Letter to the President – January 2019

This month we held our annual “state of the company “ where a majority of our team members gather and we review results from the prior year and look forward to the new year. In addition to the traditional business tactics and metrics to meet strategic goals, we also focused on two areas we felt were truly important for our team members.

We discussed Organic Growth within an entity and why it is healthy to organically grow. Organic growth in its most raw definition is any growth excluding M&A revenue. Under the “skin” of this generic definition we try to isolate where we have control versus where we don’t, like economy or inflation, and instead, look at “productivity growth”. This can be defined as a larger incremental revenue per unit for a prior time period than the expense per unit. This allows us to look at adding more new business then we lose, keeping overhead in check, and being focused on process improvement/efficiency gains. If, collectively as an organization we can “grow” consistently, we will remain healthy and vibrant for all stakeholders. Team members can have more room for their compensation and flexibility needs/desires, our clients get more resources and higher skilled people to engage in their businesses and families, and our community giving can continue to be vibrant.

In our annual message, we also linked our collective growth as a company to our team members individual personal growth. If our team members commit themselves to personal growth, we as a company will benefit for sure. Yet, when one personally grows, they also become more fulfilled. People like to be productive as it keeps them happy and engaged and interested in life. In the book Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, he describes the state of “flow” as “an optimal state of intrinsic motivation where a person is fully immersed in what they are doing.” One of the comments of “flow” is the “challenge skill balance” – essentially humans like to develop their skills and be challenged to utilize those skills. It brings fulfillment.

With the immersion of Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart machines and learning machines, there are endless headlines, newscasts and report on the loss of mass amounts of jobs around the world. Our message was, as in any major shift in the economic state, labor and technology integration or society, there is risk. There is also opportunity to grow and become more relevant. So we are using the phrase TLC – Thinker, Leader and Collaborator. The competencies of – Be A Thinker, Be A Leader and Be A Collaborator – are going to be more important skills and behaviors for humans in the decades to come. It also doesn’t hurt that the acronym TLC, which most of us know as tender loving care, implies kindness and love to be given. We will continue to invest in Thinking, Leading and Collaborating skill development opportunities in 2019 and will continue to support being “others focused“ knowing that the world gives back to those who give.

Be Sure. 


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