Rarely are consulting firms praised for their unique culture, work-life balance, or tight-knit community. Those features are associated with big tech brands like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These organizations have become synonymous with diversity, flexible work, free lunch, and ping pong tables. Consulting, on the other hand, is rarely synonymous with any positive tech stereotypes.
At SingleStone, yes, we’re a consulting firm, but we’re weirdly different. We’re a people-first organization. While we exhibit a lot of the tech aspects – work-life balance, a beer fridge, awesome office in a historical building, our true differentiator is our team.
Before you lump us in with 5-year roadmaps and endless change orders, take a few minutes…let us redefine consulting for you, through our team.
Get to know Tricia Rhodes, Chief Employee Experience Officer
What’s your superpower?
A: My energy and unique personality (ask anyone at SingleStone).
I think I help round out the strategic picture of the company and offer a fresh, new perspective to the way that HR/Employee Experience is viewed. Not having a technology background and still being able to have an active and strategic voice at the decision table creates a balance that I believe makes us more aware as a company.
What’s it like, creating a culture and building teams when most of your organization is offsite working with a client?
It’s a challenge, certainly. I don’t focus on any one area. Instead, I try to approach our team as an ever-evolving group. At the end of the day, we’re a group of diverse individuals. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, especially if folks are spending most of their time at another organization. I spend a lot of time researching human behavior and trying to understand what motivates team members but also caters to the unique nature of consulting.
My goal is to understand human behavior enough to create a connection with our employees and make them feel valued, accepted and empowered. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
What keeps you up at night?
My job is all about people, and naturally, people are complex. I find myself constantly balancing the needs of our team and what’s best for our firm. Most of the time those two things are well aligned, but at times they’re not. When they aren’t, we manage through that by having open and honest conversations with our team and by being very transparent about the “why” behind important firm decisions.
I put a lot of thought (and worry) into how to share information and maintain positive momentum towards our goals.
Who’s your dream client for SingleStone?
Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls. This organization provides an opportunity to young girls who may not have access to education. Their work is incredibly inspiring. Knowing that we need to get more young girls into STEM-related fields, there could be a great opportunity for SingleStone to partner with LAG and assist in providing access to technology and training, like learning how to code. I’d love to see us get involved and support an organization that’s making a big impact across the world.
You’ve been at SingleStone a while (we won’t say how long), so, what makes you stay?
A: I love the journey…it’s a personal and team evolution where we’re tackling challenges, learning, improving, and repeating. Although I’ve been with SingleStone for quite a while, I’m still in the “learning” phase. And, I think most of our leaders would say that.
We’ve built and cultivated a community of “better.” Nothing is ever perfect and we own that. We’re hyper-focused on making things better wherever we are – be it our new office space, a client project, or community work we’re engaging in. Even the folks who have moved on to a new opportunity, in their wake, they leave SingleStone better than it was before they arrived.
Our team and our clients push us to be better, to think differently and to challenge the status quo. When you are constantly being stretched and pushed outside of your comfort zone, the amount of personal and professional growth you experience is really incredible. I’ll be here as long as the challenge exists.
How does your organization define itself? Are you being challenged and pushed to be your best self? Now that you have a little bit more insight into our culture and what our definition of a consulting firm is, let us know your thoughts.
We’ll have more to share in our next Q&A, but in the meantime, if you have a question, please comment below or send us a message.