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2018 Evolution Leadership Summit: Collaboration & Culture

For the second year in a row, the Evolution Community made its spring trek to the Windy City for our semi-annual leadership summit. The summits are an opportunity for leadership teams at each of our partner companies, and at Evolution, to share best practices, collaborate and learn from one another, and gain insight from a featured expert.

Leadership Summit: Collaboration & Culture

This year our leadership summit workshop was led and inspired by Ryan McCarty and Bill Sherman with the Culture of Good, an organization that empowers other companies to give back to the communities they conduct business in. While some might deem Culture of Good a curious topic for a small business private equity firm, striving for a culture of giving back is not new at Evolution. Culture is discussed within The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®), which is introduced to each of our partner companies when we begin our investment process and partnership. Developing a Culture of Good was a natural next step.

While our partner companies are all in different phases of growth across various industries, the one thing they have in common is that they are all small, growing companies, with big visions (or BHAG’s)!  To achieve these tremendous visions, having both employees and customers aligned with and inspired by a mission to do more good in the world can not only make it possible, but more fun, and dare I say, even more profitable! Culture and profit really do go hand in hand. It can even be measured and monitored, and one way of doing so is through Culture of Good’s EOS, as they define it, an Emotional Operating System.

Leadership Summit: Collaboration & Culture

Ryan and Bill address culture head-on by taking the stance that a company’s culture happens, whether it’s intentional or not (and we have all experienced instances of both). So, why not be intentional and reap the positive results for your business, employees and customers? During the workshop we were introduced to tools and exercises to help identify a “cause” that aligns both employees and customers, and were encouraged to just get started. We use this mantra often at Evolution, as you might not get it exactly right on the first try, but you will get it right eventually and when you do, magic occurs. There were a plethora of thought provoking insights to help all of us establish and build sustained growth organizations. I’ll leave you with just a few take-aways from the session:

  • Big checks to a founder or owner’s non-profit organization of choice are great, but there is greater opportunity to help a “cause” and your business by getting all stakeholders actively involved and aligned (in selecting the organization, being a part of “the give,” and seeing the tremendous results both to the cause and the business).
  • The more profitable an organization is, the more good it can do.

Thank you to each of our partner company leadership teams who took the time to join us in Chicago last week. We are inspired and honored to be your partner. And thank you to Culture of Good for taking us through the first step in our journey to be intentional in creating unique and lasting cultures within each of our organizations.


Posted by: Brendan Anderson A co-founder and managing partner at Evolution, Brendan has spent the past 20 years as an investor and manager of businesses ranging from manufacturing to financial services. @Brendan_Andersn

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