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)
Farm Credit Services Southwest is the leader in providing Rural America a dependable source of credit and financially related services at competitive rates. Our passion is serving those who supply food, fiber, energy and shelter and we compete on the basis of EXCEEDING MEMBER EXPECTATIONS through quality service. We make loans such as mortgages, seasonal loans and lines of credit as well as farm business planning, individual financial planning and investing, equipment and vehicle leases, appraisals, retirement planning, multi-peril crop insurance, and life insurance.
The use of The Collaborative Way® principals has made Farm Credit Services Southwest a unique place to work and conduct business. As a results-oriented company, using straight talk and generous listening, as well as the other elements of The Collaborative Way, gives us a competitive edge and allows us to standout among our peers. Not only do our employees respond well to our communication style and corporate culture, but the customers as well. We have found the time taken to implement and fully integrate The Collaborative Way® into our business has been more than re-paid in the way of customer and employee satisfaction, business results and overall excellence in all we do.
– Gary R. Dyer (President and CEO of Farm Credit Services Southwest)
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)
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)
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)
Strategic Employee Benefit Services of Eastern North Carolina is a full service employee benefit consulting firm affiliated with Northwestern Mutual of North Carolina.
Three years ago our firm turned to The Collaborative Way® to help us deal with our constantly changing industry. Our employees needed a guide to help them communicate effectively with co-workers and management and optimize their contribution to our business. Once the 5 core principles of The Collaborative Way® took root, the system became more essential than we expected. It is now the basis of our corporate culture and has helped us clearly articulate what we are “up to” to both our employees and clients.
We feel that The Collaborative Way® differentiates us as an employer and as a customer service provider. We proudly explain our culture to prospective and current clients during site visits. At the end of the day, The Collaborative Way® is like the game of golf. You never perfect it, however the more you practice the better you get.
– Alan Overbey (President, Strategic Employee Benefit Services of North Carolina)