The Fulcrum Group Core Values
The Fulcrum Group started as a sole proprietorship and quickly grew into several team members, instead of just one person. Like many companies with a founder that becomes a front-line knowledge worker and a burgeoning manager, it is hard to be the perfect leader. What should a small firm do, to help its team members interact with each other and clients, in a positive and productive way?
Around 2008, our President, Steve Meek, began reading the business framework book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish. It included a core values development tool called, the Mission to Mars. The exercise called on us to tell heroic sample stories about each other that could explain to Martians what made our organization special. After all the stories were told, we looked for commonalities and distilled it down.
The following six areas are treated as a guiding light for all team members, to live and breathe by.
Take Personal Ownership of Self
This core value speaks to a strong sense of accountability and responsibility. Sometimes life feels like there is too much ‘blame the other person” mentality in the world. There are always many parties in the world of IT services and technology, which makes it easy to blame others. Taking ownership speaks to our commitment to address challenges head-on and take proactive steps to deliver optimal solutions regardless of how many people are involved or what someone else may have done. Our happiest clients are ones that feel us as a managed services partner who is genuinely invested in them, their vendors and fellow teammates success. Asking yourself to always add value is a results oriented philosophy.
Inspire Client Confidence
Our second core value reminds us that as consultants, we must always bring a combination of expertise, professionalism and effective communications, to instill trust and assurance throughout our technical support engagements. We even pay for an extended DISC assessment (which measures Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness) to understand each person’s unique behavioral profile. It also helps us think about which sales, technical or operational roles fit their styles and priority system. True outsourced IT is so much more than just having the technical skills to fix a problem. It is important for our firm to also convey complex information in a clear and understandable manner to client leadership. Only in that way, will they have enough information to make good decisions in their own best interest. Results are usually amplified and more cost-efficient, when we develop a technology roadmap that aligns with each client’s specific business strategies.
Plan, Do, Review
There is actually a lot of science, structure and framework in computers and technical support. Our third core value refers to the discipline of having a systemic and strategic approach to problem-solving and architecture. Many of our key vendors have their own design and implementation framework to follow for deploying their solutions. Many of our people have earned certifications, we conduct a lot of internal lunch and learn trainings and we develop standard operating procedure (SOP) documents. The last part of this Vern Harnish quote describes the importance of process and procedures, “the right people, doing the right things, the right way”.
This core value reinforces the concepts to meticulously assess the situation or a unique client need,
formulate a comprehensive strategy or action plan to move forward
and then evaluate results or quality control the finished solution.
Look to the Future
“If I would have asked my customers what they wanted, they would’ve said a faster horse” – Henry Ford. The pace of change in the past few years has just been amazing, and sometimes overwhelming for any organizational leader. Many technology organizations believe they have a forward thinking and innovative mindset. We do as well and engage with our top vendors to understand how their technologies are changing. We also participate in several different peer group organizations to stay abreast of what sees as new or changing in the world of business and technology. If you attended one of our events, you have heard us cover future trends, disruptive technologies or potential obstacles around technology topics such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, incident response, network management and others. We have developed our STARpower process of continuous improvement to help us develop a technology roadmap for all of our managed services clients, to help them innovate, adapt and be ready for the next thing the market throws at us.
Actively Listen and Communicate
We place a high emphasis on actively listening to other people’s concerns, goals and needs. Our fifth core value reminds us we can design a computer network in many different ways and most organizations are different. So, great communication drives the ability to understand each client’s unique context and challenges. Each organization probably has 4 – 7 key processes that play into how technology should be selected, how it works or what fits. We are not the heroes for your technology successes, it requires both of us. We can only be successful with clear, two-way, transparent and timely information that empowers us to co-create technology value together. This partnership allows both of us to contribute insights leading to a more tailored and effective solution.
Work as a Team
Our final core value highlights the importance of internal collaboration. A single technical resource in an organization is a recipe for burnout and turnover. We combat this by trying to level engineer’s hours worked, dividing up duties, workload, on-call shifts, training expectations and similar things. When an emergent issue breaks out, other team members rally to assist, eager to help out. This collaborative spirit fosters open communication, mutual respect and shared accountability, amongst our diverse skills and expertise areas. If you are counting on a service team, you know that team must have a seamless and cooperative expectation behind-the-scenes, to be truly client focused. Check out our customer satisfaction survey scores and comments on our website here.
With these six core values, we believe we have the secret recipe to add value at every interaction. These core values are the foundation of our company culture and influence team members in their daily lives, and so we constantly reinforce them. We even created the mnemonic TIPLAW to assist with everybody remembering them. Here are some other ways we reinforce our core values.
Each new employee gets 90 minutes of discussion with the CEO about our core values and what they mean to us, as part of their onboarding training.
When a team member is caught doing something right, we typically identify the core value it represented, with the attaboy.
We regularly mention core values in our monthly meeting rhythms.
We solicit core value stories each month and award a monthly winner.
Each year we take all of our core value stories from the year and select three annual winners.
Our annual reviews reflect the core values.
We survey our client’s users on every ticket to make sure we live up to the hype.
And we survey our team members twice a year to make sure our leadership supports the team and for comparison against other firms in our industry.
The Fulcrum Group's New Initiative: Say Goodbye to IT Jerks!
At The Fulcrum Group, we don’t just offer managed IT services – we deliver an experience centered around our core values. Our brand promise is simple: No more dealing with “IT jerks.”
Gone are the days of impersonal support and frustrating encounters with tech experts who lack empathy. With us, you’ll always find genuine, human-centered assistance from real people who care about your satisfaction.
As a token of our commitment, new clients receive a delightful box of festive jerky, symbolizing our dedication to providing a positive experience from the start. And in the rare event that we fall short of your expectations, we’re not afraid to own up to it. If a team member receives negative feedback, we not only offer jerky as an apology but also take internal measures to make things right.
With our “No IT Jerks Guarantee,” you can trust that your IT managed services experience in Dallas Fort Worth will be nothing short of exceptional. Say hello to a new era of IT support
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