NEW TEAMMATE ROUNDTABLE
A highlight throughout the year is welcoming new teammates to the TGG family! In the last 12 months we’ve had a great group of talented professionals come onboard, add to our culture, and help clients maximize their potential.
We recently sat down with three teammates who joined us in the last six months to discuss their transition to, and time with, The Gunter Group. We invite you to read the questions and answers below ranging from first impressions, to client work, and TGG’s infamous swag!
Thank you for taking the time to visit today. To get us started, can you share when you joined The Gunter Group and briefly tell us about your professional background?
Josh: I joined The Gunter Group in early February of this year (2022). Before TGG, I worked as a Client Executive for a behavioral health SaaS company, as a Regional Operations Manager for an online delivery company, and as a Management Consultant. I also was an officer in the Army for six years.
Liz: I came on board at the very end of January (2022) and my background is that I spent nine years as an officer in the Navy. First on ships, managing different divisions on board and from there I moved into a Naval Human Resources role where I worked on pay and personnel transactions.
Brandon: I joined TGG on December 1st of last year (2021). My background is in the semiconductor industry. I was in the semiconductor industry for over 10 years in manufacturing, process control, quality engineering, equipment engineering, really a wide variety of things. If you ever have any questions on chips, I can help answer them!
What prior knowledge, skill, or trait from your background has been the most beneficial in your transition to The Gunter Group?
Josh: I would say managing teams. So much of what we do here is leadership, people, and managing initiatives. Being able to go in and work with a group of people you don’t know and successfully build a team dynamic.
Liz: For me I would say, adaptability. In the Navy you often get put in new positions or are assigned random collateral duties. You’re forced to learn fast and figure out the entire story in order to effectively lead a project. I think these concepts apply to consulting projects as well. The ability to absorb and process large amounts of information and do something valuable with it.
Brandon: The most beneficial thing for me has been my background in Lean Six Sigma, particularly in the scope of data transformations. I’ve been able to work on data transformations via a Lean Six Sigma project management perspective.
What are three words you would use to describe your time at TGG so far?
Josh: Genuine. Empathetic. Hard working.
Liz: Refreshing. Organized. Innovative.
Brandon: Authenticity. Transparency. Warm.
What were your first impressions of TGG?
Josh: During the interview process something I was looking for was genuine care for coworkers and the people you’re working with. Through a variety of conversations it was apparent people were genuine at TGG. When I started it also became clear that the team was motivated, worked hard at their jobs, and collectively wanted success for the company.
Liz: If I go all the way back to the interview phase through when I was offered a position, I felt it was smooth, organized, and thorough. Getting out of the Navy there is a lot of admin and logistics with that transition and the TGG team was really understanding with all of those dynamics. Additionally, people have been very accessible if I’ve needed any help, and the culture as a whole has been really refreshing.
Brandon: The true conversations and natural back and forth style of communication has been a really pleasant experience. The other thing that stood out to me right away was clearly understanding how I could have an impact at the company. It was clear and tangible and exciting for me as I started working with the team.
How are you currently supporting a client organization?
Josh: I’m in a Product Manager role for a client and supporting different geographic regions and business users for the client’s omnichannel platform. We’re working to make the user experience smooth and efficient, as well as make the internal processes for the platform streamlined for the client team.
Liz: I’m currently working with a client on how to streamline their funding process. Their funding can come from different sources, so instead of having five different processes for managing funding, there can be one system in place. The single system helps ensure the organization is receiving the most funding possible, regardless of the source. Developing this system will not only help with efficiency but also with maximizing total funding and using it in the most pertinent areas.
Brandon: Right now I’m supporting a client on a large scale transformation project as part of the tech and data team. We’re working to create and deliver a data pipeline that can help the client better manage their data in a dynamic, sophisticated way for long-term strategy use and efficiency gains.
What would you say is the best advice you’ve received from a fellow TGGer so far?
Josh: Probably, to remain open and transparent with clients even in the hard times.
Liz: To be gracious because sometimes it can be hard to ask for help and let an outside team see behind the scenes, especially if things aren’t working as well as they could.
Brandon: That it’s okay to ask a lot of questions to seek more information about a situation. This approach can help you present new ideas and solutions, even if they sometimes go against traditional thinking.
We’ll wrap up with this: what is your favorite piece of TGG swag you’ve received so far?
Josh: The backpack. No doubt about it. It’s easily the best backpack I’ve ever had.
Liz: I have to say the TGG blanket. It’s been a great addition to our new couch and our dog loves to lay on it!
Brandon: Liz, you took mine! I love the blanket. It’s a permanent fixture in my living room and guests love it.
Interested in learning more about how our great culture comes to life? Click here and see what fuels our team, our relationships, and our work.
Ready to jump in? Our TGG team is growing and we are currently hiring! Click here to see our open positions and apply.
TGG RANKED AS A BEST SMALL FIRM TO WORK FOR IN THE NATION BY CONSULTING MAGAZINE
For the third year in a row The Gunter Group has been recognized as a “Best Small Firm to Work For” in the nation according to Consulting Magazine.
It is an honor to share that The Gunter group was selected as the #6 “Best Small Firm to Work For” in the nation for the 2021 rankings and finished in the top 10 for the third consecutive year.
When asked about this year’s recognition TGG Founders Mike and Ashleigh Gunter commented, “We are so proud to be recognized again as a Top 10 Consulting Magazine Best Small Firm to Work For nationally, alongside so many other great firms. It is an important recognition for us because we believe it reflects the culture we have worked so hard to build, and our amazing team. What a great way to celebrate our 10th Anniversary!”
The Consulting Magazine rankings were announced on September 9th, 2021 at a dinner gala in Chicago. Only 18 small firms were chosen for recognition, based on an annual survey of over 12,000 consultants from approximately 300 firms nationwide. Award candidates were evaluated across six different categories of employee satisfaction including, client engagement, culture, firm leadership, career development, and compensation and benefits.
To learn more about the 2021 Consulting Magazine Awards and see the complete rankings visit: https://www.event.consultingmag.com/best-firms-to-work-for
The Gunter Group is a management consulting firm headquartered in Oregon, serving the west coast with offices in Portland and Reno, Nevada. Learn more about us and the services we offer here.
INC. MAGAZINE NAMES TGG BEST WORKPLACE FOR 2021
We are thrilled to share that The Gunter Group has been named to Inc. Magazine’s highly competitive list of Best Workplaces for 2021. The Gunter Group was also recognized on Inc.’s selective Best Workplaces Editors’ List which is defined as a “showcase of companies that are not only the best workplace but are taking it a step further, pushing the boundaries and building a workplace of the future.”
Receiving recognition from a nationally respected publication is something that makes our team extremely proud and for which we are truly grateful.
When asked about the significance of the Inc. award, TGG Principal Consultant Angela Tekulve commented:
“Every single day I work with my colleagues, I am reminded how lucky I am to be part of this amazing organization. I am proud to be part of a team that has been there for each other, our clients and our community in ways we could have never predicted a year ago. Being awarded one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces in 2021 is exciting, humbling and a validation that The Gunter Group is focused on the things that matter.”
When announcing TGG’s award, Scott Omelianuk, Editor-in-Chief of Inc. magazine stated:
“This is no small feat, as this year’s field of entries was the most competitive we’ve ever seen. In 2021, thousands of companies applied to be recognized as one of the best workplaces in America. From the many remarkable companies vying for the award, only a fraction are being honored as Inc.’s 2021 Best Workplaces. Clearly, The Gunter Group has gone through extraordinary lengths to attract, develop, and maintain its workforce.”
The 2021 Inc. Top Workplaces list was publicly revealed online on May 12th, 2021 and will be published in the May/June print edition of the magazine. Over 3,000 nominations are received annually from across the United States and employee surveys are conducted and reviewed by Quantum Workplace. According to Quantum Workplace, the survey program measures a wide range of research-validated workplace factors that impact employee engagement and satisfaction.
To learn more about the 2021 Inc. Best Workplaces list and see the complete rankings visit: https://www.inc.com/best-workplaces/2021/
THREE KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE IMPLEMENTATION
Over the last year we have supported clients spanning a variety of industries. Some of our most impactful client engagements have been in the area of Enterprise Architecture.
As a way to further support our clients, we hosted a special Idea Exchange focused solely on the process of transforming Enterprise Architecture and increasing value to organizations with a more agile approach.
In that Idea Exchange we discussed three keys to improving Enterprise Architecture:
1. The quality of Enterprise Architecture should be determined by the outcome it enables.
Successful outcomes result from leadership teams and stakeholders clearly aligning upfront on the problem or opportunity. Identifying the desired outcome can be supported through an upfront planning process which asks questions such as:
- What are we trying to do?
- Why are we doing this?
- What is the business value and cost proposition?
- How and why will users adopt or embrace the end result?
2. Evolving roadmaps = useful roadmaps.
An agile enterprise architect can leverage the “perfect” roadmap as inspiration to identify a good solution which enables short-term benefits and sets the business up to realize the perfect solution.
For example, a five-year roadmap that started two years ago is not valid anymore and COVID-19 is a dramatic example as to why.
Additionally, new technology and capabilities that can help your business operate more effectively will come to market, which were not part of your original roadmap. For this reason, it is important to regularly review and update roadmaps incrementally.
3. Changing direction is an essential activity.
Agile methodology is not only about making it okay to change direction, it is about encouraging and supporting this behavior. Identify your “North Star” but recognize over time the path to your “North Star” will change.
A critical part of the agile mindset in Enterprise Architecture is that it can be preferable to have assumptions, even if some of the assumptions prove to be wrong as progress and developments are made.
Institutional acceptance of this creates the healthiest, most productive, most agile Enterprise Architecture process. The team should be inspired and supported to change direction when it makes sense and explore preto-typing and interim testing as part of their evolving problem solving processes.
In closing we have been inspired and motivated by the proliferation and maturation of agile practices in recent years. Unfortunately, Enterprise Architecture has lagged behind in its own progression and application. While some see this misalignment and move on, we see it as an opportunity to help organizations effectively transform their architectural activities and support clients in an effort to successfully drive innovation across their technology ecosystem.
Today we take a moment and celebrate TGGer Maddie Barbera’s community support for her generous work assisting with COVID-19 vaccine outreach among vulnerable populations in our local communities.
Prior to her career as a consultant, Maddie practiced as a pediatric nurse for 12 years and has been a licensed nurse for the past 17 years.
Maddie often volunteers with the Red Cross of Oregon and in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she signed up to volunteer with Serve Oregon as part of the Medical Reserve Corp.
Asked why she wanted to lend her experience to these organizations, Maddie said “I’ve always kept my nursing license active so I could be in a position to help if there were ever emergencies in the community. For me it’s a direct way to support medical professionals, local citizens, and community health needs in the state.”
When Maddie received an email from Multnomah County inquiring about licensed medical officials willing to help administer COVID-19 vaccines to medically vulnerable populations and populations with socioeconomic barriers, she had no hesitation. Maddie saw an opportunity to lend her experience to the vaccine workforce and responded immediately.
Maddie said, “the most rewarding aspect of the vaccine outreach and administration has been hearing patients’ stories of perseverance from the past year and their continued hope.”
“People have been so appreciative of the medical officials and teams. At times it’s even been an emotional experience for everyone involved because the community member is so grateful for the opportunity and the team’s outreach and personal service to them.”
We appreciate and applaud Maddie’s commitment to the community and for assisting the state’s most vulnerable populations.
We are honored and proud to call her our teammate!
TGG Q&A: MIKE & ASHLEIGH GUNTER ON RECENT OREGON BUSINESS AWARD
The Gunter Group was recently recognized as the #3 Best Company to Work For in Oregon in the medium-sized category. We visited with founders, Michael Gunter and Ashleigh Gunter to hear what makes this award special.
Why is the Oregon Business award so meaningful?
Mike: The Oregon Business award is especially meaningful because it’s a direct reflection on how our team feels about working together. It captures how the team thinks and ultimately this kind of award is the best news we can get as leaders.
TGG has been recognized on this list for seven consecutive years. How does that impact the everyday work of the team?
Ashleigh: I think it has a very strong impact on our work both in the short term and the long term. When we’re aligned culturally we provide exponentially better service to our clients and an exponentially better experience for our consultants.
Mike: Our intention has always been to take care of our team so that as individuals, people can thrive. Making the list multiple years helps confirm our efforts.
What went through your mind when you received news of the rankings?
Ashleigh: My very first thought was WOW this is fantastic! What makes this year particularly special is that in light of all the challenges, we’re continuing to support and value one another.
TGG RANKED IN TOP THREE FOR BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR IN OREGON
We recently learned that for the seventh consecutive year, The Gunter Group has been ranked as one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon’ according to Oregon Business.
We are excited to share that The Gunter Group was recognized as the #3 Best Company to Work For in Oregon, in the medium-sized businesses category!
The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon is an annual showcase that recognizes top Small, Medium, and Large businesses in the state. More than 10,000 employees across a wide range of industries complete an employee engagement survey that encompasses areas such as: management & communications, decision-making & trust, career development & learning, benefits & compensation, and work environment.
To learn more about the 2021 100 Best List and to see the complete rankings visit: oregonbusiness.com
5 SUCCESS PILLARS FOR NEW CONSULTANTS
Last week, a panel of seasoned consultants from The Gunter Group were invited to provide their insights into the field of consulting to members of The Oregon Consulting Group at The University of Oregon.
The Oregon Consulting Group was founded in 2014 through The University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business with the mission to help students gain valuable real world experience, while solving tangible problems for companies and non-profit organizations. The Oregon Consulting Group consists of 35 students, across 20 academic disciplines who complete 18 projects every year.
During the event, The Gunter Group team had the opportunity to analyze and advise on 3 consulting projects focused on a diverse range of topics including:
Conducting an impact analysis for a regional post-pandemic economic recovery plan.
Developing a digital learning solution in order to to improve the effectiveness of telemedicine.
Creating a mindfulness-centered mental health curriculum for middle-school students.
Additionally, to assist The Oregon Consulting Group members as they embark on their careers in the consulting industry, The Gunter Group team shared 5 success pillars for new consultants:
1. Curiosity – With every client engagement develop a curiosity for what clients do and what they need to reach their potential. Consultants have a valuable opportunity to be fresh eyes on a situation or problem, and doing so with genuine curiosity lays the groundwork for authentic engagements focused on client success.
2. Creativity – When working to solve client problems, one size does not “fit all.” Different problems require different tools. Utilize different vantage points and perspectives when diagnosing problems and identifying solutions. Investigate with ingenuity in order to further develop a creative mindset.
3. Flexibility – Be agile. Avoid falling into the trap of being locked into one approach for the situation at hand. Consultants should be prepared to morph and adapt to the client’s needs. This flexible mindset maintains the overall mission of “providing tangible value” to the client and maximizing results.
4. Growth – In the absence of professional experience early in their career, consultants should be resourceful in ways they can provide tangible value to their team and firm at large. It’s important to “know what you don’t know” and as a result, seek out opportunities to foster new skills and knowledge.
5. Communication – Be a diligent listener to teammates and clients. Focus intently on the words people use and commit to being fully present. When presented with an opportunity to share, be succinct and purposeful with commentary.
At the conclusion of the event, TGG Senior Consultant, Stephen Bacon shared the following:
“The chance to give back to a group of aspiring consultants was a privilege for our entire team. Hearing students’ fresh perspectives on client problems was a learning opportunity for all of us and we can’t wait to see what these student leaders accomplish in their careers ahead.”
Our consultants are grateful for the opportunity to share our experience and expertise with the bright and talented members of The Oregon Consulting Group. We wish the students success in all their academic and professional pursuits!