Read what our clients have to say about Stratecution.
I wanted to reach out to you in appreciation for all you have helped accomplish to date at Schena Roofing. We started working with you on the Scaling Up journey just over 1 year ago. While reflecting on the past year, I am in amazed at the transformation our company has made in that short time. We came to you because after 50 years in business, we knew we had developed some weaknesses over the years despite our continued success. My enlightening experience with you as my Vistage chair for 5 years gave me the confidence to engage you on this project. While the initial start of the program did feel like “drinking from a firehose” as you described, we quickly saw the big picture and how all the pieces would fit together. I remember the first tool you gave us to implement called the “Who What When”. This simple tool created a list of tasks with an accountable employee to ensure that each on was completed timely. This easy concept uncovered so much more that needed to be addressed. I have listed some of the other accomplishments we have experienced so far.
- We have restructured our sales and project management style to work more efficiently, increase productivity in our field, and reduce costly errors in execution.
- We have identified 8 key processes in our company, including some that never existed before.
- We have a new customer onboarding process that includes a customer advocate to ensure customer satisfaction.
- We found glaring issues with some staff not being in the right seat on the bus, some just needed to get off the bus, while others have achieved much personal growth and success in their roles.
- We are using scorecards for every position in our company to help each employee understand how to set themselves up for success.
- We have uncovered many useful KPI’s to help gauge our performance and make better informed decision for the future.
- Our employees are more engaged and informed with daily huddles within the departments.
- We have better clarity and vision for the future and what we hope to accomplish.
This could go on, and I know we are not done yet. We still have more work to do, but our flywheel has momentum now, and we are developing a rhythm that we are all excited about. One thing I can emphasize, is that our culture has not changed. Some people originally felt we were making things “Corporate” and ruining our culture. After some informed discussions we helped them to see the big picture and that all this change and hard work is going to ultimately create far less stress, more efficiencies and improve time management. While I did think I was providing great updates and insight on what our strategy team was working on, many staff felt left in the dark and even concerned about their jobs. In hindsight I would have increased communication on our progress and make sure they all understood the “Why” aspects of our changes. At times it did feel like we were going a step backwards, but then we would have a breakthrough and take a giant leap forward. Here is an example, we just had once of our quarterly staff meetings last week. These meetings are equivalent to our “State of the Company” address. For the first time, I heard many success stories within each department all due to the improved communication, better staffing, and more efficient processes we implemented through Scaling Up. In the past we would have heard about the same issues that had not gotten resolved from the previous meetings, or more things that fell through the cracks from disconnected communication and processes without accountability. We even heard comments from staff acknowledging that Scaling up “is really working” and the overall operations are running much smoother.
One thing I recall being told when we started Scaling Up really did ring true “If you aren’t feeling some pain with this process, then you aren’t doing it right”. Well, I can attest that this is a true statement. We felt pain, but we needed too. We had to face the reality of some ugly truths. While we looked pretty good from the outside, we were a bit broken on the inside and needed to accept that to move forward. So once again, I thank you for all your assistance and business wisdom. We have an exciting future ahead and we are looking forward to continuing our journey with you and Scaling Up.
Anthony G. Schena
As a professional service business owner, sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night (if you actually got to fall asleep!) and wonder what the heck you are doing, are you doing the right things, where is this enterprise going, how do I get there, what did I miss, and on, and on, and on. Many years ago, after a particularly lurid business night terror I started looking into various ‘solutions’ and ways to improve what I am doing, what the business is doing and even fig uring out what it means.
My search led me to join various groups, hire some coaches and try out different methods, processes, and ideas. Most of them were (and are good), some complete stinkers. But in the process of learning I realized that I needed to find a method or system with a coach who could help me get over that initial do it yourself momentum and sustain the growth and change needed to be a truly successful business.
I found Dan Hurley one day while attending a Scaling Up in-person one day event. I had attended a few of these in the past with other presenters, but during this particular session something clicked. I realized that what I wanted to achieve was business success and needed some help in making sure I was on the right path, doing the right things, having the right people, and making it something that would last and grow. In the words of Dan, I had to improve the clarity, alignment and focus of what I am trying to achieve.
While my team (I have a four person senior leadership team) and I thought we understood all the various things we were doing around marketing, sales, service delivery and follow up, Dan has helped bring us to a new and more insightful level. A huge piece of why we have been and continue to be successful is that Dan uses the Scaling Up model, as well as other useful tools from his deep and storied history. He has an amazing way of delivering ideas, good news, bad news and suggestions that don’t come across as the ‘paid consultant’ ‘telling’ you what to do. Rather, he has helped engage our team, make us think deeply, ask better questions and take action!
But it’s about results. When we hired Dan we were coming off of a particularly grueling period of time in the business where we had gone from potential sinking, to righting the ship but wondering where to sail to next. Dan helped us begin to focus our efforts and energies in a sustainable way, and during the COVID Pandemic his insights, suggestions, encouragement and hard questions helped us not only to survive but to actually thrive. We
avoided any layoffs and actually had one of our better years from a gross profit perspective that will help us continue to grow and reach our Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
I cannot thank Dan enough for his guidance, insight, lessons, friendship and passion in what he brings to the ta ble. You are in good hands with Dan!
I first became aware of Dan Hurley and Stratecution at a seminar he held at Zingerman’s in 2018. I did not hire Dan then because I thought I could do it on my own.
Fast forward to January of 2019 coming off a difficult 2018 I proved to myself that I could not do it on my own. You can’t keep doing what you have been and expect different results Dan says. It was time for some outside help and direction.
I reconnected with Dan and we got to work. The first 4 months or so were focused on me. Changing myself and the way I operated the business. We started to keep track of everything. This was my introduction to KPl’s, Key Performance Indicators.
Once Dan got me on track and focused, we started our first Executive Planning group. This group was together for a few months and developed our company values, company purpose, and team effectiveness guidelines, Hedgehog, BHAG and profit per X. Everything we do is now based around our company values.
We then switched to a new group that was focused on execution. This group developed the plan for our growth, preferred markets to work in, type of work to pursue, size of projects to pursue.
This process has really changed me and my company. I no longer feel like I am doing it by myself. Everyone is clear on who we are, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. We are truly a team now.
My original hesitation to getting involved with Dan was thinking “How does this relate to the Construction Industry?” What I now know is, it does not matter what the business, if you follow Dan and the system and do what is required, it will work for any business.
Dan has helped me manage to get thru 2020 with the Pandemic closures and end the year profitable and with a clear plan for the future. 2021 has already started on plan and I have no doubt that we will reach our goals year after year.
I continue to work with Dan and now we are adding a Critical Thinking class for my employees. I would strongly recommend Dan and his company Stratecution to everyone wanting to succeed. It truly has changed my life.
When I think about our time together in the late 80’s / early 90’s … it seems like it was just a few years ago. At least the parts I can remember.
I’m sure that is because it was a neat time both in my personal and professional life. The opportunity to literally start something up ‘from the ground up’ was the so called opportunity of a lifetime. We had lot of support and help from both GP and GM … but I am certain, it would not have been anywhere near as successful without you. (Now I would have said it would not have been successful at all had you not been there … but then you would have performed the ‘water test’ … the put your finger in the water and pull it out and see how long the ‘hole’ remains.)
- I ran across the Linkedln rec I wrote a while back for you … so I’m going to borrow from those words here too.
Dan is the consultant’s consultant.
- His ‘tool belt’ and experience are extensive … but what set’s Dan apart from the crowd is his natural capability to diagnose situations and develop improvement plans that are appropriate for the environment, realistic in design and effective.
- Dan’s energy and engaging personality are infectious.
- He is fun to work with and you learn something every time you come in contact with him!
Now as I read those items again; they are definitely true; but don’t quite get at the underlying essence of what I appreciate about you. I think it’s more ‘the core of Dan’ that naturally attracts people to engage with you. You genuinely listen, digest what is being discussed and there is a natural spirit of caring that comes through. You have a great intellectual curiosity that keeps you engaged and seeking … followed by an excellent ability to assimilate all those past experiences into simple lessons that apply to the ‘right now’. Now throw in the ‘tool belt’ … and you have Dan the Man!
I really hope that out of this boot camp you really get the Vintage gig rolling … you are a natural for it!
Take care and have fun,
It is a pleasure to take an opportunity to put in writing how much I appreciate you as a friend and colleague. When we first met we were both in transition. We had similar challenges and ideas as to how we thought business and personal relationships are formed and developed. We also had a strong sense of family both in our obligations to them as well as our desire to insure that we succeed for their benefit and our own self esteem. It was easy for us to form a common bond.
What we differed in was our approach. At the time, I had a successful background and had accomplished a great deal as did you. What I lacked was the structure and confidence to make the changes that I needed to adapt to the new environment we were both entering. You gave me the ability to embrace my past and develop a new and better future. I learned a great deal from you both as a business partner and as a coach. You enabled me to look at who we are and what we do in a new and introspective way. It wasn’t a matter of just changing ourselves entirely. It was a matter of taking and harnessing our good habits, dropping the bad and developing new useful habits.
Because of you Dan, I changed for the better, regained my confidence and established an inner sense as to how to transition without fear.
Because of you Dan, I am able to share what I’ve learned from you with people in my personal and business life. You have had a tremendous impact on me. I truly value your friendship.
For the last 15 years, Dan Hurley has served a valuable role in my career and as an individual on a personal level There are many qualities that I appreciate about Dan. Dan has served as boss, colleague, mentor, friend, trusted advisor, and confident.
First and foremost he caries the highest degree of integrity and ethical standards when operating in a business fashion. He is an individual that is honest to the core! He provides valuable and insightful feedback along with taking a level headed approach to the perspectives that he provides.
There are very few people that I encounter that are as “selfless” as Dan. He is always quick to put together people’s needs before himself. He is good natured, caring, provides great listening skills and good council.
Dan is an extremely intelligent man who has a strong sense of emotional intelligence to not come across arrogant. He is extremely well read and has a memory like a steal trap (unless he’s meeting you for a lunch date). Dan can communicate with those from the shop floor to the comer office.
I appreciate Dan’s “fire in the belly” mindset. He’s not afraid to be candid and deliver a tough message, and take a passionate position on his views. One of my favorite Dan Hurley lines is “any time your feeling froggy, just jump!!”
Lastly, Dan possesses the utmost humility. At this point, his response to this letter would be “gee, I appreciate all these kind words but it’s nothing more than the way I would expect to be treated by others”. It’s that reply that makes Dan Hurley a one of a kind diamond in the rough. For a gentleman who grew up in the steal business the diamond in a rough line is a great compliment.
Even if he roots for Purdue!
I first met Dan in 1996 as my company, Sun Technicom, set a goal to achieve ISO 9000 Quality System certification. Anyone who has worked with or in a company going through the ISO certification process knows the resistance, reluctance, and frustrations associated with that endeavor. Together, with Dan’s expertise, guidance, and perseverance we accomplished that goal.
Dan first impressed me with his relentless passion to succeed and to help others (me specifically) to succeed. His persistence in holding me to task along with his patience while mentoring me are things I am grateful for, perhaps not at every moment of that ordeal, but when looking back, absolutely.
While working with Dan during that ISO certification effort, I began to appreciate the honesty and forthrightness he displayed. Always professional, he stated what the reality of the situation was, whether good or bad. I found it interesting to deal with someone that placed common sense and truths first and placed political correctness a low priority. I enjoyed Dan’s coaching style then as a consultant as well as now as a friend.
I appreciate the confidence Dan had in me, as his recommendation afforded me a challenging employment opportunity with one of his clients.
Since that initial project, Dan and I have remained friends. Throughout the year’s Dan has provided me with continued support, both on a professional as well as a personal level. Always willing to meet,
discuss, and provide advice and opinions. The camaraderie we have at our lunch meetings, where we solve the problems of the world and our personal lives, are always insightful and a good time. Dan’s sense of humor, at times riddled with subtle sarcasms, and his many stories of diverse career positions and life experiences never cease to amaze me.
In summary, I value Dan’s camaraderie and sincerity of his friendship, his never-quit attitude, his calm demeanor, and his ever-positive outlook on life.
I have been asked to provide my thoughts relative to the individual above. I have known Mr. Hurley over 10 years. Dan and I have enjoyed a multi level relationship to include his role as a paid consultant to a large organization that I led, his role as an executive coach to me personally and as importantly, a valued friend of mine over the years.
From a consultative stand point, both the organizations that I’ve led starting in 2000, as well as for me personally have benefitted from Dan’s vast knowledge of people and human interaction in a business setting, leadership performance, group performance enhancement, and interpersonal communication. Dan’s impact as a result of working with my employees and companies resulted in enhanced cross functional communication, improved organizational process leading to a more solid organization overall. I have continued to reach out to Dan for help over the years and did so again recently after joining a new organization as a senior executive, wherein Dan led the corporate initiative of helping leadership define our vision, purpose and mission wherein he guided us in our plan to create and tie specific goals in support of our corporate vision and values. Personally, I have benefitted both from a positional authority stand point as well as an economic stand point as a result of Dan’s work guiding increased organizational performance.
As my executive coach during 2003, I can emphatically say that as a result of Dan’s honest and direct guidance, I was not only able to retain my role as group president, I was able to foster a stronger organization with better leaders, enhanced empowerment and I became a more wise and calm leader rather than a micromanaging ma ager attempting to lead a multi-billion dollar business. Much of what I learned from Dan’s guidance over the years serves me well today in my current role as a leader as an executive vice president for a bank.
Dan as my friend today is honest, consistent in behavior and predictable. I can count on Dan to be there for his valuable counsel, and as a friend he is always honest and forthright in providing direction and help.
I am writing this letter to you as part of an assignment for your journey with Vistage. I want you to know that the following statements reflect my true thoughts/feelings about you as a person, a friend and a co-worker.
You have many talents, but what distinguishes you from most is the ability to cut through the “crap”, identify the root cause(s) and solve for those causes without fanfare. With you there is never an “ego” issue that need to be addressed, only execution and results. I appreciate your work ethic and follow through, when you give someone your word you mean it. Too often in today’s world, people provide “lip service” with little or no substance beyond their words.
I have always felt as a friend and co-worker that I could count on you to get the job done, regardless of the task and time commitment. To be there if I need to vent, talk or problem solve. I enjoy our limited time together and the chance to learn from your experiences. Whether it is intentional or not, I fell that you have always been a great teacher and mentor.
What I admire most is the never quit attitude. With all the professional and personal life challenges you and your family have faced over the years, most people would have “thrown in the towel”. With you, it’s just another obstacle, another opportunity to make something better. I don’t know how you do it, but it is truly something to be admired.
Keep pushing forward my friend, its people like you that make a difference.
Dan is an intelligent and passionate leader who gets things done. He focuses on delivering results and building internal strengths by sharing expertise and practical processes with an eye on the “big picture.” He has created efficiencies and strengths in Sales and Marketing through teamwork, goal setting and process development, and has been a valued colleague in marketing and brand development. His varied background adds a depth to each area he tackles. On top of all of that, he is great fun to work with!
Dan is a great addition to any organization. He has a great combination of wisdom, pragmatism, emotional intelligence and focus on outcomes. In a business environment of constant change, or with the need to change, Dan brings great insight and a great vision. He brings an enormous breadth of experience which instills confidence in those he works with, and even more so as he encourages the opinion and leadership of anyone in the organization, regardless of rank or tenure. Dan makes any office environment a ‘great place to work’ and I highly recommend him.
It was a privilege and a great learning experience to work for Dan during my contract HR role at The Forum Corporation. He was a supportive manager, eager to remove obstacles that made my role more challenging, always ready to offer sage guidance when asked and very willing to consider my own ideas or suggestions. Dan offers a rare combination of pragmatism, analytical rigor and efficiency mindedness, while also possessing exceptional interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. I would recommend Dan for any role for which he is being considered.
Dan is very effective in process improvement, executive coaching and organizational restructuring focused on improved efficiencies and accountability. Dan is extremely dedicated and passionate about his work and helping others.
Dan is skilled in both the technical and people side of management. He is well-organized and able to communicate plans to people and he is great at engaging others to achieve results. He exudes confidence and caring about the people and the business and creates a high-performance work environment.
Strategize. Execute. Win.