July 31, 2012

Why I Am Not Leaving Kenway Consulting

It seems everywhere I go, I run into somebody who is disgruntled and wants to leave their current job.  A few months ago, there was a now famous example of an individual who took his disgruntled story all the way to the New York Times.  Whether these people are just tired of a slow economy or have valid reasons for leaving their employers is not for me to judge, but I would like to explain why I am not leaving mine – Kenway Consulting.

Like many businesses, Kenway Consulting documented its mission and vision.  For me, these help to begin to explain what I find so appealing about Kenway Consulting:

To foster a premier consulting organization based on quality, ethics and the consideration of every individual with whom we engage.  – Kenway Consulting Vision

To influence positive behavioral changes in all individuals with whom we engage, from prospects to clients, from vendors to partners and from recruits to employees, always in line with our Guiding Principles and always with integrity as our cornerstone.  – Kenway Consulting Mission

There are a few words in the vision and mission that I latch onto, because they are the things I strive to embody: quality, ethics, and integrity.  The guiding principles that are mentioned in the mission statement are heavily based on delivery, organizational, and employment excellence.  They are rooted in quality, ethics, and integrity, while also defining how Kenway Consulting will reward and respect the individual.  While many businesses, organizations, and governments draft lofty principles that in practice are only paid lip service, or only followed when convenient, our guiding principles are relevant because we live them.  They are the foundation of how we behave and operate, and we validate our actions and our decisions against them.  Further, we keep them fresh by revisiting them on a regular basis at team and company meetings.  This is why I am not leaving Kenway Consulting.

While I’m not going to go through and list every one of Kenway’s guiding principles (there are 29), there are a few that I want to highlight:

  • To always, under all circumstances and under all economic conditions, do what we believe is “right” for the client, even when what is “right” may directly lead to less business and lower revenues.
  • To generate sales by being good, being truthful and being priced fairly.
  • To accept modest growth resulting from diligent, selective recruitment processes, accepting only those employees who embody Kenway’s values.
  • To risk only what is willing to be lost and to bravely accept the more modest rewards associated with avoiding the riskiest situations.
  • To never rest on our laurels, always looking to the future to identify necessary changes to maintain and improve Kenway’s strategic advantages.
  • To reward all parties with whom we come into contact based on quality, value, contribution and effort.
  • To recognize the importance of the potential contribution of every individual.
  • To embrace the outcomes of a merit-based organization.

Kenway Consulting does not set sales, revenue, or headcount goals.  We believe those things will ultimately happen as long as we focus on being good, being truthful, and doing right by our people and clients.  We’re not aiming to have the trajectory or sizzle (and subsequent fade) of an Independence Day firework.  We aim to be the steady star that burns bright.  This is why I am not leaving Kenway Consulting.

Many companies that were once the darlings of commerce no longer exist (Montgomery Ward, PanAm, Arthur Andersen), or are on the verge of destruction, (Sears, Tribune Co.) because they became complacent and began to rest on their laurels in a rapidly changing marketplace.  We continuously examine ourselves and our market, and we do that with extremely talented people.  We create an environment for our people to excel by respecting and rewarding the individual.  How long you’ve been there, who you know, what you look like, or what you did two years ago are irrelevant factors in a merit based organization.  Your performance, contribution, and effort today are what matter.  This is why I am not leaving Kenway Consulting.

A wise mentor once explained to me that we all have a choice every morning when we wake up and look at ourselves in the mirror.  We can decide we want to do something else, or we can get ourselves ready and go to work.  There was once a day when I woke up and finally decided I needed to make a change, and that is when I joined Kenway Consulting.  For the last five years, my choice every morning has been an easy one, because the guiding principles make it so.  But these guiding principles are only as strong as the people that embody them – the fine people of Kenway Consulting.  This is why I am not leaving Kenway Consulting.

I don’t work at Kenway Consulting, because I’m looking for the fancy job title.  I don’t work at Kenway Consulting, because I’m looking to cash out on an IPO.  I work at Kenway Consulting, because it embodies the same principles that I strongly feel are important for creating a working environment that breeds excellence, for attracting quality people that aim for excellence, and for building a strong business capable of excellence.  Many organizations have tried to get there by taking short cuts.  We’re going to do this the right way, even if that means it’s not the easy or fast way.  This is why I am not leaving Kenway Consulting.

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