“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” – Patrick Lencioni
Looking back - 2019
We came into the year looking to be intentional in a few key areas: deepening relationships with select partners/clients, pivoting from a generalist biz dev approach to an industry centric one and continuing our journey towards operational excellence. From a pure dollar standpoint, those efforts paid off, as we hit all-time highs and grew roughly 30% year over year. (high five)
It wasn’t all roses though as we experienced higher than normal turnover and learned our service delivery processes needed maturing to sustainably scale the organization. Instead of sticking our heads in the prairie soil and hoping the kinks would work themselves out, we decided to take stock and get better. We hired a new leader in HR, conducted 360-degree reviews, sought candid feedback from clients, attended leadership conferences and devoured information about scaling and culture.
Going forward – 2020
While the resulting information covered a lot of ground and allowed for some easy tweaks here and a new perk or two there, what we realized was that through all the changes in focus, new projects, new people, process improvements, more new people because of turnover and systems implementations; we collectively started to lose sight of who Clarus Group is and what we stand for as a company.
Although we’ve had a mission statement and core values since the company started, we obviously weren’t doing an effective job teaching, embodying or celebrating them. Some teams felt siloed and out of the loop which led to skepticism of decisions being made. We weren’t consistently screening for core values when hiring or using them as guideposts in decision making. To borrow from Simon Sinek, we need to go back and “Start With Why” and blast it across the cosmos. So, we dusted off our Mission and Values, gave them a 2020 refresh and rolled them out to the team in our year’s end all-hands meeting (which featured a killer last slide in the deck btw).
This year, our key areas of focus for the Leadership Team are (because it has got to start there): Building Trust by embodying and applying our core principles; and Creating Alignment through consistent communication, transparency and coaching. By embracing the Why, we feel confident that the who, what and how will fall into place.
- To be a driver of innovation and change for the betterment of our stakeholders.
Our Core Values:
- Quality – We strive to do things the right way, the first time around.
- Value – We look for ways to over–deliver whenever possible.
- Integrity – We follow through and honor our commitments.
Our Decision Tree:
- Customer – Customer First. Enable the customer mission and ensure their success.
- Community – Take a holistic view. Strive to understand impacts on the entire ecosystem.
- Reputation – Build social capital. Collaborate to find mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Business – Profitability last. Make sound financial decisions with a long-term view.
Employee Traits We Look For:
- Curiosity – Make no assumptions. Ask questions, lots and lots of questions. Truly understand the whole picture. Leave no stone unturned.
- Collaboration – Actively seek out other people’s input/opinions/advice. Learn from each other. Problem-solve as a team. Share wins/successes with the whole group. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
- Confidence – Be confident in your ability and knowledge. Have the courage to speak up and make your opinions known. Don’t be afraid to respectfully challenge teammates/partners/ leadership/customers. Own the solution. Stand up for what you believe in.
Scott Baughman is our Chief of Sales and Marketing at Clarus Group. He began his IT consulting journey during the run-up to Y2K and has been riding the waves of technological evolution ever since. He has held senior leadership positions for large IT consulting and staffing firms for over 10 years and spent several years evangelizing e-commerce and digital marketing to the hotel and tourism industry throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.