Executive Series #3: Creating Competitive Clarity

At Culture Spark, we partner with business leaders who recognize and desire the advantages of a strong culture. We hope you will follow along in the coming months as we dig deeper into real-world examples and consider unlocking your team’s true potential through the deliberate construction of a strong culture.

One of Culture Spark’s early prospective clients was Aldridge. The timing was not right then, but 6 years later, the timing was perfect and Sheryl was equipped to make a big impact. Aldridge is widely known as a managed IT services partner with offices in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Seattle. Its mission is to maximize the impact of technology on people, enabling them to work smarter so their organizations can accomplish more. Aldridge serves companies across a wide variety of industries including, but not limited to accounting firms, marketing organizations, medical practices, construction companies, and engineering firms.

The Challenge

Aldridge has grown dramatically by acquisition over the past 20 years leading to offices spread out geographically. Before working with Culture Spark, each office operated differently, was managed differently, and targeted different “ideal clients”. As a result, Aldridge President Bryan Gregory, and CEO Patrick Wiley found that they were losing clients and creating uncertainty. Employee turnover was at an all-time high contrary to their goal of becoming a best place to work. Compound that with The Great Resignation, and it created a perfect storm. The leadership team could not in good conscience continue to grow Aldridge without righting the ship. They realized that first they needed to unify the team and engaged Culture Spark to assist in deliberately building a culture for their multi-office structure. The leadership team was committed to fostering a united firm culture and needed Sheryl’s guidance to make it happen.

The Game Plan

Sheryl Lyons, CEO of Culture Spark utilizes a methodology that includes an ongoing cultural exploration, thoughtful construction and implementation of culture components, and leadership techniques that support organizational transformation. The result is a business strategy truly aligned with the people executing it, igniting a positive impact on hiring, retention, productivity, teamwork, and ultimately, financial performance. Sheryl onboarded the team and immediately set out to align the employee experience to the desired customer experience. She utilized 3 steps that made a priceless impact:

  1. First, she implemented exercises to identify the long-term vision. These exercises challenged leaders to answer, who do they want to be? And what do they want to be known for? After leadership provided direction, Sheryl hosted extensive employee focus groups involving all Aldridge employees in the discovery process.
  2. Second, after those answers were clearly stated, Sheryl was able to translate them into a clear value proposition and better articulate how Aldridge competes in the marketplace. Sheryl also identified the employee behaviors that drive the delivery of this promise.
  3. Once there was clarity of vision and the behaviors that supported it, Aldridge experienced a positive culture shift.

The Result

Aldridge is now well on its way to achieving Gregory’s dream of becoming a best place to work. As stated by Gregory, “The biggest stigma we overcame was the thought that culture is intangible, that culture can be looked at as a dirty or overused word, and the feeling that we couldn’t do anything about it. Sheryl is so much more than a consultant who comes in and helps with culture. She came to us with a plan and course of action that did not disappoint. Her comprehensive focus groups led to evaluations that enabled tangible actions. We can now take those findings and create an environment that inspires our employees to work together with intention and passion for the workplace and our clients.”

The Aldridge philosophy comes down to listening to a company’s needs and implementing IT strategies to help move its business forward. CEO Patrick Wiley recognizes that Aldridge is still a work in progress, but he can now clearly see and recognize the value in the way they communicate internally and how that translates to their clients, creating higher profits and lower turnover.

Wiley said “I would recommend Sheryl to anyone looking to examine or improve their culture. Culture is a loaded topic in the workplace, and she breaks it down into very tangible steps. If you have worries or things you’re wanting to fix, you can rely on Sheryl to turn your culture around. She will leave you with priceless feedback and a roadmap to guide you from where you are to where you want to go. All things considered, working with Sheryl was a great experience and well worth the cost and time!”

Sheryl was able to connect with the team and, together, they made a major impact at Aldridge! Reflecting on her time at Aldridge, Sheryl said “I have a deep affinity for the Aldridge Team and the work that they put into deliberately constructing a culture of unification. They are now walking in clarity and confidence as a team, and it reflects on their clients.”

That’s our spark, what’s yours?