Episode #33 Mike DeKock on Building Competitive Advantage

How do the value creation principles of subjective value, entrepreneurship and creativity apply in a highly technical rules-based environment like SOC Compliance audits. These are objective validations of data security measures based on customer-defined criteria similar to traditional financial audits but more specific and subjective.

The answer lies in the understanding of customer needs. Mike DeKock, CEO of MJD Advisors, an SOC auditing firm, has the insight: the customer seeks confidence – a feeling that they can approach their own clients with the assurance of providing the data security that they demand. Trust, reliability and commitment are the underlying values – emerging from technological rigor, at a much higher level of human need.

Mike discusses the evolution of compliance services and the changing landscape within the industry, and explains the importance of continuous compliance and how his company aims to provide ongoing support and guidance to clients throughout the year, for continuing reinforcement of the client’s feeling of confidence.

He recognizes the value of building relationships with clients, helping them navigate compliance challenges, and fostering organizational improvement. He sees value in creativity, curiosity and collaboration, and the need for continuous learning and adaptability in a rapidly changing industry. At MJD Advisors, there is a passion for helping clients find simple solutions to complex problems, emphasizing the satisfaction derived from making a meaningful difference in their businesses.


MJD Advisors: mjd.cpa
Mike DeKock on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-dekock-7325a654/


0:00 | Intro
02:13 | SOC Compliance: Mike Shares His Business Field Growth Journey
03:21 | Regulatory Audit Requirement is Optional
05:09 | Client’s Confidence is Subjective Essence
07:51 | Value Proposition
10:08 | Confidence Area: Empathy-Driven Insight into Client Needs
12:09 | Confidence Meter: How to Measure it? 
13:49 | Trust Measurement
15:16 | Data Security
18:05 | Business Model: Client-Centric Excellence 
20:01 | Trust and Confidence: Some Companies View Audits as Mere Costs
22:08 | MJD Advisors: Exceeding Client’s Expectations 
23:07 | Hiring: Interesting People VS Hard Stats
25:27 | Helping Clients Find Simple Solutions to Complex Problems
27:32 | Future Unpredictability Adds Complexity
29:20 | Entrepreneurial Ethic
30:40 | Wrap-Up

Knowledge Capsulse:

Importance and Application of SOC Compliance:

  • SOC Compliance is a customer-driven business: the regulatory audit requirement is optional but often required by larger enterprises during due diligence processes both internally and on suppliers.
  • SOC Compliance is commonly used by small growing startup software companies to meet enterprise needs – required to cross an eligibility threshold.
  • The field of SOC Compliance is constantly changing as a result of increased awareness and education about data security.

Focus on Providing Confidence to Clients:

  • Mike emphasizes that the continuous compliance approach helps clients navigate compliance challenges.
  • Building trust and relationships through understanding and solving client needs.
  • Any company in a supplier relationship can act with confidence in communicating the robustness of their own systems.

Measuring Success and Impact:

  • There are challenges in quantifying subjective values like confidence and trust.
  • Success is measured through client feedback, reviews, and business outcomes.

Impact on Client Image and Credibility:

  • Compliance reports serve as a mark of approval and credibility.
  • Mike DeKock shares that firms can build credibility and reputation through compliance efforts.

Tremendous Growth in Compliance Space:

  • Compliance tools and support for initiatives have become more accessible and affordable. Previously, smaller companies couldn’t afford compliance measures, but now it’s more feasible.
  • Raises expectations and sets accountability throughout organizations, providing various benefits to the ecosystem.

Business Model Approach:

  • The approach focuses on becoming an extension of the client’s compliance team.
  • Embraces a continuous compliance approach throughout the year, providing guidance and assistance.

Complex Problems Simplified:

  • Mike shares how his company celebrates the beauty of simplicity in solving complex problems and how they help clients find simple solutions to complex problems.
  • At MJD Advisors, a collaborative approach is used, focusing on asking probing questions and learning from clients.
  • Compliance is a shared process.