During the last six years, every consulting engagement has challenged my perspective and provided important insight on how best to advise staffing executives on critical strategic decisions. When I started Charted Path, my initial plan was to align execution with strategy by primarily focusing on process efficiency and metrics based management. This approach was due in large part to the prevailing wisdom that process efficiencies and analytics promised to make growth a more objective scientific endeavor. While these tools have proven to be powerful in many industries, staffing quickly revealed the limits of “management science” and instead demanded a more comprehensive, dare I say artful and personalized approach.
Why is a more creative approach necessary for staffing companies? Because performance is driven by culture. We have heard a lot about data and analytics over the years and they have an important role. However, individual motivation, passionate collaboration, and steadfast commitment are the lifeblood of a staffing company and all three require a strong culture to thrive. Experienced managers understand this at a tactical level which is why so many staffing companies focus on incentives and recognition to ensure their staff remains motivated. Keep in mind that these tactics only work if there is a strong cultural foundation. Incentives and recognition do not define a culture.
Instead, the culture is largely defined by the motivation, vision, and values of the entrepreneur. Therefore, for a company to achieve sustainable growth it must satisfy the various priorities of the entrepreneur. While growth is thought to be the top priority, it is often not the only one or the most important. Many entrepreneurs need to see a company that accurately represents who they are and what they want their legacy to be. The culture is a visible representation of that legacy. When there is misalignment between the culture and the entrepreneur, disruption is inevitable.
This dynamic has played a critical role in the evolution of my consulting approach by focusing on sustainable improvements that align with the unique needs of the entrepreneur. In addition, I have recently entered a partnership with the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs to provide a wider suite of advisory services, networking opportunities, and compelling content. With this approach I intend to broaden the support I provide by not just focusing on the needs of the staffing company, but of the entrepreneur themselves. So while I will be still be providing staffing specific content, I will be also be providing content that captures universal issues relevant to any organization. I trust you will find the new approach valuable and look forward to your feedback.