By Pat Knoerle-Jordan – Partner
Take one-part successful entrepreneur CEO and one-part business consultant extraordinaire with a passion for magic, shake them up and what do you get? Exponential Magic!
Keystone Technologies CEO and Founder, Eric Humes assembled a strong leadership team and highly valued, quality coworkers, practicing transparency in his company management. Transparency is a word that is frequently tossed around like the Cardinals outfielders fielding balls prior to a game. Yet transparency is not commonplace especially practiced with rigor, honesty and consistency.
Steve Finkelstein, Sr. Partner and Co-Founder of Experience on Demand, (EOD), is a treasured business consultant, who lives his passions both in business, his family and the community. He cares deeply about his partners at EOD because he believes in them. He carries this value to his genuine belief in his clients – even at times when their self-confidence may be wavering. Oh, did I tell you that Steve is a professional magician, which he uses in speaking and workshop facilitation?
Eric and Steve worked on a shared client back in 2008, they learned to like and trust each other and kept in touch as a sounding board. Fast forward to late Fall 2017. Eric reached out to Steve describing a complex business situation – the kind that takes your breath away. This required swift, strategic mid-course correction and Eric wanted to involve his team in creating solutions.
Steve took the leadership team back to basics; conducting an assessment of the company’s strength’s, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Asking the right questions enables the client to develop the right answers. Shameless, blameless, debrief of the business challenge emerged and specific action plans were developed. The leadership team saw the value and decided to go deeper and conduct the same kind of SWOT assessment with their departments and functional teams to better engage their coworkers to drive improvements. Steve supported them with a culture survey which immediately improved morale and employee engagement. Steve taught the leadership team how to facilitate the same kind of SWOT analysis with their departments, through coaching, a robust tool kit and observing them in action. Solutions emerged quickly and Eric achieved what he hoped; that everyone, every day, understood exactly how they contribute to their company goals. He was witnessing everyone rowing in unison and the goal for mid-course correction was no longer on the horizon, rather it was within everyone’s sight. Magic you say, not so- rather focused hard work was the catalyst for these process changes and improvements that changed the company trajectory in one year!
They could’ve been very satisfied with their improved business practices and well on their way. But, on a deeper analysis of this business consultation analysis, the value of transparency surfaced as the magic. Eric had practiced “Ask Me Anything” on a company-wide basis for years. It pulls the 800-pound gorilla out of the closet and puts it in a plain sight. “Ask Me Anything” occurs weekly within Keystone, where any coworker can put forth a question to the CEO about anything in the company by Wednesday at noon. Every Friday at 3:30 Eric broadcasts the TGIF video response to the stump the star question posed just Wednesday of that week. It’s also an opportunity for a quick update on progress against goals and other company-wide communications.
Exponential Magic isn’t magic at all. CEO’s need to know when to reach out and Consultants are not miracle workers. Clients need to know how much a consultant cares before they can appreciate how much you know. This mid-course correction occurred because the culture of transparency already existed and was catapulted into greater impact with simple, rigorous and honest business consulting tools of SWOT analysis and implementing company wide engagement. Keystone Technologies was already primed for analysis and practiced problem solving within a culture of honesty and shameless blameless debriefs and continue to use these practices through new business challenges. Keystone Technologies provides the best technology solutions to ensure health care providers have reliable and secure access to patient information and enable excellent patient care.
“We achieved everyone rowing in unison to achieve our goals through trusted partnership and mid-course strategic consultation with
Experience on Demand. They listen and partner with us to assess problems and develop solutions.”
Eric Humes, CEO and Founder