10 YEARS OF PEOPLE FIRST
On paper at The Gunter Group we are a consulting firm. We provide focused and results driven services to help our clients maximize their potential.
Thoughtful action. Tangible results. Just like the website says.
But since our inception in 2011, The Gunter Group has been (and will always be) a people centric organization. Because ultimately every decision we make comes back to people. How we develop people, how those people contribute to growing the firm, and how we collectively serve our clients in their most critical endeavors.
With all that said, it should come as no surprise that a crucial component to our success formula over the past 10 years has been the caliber of individuals we select to join the TGG family.
Our “people always” organizational philosophy is delivered through an interview and hiring process that is, by design, strategically unique.
As we engage with consulting candidates we are diligent and purposeful in our “listen-first” approach. The same “listen-first” approach that drives our client work also drives our interview and hiring process.
It is with this mindset we commit to explore seven focused themes to understand a candidate’s unique potential to move our firm and our clients forward.
- 1. Who Are They?: To build a people powered organization you must get to know the people. We seek to understand who the individual is. What is their story, their unique history? Equally important, what led them to The Gunter Group? Why us? Why now?
- 2. What Have They Done?: What is their professional map? What are their experiences and skills? Do they have the core competencies to be successful within the dynamic nature of the work we do for our clients? We have long sought talent from non-traditional consulting backgrounds by recognizing the value of unique and diverse personal journeys.
- 3. What Are Their Values?: How well do they embody our “Non-Negotiables?” Throughout the conversation can we hear and observe our Non-Negotiables from the individual? Do these characteristics not only drive the way they go about their work, but also what they are seeking in their next team.
- 4. Is There A Pattern Of Success?: Are they over-achievers? Do they have a story where they delivered under challenging or doubtful circumstances? We will always value a pattern of success over pedigree. People who have demonstrated an ability to make those around them better in pursuit of a common goal will always be appealing candidates.
- 5. Are They Team Players?: Have they shown the ability to bring people together to accomplish a goal? What was their role in the process and how do they talk about that experience? It is more than just working “well” with others, do they thrive with a team?
- 6. What Are They Looking For?: It is not just us buying into them, it is also them buying into us. Are we a great fit for them? What type of culture are they looking for? Can we support them in realizing their professional goals?
- 7. Can They Help Us Better Serve Our Clients?: Will they make us better with something they bring to the organization? If we have a team of consultants that all have the same approach and skills, then we are limiting our ability to help more clients solve more unique and challenging problems. We take pride in seeing talent in uncommon places to build the best team…… not just the best collection of impressive resumes.
Do these questions always provide the same level of insight? No. These questions have, however, served as a critical barometer throughout the last 10 years to ensure we are bringing in the best people to thrive in our culture and exceed our clients’ expectations.
We are often asked if this philosophy is time consuming. The simple answer is… yes. Yes it is. It takes time to explore each of these questions in depth with a candidate. But the time spent is an investment. It’s an investment in growing our firm, building relationships and our team capabilities, and enhancing our culture the right way. Not just the expedient way.
Since our early days as a firm this investment has been a conscious choice by our TGG team, and it will continue to be in the years to come. With our “people first” mindset, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
More about Matt Bader:
Matt’s passion and leadership purpose is all about helping teams reach their highest potential. He loves building and leading high-performing teams and seeing what can be accomplished when strong values, sound strategy, and a relentless commitment to execution collide. He is a trusted advisor who thrives on building lasting partnerships and driving high-quality solutions for clients. With more than 13 years of strategy, program leadership, and organizational transformation experience in a wide variety of challenging and ambiguous environments. Matt has advised clients in the retail, education, finance, and professional services industries and served as a leader in the military and nonprofit sectors. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Business Management and is a Certified Scrum Master, a Certified SAFe 5 Agilist, and has certifications in program management, LEAN, and contract management. Outside of being a loving husband and father, Matt enjoys the intersection of all things hockey, heavy metal, fitness, and beer.
OUR NON-NEGOTIABLES: GROUNDED CONFIDENCE
At The Gunter Group, the leadership traits and characteristics that define us are our Non-Negotiables: Collaborative, Integrity, Intellectual Curiosity, Thrives in Ambiguity, Emotional Intelligence, and Grounded Confidence. These traits and characteristics guide us every day in our interactions with clients, each other, and our community.
GROUNDED CONFIDENCE is an integral part of our company culture. It is in the fiber of who we are and how we lead. This approach to leadership is built on self-awareness and a recognition that we do not have all the answers but also confidence that we have the ability to overcome incredible challenges.
As a veteran, the concept of grounded confidence was a product of necessity to navigate the challenges of leading in the military. It became something that I intentionally practice and work hard to exemplify.
Being dropped into a deployment situation is inherently hard to describe. Nothing is intuitive. When you first deploy you have to reconstruct the fundamental context for how to function on a day to day basis from scratch. The foundational questions are endless, leaving you feeling vulnerable and exposed. It is an incredibly humbling experience.
Yet you have no choice but to persevere and tackle the unknown. And while the feeling of encountering the unknown is almost always uncomfortable, grounded confidence is knowing that you have the strength to move forward and lead for the betterment of the mission at hand and the people by your side.
TGG employs a number of veterans. Although nothing is the same as deploying to a foreign country, our TGG veterans embody the many parallels between the leadership traits and characteristics necessary for success in the military as well as in consulting. Grounded confidence is a key area of overlap.
We look to grounded confidence to grow our firm because we fundamentally believe that people who share this quality can accomplish great things together. By surrounding ourselves with people who flourish in the unknown, we sustain a culture that supports us in overcoming obstacles.
Whether at a client site or working with internal teams, we work collaboratively and support each other in the unknown to solve the most complex challenges. In doing so, we maximize the value we can provide our clients and the opportunities to grow and hone our own leadership skills.
The ability to lead with grounded confidence resonates with our clients. We don’t pretend to have all the answers. We don’t lead from a place of ego or superiority. Our clients’ problems change and the best solutions vary, so we opt to lead alongside our clients through unfamiliar terrain and challenging circumstances with grounded confidence. Together, we solve the most demanding problems.