ThreeWill Shared Values – Growth

Danny:Hello, this is Danny and Tommy Ryan, and we’re here talking about growth today. We’re talking about our values. How’s it going, Tommy?


Tommy:Going well, Danny.


Danny:Awesome. Last one we covered was honesty and now we’re into growth. I’ll get us kicked off here by just reading what we have up on the website, our culture part of the website, which is: “.. growth, we encourage each other to grow in a balanced way. Personal growth is an important part of our culture at ThreeWill. We recognize the technology field is in continuous flux.


Tommy:Yes, it is.


Danny:Time can erode the technical advantage, making it a priority to sharpen the saw, a little bit of Covey there … is a key to being able to provide the highest level of service to our clients and our company. ThreeWill encourages people to recognize and pursue their passions in ways that allow for personal and professional growth while also directly benefit our clients.


ThreeWill fosters an environment where people can enjoy what they do but also have an appropriate work-life balance, which allows time for our consultants to invest in their families and communities.”


Thoughts on that, Tommy?


Tommy:Some of the things that come to mind with the statement of growth and how we embrace the value of growth is … comes from another background that’s common in our values, which is my background at Gore, W.L Gore & Associates. They had a concept of no one has titles. People have roles and responsibilities. One of the reasons they did that … it could be kind of counter to growth. You could see, well, how do I quote “climb that ladder” and get the next title in the list? The concept was you really don’t want to be pigeonholed into a box and say, this is only what you can do. It’s to try to encourage that freewill aspect of choosing to succeed and not having artificial barriers there, to choose to succeed and to grow.


That’s something that comes to mind, and also I think our environment with the humble confidence that we’ve talked about before, is we created an environment that people can learn from each other and are fine with talking about the things that they don’t know so they can recognize that and be able to address the gaps that they have in their knowledge, to be affect in the roles that they play. Those are some things that come to mind when I think about growth and how growth is applied in our culture.


Danny:It’s tough, I mean, as being a part of a consulting company there’s always the challenge of trying to stay a step ahead and trying to be wise in the guidance that we give our clients. It seems like there’s always a constant balance to try to figure out. How do I try to stay a couple steps ahead, yet at the same time don’t get out of balance when trying to get a couple steps ahead?


You and I have been doing consulting for quite a while and it just seems that it’s always something you have to try to figure out, and have to be focused in on. It’s a challenge to everyone here that works at ThreeWill, which is growing and keeping balance.


Tommy:Yeah, I think that balance … one of the things that we consciously work on and it’s easier said than done, which is what is our technology focus? That kind of plays into the ability to grow and grow in a way that is going to be effective in helping our customers or clients that we work with. When we come in as consultants you’re always that person that has to be that half-step ahead, and give guidance down the path that’s going to be the best advice that’s known at that point in time. To keep that awareness of, what are the best practices, what are the best approaches, what is really working in the industry? The further we can narrow down what we do, puts us at that advantage to be able to spend less time to accomplish the goal of being that good consultant being aware of the things that you need to know. The work-life balance, there’s always one more thing that you feel like you need to know and so if we can narrow that done, that addresses some of the anxiety that comes with being a consultant.


Danny:Absolutely, yeah, I think that focus allows for us to say we’re not experts in everything, there’s certain things that we focus in on as an organization and you and I, I think through the years have really tried to do our best at staying focused at what we’re doing. It’s tempting to go after different things but I think that’s helped overall the team at ThreeWill to help maintain some balance in the work-life.


I remember early on in the company … it was probably even before ThreeWill where you and I had conversations about the work-life balance and wanting to say … I don’t want to get to the end of this thing and have a great career yet a messed up relationship with my wife and relationship with my kids. How do you balance that over time? I think there’s … trying to figure out this growth thing along with the work-life balance has been something that we had to focus in on for many years here.


Tommy:Yeah, I think some of that comes from what commitments do you make along the way, along that path, because I think you can grow and keep that work-life balanced based on what is your level of commitment. That’s what you always have to tune. As a company and then as individuals what is our commitment? What are we committing to, and are we over committed? How do we balance or level out the things that we do within the organization in way that people can feel like they have the opportunity to have that work-life balance?


I look at some of our consultants sometimes from time to time, or end up leaning on one or two consultants that have great capabilities to help our clients feel very comfortable and have that knack of knowing how to get to the bottom of things and solve the problem effectively. We have to keep a balance and consciously think about, for this particular person, what does that balance look like? Each person is unique and to kind of be fair, we have to treat everybody differently within the organization because they do have different personal styles, personal definitions of what is balance for them. We’re consciously tuning to that, and I think that brings the best out of people. Some people, they work fine within two to three projects, and some of them work best with one or two or just one. Looking at what is their breadth of responsibility and what is their impact based on coming up with the right balance for different individuals within ThreeWill.


Danny:One of the things that I like that you do each year with the planning is … I think a part of this is you have to plan for the balance as well, because you sort of look at what you did this past year and you look at the upcoming year, and a lot of what we look to do is … I know it’s not the sexiest thing in the world but we look to repeat, to show that we are able to repeat what we’ve done in the previous year. I think a lot of that has to looking at who’s on the team, what are we able to reach to. Not just saying we’re going to grow’s sake. It’s saying we want to have a good, mature … the overused word is “organic” growth, but you want to have something where we’re not over-extending ourselves and we’re able to prove that we can repeat. Repeat performance of what we’ve done in the past year, and then from there branch off and maybe go after a little bit more.


Tommy:Yeah, I think when I look at growth a lot of what I hone into is the growth of individuals at ThreeWill. When I look at that, it sometimes translates into financial growth in terms of what is the top-line revenue and bottom-line revenue. Those are I think fruits of the labor of focusing on individual’s growth. At the end of the day, some of that is finding that we can go after different types of challenges and that excites us, it feels like we’re using our gifts. It allows us to feel like we’re proud of what we do at the end of the day.


Within our environment, what I think is it’s not say, unique to every environment but I think it’s something that people appreciate, is when we’re faced with challenges and faced with decisions, the financial part of it is a piece but it’s usually not the leading piece. It’s looking at what’s the right thing to do to treat the client, the individual well. As a result of that, there’s good longterm stability and there’s a sense of “I’m valued for what I’m doing”, versus “I feel like I’m just a cog in the wheel making more money”. You have to keep in balance with that. I think the balance is we want to provide an environment that people feel like, “If I do my best, this is an opportunity I can continue to contribute and be here.” We have some fiduciary responsibilities to make sure that we have the right amount of top-line, bottom-line revenue to support the team, who we are today. Then we look at, are there new challenges out there that require a growth in terms of head count, in terms of revenue? That gives us opportunities to do things that we feel like we have that individual personal growth.


Sometimes that has to come through quote “growth of the company”, because some people mature to a level of they need challenges that might require them to be responsible for a group of people, something they’re passionate about to kind of carve off, I want to solve this problem. Sometimes you can’t do that at a small number, you have to wear too many hats. That’s something we’re consciously looking at and trying to figure out what is best.


We went into this year, we said based on the characteristics, we want to have something very similar to last year because we think that’s appropriate. That’s something that allows us to sharpen the saw and regroup around certain aspects of what we need to do to scale to the next level of growth. That’s a conscious effort to grow sometimes, is to make a decision to stay the same level so you can either sharpen a skill, bring on the people you need and get them ready, and then be positioned to go up to that next tier.


Danny:Great stuff, great stuff.


You going to see the Braves today, are you seeing their new stadium?


Tommy:Yeah, it’s visit number two.




Tommy:I hear we’re going to see a little bit more this time because they’re further down the path and there’s a few more things that we’re allowed to go see and walk through.






Danny:You have to take a picture or two so I can share that with folks.


Tommy:Okay, will do.


Danny:Good to see, that’d be great to see. Awesome stuff.


I’m checking … I think I’ve got your socks beat today. You did match them with your pants, so that’s pretty impressive there Tommy.


Tommy:Yeah, the only fanciness about these socks is that they have an indention or striping to it.




Tommy:I’m sorry. No color.


Danny:It’s okay. Mine are black at the bottom but these are the ones that are a little bit crazy up top. That’s me, I’m a little crazy up in the top.


Tommy:Very true, very true.


Danny:Very true. Well thank you for taking the time to do this. I know we’re going to … I want to go through the ultimate question book with you, and talk about net promoter scores. Maybe we’ll get through all the values first and then go into that, or maybe we’ll drop into that the next time we talk. Thank you for taking the time to do this, Tommy.


Tommy:Sure, Danny.


Danny:Yeah. Thank you everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Take care now, bye bye.




Danny RyanThreeWill Shared Values – Growth

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