Index

INC. BEST WORKPLACES Q&A

The TGG team is excited to share that last month The Gunter Group was named to Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces list for 2022! This was the second year in a row that TGG was recognized with this national honor from Inc.  

When announcing the 2022 winners Scott Omelianuk, Editor-in-Chief of Inc. Magazine stated: 

“The competition this year was tough—thousands of best-in-class companies competed to make the Best Workplaces list, agreeing to employee surveys that determined which participants had the most satisfied teams. All winners have something special in common: a culture that encourages people in a way that allows teams to stay strong in the office or in one’s home office—even if the home office is at the kitchen table! That kind of leadership and the resilience it creates are worth celebrating!”

To highlight what the award means to TGGers everywhere, we visited with three team members located across the Western United States.  

What does the Inc. Magazine Best Workplaces Award mean to you as a member of the TGG team? 

Josh Eife (Denver): As a newer employee, I am not surprised by this recognition because it was evident during the interview process that TGG is a special place. I have not seen an organization as committed to their employees while serving clients in the right way, and this award validates that personal observation. 

Tracy Bell (Seattle): It acknowledges how I feel as an engaged employee –  I work for a company that cares about its employees and supports them to grow and learn. I feel this every day. An award is confirmation that others feel the same.

Jim Calko (Los Angeles): It’s exciting and validating for our organization to be recognized as one of the best places to work in the country. For me having been at TGG since the beginning of the journey, it’s really fulfilling to see as we all do our part to help build something special.  

What makes TGG’s culture special and unique?

Jim: Authenticity and sincerity have been huge components since the beginning. Being able to show up, be your full self and be celebrated. 

Tracy: TGG’s culture is special because it puts values at the center of what we do. They are foundational to how we hire and we show up for ourselves, our company, and our clients. Notably, values are an ongoing conversation at TGG which is a rare practice in and of itself. 

Josh: Genuine relationships! TGG’s emphasis on hard work, doing the right thing, and making friends along the way is a rare dynamic in the working world. We are all on this journey together, and having value-based colleagues makes it a special place to work.

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 RECOGNIZED ON NATIONAL BEST WORKPLACES LIST

For the second year in a row, The Gunter Group has been named to Inc. Magazine’s annual Best Workplaces list. Featured in the May/June 2022 issue, and prominently featured on Inc.com, the list is the result of a comprehensive measurement of American companies that have excelled in creating exceptional workplaces and company culture. 

The Inc. recognition marks the thirteenth workplace award The Gunter Group has received since its inception in 2011. The honor comes as The Gunter Group successfully undertakes expansion efforts in Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and Southern California providing its management consulting services to public and private companies across a variety of industries.

Upon learning of the national recognition, Mike Gunter, founder of The Gunter Group commented:

“We are thrilled to receive this award for the second year in a row. It is a true testament to our team and the culture we have built together in our company, and continue to build as we grow our team across the country. Our goal has always been to put people first and being nationally recognized by Inc. is a great honor.”

After collecting data from thousands of submissions, Inc. selected 475 honorees this year. Each company that was nominated took part in an employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, which included topics such as management effectiveness, perks, fostering employee growth, and overall company culture. The organization’s benefits were also audited to determine overall score and ranking.

About The Gunter Group

Founded in 2011, The Gunter Group features an experienced team of consultants serving clients throughout the Pacific Northwest and Western United States. The Gunter Group prides itself on providing consulting services to a broad range of organizations spanning Fortune 100 companies to locally-based businesses. The firm has been named one of the “Best Companies to Work For” in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine for eight consecutive years and named one of the “Best Small Firms to Work For” by Consulting Magazine three years in a row. The Gunter Group currently has over 70 team members with operational hubs in Portland, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Denver.  

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

About Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is an HR technology company that serves organizations through employee-engagement surveys, action-planning tools, exit surveys, peer-to-peer recognition, performance evaluations, goal tracking, and leadership assessment. For more information, visit QuantumWorkplace.com.

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 PARTNERS Q&A – 2022 OREGON BUSINESS AWARD

Last week, The Gunter Group was recognized as the #3 Best Company to Work For in Oregon in the medium-sized business category, according to Oregon Business. This marks the second year in a row that TGG has ranked in the top three and the eighth consecutive year that TGG has been honored by Oregon Business as a Best Company to Work For in Oregon.

We visited with partners, Mike and Ashleigh Gunter, Matt Bader, and Tony Schweiss to hear more about what makes the 2022 Oregon Business honor special.

This is the second year in a row TGG has finished in the top three, what were your reactions when you read the rankings? 

Ashleigh: For me, I was incredibly excited and incredibly grateful. Excited because it validates the work we do daily to build and maintain our culture  and grateful because our amazing team members are the ones who live out our culture and our Non-Negotiables every day with each other and with clients.  

Tony: I agree with everything Ashleigh said and would add that the recognition was also validating because our company continues to add new team members every year and we recognize that just because you have a strong workplace environment doesn’t automatically guarantee it will stay that way over time. For us, growing year-over-year while not only maintaining, but furthering our culture in the midst of a pandemic stricken society… it confirms that we have been investing time and resources in the right places as an organization. 

On that note, how has TGG been able to maintain its workplace culture while steadily growing and expanding into new markets?

Matt: As leaders we really focus on listening to our team. Our mission has been, and will continue to be, to maximize potential for our consultants, our clients, and our communities. We genuinely engage our team in conversations about how to make our organization better and stronger, and a company that they are proud to be a part of. The strength and character of our team is our highest priority and it fuels the strength and character of our culture. 

Mike: Absolutely. Building off of that further, we continue to look at every business decision, large or small, through the lens of our Non-Negotiables. Does what we want to do or what we think we should do align with all of our Non-Negotiables? Not just one or two of them, but all of them. As we look at continuing to build our company and grow into new markets over the next few years, our Non-Negotiables have never been more important as the basis for framing our decisions..  

The Gunter Group has made the Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list for eight consecutive years. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear that statement?  Ready, go!

Mike: To our team, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Ashleigh: Wow! Let’s keep it going!

Matt: Here’s to 8 more! I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Tony: I am honored to be a part of such an exceptional organization. I hope our whole team takes pride in this recognition!

NEW TEAMMATE ROUNDTABLE

We love welcoming new teammates to the TGG family! Over the past year we’ve had a variety of talented professionals come onboard, add to our culture, and help clients maximize their potential.  

Recently, we held a TGG Roundtable with three teammates who joined us this year 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 even TGG’s four legged friends.

Thank you for taking 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? 

Heidi Brown: I think I might be the newest in this group, my start date was September 13th. My professional background consists of time in technology and healthcare, and work centered around systems analysis, project management, and program management.  

Samya Thangaraj: My first day with TGG was June 1st, 2021 and my background is in strategic work focused on healthcare and technology, data visualization, business analysis, and employee engagement.  

Anton Cotelo: Well, I moved to the United States from Spain in March of this year and started with TGG on June 15th, 2021. A large part of my professional background is centered on industrial engineering, project management, and data analysis.

What are three words you would use to describe your time at TGG so far?

Heidi: Supported, engaged, and challenged.

Samya:  I was going to use “supported” and “challenged” also! I’ll go with community, growth, and fun!

Anton: Engaged, professional, and friendly.

What were your first impressions of TGG?

Heidi: When I started the interview process I immediately found that the TGG team had authentic soft skills and strong professional skills as well. This made the process very refreshing and genuine. I felt that the TGG team really wanted to understand my background and skill sets.

Samya: How personable everyone is, really stood out to me. I also appreciated that everyone has each other’s best interests in mind and the emphasis on technical skills but equally important, personal skills.

Anton: My first impression started before any of my interviews because I really tried to become familiar with the company and the leaders at the company. In that process it seemed like TGG was a family environment and once I started talking to more and more people with TGG, I could feel the family environment right away. It wasn’t forced, it was very natural between everyone in the company. The entire team was incredibly helpful, always available, welcoming, and checked in regularly.  

How are you currently supporting a client organization?

Heidi: Right now I’m helping a global sportswear manufacturer create a strategic roadmap that helps support a large end-to-end workflow.

Samya: I’m working with a client on a large data migration project between two platforms, and identifying ways to make the systems and reports more efficient and effective on the new platform.

Anton: I am helping a client automate and streamline processes in order to free up time for the organization’s personnel so they have more time to spend on high level strategic initiatives and developments for the company.

What do you see being something that is really important for organizations to consider and/or develop in your area of consulting in the next 1-3 years?

Heidi: The first thing that comes to my mind, working in a space with a lot of systems that need to talk to each other in real time, is the need to focus on strengthening organizational culture and engineering around APIs and data integration across systems.

Samya: In terms of the technology space, integrating and updating platforms and software while streamlining reporting to help make it more valuable, efficient, and effective.  

Anton: There are a lot of trends but I think it’s critical to walk before you run, especially in regards to data and technology. Really gaining an understanding of where your organization currently stands and identifying what the best path forward is for your group.  

What have you enjoyed most about your time with TGG so far?

Heidi: I’d have to say the number of people who have been willing to support me along the way, with both internal and external circumstances. It’s really helped me hit the ground running.

Samya: In short answer I would say the people. To elaborate a little I would say working with such a diverse group of skill sets and talented people across various spaces has been awesome. And getting to meet people one-on-one has made it even more enjoyable! 

Anton: The cross-functional, yet compatible skills of the team has been really cool to see — and when I say skills I mean hard skills and soft skills both. 

We’ll end on an easy one, with all the talk about dogs at recent TGG events — who from TGG has the cutest dog?  

Heidi: Dan’s new puppy, for sure!

Samya: Well I have to say my own dog, Garbanzo, of course!

Anton: Trisha’s definitely because it’s the only TGG dog I’ve actually held.

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.

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. 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? 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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?

  1. 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?

  1. 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.

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/ 

MIKE & ASHLEIGH GUNTER:
LOOKING BACK & LOOKING AHEAD

We are really excited to be celebrating The Gunter Group’s 10 year anniversary! It has been an incredible journey these past 10 years, and we have so much for which to be thankful and proud.

Mike founded the company in 2011 with the intention of building a firm that could do meaningful work for clients, locally in Portland (to start), and that would serve our community. He also wanted to create a learning culture in which people of different experience levels and backgrounds could chart their own course and thrive, and do that in a super collaborative environment where the team not only valued working together, but also enjoyed each other’s company as part of the deal.

We are pretty proud to say we feel like that’s the environment that has been created at TGG over the last 10 years! Not only in Portland, but in our other markets in the Pacific Northwest and Western U.S.

We are fortunate to have not only worked with a lot of different clients and client companies, but to have also made many friends along the way. We feel a deep level of gratitude to all of our clients who, in the beginning especially, were willing to take a risk on a scrappy start up consulting firm trying to establish itself. Thank you!

We are also so proud of our team. It is meaningful and significant to us to have team members that have been with us since the beginning; when we could all fit around a lunch room table. Those team members have been so critical to the success of the firm, and to attracting more and more highly skilled and experienced people to the firm. Our company is our team, and our culture is what drives us.  

The culture that has been built at TGG is what led to our Non-Negotiables.  These 6 core values – Collaborative, Integrity, Intellectual Curiosity, Thrives in Ambiguity, Emotional Intelligence, Grounded Confidence – emerged organically a few years ago from discussing how we were already operating as a team. They represent our North Star as a firm, and govern how we work together as a team as well as with our clients and communities.

We look at things like this: we get to be surrounded by 50 something people that we respect professionally and enjoy personally. We are so fortunate!  The desire to maintain our culture is what drives our decisions around growth and the future.

We are so excited about what the future brings for TGG in the next 10 years and beyond, and we want to thank everyone who has been with us on this journey so far. Here’s to the next 10 years!

OUR NON-NEGOTIABLES:
A LOOK BACK

A year and a half ago, we introduced a blog series on our company’s Non-Negotiables. At TGG, our Non-Negotiables are six traits and characteristics that guide us in our everyday interactions with each other, our clients, and our communities. They are the pillars on which we have built, and will continue to build, the company. 

The Non-Negotiables came about in a particularly organic way. We did not sit down in a “strategy session” to “identify our Non-Negotiables”. They came about naturally as we thought about the values that are important to us, how we wished to create, cultivate and maintain relationships, our culture, and most importantly….the traits and characteristics we saw really successful TGGers demonstrating. The Non-Negotiables became an articulation of how we were already living. 

Our Non-Negotiables are reflected not only in our day to day interactions, but in our recruiting, our professional development, and our feedback process. They are our framework for holding ourselves accountable in our work and relationships, and it is our greatest point of pride that our team consistently reflects them.

Our six Non-Negotiables are:

  1. 1. Collaborative
  2. 2. Integrity
  3. 3. Intellectual Curiosity
  4. 4. Thrives in Ambiguity
  5. 5. Emotional Intelligence
  6. 6. Grounded Confidence

When we began this blog series, we asked different members of our team to write each of the six blogs, and we are really proud of how they turned out. The authors reflect a group of individuals with different backgrounds, varying years of experience (and time with the company), diverse perspectives, and different working styles. We also sat down and filmed the historical context of our Non-Negotiables and how they guide our focus as we grow our firm. 

Little did we know that half way through this blog series, we would find ourselves in the middle of not only a global pandemic, but also significant societal upheaval in the ongoing fight for equity, inclusion and racial justice. 

We knew how our Non-Negotiables guided us in “normal” times, but how would they hold up in such uncertain and stressful times? 

The answer is that we have relied upon them even more heavily. We focused on taking care of and supporting each other (Integrity, Emotional Intelligence).  We engaged even more deeply, and in many cases with more flexibility and an even stronger sense of service, with our clients (Thrives in Ambiguity, Intellectual Curiosity, Collaborative, Grounded Confidence). We also revamped our recruiting and evaluation processes to further embed these characteristics and traits (all six).  

We believe the increased level of depth and focus on our Non-Negotiables has been motivating and rewarding for our entire organization. It has also furthered our commitment to putting people and culture first in times of prosperity and uncertainty alike.

Our Non-Negotiables continue to be the most accurate representation we have of our company’s culture. They reflect who we are and who we will continue striving to be as we build our team and company.

We hope you have enjoyed this blog series as much as we have enjoyed sharing it. We encourage leaders and teams to think critically about the aspirational and lived culture you desire for your organization and orient everything around bringing it to life.   


About the Author:
Mike is passionate about client service and leading people. He enjoys watching people grow, develop, and discover their true path. Mike is a visionary and forward thinker with extensive multinational experience and a proven track record of serving clients. With more than 25 years of business leadership and consulting in a wide variety of challenging and ambiguous environments, Mike got his start in the industry at Deloitte Consulting and has since held executive leadership positions in consulting, supply chain services, and public education organizations.