whole work-life balance thing, for us, is actually real.”
It’s easy to see why McDuffie’s employees voted him a top leader of a Delaware-based small business, according to results of a Top Workplaces survey conducted for The News Journal by WorkplaceDynamics.
CSols is an $8 million business that helps Fortune 100 pharmaceutical manufacturers, chemical firms, forensic testing organizations and other clients implement complex information systems like LIMS, ELN, and other scientific software in their laboratories.
The firm has about 20 employees in Delaware – 47 total – that help by providing expert advice.
Many of CSols’ employees have worked in the industries for which they now consult, providing the company with a level of expertise that the company’s clients really appreciate, McDuffie says. McDuffie himself is a former Dow Chemical Co. chemist.
The LIMS, ELN and other laboratory software systems that CSols employees help implement track active ingredients in drugs, quality control in vaccine batches, evidence tracking in forensic labs and, in some cases, patient information.
Laboratory informatics, in industry parlance.
CSols also often helps its clients, in the U.S. and internationally, select laboratory informatics solutions that are right for their lab. Much of the work is done virtually.
McDuffie and Sandy Ahmed, vice president at CSols, have run the business since a 2004 management buyout from a U.K.-based parent.
Ahmed calls McDuffie a “servant leader,” and a “collaborator” who leads the company, while placing trust in the company’s employees.
McDuffie explains: “Life is a team game,” he said. “It’s hard to make your way through, whether it’s business or regular life, all by yourself.”
“Fundamentally you have to trust that people are going to do what they are supposed to do. You have to give them the tools. Then you have to come back and see that’s happening. But people usually enjoy that and respect that, that you’ve given them the trust that ‘hey, you know your job.’ ”
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