Our clients are typically very successful privately owned or closely held companies from a broad range of markets and businesses. Although they have already achieved a high level of success before working with us, they each recognized there was something in the way they were working that was limiting their ability to reach their highest goals or face new threats they envisioned coming into their market. Through adopting and practicing The Collaborative Way®, they were able to gain the edge they needed to meet these challenges. While The Collaborative Way® is obviously only one part of their success, it is a key component that enables all the other components to reach their full potential.
Client Acknowledgment for The Collaborative Way®
The following statements are from a number of our clients sharing what they have gained from their practice of The Collaborative Way®.
HCSS Innovative Software develops software to help construction companies streamline their operations. HCSS’s mission is to: “Help our customers dramatically improve their business through our innovative, high-quality software and exceptionally helpful service, while providing a great life for our employees”.
HCSS is a software company in Houston with 220 employees. We first learned about The Collaborative Way® from one of our customers who has been using it for 20 years and spoke glowingly of how it has transformed their business to where they are nearing the $1 Billion per year mark. Since HCSS has been one of the “Best Places to Work in Texas” nine years in a row and we are always looking for better people practices to give us a competitive advantage, this seemed like a natural fit. After using it now for a little over a year, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. In the videos that follow, you’ll hear from HCSS employees from the executive level down about the dramatic impact The Collaborative Way® has made.
– Mike Rydin (CEO, HCSS)
Mike Rydin, CEO of HCSS, shares why he brought The Collaborative Way® into HCSS.
Steve McGough, President of HCSS, shares the financial benefits of practicing The Collaborative Way®.
Tom Webb, VP of Strategy at HCSS, shares the professional & personal benefits.
Chris Henry, VP of Technical Services at HCSS, shares the impact on his leadership and personal life.
Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia specializes in health & welfare benefit program design and management for mid-sized employers based in the Southeast. We define this as employers with 50 – 3,000 benefit eligible employees. Northwestern Benefit currently designs and manages the benefit programs for approximately 400 client companies. Our client base includes both self-funded and traditionally funded program types. Many of our clients are multi-state or are comprised of multiple operating divisions.
At Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia we have 3 keys to our collective success; 1) A sound business strategy, which means to deliver something that is truly different, 2) a fanaticism around culture, values and principles, and 3) rigorous attention to detail and execution. Our effectiveness in making these 3 keys happen, in concert, will determine our level of success. Without the power of The Collaborative Way® it would all be left to chance. We have found that without great communication we will fall short of achieving success over and over again.
The Collaborative Way® has been instrumental in all that we have achieved. It has provided us with a platform and roadmap on how to communicate effectively. It has been very satisfying to watch the impact this designed way of communicating has had on both our people and our organization. We have gone from an organization that was continuously bogged down by poor, ineffective communication to one that now communicates with clarity, transparency, and purpose. It has allowed us to communicate better as individuals, as teams, and as an organization. We now have the tools to handle those challenging conversations, be open to different points of view, be curious and suspend judgment, develop trust, and be there for one another.
The intentional Culture we have been able to create at Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia is truly a differentiator in the marketplace. The Collaborative Way® has been a key catalyst in making that happen; without it, we would certainly not be the same organization we are today.
– David Asbury (CEO of Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia)
Metallurgical Products Company is a world-class manufacturer of specialty alloys used by the copper melting industry.
Because our products are considered to be commodities, it is difficult to distinguish ourselves from the competition based on product quality. While our competitors may be able to produce a product of similar quality, they can’t duplicate the way we work together as a team. For this reason, we see the Collaborative Way® as a vehicle that gives us a powerful competitive advantage.
– Mike Goodman (President, Metallurgical Products Company)
American Seaboard Exteriors and American Seaboard National are a closely held group of service companies managing contract facility cleaning and maintenance at Fortune 500 companies throughout the US and Canada.
We have been practicing the Collaborative Way® for13 years and have made it a cornerstone of our company culture. In day to day business, this practice has aided our people in overcoming view-point differences and personal communication snafu’s and diminished hidden agenda priorities to provide a stronger, collective focus on the company goals. Many times I have been amazed at the degree of swiftness certain people pull together to achieve a positive result on a project or crisis when, in the past, just getting them to agree on anything was a daunting task. Several times a year, employees will come to me privately and thank me for the opportunity of The Collaborative Way®. Usually they have just been through a situation where they consciously applied one or more of the principles with positive forwarding results. At this juncture, they feel very accomplished and in control; I in turn, listening to them, feel a renewed sense of pride in our organization.
– Brian S. Blair (President, American Seaboard Exteriors and American Seaboard National)
Allan Myers is an organization of over 1,800 committed workers who strive everyday to build highly complex heavy civil construction projects in the Best, Fastest and Safest manner in our industry.
We are the 25th largest construction company of our type in North America. We consistently win National, State and Local awards for the quality and safety of our projects. What I am personally most proud of though, is being voted by our employees as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in PA, five years in a row.
We constantly strive to compete and win against the Best, Fastest and Safest competitors in the world. We continually push ourselves and each other to be leaders of technology and processes in our industry. The centerpiece of who we are, however, is to be continually striving to build a great place to work.
Our industry is tough and demanding, and yet we have created a unique culture where we respect one another while constantly pushing toward taking on the challenges and changes necessary to become and remain the best. The Collaborative Way® gives us the tools to accomplish this. Without it we would not be as good a place to work and we would not be nearly as good at what we do.
– Ross Myers (CEO, Allan Myers)
Timney Triggers is the premier manufacturer of replacement triggers. After 65 years they continue to build the finest triggers in the world for the most loyal customers in the business. Timney manufactures using the latest state-of-the-art technology with machines running around the clock and have set the standard in aftermarket triggers.
Here at Timney Triggers we have always had an extraordinary group of people and an exemplary organization. When we engaged Lloyd Fickett & Associates to transform the way we communicate we expected good results. What we created with The Collaborative Way was nothing short of world changing. The walls between our various work groups disappeared and we created a level of cooperation that massively improved the way we perform for our customers. We went from a company focused on the end of the next quarter to an organization with mission specific goals aimed at altering the way we approach service to each other and our clients. Our output has increased by 20% and our profits have increased by almost 30% while creating an environment where we genuinely appreciate one another’s contributions. The work isn’t easy but the results are worth it.
– John Vehr (CEO & Owner, Timney Triggers)
Implementing The Collaborative Way has increased my ability to lead, inspire and influence my team unlike before. Learning how to be an advocate for my team has increased their effectiveness and willingness to be led. Our team is now responding with higher accountability and responsibility. We have learned to develop leadership in others.
We now have a workplace where people have permission to speak up and speak straight, and where we actually listen to one another. Rather than ignoring suggestions in favor of blind tradition, we actively invite ideas and feedback which has made us more proficient and on a much straighter path towards meeting our goals. The levels of trust and participation amongst our team as increased significantly. We’ve learned how to share what we know and help others along the way, which generates an environment that’s rewarding and highly collaborative.
We are keeping our team informed of our progress towards accomplishing our mission and the changing situation. We are working with them, not dictating to them, their skills are best used with an understanding of the task, the resources and the limitations. We are employing our team to their capacities. Nobody is left high and dry without support! We keep focused on our mission and clearly identify what we are trying to accomplish.
When challenges or conflicts arise, we now have a strong foundation to address and resolve them effectively and in a way that gets us back on track to forward what we are up to.
– Jeff Dodge (General Manager, Timney Triggers)
HJ3 Composite Technologies provides the most comprehensive line of strengthening products in the world for fortifying and protecting structures against earthquakes, blasts, and environmental damage, at a fraction of the cost of replacement. Over the last 10 years, we have become the leading provider of carbon fiber repair systems to heavy industry, supporting Fortune 500 companies operating in pulp and paper, oil, gas, water and wastewater, mining, and power generation.
In business, we all get stuck in our routines. Often, these routines can be negative and include gossip, self-sabotage, and distraction. Employees sidestep processes and use work-arounds to complete their tasks. A downward spiral ensues that bleeds energy, emotion, and cash flow from the organization. This creates a reactive existence where your team feels at the affect of their environment and spends too much time putting out fires. That was the culture at HJ3.
For our company, The Collaborative Way® was the exact lifeline we needed to overcome a major downturn in our business. As we began to scale, we lost our way. We hired to fill seats not culture; our processes proved to be cumbersome; and we simply spent more time dealing with internal turmoil than sales. Introducing The Collaborative Way® allowed me as the owner to hear concerns and co-create changes with our team. Clarity on what to change was in the company all along. Toxic relationships fueled by misunderstanding were recovered, and over time healed through the process of what The Collaborative Way® refers to as cleanups. Within 3 months, I had re-engaged with my business at a level I had not engaged in for several years. I started to have fun again. I saw the challenges as shared challenges that could be solved through shared commitments.
Within The Collaborative Way® framework, participants are trained to speak straight and share insight into the organization’s problems and input corrective actions that better align with the company’s mission. By listening generously and replicating what they heard, our team was able to understand the misalignment and lack of inclusion occurring within our business. As people felt heard, they started to take responsibility for how they were contributing to the corrosive environment. Employees took a stand against gossip, personal attacks, and a lack of commitment to our process or mission.
In 2017, the impact The Collaborative Way® had on our culture was palpable. Those that felt uncomfortable with collaboration left the company. Those that stayed, chose to practice The Collaborative Way® daily and took full responsibility for our renewed culture. The energy in the office was more vibrant and positive. I saw those who stayed as part of my success and not a problem I had to manage. By year-end, we completed 97% of projects on time and within budget. We set records for sales and profitability, all while having an absolute blast working together.
Our industry is becoming more competitive and projects demand greater service. The Collaborative Way® guides our team to collaborate at a level superior to our competitors. In this way, The Collaborative Way® is strategic and a key part of our growth strategy.
– James Butler (Founder & CEO, HJ3)
Stockwell Rubber Company’s core business is providing sealing and cushioning solutions for the analytical instrumentation, medical diagnostic equipment, aerospace and information technology equipment sectors.
As a US manufacturer, Stockwell Rubber Company can not compete solely on cost due to the forces of Globalization. We have taken on Responsiveness – and continually improving responsiveness – as a key deliverable for gaining market share in our core business. The practice of The Collaborative Way® is essential to our success in this area. We are coming out of a difficult period for the US Manufacturing Sector. During the past two to three years, we have continued refining the Focus of our Core Business to leverage limited resources with the best result. Including our employees in this activity throughout this period was essential so they could better understand the game. Now that business levels have increased significantly, the communication skills learned in The Collaborative Way® have been essential to supporting our ‘Up-tempo’ commitment to service.
– William B. Stockwell (President, Stockwell Rubber Company)