Working for an Innovative and Entrepreneurial Company
Everyone talks about building innovative and entrepreneurial companies. Organizations with an “intrapreneurial” culture encourage people to take initiative and use their entrepreneurial spirit to drive innovation and sharpen the company’s competitive edge. They enjoy higher employee morale, attract new talent and improve the bottom line.
So how do you create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship? Working for Boomer Consulting has given me an opportunity to see such an organization first hand. Here’s what it looks like from the inside.
10X Growth is a concept pioneered by Dan Sullivan, co-founder of The Strategic Coach. Essentially, 10X Growth means aiming for a future that is 10 times bigger than your current reality.
Boomer Consulting invested in 10X mindset by creating a position, the Director of 10X Operations, filled by Eric Benson. Eric helps us focus on the opportunities that can help our organization grow by 10X the revenue, client service, productivity, profitability, employee satisfaction or engagement, etc. He also helps us keep the focus on those opportunities by avoiding ones that don’t contribute to that growth.
Our company has innovative leaders across the firm, but innovation isn’t just something that happens by accident. Identifying, pursuing, launching and growing new services is a well-oiled process that connects marketing, business development and innovation teams within the company.
We also have an internal idea factory, where our team members are awarded and recognized for coming up with new ideas.
Technology is essential to our company and to the firms and solution providers we work with. That’s why we invest heavily in technology. That investment benefits us in several ways.
First, our entire company works remotely. To do the level of work we do on a daily basis, we need amazing technology and equipment. We can’t bring our A-game to a sales call or consulting engagement if we’re dealing with shoddy equipment and technical failures. In fact, clients often ask what kind of headset I use because it sounds so clear.
Also, staying up to date on the latest technology helps us recommend the right tools to clients. We internally share apps and products with each other, both professionally and personally. Currently, we’re using a number of tools, including:
Zendesk Sell. This CRM system is new to us. It helps us keep each other in the loop and capitalize on opportunities.
Sococo. Because we don’t share a physical space with our team members on a daily basis, it’s not readily apparent when someone is available, in a meeting, or needs to “shut their office door” for some focused concentration. Sococo gives our remote teams visibility into each other’s availability. The interface looks like a simple map of an office space, complete with individual offices and meeting rooms. We sign in at the beginning of the day and use it throughout the day to see who is meeting with whom, who is available and who isn’t, who’s on the phone, etc.
Box. Of course, being remote also means we can’t walk down the hall to someone’s office to hand off a file. Box lets us store, share and collaborate on all of our team’s files. Everyone can easily access, edit, share and comment on documents, images, videos and presentations from anywhere and on any device.
Zoom and Google Hangouts. Face-to-face meetings aren’t just about getting status updates. They also help us build relationships. Using video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts lets us see coworkers, clients and vendors without being in the same space. It opens up non-verbal communication, helps us get a feel for emotions and build the connections that would happen naturally while working in close quarters.
Workplace. Many people use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Workplace offers the same benefits, but for co-workers. We use it to share stories about clients and kids, photos from conferences and industry information we think our team members will find interesting.
Vetting new technology, both internally and externally, helps us perform our jobs better and positions us as leaders in the profession.
Build the right relationships
Accounting, like most professions, is about relationships. Connecting with vendors, clients and peers in and outside of the profession is crucial. We attend conferences year-round and relish the opportunity to talk to others and get exposure to new capabilities and thinking.
Because we’re vendor agnostic, it’s easy to make conversations with everyone, and that helps us know what other firms are using and uncover new projects to keep relevant.
When we work with new vendors or clients, we have discovery or research calls to ensure we provide the best service available and don’t miss out on helping clients with something they may be struggling with.
Innovative and entrepreneurial cultures don’t happen on their own. The leaders at Boomer Consulting are continually thinking about how we can focus on the right priorities to prioritize innovation and push our organization into the future. That focus isn’t just about our own success, it also enables us to help clients navigate through innovation initiatives within their own firm. Every new idea and action plan isn’t a success, but even when we fail, we come out ahead on the path to in