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Dede Wakefield with Alogent

Culture Champion

Episode #106

It is impossible to maintain the same culture during an acquisition. Dede Wakefield with Alogent has been involved in mergers of different company cultures, in both size and practice. She offers great words of wisdom to ease the transition for the employees, and create momentum as soon as possible! 

Dede Wakefield

Dede Wakefield

Chief Executive Officer at Alogent

Dede guides corporate vision, mission, values and strategic plans, and is ultimately responsible for delivering on commitments to our clients and partners. She is a founding member of the new Alogent.

Before joining Alogent, Dede spent two years at GT Nexus and serving as the senior vice-president of finance for Global Payments, a public global-commerce company in the credit-card and payments industry. She also served as the VP of corporate finance for CheckFree Corp. (now Fiserv), a global provider of financial electronic commerce services and products.

Her Company

Her Company

Alogent provides proven, end-to-end deposit & payments automation, enterprise content management including workflows, and consumer self-service solutions, to banks and credit unions of all sizes, worldwide. All our advanced solutions are versatile, scalable, user-friendly, and exceptionally stable. Our relentless focus on all-out innovation helps our clients consistently exceed their productivity, financial, and customer experience goals.

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Full Transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Where your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you the business leaders, HR professionals, and company culture aficionados the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

Josh Sweeney: Hello, and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Before I get started, I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcast space, and thank you, our fellow culturists, for listening in. Today we have Dede Wakefield from Alogent. Dede, thanks for coming in.

Introducing Dede Wakefield

Dede Wakefield: Thanks for having me.

Josh Sweeney: Well, tell us a little bit about yourself, and Alogent.

Dede Wakefield: Alogent is a financial technology services company. We provide content management, digital banking, and check imaging, and back office processing to financial institutions. Credit unions, large financial institutions across the country, and in a handful of other countries around the world. I’m their CEO. Alogent’s got an interesting history. We are a combination of three acquisitions that have been made over the last two years, two and a half years.

Those three acquisitions coming from three very different places, at very different levels of lifecycle of those companies. We brought those three together to form what is now Alogent. We have about 225 employees, we’re headquartered right here in Peachtree Corners. We have offices in Las Vegas, in Carlsbad California, and in Austin Texas.

Cultures Coming Together

Josh Sweeney: Awesome, well I know you’re going to have some great shares from that because three different cultures coming together, multiple locations, I’m sure gives you some challenges in managing expectations, and the culture of the group, and aligning everybody to get where you want to go. If you could start us off, tell us a little bit about the three companies that came together. Maybe the sizes of those groups.

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh Sweeney: And, the fundamental culture differences that you had to bring together to make it all work.

Cultural Differences

Dede Wakefield: Sure. The first two were relatively equal in size, and they were both acquired within about 45 days of each other. I would think of it more as a merger versus acquisitions of one or the other. Both were about 75, 80 employees. They both had about the same length of history. The one had been privately held its entire lifecycle. The other, we acquired out of a large public company where it had really just been a business unit.

Being a business unit of a billion dollar organization is very different than being a small, 80 person organization that’s been privately held for 15 years. You can imagine the cultures were very different. Everything from accountability, responsibility, escalation of authority, and really even it went as far as to really impact the different levels of creativity, innovation, and collaboration that really occurred. Just because of the make up of those organizations inside of their different places.

The first 6 Months

It was an interesting journey the first six months or so, combining those organizations and really coming up with … We really took the company on a journey to rebrand, to determine the name of the company, what we were going to stand for, a mission, vision, our values. We took about six months to really solidify all of that, and really bring it to a place where the employees had something as a new collective organization, to really hold onto.

Because, as in anything from an acquisition perspective, having done a lot of M&A in my career. It is sometimes very hard for employees to let go of where they came from, and kind of join something new. What we weren’t trying to do was eliminate where they came from, but instead bring the best of both of those organizations into the future. I would say that it was difficult, and it took a lot of work, a lot of thought. We wanted to make sure we were paying homage to both of the organizations as far as where they had grown up.

Relaunch, Re-birth, Rebrand

We kind of navigated through that, and in about six months after both of those companies had been acquired, we kind of relaunched, re-birthed, really rebranded as Alogent and kind of started kind of a fresh with the culture, with the environment, with what we were really here to do.

Josh Sweeney: You had one organization that was about 80 people, that was more of a small business in a sense. Then, you had this other 80 person organization that came from a large, much larger entity, right?

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

The Fundamental Difference in Operation

Josh Sweeney: What did you see was like the fundamental differences in the way those people operated? What was the cultural differences in how they work day to day, how people managed? Give us an idea of some examples of those differences.

Large Public Company

Dede Wakefield: The larger, the organization that had been inside the larger public company had not really operated as a business unit. It had a handful of leadership who all reported into different parts of the organization, none of which kind of came together and said, “This is a business, this my P&L, this is … There’s revenue, and there’s expense, and this is how we’re running a full business.

It also was surrounded by infrastructure that was more corporate infrastructure, so it wasn’t really cohesive in that way either, in that it didn’t have its own finance, accounting, HR, IT, various internal functions that also helped to keep a company cohesive.

Quick Action Necessary

That was really, not necessarily a difficult journey, but one that we had to really start to tackle pretty immediately. If you then contrast that to the smaller organization, it was run by a Founder CEO. I think the biggest challenge there was that, he was very present in his location, which was in Henderson Nevada. Just outside of Las Vegas. He was seen as the decision maker. Everything really rolled up to him.

There was a lot of, a lack of … Not, I wouldn’t say accountability. It wasn’t that employees didn’t feel accountable for the work they were doing. But, they also always saw that leader as their stop gap, as the decision maker, as the one who was going to have the final yes/no. Instead of, being able to really put that responsibility on themselves, whether it be the next level leadership, or even middle management.

Work in Progress

The company I was, am trying to build, and continue to ’cause it’s always a work in progress, is one where everyone really feels like they have the authority to make decisions, to make mistakes, to try something new. I mean, we’re an innovative organization. We want people to come up with ideas, we want people to challenge the status quo. If you don’t give people kind of that rope, and give them that runway, it’s going to stifle that internally. The larger you get, the more that you’re going to see that it’s not really transpiring down at the level that you need it to, and kind of continuing to build up.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah, I completely understand. I mean, there’s a big difference in working in an entrepreneur founder led environment, where kind of the buck stops there-

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chasing the Answer

Josh Sweeney: … Or, you go to a person, and in a lot of those organizations I’ve seen probably not necessarily the one you worked with, but people can go to another person for an answer, instead of having to really work through it on their own because they get used to a certain rhythm.

Dede Wakefield: Right.

Josh Sweeney: In some environments they’re unable to go find a solution, make those errors, and move on with those.

Dede Wakefield: Yep.

Best Company Culture Experience

Josh Sweeney: I know those are completely different environments. Before Alogent, share with us what you would consider your best company culture experience. Best company culture you worked for, and with, and how that affected what you’re building at Alogent now.

Dede Wakefield: Yeah, so I would say one of the best cultures I think I ever worked in was another local company. They have since been acquired, but it was a company called Check Free Corporation. I worked there for eight or nine years. We eventually sold the company to another large public company. But, it was founder led, but they were public. It was a billion dollar organization with 1,000 employees. At the core of it, best of breed technology, best of class kind of processes and procedures, investment in the employees, and collaboration were just key.

Learning about Employee Development

It’s really the place where I learned that, learned about employee development, and making sure that you put the tools in people’s toolboxes to make sure they can do their jobs. Both on the tactical side, like I’m a developer, I need to learn these skills to be able to code. But, also on the soft side. I mean, I’m a manager, I need to know how to deal with situational leadership, I need to know how to deal with conflict.

That environment really, over those years, and it could be because it was one of my first jobs. It could be that, that was influencing as well to me. But, having that foundation at that time in my life I think was instrumental in being able to look at Alogent now and say, “These are the things that really helped me.”

Josh Sweeney: With that development that they had in that environment, can you walk us through like, what did the development look like that really resonated with you and the employees of that group? What was the structure? Was it online training, was it one on one coaching, what really went into that process?

Development of the Soft Skills

Dede Wakefield: It was actually a combination of all of that really. There was certainly online training, and everyone does that. That gives you a lot of the soft skills like, if you need to get better at Excel, or you just want to take a quick course on public speaking or whatever. Also they really did a good job, especially with kind of new management, or new managers, really guiding them through an employee kind of training process that allowed you to really build up the skills that you needed to deal with situations, to address performance reviews. I mean, just some of the basics that when you don’t get that and then you see that in an organization, that those things are just really hard for people to navigate through.

What’s Impactful

What’s impactful is, if you’re a new manager and you don’t know how to work yourself through those situations. The person suffering is your employee, and you can’t really fix that. But also yes, some one on one coaching, and then also pulling groups of people together. We actually had a program called Check Free University, and it was two or three days.

We’re actually somewhat replicating it at Alogent right now. We actually have our first one next week. We’re calling it a bootcamp. It really was pulling a group of people together, to sit through two or three days of everything from product training, to listening, to hearing from the executives, to going through simulations of various things.

The Time Spent Together

But to me, one of the main things that resonated with me, which is why I think that this bootcamp is so important that we’re launching at Alogent is that, those 10, 12, 20 people, whatever the … Our group was much larger at Check Free, ’cause it was a larger company than Alogent. But, that group of, let’s say it was 20 of us. We spent 48 hours together, 72 hours together. We all came from different areas, different departments, and then we went back to our offices in very different places ’cause it was, ’cause the company was dispersed beyond just Atlanta.

But, you had a lifeline from then on. That cohesion, and that ability to have that person to call.

If all of a sudden you’re questioning something about, just wanting to understand something about development product and you’re in HR, but you’ve got the development manager that was in your class. I mean, they’re your friend, they’re your colleague, they’re someone you can reach out to.

Creating the Network

Starting to kind of blanket the organization with some of those … Kind of creating that network, that web of relationships, I think was instrumental to me ’cause it allowed me to navigate through problems throughout the rest of my career at Check Free very, I wouldn’t say easily. But, I didn’t have to hesitate, to stop, to think, to step back and go, “Okay, how am I going to think about that? Oh, I’ll call somebody.” You kind of have that lifeline.

At Alogent we’re trying to do the same thing. I thought it was crucial, and I think that to be honest, it was one of the things that helped me to navigate success there.

Cross Departmental Relationships

Josh Sweeney: From a lot of my reading, I understand that cross departmental relationships are a big part of building great networks and great cultures, right?

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh Sweeney: Being able to go to somebody in another department that you wouldn’t have otherwise-

Dede Wakefield: Yeah.

Josh Sweeney: … Spoken with on a daily basis. What I’m hearing from you is, the 48, 72 hours in a room is not just people from your department.

Dede Wakefield: Correct.

Josh Sweeney: But, it’s other departments where you’re really spending that time to build a relationship.

Cross Functional

Dede Wakefield: Yeah, it really is a cross functional group of people. In our case, we’re starting because it also, it is a lot of product training, as well as sprinkling in of other things related to the company. But, because of the product training, and understanding how the products work. Not on necessarily on a technical, technical side. But, just an overarching understanding of the organization. More of the new hires are kind of getting, are starting it, but it is a cross functional group. There’s people from sales, people from support, people from development, people from accounting, HR, that all will come together. Then, they disperse back into their various locations. Some are remote, some work in an office, some don’t, some work at the corporate headquarters.

Meeting the Speakers

To me, they also will meet the speakers, right? Some of the various kind of product experts, or experts of those topics, and some of the leadership who is presenting at various things. It just gives them an additional kind of group of people to reach out to, ’cause starting a new job can be somewhat overwhelming. To me, we’re doing it every single month for 2019. Primarily to get through what we hope is over 100, 125 people inside of a year, so that we can get to a cadence where we can really hit on everyone. Because, we want those pockets of that foundation, that web of network, of relationships to start to really take hold.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah. I know in my past careers, it felt like as a new employee or new person on the team, often times you’re emailing different people, trying to get information, and it was difficult. But then, when you went to the sales kickoff, or you went to training together, all of a sudden everybody got a lot more responsive.

Dede Wakefield: Yep.

Face-2-Face Builds Relationships

Josh Sweeney: There’s just something about that face to face time that builds the relationship. Now, you had mentioned earlier that everybody’s going to be together 24, 48, 72 hours and you have multiple locations. Are you bringing everybody in to one location, keeping them under one roof?

Dede Wakefield: Yes.

Josh Sweeney: Or, multiple hotel rooms. What does that look like from an experience perspective beyond just being in kind of the training room together?

Dede Wakefield: Yes, so we are bringing people in from other places. We will vary the location between … Our two largest offices are the Henderson Las Vegas office, and here. That’s really where most of the training that each month’s bootcamp will occur, just primarily because of space.

Bringing People Together

Dede Wakefield: But, it doesn’t mean when we have it here in our office around the corner, that we will only have employees that are based here. We’ll bring remote people in, we’ll bring people in from our Carlsbad, or Austin, or Henderson office. Then, vise versa when we go out West. While not trying to blow up the expense budget-

Josh Sweeney: Right.

Dede Wakefield: … At the same time, trying to make sure there is a cross pollination of locations as well. And, keeping them together from morning through dinner, through the next day. Some will be in hotels, some may live there and go back home. But, encouraging through the leadership and some of the speakers that’ll be there, encouraging that camaraderie through dinners together, and maybe a few drinks at the bar after. But, those types of things so that when they do all go back home, they still feel like there was a bond with that group of people.

Maintaining Culture Across Locations

Josh Sweeney: Awesome. Just in that bond building, how does it work with maintaining the culture across multiple locations? You mentioned multiple places. Is your headquarters here in Atlanta?

Dede Wakefield: Headquarters is here in Atlanta, yep.

Josh Sweeney: Okay. I’m assuming that, or probably a bad word to use. But, the culture’s probably set here in a lot of ways, where the majority of people are. How does that filter out to the other locations, and how is that maintained across those locations?

Dede Wakefield: Yeah. That’s probably the hardest thing to do, is to maintain a common culture across multiple offices with different departments resonating in those offices, and also just when different leadership is in different places. We do as good a job as anyone. I mean, everyone could argue that communication needs to be better, in every single company.

Josh Sweeney: Right.

Communication

Dede Wakefield: There’s never an exit interview that anyone does, no matter where you are, what company you’re in, that they don’t say, “I wish somebody communicated better to me.” But, that’s just, I mean that’s just what it is, but you can always strive to not have someone do that in an exit interview, so that’s our goal. But, we do quarterly meetings, and my Chief Strategy Officer and I, we generally are responsible for most of the content, and for conducting the quarterly meetings.

Which include a lot of just shout outs for achievements, metrics from the quarter, and we’ll hit on a couple themes or a couple initiatives that we’re working on in a group setting, and we rotate where we host those meetings. Even though everybody gets on a webinar, we will physically rotate being in the various offices so that no one office gets all the attention. We feel like that helps to just keep pushing the culture, by being in those offices, and then being able to spend time with those people after those meetings.

Leadership Dispersement

Then also, in all of our offices there are leaders … Some of my, all of my leadership is not here in the Atlanta office. My leadership is spread out as well, because as with most technology companies these days, we have a bit of a disparate, kind of dispersed organization. But, that allows for the leadership to be in the various locations often and periodically to continue to just put more attention towards just the messages, the culture, the communication of the organization.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah, I love the idea and the simplicity of the rotation. It’s one of those things where when you … Our fellow listeners out there, our fellow culturists are probably like, “Well that’s really simple Josh. Yeah, go around to the other locations.” But, I know I’ve worked for companies where they were headquartered in another state, and they may have a large concentration of people here in Atlanta or New York but you never see them show up, right?

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Visit the Offices

Josh Sweeney: They didn’t show up, even though maybe it’s not an official office, but they have 100 in California, and 10 in Atlanta, right? A high concentration, but they didn’t go on the rotation.

Dede Wakefield: Right.

Josh Sweeney: That’s a really simple item I think for other listeners out there to think about of, are you going out and visiting not only another office, but another area of the country where you have multiple employees that you can work with.

Traveling is an Investment

Dede Wakefield: Right. Yeah, it’s an investment, right? It’s definitely an investment. I mean at the holidays, we do holiday luncheons around the various offices. I had no other reason, other than to visit the team, but I flew out to Carlsbad California to participate with 20 employees. I have about 80 here. I then took the red eye home so I could be here for this one. Other of my leadership team went to Henderson, just ’cause I wasn’t able to go to that one. Otherwise, I probably would have tried to make it to all four, and get plenty of frequent flyer miles in doing so.

Josh Sweeney: Right.

Dede Wakefield: But, those things I think are important, and they resonate with the employees to see the leadership participating, and putting that investment in.

Disaster Culture Experience

Josh Sweeney: Pre Alogent, one of the things I like to have people share is their disaster story, right? You don’t have to name any names or companies that you worked for. But, in that, what was the culture you worked for or worked in that was just not conducive to an amazing experience for you, and what did that look like?

Dede Wakefield: Yeah, I won’t name any names, so thank you for that. I would say that probably one of the worst, and worst is probably a harsh word to say. But, there have been one or two cultures that have been less than inspiring to me.

Lacking Authority

For me, the larger the organization, but where leadership is not being given the accountability, and the authority to run their divisions is really where culture starts to break down. Where, even though the … In an organization of our size, while I like to push out accountability, and give my various leadership team, colleagues, authority to make decisions, and to be present with their teams. It’s easier to do in a smaller company. I mean, it’s easy to do in a small company.

In a larger organization, it should be because if you’re sitting at the top and you’ve got 1,000, 2,000 employees, you really don’t have time to know what all 2,000 employees are doing. But, if you have more of a controlling, if you have a leadership that has a more controlling nature to begin with, you’re going to see that, that is kind of transpiring in an organization that really is afraid to do anything without getting that approval, the commitment, the nod of the head from people at a more senior level. It’s stifling, it really is, it is stifling. I’ve been in that situation before.

Keeping the Team Motivated

I was a leader though, in that situation where I wasn’t a leader in that I was a senior leader in the controlling sense, but I was a leader of a team of people. I really had to dig deep and work hard to keep my team motivated, because they were seeing the turmoil, and the challenges that were going on at those leadership levels, and just the lack of collaboration, and the lack of cohesive that, that leadership team had. It does waterfall.

I don’t think sometimes leadership teams realize that when they’re not seen as cohesive and collaborative as an organization, that they’re not working and playing nicely in the sandbox, in a cross functional perspective, that it actually does translate down to the way the rest of the organization is going to operate. Because, they’re going to be … People are going to be hesitant to make decisions, or they’re going to be scared to make a phone call, or to say something that might not sit well with a colleague, and in different departments. That can be really jeopardizing to the success of an organization.

Traction

Josh Sweeney: Yeah. I can definitely see, like given my past around managing organizations and groups that, we always set the alignment. We followed Traction EOS, and we did rocks, and other things that waterfalled down, and we worked with the teams to come up with what those rocks were. But, you’re talking about it almost at an exponential level, right?

Dede Wakefield: Yeah.

Josh Sweeney: You’re talking about the executive team for a 1,000, 10,000 person company not being able to set that alignment at the top.

Dede Wakefield: Right.

Josh Sweeney: Then, everybody else doesn’t really know which direction to go.

To Big to See

Dede Wakefield: Yeah. I think sometimes the executives, I mean I think sometimes they don’t see it, right? I think if they saw it, they would hopefully think to address it. But, I think sometimes they don’t see it, or the organizations have gotten so big that they don’t recognize that it’s impacting the way the organization’s operating.

It’s making the middle management, in which case that was where my role is, it’s making us work really hard to try to motivate, and keep a cohesive environment for the teams we’re managing. Which, can lead to attrition, can lead to multiple HR type situations. Which, really is one of the most critical things all of us have to work on and need to do anyway in our jobs, which is hire good employees and keep them happy.

Back to Communication

Josh Sweeney: Yeah. The last thing that I … Well, to recap real quick. We kind of went full circle on that communication issue, right?

Dede Wakefield: Yeah.

Josh Sweeney: We threw in alignment.

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Re-Alignment

Josh Sweeney: To recap, understand where the organization is going, have that alignment at the executive level, and then in addition to be able to communicate that all across the organization.

Dede Wakefield: Yeah.

Josh Sweeney: And, hopefully not pivot too much to throw everybody off, or have to realign, or re-communicate in an overly … Too often, right?

Dede Wakefield: Yeah.

Future Culture Enhancement for Alogent

Josh Sweeney: To feel like everybody’s pivoting too often. My final question for you is, for 2019, we’re in the new year. What is the one culture item you’re most looking forward to enhancing, adding into the business, or working on?

Dede Wakefield: For all my employees it’ll be a bit of a spoiler alert, ’cause we haven’t really had our company meeting yet for 2019. But, sense of urgency. I feel like that’s something that has to be constantly talked about in this, in the world we’re in where things are changing every day. Especially in the space we’re in right now, financial technology, there are constant contributors to the industry that are disrupting, there are new things coming out every day, there are mergers and acquisitions happening in our space all the time. We, as an organization, owe it to ourselves for the success of our future to have a sense of urgency about everything we’re doing.

Addressing New Ideas

If an idea comes to mind, we need to have, we need to feel like we’ve got the rope, and the okay to bring those things up, to address them, to think about them, to say, “Maybe we need to change course.” Not wait to change course six months from now when the threats already kind of come and gone, and we’re now negatively impacted.

But, that’s a big theme that actually I will be kind of presenting with some ways we’re going to kind of think about it as a company. Not because there’s any one group that’s not, not showing a sense of urgency. But, it’s just a culture component that I want to enhance as an organization.

Then Intangible – Sense of Urgency

Josh Sweeney: Yeah, I love that you brought up something that’s a little more intangible, right? I mean sense of urgency is more of a feeling-

Dede Wakefield: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh Sweeney: … An action. It’s not, you know, the more tangible things like a perk, or an outing, or anything like that. What are some of the ways, if you don’t mind sharing. I know this is coming up for your team. But, for our listeners, our culturists out there, what do you plan to do, how do you instill a sense of urgency and start to direct people in that way, to feel like it’s urgent? I know in my organization, one of the things we talk about is … Or, even at home, right? The bills come in every month no matter what.

Josh Sweeney: How much we get done in between the start date of that quarter, and the end date is a way to measure urgency.

Dede Wakefield: Yeah.

How to Impact Urgency

Josh Sweeney: How do you impact urgency, or how do you plan to impact urgency?

Dede Wakefield: Yeah. Josh, that would be the million dollar question, right, is how do you do that? I think when you hit on one of the biggest pieces of it which is, helping the organization see where they can raise their hand and say, “This is not helping me. This is minutiae I need to get out of.” Right? Knowing that the leadership team, and their next level management supports them raising their hand and saying, “This meeting.” Whether it’s a meeting, or it’s a standing four hour review session every week.

Let’s take those things off the table. Let’s make sure that we’re using every minute to do things that are moving us forward, instead of stalling us, so that we have those extra minutes back to then be able to put towards another idea, or whatever it might be.

Prioritizing

I think those things in general will, just eliminating some of that will start to give people the feeling that they’ve got time back to, and the urgency just kind of comes with that. It’s really not that I look at my organization and would say, nobody has a sense of urgency. It’s just, looking at problems, ideas, thoughts, what we’re working on, prioritizing, putting the urgency towards the ones that really can move the needle, move the company forward, and making sure that we’re putting the right level of attention towards all those things at the right level of time.

Making sure the organization knows that the leadership team supports that, and that I specifically support it. I expect to spend a lot of time in 2019 with the employees, and one on one with employees hearing what they think we could do better. To really give them that time to kind of invest into urgency. Yeah, it’s a bit intangible, but that’s why our bootcamps are a little more tangible, right? There’s a bit of a balance there to kind of spread both pieces that help with the culture.

One-on-One Time

Josh Sweeney: Yeah, well I’m sure spending the time in those one on ones … Cut. I’m sure spending the time in those one on ones with your employees is going to have a huge impact. I know every time I’ve ever sat with an employee, I could look at the way things were done, and come up with ways to do it maybe a little faster, a little more efficiently, or see that they’re stuck in some minutiae that I wasn’t aware of.

Josh Sweeney: I know you’re going to see some huge success in the coming year, this year-

Dede Wakefield: Thanks.

Josh Sweeney: … With your urgency, and thank you for joining us.

Dede Wakefield: Yeah, thank you. I appreciate it.

Subscribe

Josh Sweeney: Thank you for joining us. We have just had our amazing culture champion Dede Wakefield from Alogent on the show. If you would like to hear more, go follow us on SoundCloud, Stitcher, iTunes, or check out our YouTube channel. Thank you for joining us.

Speaker 1: Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast, with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoy this content, please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit EpicCulture.CO. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, tweet us @EpicCulture1, or email at Podcast@EpicCulture.CO.

 

Podcast Highlights and Resources

Quotables:

  • We really took the company on a journey to rebrand, to determine the name of the company, what we were going to stand for, a mission, vision, our values. 
  • It is sometimes very hard for employees to let go of where they came from, and kind of join something new. 
  • We wanted to make sure we were paying homage to both of the organizations as far as where they had grown up. 
  • The company I am trying to build, and continue to ’cause it’s always a work in progress, is one where everyone really feels like they have the authority to make decisions, to make mistakes, to try something new. 
  • The larger you get, the more that you’re going to see that it’s not really transpiring down at the level that you need it to, and kind of continuing to build up.
  • Having that foundation at that time in my life I think was instrumental in being able to look at Alogent now and say, “These are the things that really helped me.”  
  • That web of relationships, I think was instrumental to me ’cause it allowed me to navigate through problems throughout the rest of my career. 
  • Let’s make sure that we’re using every minute to do things that are moving us forward, instead of stalling us, so that we have those extra minutes back to then be able to put towards another idea, or whatever it might be.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

All entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations—personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. Decisions never seem to get made, or, once made, fail to be properly implemented. But there is a solution. It’s not complicated or theoretical. Based on years of real-world implementation in more than 100 companies, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned.

In Traction, you’ll learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. You’ll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Successful companies are applying Traction every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses—and you can too.

For an illustrative, real-world lesson on how to apply Traction to your business, check out its companion book, Get A Grip.

Prototype Prime

Prototype Prime is a 501(c)3 non-profit incubator focused on early stage software and hardware technology startups. Our mission is to provide startup companies with the support they need to launch & scale.

Funded by the City of Peachtree Corners Prototype Prime is a regional affiliate of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech, and is located just 30 minutes north of Atlanta.

Our suburban location within a 500-acre commercial office park, adjacent to a custom- built intelligent mobility test and demonstration track, is the ideal place to envision what smart cities of the future will look like.