Shedding Your Skin to Reach a New Reality 

The old adage about shedding your skin as you evolve is such an appropriate metaphor for people and organizations finding themselves in a place of learning, maturation, and growth.  In pondering the last several years at W2O Group – 15+ consecutive years of double-digit growth – I find myself seeing our staff continually do just that as they ascend new heights in both personal and collective performance.

At every rung, people become enlightened and more empowered to take chances and push ideas to reach a better outcomes for clients.

In some cases, this evolution appears organic.  People picking up the pace and navigating both internal and external challenges to drive forward to either meet or exceed goals.

But, the reality is much closer to people adopting a mix of variables under their control to create growth.  Together, these variables conspire to see what can be done.  In W2O’s case, what we witnessed (and continue to witness) is a highly motivated talent base intent to “Be the Best” and willing to leave behind old habits, broken methods, and myopic thinking.  In looking deeper at this concept of growth from a W2O perspective, you see a mixture of variables and discipline inherent in the effort.

In my experience, I’ve seen four characteristics (or variables) of growth worth exploring:

  1. Mindset – Or as we like to call it: Headset. How you think about achievement.  Delivering on client needs.  Recognizing new ways to solve problems.  Believing in the task at hand.  When people shift their thinking to creation the organization blocks out adversity and channels achievement.  In our case, we strive to “Be the Best” and the result is growth!
  2. Investment – If an organization is to grow, it must invest ahead of the curve.  That means in Talent. Acquisitions. Facilities. Development.  Growth feeds on itself and investment is the sustenance to keep it real.
  3. Clarity– Every company deals with adversity.  Every market segment is haunted by ambiguity. Clarity of purpose on strategy and direction is a beacon shining a light on confidence and regulating behavior.  In our firm, strategy and direction are reinforced almost daily.
  4. Consistency– This one is vital.  Now that doesn’t mean you don’t adjust as conditions dictate. Having a consistent strategy and game plan reinforced by policies and operating principles accelerate growth.

The outcomes often associated with growth are mostly tied to revenue, profit, and size.  But the benefits from sustainable growth transcend these outcomes:

  • Relevance – If you’re not relevant, you don’t exist in a social and digital world. More than reputation, relevance captures engagement and vitality with stakeholders, which is essential to growth.
  • Risk – Growth companies take more risk and generate more innovation due to the confidence of employees.
  • Stature – Growth provides a position of strength and position in your competitive set resulting in the ability to pivot when necessary.
  • Interest– If there is one critical benefit of growth it’s the level of curiosity and momentum that allows people to pay attention and care.

For us, growth is a commitment.  Each person is encouraged to create an individual 3-5 year growth plan that unlocks one’s inner entrepreneur and helps create repeatable systematic scale.

Over the past three years, W2O embarked on a strategic direction that gave new meaning to “Be the Best!  Taking on a new partner, Mountaingate Capital, we added talent, capabilities, developed our staff, opened offices and introduced new innovations, all aimed at making our clients and staff successful.  Our five-year goals were exceeded by year three.

And now, we have announced a new investment partner, New Mountain Capital.  New Mountain Capital has a strong history in healthcare investment and over $20 billion in assets under management. We are excited about our ability to take us to the next level of growth at a time when business and technology continue to change the game raising expectations and becoming even more complex.

As we move forward, we are very grateful to our Mountaingate colleagues and what we accomplished together and wish them the best!

As clients navigate today’s challenging, complex business climate, good work is not enough.  Having strong partners with critical skills, footprint, and strategic capabilities that mirror their needs at every turn is what achieves unfair competitive advantage.

In this regard, bolstering our financial resources and channeling investments to the areas that grow and strengthen the business is the difference between routine expectations and exceptional “unicorn” like service.

I recently asked the firm one question: Are You Ready to Grow?   This is an important leadership query as well as an essential individual motivation.  It defines the organization and each individual!  We can never settle for mediocrity.  Ever.  We must demand excellence in all we do and ensure quality consistently from idea  to execution.

“To Be the Best” means we must Ascend to greater heights!  It means we must be willing to Grow!  And deliver to our clients, and to each other!

Jim


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