Twice a year each of our markets hosts a Town Hall meeting to talk about how we are executing on our DHG strategy firm-wide and on an office level. This is the transcript from CEO Matt Snow’s January address to the firm.
As most of you are aware, we come together twice a year to review strategy, share results, celebrate success and look to the future. As a result of your feedback, we have made several changes to our Town Hall format to make our time together more meaningful. In today’s meeting, we will focus on three key strategic areas: our people strategy, client service and growth. The selection of these topics and the format of the meeting are a direct result of the feedback that you provided. I hope that the in-depth review of these three areas will help you better understand how you contribute to the success of our DHG Strategy.
The theme for our January 2016 Town Hall meeting is “perform – Your DHG success + life integration”. We chose Perform as the theme of our annual partner meeting earlier in the fall and are carrying this theme over to our town hall meetings so that we can continue to drive thought leadership around what “perform” means at DHG.
“Perform” derives from the “performance” element of our DHG strategy. In order for us to be a high performing firm and fulfill our mission of building valuable careers with our people and helping our clients achieve their goals, we must be performing in all of the elements of our strategy. Each of the elements are connected and equally contribute to our success.
Now allow me to dig deeper and explain what is meant by the tag line Your DHG success plus life integration. If you’ll recall, Life Beyond Numbers focuses on flexibility, careers and people. We know that our DHG success, your career success and your personal life integration are dependent on each other. Your life outside of DHG is important and we know that you must feel fulfilled inside and outside of the office in order to perform at your best. While Life Beyond Numbers may seem counter intuitive to our current emphasis on resource management, it actually complements our drive for efficiency and performance. We are advocating that each of you work smarter, not harder…and to be fully present where you are – engaged and fully deployed on building your career – or, focusing on your life outside of DHG. One of our tools to help us accomplish this is our new Pro Staff platform. Let me be clear, our goals here are not to have our professionals work more hours; our goal is simply to have each of our professionals fully deployed while they are here, fully focused on building their career and serving our clients.
Later in the meeting, you’ll hear from Effin Logue*, our Chief People Officer, who will share more about how Life Beyond Numbers will play a major role in our people strategy for 2016.
DHG has an outstanding legacy. We came together through the merger of a number of strong firms in the eastern United States and extending to Texas. We have a great deal to be proud of and a progressive vision for the future. Together, we are stronger and better. We have the opportunity to continue evolving into the firm of the future.
You may be asking, what is the firm of the future? I believe that the successful professional services firms of the future will have several distinct traits, and I am proud to say that we are well situated to, in fact, be one of those strong, successful firms of the future. Let me share a few of them with you:
One, successful firms of the future will be a great place to work, with, and this is important, external validation of success- it’s not enough for us to simply believe among ourselves that we are a good place to work. By being a Great Place to Work we are able to retain our talent and build leaders for the future.
Second, those firms will have very disciplined and well-communicated client service delivery methodologies.
A third characteristic of successful firms of the future is being capable of Growth as a routine part of their business activities, ensuring expansion of opportunities for its people.
A fourth characteristic that successful firms of the future will have is a sharp industry and services focus – one that is recognized by the marketplace and that allows them to win new clients and engagements because of that focus.
Finally, any successful firm must have sound risk management practices that keeps the firm safe and allows it to perpetuate into the future.
We are positioned well to continue evolving into that firm of the future, but to do so, you can now see that we must Perform in all of the elements of our strategy.
Now I would like to touch on several of these key areas, which will also be covered at today’s meeting.
We are currently executing on our DHG People Strategy, Life Beyond Numbers, which drives us to that goal of being externally recognized on a national level as a Great Place to Work. Several recent successful milestones I’d like to highlight include: DHG’s RAVE recognition and reward program, the announcement of a Partner sabbatical program and the BOOST bonus incentive program for senior associates, senior consultants and lead consultants. I am very proud of the progress we have made in the implementation of our people strategy this past year, and I look forward to continued success in 2016.
This year at our Annual Partner Meeting, I challenged all of our partners to take up our Life Beyond Numbers strategy in their own careers, and to be aware of the multiple generations on our team, and that all of us tend to approach our careers and our personal lives differently. I encourage all of you to engage in conversations with the partners and leaders in your markets about what Life Beyond Numbers means in your own career and life, and to be a part of fully executing and Performing in our people strategy.
As was shared at the last town hall meeting, we are working to become a Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For. We are currently surveying our teams so that we can continue to push the needle forward in preparation for our Fortune submittal. Your voice is critical to our success and I hope you’ll share your feedback via the engagement survey currently underway.
You will learn more about our people strategy later in the meeting.
Next I’d like to touch on Client Service. It goes without saying that client service is a top priority for DHG, and we are known for being a firm that delivers great service to our clients. But as we look to the future, we plan to take this to a whole new level. As we have communicated previously, a client service project is currently underway to help us study where we are today and identify where we would like to be in the future with a consistent methodology in which we can measure and evaluate our results. More to come on this topic later in the meeting.
Growth – From the feedback you shared with us regarding Town Hall meetings, we learned that you desired to hear more about our growth strategy. Understanding how you can impact growth within your market is critical to your overall career success. And as I have shared, being a high performing firm as we move forward requires all of us to play a role in our growth strategy. In today’s meeting, your leaders will share with you information about the growth strategy in your region and market and will help you understand your connection to DHG’s growth success.
And finally Risk Management – As we go in to our busiest time of the year, I’d be remiss not to include a few words on this topic:
Remember our firm’s longstanding mantra: There is no right way to do the wrong thing.
Trust your instincts. We have added you to our team because you are all learned professionals. If it doesn’t feel right, it may not be right. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand if something raises a red flag to you. You have my word that the firm will support you.
And remember to consult- You are not alone in your decision-making, and no one in the firm should ever do anything by themselves, without getting a more experienced person to consult with you or to review your work.
We are off to a great start. I feel really good moving into 2016. As we move into the new calendar year, I ask each of you to continue your work helping us execute on the DHG strategy and being a top performing professional services firm.
Thank you for all of the work you do. I look forward to seeing you in your market in the near future.
* Effin Logue served as Chief People Officer from 2014 - 2021 and is now a proud DHG Alumni member.