Episode 168 – Thriving Amidst the Heat: Navigating a Sudden Surge in Industry Competition – Member Case by Brad McAllister

In this session, we delve into the challenges and opportunities presented when your industry segment suddenly becomes the hotbed of competition. With both heavyweight corporations and agile boutiques flocking to capitalize on the trend, how do you ensure your firm doesn’t just survive but thrives? We’ll explore strategic insights, share expert advice, and discuss real-world examples that have successfully navigated these waters. From differentiating your firm to innovating your offerings and optimizing operations, get ready to learn how to stand out and stay ahead in an increasingly crowded market. Join us as we uncover the keys to turning industry heat into your competitive advantage.

TRANSCRIPT

Greg Alexander [00:00:15] Hey, everybody. This is Greg Alexander. Welcome to the Pro Serv Podcast brought to you by Collective 54. The first community, dedicated to the needs of the boutique professional services firm. And on this episode, we’re gonna talk about what happens when your sector gets hot, and we have a fantastic guest with us. His name is Brad McAllister, and Brad works in the sustainability space, and he was in the sustainability space way before that was the thing and we want to hear his story and how his strategy has changed as the sector got hot and it attracted more and more competitors. So, Brad, would you please introduce yourself to the audience?

Brad McAllister [00:00:57] Yeah. Hey, hey, Greg. First of all, thanks for having me today. It’s honor to be here. I appreciate you seeing something in our story, work with sharing, with the members and hopefully they get to get something out of it. As you mentioned, my name is Brad McAllister. I’m one of the two co-founders of WAP Sustainability. I serve as the company’s President, COO. If, if you’re familiar with EOS, I’m the Integrator, then the, in the whole system, I know there’s a lot of EOS afficionados on the call. WAP Sustainability – we’ve  been in business for about 15 years as Greg said, you know, early in the sustainability journey. We predominantly help companies kind of navigate that confusing space, of ESG, sustainability and climate change. And we do this through analytics, reporting, and help with strategy and with, in various sectors.

Greg Alexander [00:01:54] Okay. Sounds great. So the reason why I wanted you on this show is because when we spoke last, you told me that in the early days, no one was really focused on sustainability. You know, and it was you, and some mission driven people that had a belief in this sector and you got involved and developed some expertise and had a nice business. And then all of a sudden, you know, the world got interested in what you were interested in and it got really hot and a whole bunch of people entered your space. A whole new set of competitors, everything from other niche boutiques, to mega firms. So tell everybody when that happened, what caused it? And then I want to jump in and hear a little bit about how you reacted to all of that change.

Brad McAllister [00:02:41] Yeah. And, and continuing to react to it. I mean, we’ve all heard that the only constant of life has changed. I mean, that is, you know, it is our market in a nutshell. As you mentioned, we’ve been, in the business for about 15 years. I met my co-founder, in grad school. We were part of the first sustainability cohort at a university here in Tennessee. I had studied Environmental Science. I come from an Ecology background. He too had an Environmental Science background. I was taking, some classes, MBA classes at the time. And so, we had some kind of synergies in the way that we saw, the market. We didn’t really know where it was going. I mean, you know, at that time, my parents were, you know, still clueless on how it was actually going to make money, in life, and, you know, there’s some funny stories about, you know, being in college and, you know, going out and, you know, trying to meet people and, you know, I made a switch from Pre-med to, you know, Ecology at one point and there was a clear delineation on how interested girls were to talk to me at the bar.

So, when I made that, so, you know, long story short, I mean, we really kind of on an early edge and, you know, I was inspired by by some readings and such. And I think, well. my business partner, you know, he was inspired as well. And so we got lucky with a few early clients at the early stage of it all, Walmart kind of came into the picture. We all remember that time when Walmart was, you know, kind of, the demon business, right? Putting out, you know, mom and pop shops throughout the country out of business. And, and they were looking for a way, I don’t know if they would agree with the synopsis. But this is my synopsis that, you know, sustainability was one of the ways that they could help, you know, clear their name, right? Detract from some of that bad stuff. So, what they had done in the early days of this is that… they engage their suppliers for the first time in a way that the suppliers had never been engaged before. And there was the sustainability survey that went out and ask for things like, you know, what your carbon footprint, you know, what are, your social indicator metrics? You know, a handful of other stuff, and companies didn’t know how to respond to that. But just so happened, you know, well, I had a little experience in that and, you know, we got some early clients. And while Walmart had good intentions or had intentions… they weren’t really driving the market, right, there’s a handful of suppliers, and those suppliers, you know, if you looked at the pie chart of their, you know, who they were selling to, that pie chart was, you know, 90-95 percent Walmart, you know, talk about key, you know, key customer risk there. And, and so those were the clients that we initially got. But there’s a whole host of other clients that are potential clients that weren’t really interested in going down that space because there wasn’t much pressure, right? They didn’t have that pie chart where it was 95 percent. So we stayed small servicing that market for quite a while. It’s just a business partner and I, for about six years, I think it was six or seven, seven years.

And then the commercial building space got involved. You may be familiar with LEED buildings. You, you see those plaques sometimes when you walk into, you know, buildings well, LEED started to expand the criteria of their certification to go beyond just energy efficiency, to focus on the materials that we’re actually going into the building. And materials and products, that’s the stuff we were focusing on with those Walmart suppliers. And so some of the services from those Walmart suppliers could be transferred to these building products suppliers. And so that happened, you know, seven, you know, seven years into our existence or so. And, and that caused us to, you know, basically service those two markets: consumer products onto big box stores, and then commercial buildings. And at that point, you know, decided to, you know, bring on another, you know, minority partner into the organization to support the building products space. And then we service that for a while. And then, you know, I guess what is it four years ago now? Or so? You know, it was five of us, we have a little smaller office in Chattanooga and COVID happened, and we shut the doors on that office not knowing what would happen.

Well, fast forward to today, and, you know, various other drivers which we can get to in this conversation, happened and we went from five people March of 2020 to about 55 today, just four years later. And what’s happened in that span is, you know, governments got involved, you know, investment communities got involved. Other big box stores have gotten involved. So it’s just kind of this perfect storm, of interest around, you know, climate change, you know, sustainability, biodiversity. And then, you know, the social elements of sustainability.

Greg Alexander [00:07:54] That was a great thank you for sharing that. And congratulations on, you know, an incredible success story. I mean from five people to 55 people in four years is just amazing. The part of the story that I really want to spend time on, because I think it’s transferable to our other members, it might not be in the sustainability space, is that a lot of competitors rush into the market because there was all this demand. So how did you react to that?

Brad McAllister [00:08:24] Yeah, yeah, we’ve seen other, you know, boutiques come into the space. We’ve seen big engineering firms come into this space. We’ve seen some of the big four come into this space. What we found is, you know, the old adage, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” What we, what we’ve done is highly invest in the culture of the company. We kind of create, the foundation of why we do what we do, how we do what we do, and in doing that, we’ve you know, created, you know, a feeling of culture of, you know, being action oriented, having a growth mindset into the organization. And so what we tried to do is empower our employees, to support the development of new services, or foster the kind of the next generation of consultants within the organization. That’s been pretty powerful as we’ve had some people leave for some of those other organizations chasing, you know, bigger paychecks if you will. I mean, it’s hard to compete with a Deloitte, right? But what we found is they’ve come back due to a lot of, the cultural elements of the organization. So that’s one way that we’ve done it. It’s also, you know, because we were early adopters in this space, we’ve positioned ourselves really well in places that other, you know, other organizations, less nimble, less agile organizations, are unable to.

You know, I think one of, the, you know, early successes early learnings that, we found was it’s more important to be where your customers are, not where your competitors are talking about the work, so, you know, if you think about conferences in any industry, sustainability is just one example. You know, you can only be in one place at one time. So do you go to the conferences in which people are talking about sustainability, or do you go to the conferences in which maybe sustainability is just a small little topic that your competitors aren’t there. And so we found success going into direct industry within, you know, those events that are targeted at the industry but not targeted at sustainability.

Greg Alexander [00:10:36] Perfect. Kind of zig when…

Brad McAllister [00:10:40] The zing in on a zag, that’s right, yeah. Yeah.

Greg Alexander [00:10:43] Let me, let me double click on the employee thing for a moment. And actually before I jump into that just to share with the audience—remember when you’re in professional services, you’re in two markets. The first is the employee market. So you’re competing for people to work at your firm. And when you’re in a sector like sustainability, you have a unique skill set, you can pretty much work wherever you want. So it’s a, very competitive market for high quality employees. And they’re also competing for clients. You know, I mean with all these players in your space, clients have options and you’ve got to win the clients, with two very distinct markets. So you use culture as your differentiator in the employee market, you know, to get people to work for you versus the bad guys. So give me maybe I don’t know one or two things that you think is unique about your culture and distinctly unique as compared to maybe, you know, the big firms, the Deloitte’s of the world.

Brad McAllister [00:11:37] Yeah. I find that a hard question to answer because kind of, you live in it, right? And I’ve never been in those other places. You know, some of our kind of core values of the organization, you know, being action-oriented, having a growth mindset, being technical translators and being relationship-focused. I think is really key. I mean, those are the adages, we communicate those continuously through the organization. You know, we say we’re accelerating sustainability through relationships because, you know, we feel like that’s what’s sticky, both for employees, and clients as well.

You know, we’ve… yeah, there’s some other things we do that I think you and I could probably have a debate about it, to be honest with you. You know, tracking hours is something we don’t do within the organization. You know, we don’t ask people to do that and I’ll give a plug to you guys, you know, I’m sorry, one of, your block sessions on, you know, resource utilization. And so I’m gonna have to try to explore, you know, how to actually do that, you know, when we don’t track hours. But that’s a big part of our culture as well. You know, we’re not, you know, we don’t nickel and dime clients. You know, we don’t really use the term scope creep. You know, sales is a bad word up-sales is a really bad word within the organization. You know, we like to think about it as business development, you know, as a relationship development. You know, we don’t do much marketing either as an organization. You know, we see our marketing as setting really intelligent people out into the world, to build relationships through, you know, presentations and, you know, expo’s, and those types of things. So, I think all that stuff kind of leans into it. You know, the other thing is when we made our first HR hire, when was this? I guess three years ago, we found somebody who… you know, I didn’t you know, the HR portion of HR wasn’t her expertise, the culture portion of HR was her expertise. Yeah, diversity was her expertise. You know, we figured she could learn, you know, the red tape of HR, but not everybody can learn, the cultural elements, of what makes a company like ours.

Greg Alexander [00:14:10] You know, those examples are really good examples but maybe for a counter-intuitive way. So let me try to connect the thoughts for some of our listeners. You know, we’re talking about, you know, how to operate a firm and how to change the operations of a firm when your sector gets hot. So for example, in your space, you don’t have to do any marketing because, the word sustainability is marketing in and of itself right? There’s so much demand, right? You don’t have to track hours because you have a different problem. You, you have more demand than you know what to do with. So optimizing around the hour that’s something that people do in a very mature market when growth rates start to slow. In your space, there would be a mistake to do that. You know, all the things that you’re doing right now, are the things due: not nickel and dime clients, focus on relationship building, because there’s so much wind in your sails. Maybe at some point, and I don’t know if this will even happen in my lifetime, because I think what you do for a living is gonna be here forever. But maybe at your point, your industry like others, most in fact, does mature. Demand starts to get reduced, commodity services start to enter the equation. Consolidation starts to happen and clients start to value other things like price over value, or maybe they don’t value relationships as much as they once did. I mean industries do mature.

So the lesson for the listeners is that when you’re in the hot sector and you have the luxury of that, you’ve got to pick and choose what elements of the playbook matter to you. So in Brad case, culture matters a ton in this space right now, that’s the right strategy. When you hire an executive member of your team, in his case HR, you don’t really care about things like compliance because that’s not the big value add. The big value add is the diversity is the culture et cetera. So that’s the lesson. And maybe we can conclude on this because, we try to keep these podcasts short and we’ll save the rest of this is such a rich conversation for the member Q and A. But that’s the lesson. The lesson is, you pick and choose the plays to run from your playbook, you know, based on the context that you’re in at the moment and time. And, and Brad story is a great one. So, Brad, on behalf of the membership, we’re very lucky to have you in our group because you’re an outlier, you know, to go from 5 to 55 people, in four years, is remarkable and there’s so much to learn from the outlier. So, thanks for being there today.

Brad McAllister [00:16:44] Yeah, my, my pleasure. Greg. I’m excited, you know, I’ve been a member of with you guys for just a handful of months now and, you know, your comment there about market consolidation changing in the market. I mean, that will happen in our space. And, you know, I, I’m excited to be part of this group to learn from other members who may be in a market that’s in a different maturity state because we’re heading in that direction. So it’s a great example of the kind of, the give and take that we give each other and, you know, being members, of Collective 54.

Greg Alexander [00:17:15] Yeah, exactly. All right. So I’ll conclude with a couple of calls to action. So if you’re listening to this, you’re not a member. You want to become one, go to Collective54.com and fill it on application. We’ll get in contact with you if you are a member and you wanna double click into Brad story, look for the Outlook meeting invite that we’ll be sending you for his private Q and A session which will be one hour in length on an upcoming Friday role model session. But until then, I wish you the best of luck until the next episode as you try to grow scale and sell your firm, take care. Thank you.

Brad McAllister [00:17:47] Thanks Greg!

The 4 Types of Culture in a Professional Services Firm

The 4 Types of Culture in a Professional Services Firm

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A few bad apples can destroy morale, and cultural ambassadors can make your firm a wonderful place to work. So how do you establish the right culture for your firm?

In this video, we explore 4 types of culture that are seen in professional services. Join us as we dissect the goals and priorities of each culture type, how they work, and what industry we typically see each of them in. 

In this video, you’ll learn:

    • How to manage the culture of your professional services firm as you scale
    • 4 types of culture in a professional services firm
    • What to consider when building your culture
    • How to be intentional about your culture

Episode 135 – How a Founder of a Consulting Firm Generates 98% Employee Retention by Deploying a Blame Free Culture – Member Case by George Jagodzinski

As a firm scales, bureaucracy creeps in and slows the growth trajectory. Culture is a substitute for bureaucracy, and it allows a boutique to retain its identity as it scales. In this session, members will learn how a founder built a powerful culture with a fully remote work force, and how it led to outstanding business results.

TRANSCRIPT

Greg Alexander [00:00:15] Welcome to the Pro Serve podcast, a podcast for leaders of thriving boutique professional service firms. For those that are not familiar with us, Collective 54 is the first mastermind community focused on the unique needs of the boutique Preserve founder. My name name’s Greg Alexander. I’ll be your host today. And on this episode we’re going to talk about culture. Culture is one of those things it’s tough to define when you see a good one. You can almost taste it. There’s a direct relationship between a healthy culture and outstanding financial performance, and it’s particularly important in a professional services firm for the obvious reason. These are people driven businesses and boutiques in particular because they’re smaller professional services firms. There’s a heightened level of need for a healthy culture because it’s a small group of people. Couple of bad actors can make a real big difference. And in contrast, you know, those that are living the values can have an exponential impact on the business. So we have a role model with us today is he’s a member of Collective 54. His name is George JAG Uscinski. Did I get that correct? 

George Jagodzinski [00:01:37] You nailed it, Greg. 

Greg Alexander [00:01:38] Okay, very good. So, George, would you introduce yourself and then tell us a little bit about your firm? 

George Jagodzinski [00:01:45] Sure. Sure. So, George Jackson, scheme managing partner at activity. And Greg, this is going to be a test because we just did our messaging yesterday the first time out. See how it goes. Right. So we’re a tech consultancy that’s built different so that we can build better. We help our companies succeed by addressing their toughest and most meaningful technology challenges, everything from e-commerce to back office modernization, application development or cybersecurity. We build, we integrate, we design, and we deliver strategy. 

Greg Alexander [00:02:13] You nailed the man. That was fantastic, right? Did you guys. 

George Jagodzinski [00:02:16] Start for today? 

Greg Alexander [00:02:17] Did you do that internally? Did you hire a marketing agency to help you with that? 

George Jagodzinski [00:02:20] We hired a marketing agency to help us out. 

Greg Alexander [00:02:22] Yeah. Yeah, that’s probably why it went so well. So a little plug for our marketing members. All right. So the reason why you’re on the show is because you have this thing called a blame free culture. And it’s almost branded, in my mind that term. Blame free really jumped out at me. So let’s start there. Explain to the audience what that means. 

George Jagodzinski [00:02:45] Sure. Absolutely. And I guess I’ll start with it’s it’s one part of our overall culture. There’s a there’s a lot more to it. But for me, it is it’s really stepping into challenges with curiosity rather than frustration and anger. Myself, I’ve gone through this journey. Personally. I think my wife’s going to get a kick out of this, this podcast, because even a simple act of asking where I misplaced my water bottle, you’d think I was accusing her of grand larceny just in the tone of asking a simple question. And so, you know, we’ve gone through this internally for a long time, saying that we’re transparent where there’s trust and there’s there’s blame free. But I’d say we’re now in iteration 2.0 of that, at least speaking for myself, whereas I used to just kind of bury the frustration and I’d use blame free language in addressing a problem. But when you can truly and this is through lots of therapy, Greg, which I’m a big advocate of, is is if you can take those because it’s perfectly natural to feel frustration and anger about a problem that you encounter. But if you can, you can tell that emotion what to do, you can accept it and let it move on. And then you could shift to curiosity and then really dig in. Then it truly becomes blame free because there’s always a myriad of circumstances and reasons why things happen and 99.9% of the time, it’s not because someone’s a bad actor, it’s because of the situation that they were in, the information that they had at that time. 

Greg Alexander [00:04:07] Now my team tells me you have a 98% employee retention rate, which is best in class by a mile. Connecting the dots here that the blame free culture contributed to that. Is that true? And if so, how exactly? 

George Jagodzinski [00:04:24] I think it is. I think it’s an overall you know, when you’re in a place of trust and there were, you know, that you’re not going to be blamed for something. It’s comfortable. And part of what we call the integrity way is that the journey is as important, if not more important than the results, both in the way that we work internally, in the way that we work with our clients. And I find that it allows everyone to sleep better and just really come to work energized and comfortable. At my favorite moment at our culture is because what you said earlier, people talk about this quite a bit and it’s hard to nail down really what a culture is. There’s always this moment a few weeks in a few months into when someone joins where they’re like, either see it directly or someone lets me know that they said it like, Oh, they really do mean it. You know, they said it, everyone says it, everyone has their values listed and everyone says that they’re going to have this culture. But it truly does happen. And, you know, I, I think that the way we make it successful in our culture is first and foremost as a leader demonstrating it. So we’ve had some big challenges where, you know, I’ve gone in and I’ve demonstrated at a blame free approach and I’ve heard, you know, months, years later that that was really valued and that, you know, that makes them happy to come to work. 

Greg Alexander [00:05:37] You know, when I first heard Blame Free, I had some negative thoughts that went into my head, which shame on me, but I’m being authentic. If I wanted to say, well, how do you drive high accountability in a blame free environment? So address that for me. 

George Jagodzinski [00:05:53] Yeah, it’s funny because when I was going through my journey to I would say I know that were blame free it just in confidence of my partner. But at the end of days something went wrong. So wasn’t someone to blame, you know. And I think it comes back to that just a competitive nature that where you want to win, you know, you want to do better and so on, that someone has to have been to blame for this. And I think that you can you can still be accountable without blaming, you know, and and we also we have common language here where some will say, hey, I own this and, you know, that’s not going to happen again. And as someone says, I own this and this isn’t going to happen again. And we learn from that and we become better. All the all the best. Right. And and that’s where I come at it from a curiosity perspective is, all right, you are accountable for this. Now let’s make it better. Let’s look forward. Blame is about looking backwards. But really, if you want to grow as a company and as people and you’re always looking forward, and how do we do this better? 

Greg Alexander [00:06:46] So that’s a good distinction. Blame is backward looking, you know, capturing those learnings and moving forward. That’s a really good distinction. You know, another thing that jumped off the page at me in terms of some of your benchmarking data is that you have 100% client renewals. That’s incredible. Did this unique culture that you have there contribute to that, and if so, how? 

George Jagodzinski [00:07:09] Yeah, So so to give clarity to that point, that’s last year to this year. So that’s not over the past 20 years. That would be insane. I’d love that that number. But from last year to this year, that was still good. And I think what it is, is I mean, we’ve had clients, we have one Fortune 500 sports apparel company that’s been with us 15, six years. Our government client has been with us over a decade now at this point. And we’ve had CEOs, CEOs bring us into companies that go from one place to the other to the other. And I think a testament to that truly is that, you know, valuing the journey over the results, you know, we have a team of people who are they’re driven to deliver. They always do the right thing no matter who’s looking, and they’re team players. And what we find is when we plug our teams into our clients, we not just get the work done, but we elevate their teams and they’re comfortable with it. One of my favorite moments is, especially in technology consulting, you’re sometimes dropped into a situation where you’ve got teams that are just butting heads. People are unhappy. They’re, you know, they’re they’re kind of they’re blaming each other back and forth. Right. And one of my favorite moments with our clients is where we can not only get them over that hump, but getting their teams working better together, because in my mind, those are people that are now going home at the end of the day that are bringing a lot more positivity rather than negativity to the dinner table. And that brings us a lot of joy. And I think that doing it in a transparent way, I’ll use one example for you is we had a gentleman join with us quite a few years ago. He came from another consulting agency not to be named and about three months in we had one of those moments where he said, Hey, I’m used to navigating this. What’s true versus what should I tell you versus what should I tell the client? And I’m always so busy playing that dancing game, right? And he’s like, This is so weird. There’s really just only one story that we’re talking about and we’re all on the same page and it helps people sleep better at night. And I think our struggle, quite honestly, from a from a marketing and branding perspective is so many firms out there say that they work like this, but so few, I think, actually do, because not only is it is it is it difficult, but to operationalize it at scale. But. Comes even that much harder. And when our clients actually experience it, it’s this best kept secret that they just want to hold on to. 

Greg Alexander [00:09:30] You know, the community is also told me that your superpower, if you will, is that you’re able to do this in a fully remote environment. You know, the everyday you pick up the newspaper and there’s big companies for some people back to work and there’s a debate three days, four days, two days. What is it? You’re fully remote. So how are you doing this? And describe that superpower for us. 

George Jagodzinski [00:09:51] Yeah. So we just celebrated our 20th year this spring. Congratulation had the whole company. Thank you. Had the company together was fantastic. And yeah, we were remote since day one and it was viewed a little bit weird at that point. You know, people couldn’t wrap their heads around it like, so you don’t have an office at all. People are working wherever they want to be. And it’s been it’s been interesting. Even pre-COVID, you started to see more acceptance. But then during COVID, you know, the big shift. But I think for us, it’s forced us to address culture head on right from the beginning and think about what trust is and and and not just do an okay job at it, but really be fantastic, best in class at how we do it. And even then the logistics of that. We’re a big believers in Patrick Lindsay and his writings and he talks a lot about the team norms. You have need to have very clear team norms and you have to be very, very intentional about that when you’re remote. And I was quite honestly, I was worried a little bit when when everyone started shifting to remote, I thought we were about to lose this competitive advantage that we we had because we’re able to find the best talent wherever it lifts you. We’ve had the best. It’s iOS developers that they they live in a house in Lake Tahoe, right? And, you know, they’re getting their skiing in, but they’re also cranking out the best code you could ever imagine. You know, or we’ll have a, you know, a designer that’s hanging out on a beach in Miami. Right. But they’re designing some of the coolest stuff you’ve ever seen. But what I’ve seen with the this shift that’s happening now is, well, first of all, I think a lot of people are kind of messing it up the hybrid and remote work. And then, you know, as I’ve I’ve thought about it, I think there’s something to be said for that. We we did this in an intentional way from the start because of our belief in people and how we we trust and value them versus as a reaction to what’s happening around us. 

Greg Alexander [00:11:43] Yeah, I agree. I mean, I’ve been doing it for 20 years way before anybody else was doing it. And because of that, you have all that institutional knowledge, so you do it well. Many of the firms these days doing it for the first time. I mean, so any time you do something for the first time, it takes way too long. You screw it up, you make mistakes, you know, and then you move down the learning curve and eventually get really good at it. So I think it is a strong competitive advantage for you. And what I found interesting was your strength is your culture, this blame free culture, but it’s origination was you’ve been remote from inception. You had to be really good at culture because your org model was a distributed workforce. Sometimes when people work, you know, central, they can kind of blow culture off a bit because they can get where they need to be, maybe through micromanagement, supervision, brute force, whatever you want to call it. But you guys didn’t have that choice. You had to be really good at it from the from the get go. So that’s a really interesting thought. Okay. Well, we’re out of our time here. I want to direct the members of Collective 54 to pay attention to when the meeting invite comes out for George. This gives you your opportunity to double click on his story. It’s a private session, as you know, and you can ask questions directly of him that go in much more depth and we’re able to cover in a short podcast. So check that out. If you’re not a member and you think something like that might be interesting to you, we do that every week on Fridays. We call it the Friday rule model session. Go to collective 54 dot com, You can fill out a form and one of our reps will get in contact with you. And then if you want to expand beyond this subject, this is one of many things we cover. I’d point you towards a book. It’s called The Boutique How to Start Scale and Sell a Professional services firm written by yours truly, Greg Alexander. You can find that on Amazon. But with that, George was great to have you today. Thank you for being a contributing member to our tribe. We’re better for it and I wish you the best of luck as you move forward in your blame free culture. 

George Jagodzinski [00:13:36] Thanks, Greg. I appreciate it.

Greg Alexander [00:13:38] Okay. Take care. Thank you.

Recruiting Employees: How to Navigate This Need as Your Firm Grows

Recruiting Employees: How to Navigate This Need as Your Firm Grows

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Pro serve founders know labor is our biggest expense – meaning recruiting isn’t optional, it’s mission-critical! But recruiting becomes more challenging as your business grows. Hiring 40 employees might require 200 interviews and 1,000 applicants. It requires a lot of time to expand your network and reach all those candidates. How can you navigate this effectively?

In this week’s video, Greg shares:

    • The 3 stages of business and employee types in each stage
    • 4 recruiting needs for professional service firms
    • The difference between an executive team and a manager of managers

Should You Outsource Your Sales? 4 Ways to Know Yes or No

Should You Outsource Your Sales? 4 Ways to Know Yes or No

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It’s no secret that outsourced sales efforts can save your firm time and money. But that doesn’t mean you should jump right in. Deciding whether to outsource requires you to know the specific needs of every potential client.

In this video, Greg Alexander, founder of Collective 54 and Capital 54, examines four types of needs you’ll find in the field, how to identify them, how to best serve them based on their needs, and which needs are better suited for outsourced sales.

In this video, you’ll learn:

    • The 4 types of needs you encounter in the field
    • Scenarios that should make you hesitant about outsourcing sales
    • When it makes sense to outsource sales
    • Things to consider before you decide to outsource sales

Selling Professional Services – Do You Need a Sales Team?

Selling Professional Services – Do You Need a Sales Team?

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Moving from Founder-Led Sales to a Commercial Sales Team

Are you relying on one person to generate business through referrals? The path from a small business to a market leader requires you to build out a professional commercial sales engine. In other words, you need a team of people, excluding the owners, that are bringing in work with a predictable and consistent process. Join us to learn about the attributes that make up the engine.

In this week’s video, Greg shares:

– How to build a team that doesn’t rely on the heroics of a few individuals

– Developing a consistent process for recruiting and training sales talent

– What you should know if you plan to exit your firm one day 

Hiring Employees: Getting it Right for Your Pro Serv Firm

Hiring Employees: Getting it Right for Your Pro Serv Firm

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Have you ever said “Nobody can do what I do?” At Collective 54, we hear this a lot – but if you want to grow and scale a pro serve firm, you can’t be the hero. In fact, Most pro serve founders have more 90%+ of their net worth tied up in their firm. However, that worth will never be fully realized if you’re the linchpin in your own operation. A team is critical in solving this. 

In this week’s video, Greg shares:

      1. How to avoid the hero style management firm

      2. 3 key questions to ask yourself when scaling your business

      3. Signs you may be stuck in a lifestyle business and how a team can solve this

Episode 91 – How the Founder of an Architecture Visualization Firm Built a Culture That Produces Zero Employee Turnover  – Member Case with Jing Johnson

Culture can be described as how things get done in your firm. Intentionally focusing on culture is critical to the success of a boutique professional services firm. On this episode, we invited Jing Johnson, Founder & CEO of PRISM Renderings, to share how she built a highly effective culture and the positive impacts it has had on retention and the success of her firm.  

TRANSCRIPT

Greg Alexander [00:00:15] Welcome to the Boutique with Collective 54, a podcast for founders and leaders of boutique professional services firms. For those that are not familiar with us, Collective 54 is the first mastermind community dedicated exclusively to helping you grow, scale and exit your pro search firm. My name is Greg Alexander. I’m the founder and I’ll be your host today. And today we’re going to learn from a fantastic entrepreneur and a woman who I feel has achieved outstanding business results due in large part to the unique culture of her firm. And what I hope to accomplish today is to highlight how the culture and the uniqueness of it can translate into outstanding business results and why culture is more important in a processor firm than it is in a corporation. Because a processor firm is really a collection of people and therefore culture is of the utmost importance. We’re very fortunate to have a fantastic role model with us today. Her name is Jing Johnson, and she’s going to share parts of her story, which is a rather unique one. So, Jing, welcome to the show. 

Jing Johnson [00:01:26] Thank you, Greg, for having me. 

Greg Alexander [00:01:28] Would you please provide a introduction of yourself and your firm for the audience? 

Jing Johnson [00:01:34] Of course. My name is Jing Johnson, the founder and CEO of PRISM Rendering Space in Houston, Texas. Greg, we help commercial real estate developers raise capital, get entitlement and pre-leasing their buildings. We accomplish that by creating photo, realistic renderings and videos so our client can preview their visions with their stakeholders before the building get built. There are a couple of unique differentiators about our business and our team. First, unlike most of competitors, we can we can help our clients on early stage projects with new images or sometimes no design information because of all architecture backgrounds. Secondly, we are the only all women team in this male dominated field. I think we are going to talk more about that later. 

Greg Alexander [00:02:40] We are adjourned. You know, I’m going to share some stats for the audience and I’m sharing them because Jing is so modest. She would never share these on her own. So I’m going to I’m going to brag on her behalf. But for the members that are listening to this Jing, Jing’s gross margins are about 50% higher than the membership. She doesn’t do much hourly billings at all. Most of it’s fixed bids. She has 100% employees. No, no. 1099 are kind of freelancers, if you will. Remarkably has 0% turnover. Just let that sit in for a moment. 0% employee turnover. She’s running at about 80% of our revenue is coming from existing accounts. So just put those two things together. 80% of revenue from existing accounts, which would suggest an incredibly high client satisfaction score and no employee turnover, which would suggest an incredibly high employee satisfaction score. And those two numbers, employee satisfaction and client satisfaction and profits are really only two that count to get those two right. Everything else takes care of itself. So your numbers are outstanding. And I want to connect the dots here because as I understand it, you employ moms. Is that true? 

Jing Johnson [00:04:02] Yes. We are a team of all working moms. 

Greg Alexander [00:04:06] So tell us how you landed on that very unique employee strategy. 

Jing Johnson [00:04:13] Well, as come from my original story, I started a business at 25. I was struggling between my career and my family life. Basically, I work in a big architecture firm. It’s very demanding in terms of my schedule, my time and a time I had two boys, five and eight years old, need a lot of time from me as well. So I was just struggling between getting, you know, the balance between both and why I started this business is my goal is to, you know, first to provide a sustainable service provider to our clients. In the meantime, I can have the flexibility to raise my voice. So that’s how everything started. So when I started to hire employees, I realized that, you know, other working moms can benefit from this business model, not just me. So that’s my mission now, is to help even more clients and also help more working moms. 

Greg Alexander [00:05:31] Very good. And I also understand that you’re working. Moms are truly global. They’re all over the world. Is that true? 

Jing Johnson [00:05:38] We actually the our team, U.S. is all here. Some most of us are in Houston and one in Arizona. But we do have production teams overseas. 

Greg Alexander [00:05:53] Okay. So maybe that’s what I was thinking of. So what are the production teams do for you? 

Jing Johnson [00:05:58] Every day they create those images and they basically are our creative team to take the information we get from our clients and create those images and videos for us. Our team in us are, you know, basically our management, you know, members. 

Greg Alexander [00:06:24] Okay. Very good. All right. So how is it that you have 0% turnover? 

Jing Johnson [00:06:32] Well, I think it’s it really comes to our culture. I’m trying to create this culture that I want to be in. Right. That can allow the opportunity for our team members to realize their potentials in in a professional career. But in the meantime, they have that flexibility to take care of their families and their kids. And so we are very intentional in create this environment to feel safe, to feel appreciated and respected. And they they learn every day. It just we we tried to create this, you know, environment. Everybody feel that they are they have this opportunity. They can do whatever they they can to realize their full potential. 

Greg Alexander [00:07:31] Yet these brave working moms are also highly skilled. So share with us the typical background in terms of maybe professional credentials or education levels, etc.. 

Jing Johnson [00:07:46] So our team members range from, you know, M.D., have a master’s degrees to have just have no, you know, university degrees, but highly, highly skilled and and, you know, into like intellectual have an intellectual, you know, skill to and, you know, do their best to serve our clients. So for me is really not about your degrees, your your education, right? Is your excuse is how you can have that people skill. You can, you know, serve the clients and serve your team members the best way you can. 

Greg Alexander [00:08:32] Yeah. Now, Jing, when I was reading about you and and your story, I was I was really surprised at the juxtaposition of some of these numbers. So, for example, you run a pretty high utilization rate north of, let’s say, 80%. But you also have this remarkable 0% turnover. Those think those two things are usually in contrast with one another. You know, normally if somebody were working that much as your employees are, there’s some turnover because there’s burnout. How do you balance this requirement to satisfy employees and kind of log the hours, so to speak, but also not make to also make sure that your employees don’t get burnt out? 

Jing Johnson [00:09:18] Well, I don’t. I mean, I work long hours sometimes, but I don’t require my employees to. For example, I like to spend a few hours a Sunday to Sunday afternoon or evening to plan my next week I would set up. So, for example, if I have a few things I need to each team members to pay attention to, I will schedule those emails, send it out first thing Monday morning. I’m not sending out or doing the weekends. So they feel anxious to, you know, reply to my email, which is not necessary. I’m trying very hard to, you know, not taking their family time away from from, you know, just from work is really when during the weekend or evening time they should focus on their families and not on the work, but doing the work hours. So we are a very productive and efficient. 

Greg Alexander [00:10:20] Yeah. And I’m imagining when we get to the member Q&A on Friday, you’re going to get this question, which is it sounds like you’ve tapped into this hidden labor pool, these these moms, so to speak. How did you find them? Did you know the ball or what did you recruit? Like, how did you locate them all? 

Jing Johnson [00:10:41] Yeah, mostly either, you know, I met those ladies, wonderful ladies from my church or from work, some professional events or you know, they are highly recommended by somebody I trust and respect. So it’s pretty much from our inner circle. 

Greg Alexander [00:11:04] Yeah. Okay. Got it. You know, it’s always the hiring success goes up dramatically when the person that you’re considering joining your team. 

Jing Johnson [00:11:17] Yeah. 

Greg Alexander [00:11:18] It comes from a trusted source like you’re mentioning. 

Jing Johnson [00:11:21] That’s right. And also why you create that, you have that reputation of helping working moms and, you know, in the meantime, create some really beautiful, you know, work, you know, works get around and people notice. So it helps us recruiting. 

Greg Alexander [00:11:40] Yeah. Now, during the great resignation, which we’ve been living through the last couple of years, you know, there’s been a lot of poaching going on. Employees are getting lured away with bigger paychecks. And you’ve been able to not let that happen to you. Have you experienced any kind of wage pressure at all? 

Jing Johnson [00:12:04] Not really. We did increase our salary at the beginning of the year. You know, we kind of keep it that we usually have a salary increase every year. But we were able to no, we were not able to do that 20, 20 and last year, just trying to see how things going. But this year we did. And then we have a good. Benefit package used for one case and other benefits. But also, we actually I was just told a couple of weeks ago by a respected advisor that one of my team members was approached three years ago before Covid. It was a wonderful opportunity and it was perfect for her and she turned it down. She said, I just I love work here. I’m not going anywhere. And this advisor told me she’s he was saying that that says a lot about your culture, that, you know, this individual has a great potential. It was a great fit for that company. But she chose to stay with you. And and it says a lot. 

Greg Alexander [00:13:26] Yeah, it does say a lot for sure. You know, the the the point I really want to emphasize here for the member is that I learned from this is to remind ourselves that we have to value propositions. Mhm. We have a value proposition that tells clients why they should hire you. Right then we’ve got a value proposition that tells employees why they should work for you and founders of boutique pro. So firms are really competing in two markets, the competing in the market for clients and they’re competing in the markets for employees. And it’s just as important, maybe even more so they have a very compelling employee value proposition so that when somebody comes knocking, as was the case and one of the things employee three years ago, they don’t take that enticing job. They evaluate working for you in totality, the culture, who they’re working with, the type of work they’re doing. Yes, the compensation, the benefits package. But the whole thing in totality. And you’re just a remarkable example of putting that to work and and having it translate into these remarkable results that I just shared with the members. So it was it was wonderful to have you on the episode today, and you’re an inspiration for the rest of us. And thank you for being part of Collective 54. 

Jing Johnson [00:14:48] Well, thank you. We I just have learned so much from this community, and I appreciate that you include me in this episode. 

Greg Alexander [00:14:58] Okay, great. All right. Well, for those that are in professional services, who want to belong to a community and get a chance to rub shoulders with great people like Jane Johnson, consider applying for membership, which you can do at collective54.com. And if you want to read more about topics like this one, pick up a copy of my book called The Boutique on a Start Scale and sell at Professional Services Firm. Thank you for listening and I look forward to our next episode.

Episode 69 – How a Challenger Brand Advertising Agency Won the War On Talent

Member Case with Mike Sullivan

As professional services firms scale, the culture erodes. Bureaucracy creeps in and employees shift from serving the client to serving the boss which stalls scaling. On this episode, we discuss scaling culture with Mike Sullivan, CEO of Loomis. 

TRANSCRIPT

Greg Alexander [00:00:15] Welcome to the Boutique with Collective 54, a podcast for founders and leaders. A boutique professional services firms, for those that aren’t familiar with us, Collective 54 is the first mastermind community to help you grow, scale and exit your firm bigger and faster. My name is Greg Alexander. I’m the founder, and I’ll be your host today. And on this episode, we’re going to talk about culture and we’re going to do so with our friend and member, Mike Sullivan. Mike, it’s good to see you. And would you please properly introduce yourself to the audience? 

Mike Sullivan [00:00:48] Yeah. Hey, Greg, good to see you too. So I’m Mike Sullivan, president and CEO of the Loomis Agency here in Dallas, Texas, and I’ve occupied this seat for 20 years, if you can believe it. 

Greg Alexander [00:01:01] Wow. And what doesthe Loomis agency do? 

Mike Sullivan [00:01:03] Well, we call ourselves a challenger brand advertising agency. And what that means specifically is that we specialize in the unique needs of challenger brands. And Challenger brands are defined as really classically any brand that isn’t number one in its market, but it goes well beyond that, too. And we can have a discussion around that if you like, but that’s – that’s what we do. 

Culture and scaling

Greg Alexander [00:01:27] Great. So you’ve been around 20 years, which is fantastic, and that’s proof that whatever it is you’re doing is working. What role has culture played for you over the years in growing and scaling and sustaining your for – your firm’s performance? 

Mike Sullivan [00:01:42] Yeah. So the firm has actually been around thirty-five years. So my partner Paul Lewis, I joined him in the year 2000. I came in as president and culture was something that I think Paul, you know what he thought about culture and he thought about yogurt. You know, I mean, nobody was talking about culture. You know, nobody was talking about the team member experience, if you will. And that’s no slight on Paul. I mean, nobody was really in the 90s. It just wasn’t the topic du jour, but it is now, obviously. 

And so when I came in, you know, the agency was in a very different place, it was much smaller. There was no intentionality behind hiring and bringing the right folks in. It was just, can you do this job? Good, go do it kind of thing with no guidance beyond that. And I began to slowly shape and shift that based on my own guiding principle for the agency, which was simple. 

I just wanted to create the kind of employment environment where people look forward to going to work on Monday morning, you know, no Sunday night blues and so on. So that’s kind of where it started, but it’s obviously become far more than that. I mean today, where I think we’reseven time best places to work. Morning News Dallas Business Journal. I think culture is a real differentiator for our agency, and we can talk about that. But there’s your short answer. 

Fighting “the way things are” 

Greg Alexander [00:03:11] Congratulations, you know, and the the agency world, unfortunately, I would say over the years has earned a reputation for not having great cultures. It can be a little transactional and lots of burnout. But clearly, if you’re winning these types of awards, that’s not the case with you. And maybe that’s why you guys are standing out the way that you are. When I think about culture, I think about everything you just said for sure, and it’s mission critical. 

But I’m always putting it in the context of how does how does it help me scale my firm? And one of the ways that it does is that when you get to a certain side size the founders, the partners can’t be everywhere at all times and there has to be this thing called “this is the way we do it around here”. And I know that sounds crazy, but you know, things get done a certain way without, you know, bureaucracy like procedures and policies. It just “this is the way we do things”. Has that happened at your firm? 

Mike Sullivan [00:04:05] It absolutely has happened. And Greg, it starts with identifying the kind of team members you want to have inside your organization, really, if you back it all the way back up to, you know, sort of vision, values, mission, that sort of thing. And then you go and you find people who fit that and you don’t get it right – you know, right off the start and you may you may get one that works well and maybe one that doesn’t, but you tune that over time. 

And because culture is, yeah, it’s all the things that we say and write down and talk about. This is what we stand for, but it’s really even more than that. It’s – it’s all the unwritten, unspoken, unsaid things. And so that – that creates that replication that I think you’re speaking it. So good things get replicated in aculture. Bad things get replicated in a culture. So the intentionality around that is really important. So when you’re applying that to the hiring environment, it’s  really important to get that right. And I keep coming back to hiring because I just think it obviously it all starts with the people, you know, creating the culture and sustaining it, rebuilding it. It’s a living thing. It’s not static. 

Connecting vision

Greg Alexander [00:05:11] Yeah, you’re right. It does come back to the people. And you do your best in the interview process to select the right people based on a set of values. But it is an imprecise science and sometimes you’re going to get those things wrong and the culture has to accept or reject people as they come into the organization. So it stays consistent. And you know, you have a strong culture when that’s happening. 

You know, you mentioned the word vision, which is a favorite word of mine, and that is, you know, you’re creating a vision of the future, the aspirations of the firm. Sometimes I think our members, which are partners and founders of boutique firms, you might even call them challengers Mike in your world. Sometimes they failed to connect the vision with an individual. So if I’m an employee, how do I contribute personally towards the accomplishment of the vision? And when I do so, you know “what’s in it for me?” Yeah, sometimes that’s missing from these vision statements. What are your thoughts on that? 

Mike Sullivan [00:06:09] No, I agree completely. You know, team members need to, and that’s why this just such a big, big part of what we do. Walking in the door, we’ve got this little actually little purpose book. But you know, I talk about this in terms of, oh, it’s got our vision, our values, our mission, all that stuff. You know, we like to say we are, let’s see, using creativity and service of capitalism.

 And so what is it that our folks are doing on a daily basis to help advance the… And help create the business impact that we’re trying to create for our clients and getting them connected to that, tTalking about this, getting me excited about this, like we’ve got a series of workshops, challenger workshops that we do in the agency. We get people enrolled in it. 

They need to understand that, you know, our agencies positioning is connected to our vision and that is helping challengers win. You know, I don’t think the – don’t outspend the competition, outthink them you know, kind of thing. But but yeah, people on the team need to understand it, which I think is, you know, the first objective making sure that everybody has a shared understanding of what the vision is and then understand how they can contribute to it. 

You know, at the end of the day, in a good high-performing culture, people feel like A) they belong and B), they have a purpose and they’re connected to. And sometimes I think we think in terms of purpose, like it’s a bit grandiose purpose. No, my purpose in this organization is to help do these things so that we can accomplish this on behalf of our client. 

Self-governing culture

Greg Alexander [00:07:45] Yeah. You know, utopia, which are perfection, which none of us obtain, but this is what we’re shooting for, is this concept of a self-governing culture, a self-governing team. And what that means is that the culture is reinforced through behaviors that get rewarded, behaviors that get punished. 

But it’s not this kind of top-down, you know, dictator driven, founder driven way. It’s almost bottoms up where people are policing themselves, so to speak, which makes the job of the founder or the partner so much easier. Has your firm reached that level or have you gotten close to that? And what are your maybe general thoughts on this concept of a self-governing culture? 

Mike Sullivan [00:08:29] OK. So, yeah, absolutely. Self-governing, I have a little trouble with because I think it’s a rule, because maybe it implies to me a little bit of tuning out for leadership, which can never happen. Leaderships really got to be tapped into and connected to the culture. Leaders are so important for setting the tone and the pace and culture. 

Again, it’s what said, what’s done. If I am being congruent with the things that I say, believe me or are watching that? But yes, definitely. Once your culture becomes, I think, good and stable and sound and consistency across time is important and you invite the right people in to help you continue to perpetuate that. Yeah, it becomes self-sustaining in that respect. Absolutely. 

And it’s amazing. You know, when you – even the healthiest cultures, we’ve got 65 people. I think when you just get one higher rung, you know, it’s – it’s amazing the disturbance that that causes, you know? And again, it becomes and I like to say, look, if it’s not a fit, you’re going to glow in the dark, you know, and you do. And so it becomes a self-selecting culture in that respect, too. 

Greg Alexander [00:09:39] I love that – if it’s not a fit, it’s going to glow in the dark. It’s a really great way of saying that, for sure. And you’re right. I mean, one or two people out of 65 can make a difference, surprisingly, but it does, because it’s just a ripple effect. This is really something.

 Another topic onculture I find intriguing, particularly for boutique firms – firms like yours is… Sometimes it tends to be a dominant department or dominant function, like in my Old Firm, the rainmakers they – they kind of ruled the place and everybody else took – took the lead from them and that. It was the right thing for us, it’s not the right thing for everybody, but it was the right thing for us. Is there a function in your firm that is kind of the lead horse, so to speak, and sets the tone? Or is it more kind of, you know, democratic? 

Mike Sullivan [00:10:28] You know, that’s a great question, Greg. I believe in our firm that we’re pretty even with respect to that, that there’s that very often in the ad agency world, you’ll find a shop that is, it will say it’s a creative driven agency,  the creatives sort of rule the roost.. Many agencies that have that kind of reputation or as an account driven, you know, and it’s just, you know, the account people are running the show – sales driven organizations. 

That, too, is a culture that that is the culture. I don’t believe that we’re oriented in any one particular fashion, but that’s always something to check in on. And you know, you don’t want to overweight one group at the expense of another because again, that creates disharmony. 

You know, if you’re not optimized… a lot of times and I think this is really true for founders, you know, my background, for example, is account service and strategy. And so early in my career and early when I started doing this, I really did. You know, I was a little heavier on that side of things and maybe appreciating more what the account team was delivering and how hard their job was? Well, I had to even that out my own approach. I had to check in and go, Wait a minute. My media group, my creative group, you know, the folks working production. All of thesethings makes the band work. It’s not, you know, any one component of it. 

Maturing in the developmental cycle

Greg Alexander [00:11:52] So my own journey is something similar. You know, I was I was in the Rainmaker Group and I hired in my image and the Rainmaker Group became the dominant group. And I ran into a scalability problem because most of my team at that point didn’t truly understand what was required to scale. And what I mean by that is we would just go out and sell work, and we wouldn’t think about how we were going to deliver that work and the impact that had on profitability. 

And it wasn’t until those people got promoted to the partnership tier and they were equity owners, and they understood how things flowed through a PNO. Did they change their opinion on things? Oh, I don’t want to sign that piece of work because that actually is going to cause us harm. But that type of client and that piece of work makes a lot more sense to us. So maybe, maybe, maybe sometimes that’s just a function of maturity and where a firm is in their developmental cycle. 

Mike Sullivan [00:12:46] I think so, Greg. And within the leadership, I was very much like that – new business guy. It’s like, gosh, you know, I mean, just go up, get new business. It’ll, you know, revenue takes care of everything. It can cause a lot of challenges. And and thankfully, my executive creative director Tina Tackett, who’s been with us for  – she started the same day I did 20 years ago. She’s has tamed me appropriately. You know, and I have a complete and I think kind of respect for the process, as it were – that younger Mike Sullivan just never would have comprehended. It took a while, but I definitely got. 

Priority of culture

Greg Alexander [00:13:26]Yeah.  So your firm is winning awards for a great place to work. You know, you have cultural artifacts like your book you just showed me, which is great. I would suggest to the audience that you have an advanced perspective on culture, which is probably the reason why you’re having so much success. How do you – this would be my last question. There’s only so many hours in the day and you’re running a substantial firm. You probably have a to do list the size of Texas, and you could just only get to so many things. So so where does culture fall from a priority perspective and – and how do you allocate time towards it? 

Mike Sullivan [00:14:06] You know, Greg, honestly, for me, it’s number one. I mean it all, it really is number one. In fact, here’s the other book you know The Voice ofthe Underdog: How Challenger rands Create Distinction by Thinking Culture First.

 I’m always thinking about this stuff, you know, because I believe that if you get culture right, it does allow you to scale. For instance, you know, we our average tenure among our employees is almost three times the industry average. As a result, our average client tenure is three times the industry average-  that creates instability, stability, it a smoothness in the organization that you don’t always find in the agency world. And I think there is just so many cascading advantages that spill from that. And it’s like I said, it’s the number one thing that I think I think about. 

Greg Alexander [00:14:57] Yeah, that’s a bold statement. I know you got a lot to think about the number one thing that’s really strong. So give us the name of that book again. And if people want to read more about this, how do they find it? 

Mike Sullivan [00:15:06] Yeah, it’s the voice of the – Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Create Distinction by Thinking Culture First. 

Greg Alexander [00:15:13] And they can find it online?

Mike Sullivan [00:15:14] Mike Sullivan and Michael Tuggle. Yes, on Amazon, you know, like good stuff. Yeah,.Yeah, yeah, 

Greg Alexander [00:15:21] OK. And if members want to find you personally and reach out to your read about you, where can they do that? 

Mike Sullivan [00:15:28] So they can certainly shoot me an email at [email protected]. That is our URL. Theloomisagency.com. And yeah, I’d love to talk to folks about this. This is one of – like I said, it’s my favorite topic from a business standpoint. 

Conclusion

Greg Alexander [00:15:45] So, all right. Well, listen, you’re a great member. We’re lucky to have you. Thank you very much for being here today. I really appreciate it. 

Mike Sullivan [00:15:51] Thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it. Okay. Greg Alexander [00:15:55] And for those that want to learn more about this subject and others, you can pick up our book called The Boutique How to Start, Scale and Sell a professional services firm, which I’m proud to say, just hit bestseller status on Amazon and our little niche so you can find it there. And then if you want to meet other great people like Mike, consider joining our mastermind community, which is Collective54.com OK, thanks everybody. Thanks again, Mike. Appreciate it.