Why Nuances Matter: How Company Culture Can Be Felt Everywhere, Even Remotely

by Jim Prokes on December 6, 2012

(Editor’s Note: Jim Prokes is the CEO, President and co-founder of MIPRO.) 

It’s hard to differentiate a consulting company. Our product is human skillsets delivered in a service model, and those aren’t mass marketable like iPhones or HDTVs. Since we started MIPRO back in 2005, every time we sit down to articulate what makes us different, it comes down to passion and focus.

Sexy? Not really. I bet every consulting firm you speak to would say the same thing.

Sometimes, though, the nuanced nature of things like passion and focus makes itself known. Sometimes clients notice. Sometimes, however, the contractors we hire to work on client engagements notice. And that’s really interesting to me, because we hire top-shelf veterans, and these folks have seen the ins and outs of many consulting firms. They know the game. Every inch of it.

To be recognized by industry veterans means a lot.

Recently, we’ve had two more of our contractors tell us how MIPRO is different from other consulting companies. It’s amazing feedback to get, because these folks aren’t employees, they don’t necessarily toe a company line: they’re hired professional knowledge workers, and they can speak with a degree of objectivity that many employees would find difficult.

Here’s what one of our contractors recently told me over dinner:

“I hope we work together for a long while. You have great organization to be part of and I appreciate the relationship I have with MIPRO. It is hard to connect with quality domestic staffing firms with a foundation in the PeopleSoft space.”

Or there’s what another one of our star contractors said to me:

“Working with MIPRO has been the best experience of all the firms I’ve worked with since I started consulting.”

We talk all the time about culture, and we argue about whether the company culture we foster here at MIPRO HQ can be ‘felt’ when we have folks working remotely at client sites. We do everything we can to make this happen, and sometimes we wonder if our efforts are noticed. I’m proud to say at times it does get noticed.

Choosing a consulting firm has its concrete vectors: price, experience, the talent proffered for a given engagement. But I’ve always believed that the nuances matter, the things that live below the RFP response really help make our company what it is.

Here, on a gray Thursday, I wish to acknowledge entire MIPRO team for helping us take our message well beyond strategy meetings and into our culture – for both clients and the professional consultants we hire.

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