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Monday, October 28, 2013

Celebrating Inward’s “Sweet 16”

Today, Inward is celebrating our sixteenth anniversary. It is hard to believe that we’ve come so far and achieved so much.

In 1998, Inward found its roots supporting the well-known consulting firm, Arthur D. Little, whose clients were going through major transformation, process redesign and reengineering. I was encouraged to start a new kind of consulting firm at the insistence of the late Dr. Michael Hammer, who was the creator of the reengineering movement. Back then he said that 50% of all the major reengineering and ERP implementations were failing and nearly 80% of failure was due to too much political infighting and internal constituencies not embracing change. He strongly recommended, based on my advertising agency background, that I come up with a methodology that could be persuasive to enroll employees to embrace change and reengineering. After establishing an academic framework and process we were off and running.

Over time, our services have evolved from change management communications to employee brand engagement, internal branding, and team alignment. We offer services such as mission and values alignment, external brand positioning and market research. We help companies like Walmart, HP, Zurich Financial Insurance and McDonald’s align the behaviors and attitudes of their employees with their brand promises and values so they can create positive customer experiences. 

Last year we opened a 2,600 square foot creative studio in Bentonville, Arkansas, and hired some exceptionally creative talent. We also launched a quarterly publication of thought leadership called Looking Inward, which has grown in circulation and been cited by clients and the press as providing significant insights and value. In 2012, I was surprised to be named one of the top twenty-five consultants in the United States by Consulting Magazine.  This was a great honor and brought a lot of attention to our firm and the work we are doing for our clients. 

This past year has been very busy too. Once again, we were a premier sponsor of the Conference Board’s Extending Your Brand to Your Employees Conference where two of our clients, Walmart and McDonald’s, showcased our work and case histories.

More important than the accolades, presentations, recognition and success, however, is the pride I have for the kind of company we have built. We have a dedicated team of professionals who care deeply about our client’s success, and understand the importance and value that employees play in representing the brand through positive customer experiences. Our people work hard, play hard, and are smart, and imaginative. We have truly built a company that exemplifies the work we do for our clients in creating an engaged and inspired workforce.

Lastly, none of our success could have happened without the friends and clients who support our firm and continue sending us business referrals. Thank you for all your encouragement and business all these 16 years. Cheers and Thank you!

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