Overview

Sometimes advisors need advice, too

What started out as a high-level company values workshop led to an in-depth examination of a company’s culture and some challenges its leadership team wanted to overcome within their operations and communications.

At Bracket, we help teams build high-performing, collaborative cultures through workshop facilitation and coaching. Oury Clark, a multidisciplinary professional services firm, approached us to guide their leadership team on defining their company values; however, two initial workshops with the partners uncovered some pain points they realized they wanted to resolve. Like our other clients, this group had many strengths, but wanted to partner with a collaboration expert like us to improve in specific areas.

We uncovered two pain points: 1) partner meetings were not always as productive as they could be, and 2) although they had an agenda, the format meant they got stuck on details rather than looking at the big picture. These pain points impeded addressing strategic issues quickly because the discussions were not interactive and forward-looking.

Through these discoveries, they worked with our founder, Alison Coward, to resolve these pain points to support the fast growth of the organization.


“We are a complex group of professionals and we struggle to take advice as advisors. Alison is a talented collaborator and communicator because she knows how to navigate various personality types. She balances being direct and firm with fun and open, which helped us move forward in areas where we’d been stuck for a long time.”

Andrew Oury, Partner, Oury Clark

Approach

Company-wide culture workshops uncover valuable insights

Alison broadened her approach to this engagement to include both leadership engagement on the values to an evaluation of the culture across the company through several workshops she designed and delivered.

First, she conducted a visioning session for the partners so they could align on their business strategy. Second, she led a series of workshops across the company with all of the staff to understand their perspective on the existing culture and what could be improved. This allowed the larger staff to express their feelings, which helped the partners gain valuable insights about the company culture and their leadership.

Finally, she provided results from the staff workshops with recommendations to the leadership team on the next steps to address what was causing challenges in day-to-day operations and communication. This helped the partners realize what they needed to continue, stop, or start to build a better culture and environment for their staff. It also helped them understand how to attract and retain talent.

Significant changes

A regular weekly meeting to discuss urgent matters so that longer quarterly meetings could solely focus on big, strategic issues.


Fast-tracking the hiring of a COO so that the specialist partners could spend more time serving clients.


Bi-monthly innovation meetings where anyone in the business could introduce new ideas to benefit the company in a variety of ways.

Results

Making positive changes that support happy employees and faster growth

Alison led the next series of workshops and individual coaching sessions to execute her recommendations. With a smaller group of partners, they examined the work they needed to do and what they were responsible for. Since these partners also dealt directly with clients and generated large amounts of revenue for the company, it was difficult for them to spend time on strategy and driving the company forward. This resulted in hiring an operations director to free up their time. They also put some specific meetings in place and re-structured others to ensure productive discussions.

Lastly, she facilitated a full-day strategy session so the equity partners could define a 5-year business plan, identify the areas of the business that would fuel the most growth, and delegate responsibilities for specific members to lead.

Outcomes

Some of the significant changes Oury Clark have made include:

  • A regular weekly meeting to discuss urgent matters so that longer quarterly meetings could solely focus on big, strategic issues.
  • Bi-monthly innovation meetings where anyone in the business could introduce new ideas to benefit the company in a variety of ways.
  • Fast-tracking the hiring of a COO so that the specialist partners could spend more time serving clients.

This engagement empowered the leadership team to solve issues on their own through more effective communication, cultivated a more positive culture and working environment for the staff, and greater efficiencies in their operations to increase sales.

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The Founder

I'm a strategist, workshop facilitator, coach, trainer and author of "A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops". With over 15 years’ experience working in, leading and facilitating creative teams, I'm passionate about finding the balance between creativity, productivity & collaboration.

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