Connor Armstrong

Connor Armstrong

We talk about new Silicon Valleys, providing value for every type of user, and the good kind of change.

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Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What do you enjoy doing?

I’m originally from Birmingham, Alabama. That’s confusing for some people because I don’t have a southern accent at all. I went to college there, then moved to Nashville and lived there for a few years.

After that, I moved to Charlotte, which is where I live now. Right now my wife and I are eating our way through the city. We go to restaurants that are well rated and get recommendations from local people. We’ve been enjoying it a lot.

Besides that, a lot of what I do falls into the “boring and normal” range. I spend a lot of time walking my Australian shepherd. I’m trying to read 50 books this year, even though I’m behind pace at only six so far. That’s most of the rest of how I spend my time, just in unexceptional ways like reading, listening to podcasts, and working out.

Charlotte is, to me, one of the bigger “new Silicon Valley” alternative cities.

Charlotte is sort of a clone of Nashville, which blew up first. It has a very similar restaurant culture, even to the point where some chains are only here, Nashville and Atlanta. But you get all of those cool new tech city benefits without all the tourists and bachelorette parties everywhere, which is a plus.

What made you choose Clipboard?

I was actually contacted by a Clipboard Health recruiter. They emailed me and at first I just wrote it off. But later that day I ended up looking up what CBH is and does. This was right around the beginning of COVID, and I had been hearing a lot about nurse shortages. Having a mission that aligned with fixing that problem at that particular time made Clipboard a lot more interesting.

I had two interviews with Chris and Kay after that. I found the team intimidating at first, but that’s actually what I like. I do my best work when I’m surrounded by smart people, because it forces me to learn to keep up. Since I’ve been here I’ve learned a ton and I’ve done a lot outside my comfort zone, which has helped me to grow.

I tell people that in two years I’ve learned more at CBH than I’ve learned in the last 6 years of school and other jobs, because most people learn by doing and here I’ve been able to do so much. I stick around for the same reasons. My team and my leadership are excellent. Everyone is extremely smart and dedicated to what they do, and that’s another thing that lets you accomplish your goals and enjoy your work. And the mission.

What do you like about the mission?

One of the things that’s been encouraging as I’ve worked here is that any time I’ve talked about making a change, whether to bonus structures, territory assignments or something else, the discussion always ends up being about what would be best for our customers and the people they help. Patients at healthcare facilities aren’t direct customers, but they are always kept top-of-mind with nurses and healthcare facilities so we can make sure all three get value.

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What do you think makes you best at your job?

This is an interesting question for me. I’m a proud generalist. There are a lot of things I’m pretty good at. I’ve been an account executive; I’ve managed multiple sales-related positions at the same time before. I’ve led training and led operations. I’ve assessed and bought sales tools and implemented them. I’ve done territory distribution.

Not only does that help at Clipboard because a lot is going on, but being a generalist is a lot of fun. You don’t have to have just one focus or do just one thing. Lots of jobs get monotonous because they have a limited scope of responsibility, but having the ability and opportunity to work on a variety of things keeps things fresh.

Where do you see the company going over the next few years? What opportunities do you see coming? What risks?

I was looking forward to having a question like this. When I interview people ask me questions similar to this, so I think about it a lot.

I think the biggest change will be expanding our verticals. Healthcare has a lot of niches, and we have a big presence in just a few of them. We are likely going to grow our presence in hospitals a lot in the near future, which we know is possible since they use a lot of agency staff. We are looking at surgery centers, physician’s offices and international expansion.

Every country is different, but we can broadly go anywhere in the world where there’s a shortage of healthcare workers. There are a lot of challenges we will have to overcome, but we have a great product team that can well-tailor us to new verticals. The sales team will have work to do to get ready as well, but we have really talented people and can keep up.

Everybody moves around a lot at Clipboard. How do you see your job developing or changing over the next few years?

I like that we are an environment of constant “good change”. We have our concept of tours of duty, which encourages that by having people take short stints in other departments on other projects. So I might not know exactly what’s going to happen, but I know my job won’t be entirely the same as time goes on.

A different way to say that is there’s uncertainty, but it’s not the stress-inducing kind. Clipboard is a really flexible environment that’s good at being flexible. They handle change well and that takes away a lot of the negative chaos you sometimes see at places that aren’t built for change and growth.

When I’m talking to people I’m interviewing, I tell them that the ultimate reason to work here is career acceleration, and that’s related to the change and growth as well. I’ve done things here it would have taken me ten years to do anywhere else. Every company says “fast-paced environment”, but most of them mean “you will have a lot of deadlines”. We mean that you will get a lot done with no red lights. You can go as fast as you want.

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The phone interview above was edited before publication. Clipboard Health will be publishing a regular series of interviews to highlight our incredible team, share what we’re accomplishing and to give a window into our unique work culture.

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