Key Takeaways

  • Effective employee engagement promotes a collaborative and improvement-driven work environment, which is crucial for personal and organizational advancement.
  • Thesis Systems prioritizes creating a culture that values growth, transparency, and core ethical principles. Regular communication and involvement opportunities like town halls and financial updates are vital in keeping the team informed and aligned with the company’s goals.
  • The necessity for technological updates in educational institutions is emphasized, particularly for small colleges, to stay competitive and improve student service quality.
  • The process of setting clear, impactful strategic priorities within the leadership team is crucial for effective execution and sustainable growth. This structured approach helps align efforts and measure progress toward organizational objectives.
  • Strategies for maintaining alignment and motivation, especially through periods of change, include connecting departmental activities to the strategic plan, recognizing individuals who embody desired behaviors, and reinforcing a unified and transparent organizational culture.


In this episode of The Leader Show with Lou Carter, Thesis Systems’ CEO, Paul McConville, explores his approach to leadership and the company’s innovative strategies. With a 20-year track record, he has rejuvenated organizations by promoting growth, cultivating leaders, and creating an environment of empowerment and creativity. 

McConville emphasizes the significance of adhering to fundamental values, ensuring transparency, and nurturing a sense of ownership and progress. He also discusses the pivotal role of modern technology in education and how his strategic direction helps align and inspire teams through transitions, promoting a cohesive and open organizational culture.

Executive Summary

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Leader Show with Lou Carter. Our guest today is Paul McConville, CEO of Thesis Systems. Thesis Systems provides a student information and management system that supports educational institutions in managing their interactions with students from enrollment to graduation. 

It includes facilitating class registration, ensuring accurate billing and payments, and tracking academic progress to support students’ advancement through their educational journey. Thesis Systems is ranked 77 in the U.K.’s Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces 2023 list, thanks to Paul’s disciplined and transparent leadership, strong focus on financials, and expertise in creating repeatable processes.

So, without any further ado, let’s delve into the insights that Paul shares in this episode.

Paul’s Journey To Inspiring Organizational Growth And Nurturing Future Leaders

Firstly, Lou and Paul discuss Paul’s leadership style and successful career. Paul highlights his 20+ years of experience in leading commercial enterprises, starting in sales, client success, and operational success, and moving on to revitalize businesses by inspiring change and growth. 

He mentions the importance of doing the right things to naturally increase enterprise value, but more significantly, he talks about his pride in developing other leaders within organizations. He shares examples of individuals he has mentored, such as Dorian Cas, Lauren Dickstein, Phil Hartman, Laura Fisher, and Chris Minsky, who have grown to take on significant roles in various companies.

Lou acknowledges the critical role of talent development and the ability to harness and harvest talent for organizational growth. Paul agrees, elaborating on his hands-on approach at Thesis Systems, where he engaged with employees to understand their perspectives on the company’s strengths and areas for improvement. 

He stresses the value of empowering employees to solve problems and take initiative, which in turn fosters a culture of teamwork, camaraderie, and continuous improvement. Through these strategies, Paul demonstrates how nurturing talent and encouraging problem-solving contribute to both personal and organizational success.

How Thesis Systems Integrates Core Values And Transparency To Drive Success And Employee Engagement

Moving on, Paul discusses the importance of fostering a culture of growth and transparency in leadership. He emphasizes the role of core values in the recruitment process and ongoing communication within the organization. 

Thesis Systems focuses on five core values: collaboration, authenticity, quality, results-driven, honesty, and integrity. Paul highlights the deliberate communication efforts, including monthly town halls to celebrate wins and discuss areas for improvement and quarterly financial updates to ensure everyone understands the company’s performance.

He advocates for a “growth culture” over a “performance culture,” encouraging opportunities for employees to try new things, learn from failures, and share their lessons with others. This approach involves giving employees a stake in the company’s success by tying their bonuses to performance metrics and fostering an environment where honest conversations about results and improvements are encouraged.

Paul also shares his strategy for maintaining a connection with employees through “coffee with the CEO” sessions every two weeks, offering a more intimate setting to discuss the company’s direction, and potential improvements. According to Paul, it contributes to a workplace environment that employees value and respect, as reflected in survey results.

Thesis Systems’ Mission To Transform Student Management And Enhance The Value Of College Degrees

Next, Paul highlights the mission and services of Thesis Systems, mentioning its role in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of colleges and universities. Thesis Systems provides a student information and management system that supports educational institutions in managing their interactions with students from enrollment to graduation. 

It includes facilitating class registration, ensuring accurate billing and payments, and tracking academic progress to support students’ advancement through their educational journey.

Additionally, Paul discusses the significant impact of higher education on individuals’ lives, citing studies that show individuals with college degrees tend to live fulfilling lives and earn more over their lifetimes. He believes in the value proposition of higher education and sees Thesis Systems as playing a crucial role in helping educational institutions communicate this value more effectively and operate more efficiently. 

Thesis Systems serves both mid and large-size colleges in the UK, Ireland, and Canada, as well as small colleges in the U.S., aiming to make the educational process more student-friendly through technology.

The Critical Role Of Modernizing Technology In Small Colleges’ Survival And Success

The speakers also discuss the significant challenges facing small colleges and universities in the U.S., particularly in staying financially viable and demonstrating the value of their education with increasing tuition costs. 

Paul highlights the role of efficiency and modern technology in addressing these challenges. He points out that around 70% of small colleges in the U.S. are using outdated student information systems that are over 20 years old. Thus, it emphasizes the need for technological transformation to improve operational efficiency and better serve students.

Paul uses the analogy of the original iPhone to illustrate how outdated technology can hinder progress, drawing a parallel to the necessity for educational institutions to update their systems. He believes that colleges can allocate more resources toward enhancing student services and outcomes by becoming more modern and efficient.

Paul’s Strategy For Cultivating A Culture Of Ownership, Innovation, And Growth At Thesis Systems

Moving on, Paul shares his approach to transitioning from a performance culture to a growth culture, emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of ownership and innovation. He underscores the value of listening more than speaking, as indicated by his personal practice of engaging with employees to understand their perspectives and ideas for improvement. 

Paul illustrates this with an example from his visit to Dublin, where he debriefed with an employee post-client meeting and discussed career development opportunities. This demonstrates his willingness to support employees’ desires to explore and grow within the company.

Furthermore, Paul highlights the significance of providing opportunities for employees to try new things, even if it means they might fail, as this is an essential aspect of a growth culture. It encourages employees to take ownership of their work and contribute to problem-solving directly. 

He points out that decisions and problem-solving should be made as close to the issue as possible to ensure clarity and effectiveness rather than escalating everything to higher levels of management.

To cultivate growth, Paul suggests starting with open conversations, listening to employees’ aspirations and feedback, and finding small ways to give them opportunities to engage in different aspects of the business. 

This strategic focus on empowering ownership aligns with the company’s broader strategic plan and is fundamental to fostering an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and capable of contributing to the company’s success and innovation.

Empower Leadership: Crafting And Executing Strategic Priorities For Maximum Impact 

Next, Lou asks Paul about the concept of empower leadership and its foundational pillars. He is curious if Paul developed these principles with his top team, how they were conceived and integrated, and how they became an integral part of the company’s culture.

Paul responds by highlighting the process of establishing strategic priorities within his leadership team to ensure impactful leadership and sustainable growth for the company. Each year, the leadership group convenes to discuss the company’s goals, initially identifying a broad list of potential priorities that can range from 10 to 20 items. 

Furthermore, Paul emphasizes the importance of focus, mentioning his preference for limiting strategic priorities to a maximum of six to avoid being overwhelmed and ensure effective execution.

The team collaboratively narrows down the list, selecting priorities based on their potential impact on the company, its clients, and future growth. After identifying strategic priorities, the team devises tactics for achievement, assigns roles via the RACI matrix, sets metrics, and establishes timelines for completion.

The structured approach allows the leadership team to assign ownership of each priority, track progress through specific metrics, and periodically reflect on their achievements and areas for adjustment. By setting clear, manageable priorities and regularly evaluating their progress, Paul and his team can make informed decisions on whether to course correct or intensify efforts on successful initiatives. Thus, it streamlines their leadership strategy for maximum impact and growth.

Aligning And Motivating Through Change: Strategies For Building A Unified And Transparent Culture

Finally, Paul discusses strategies to maintain alignment and motivation within the organization, especially during challenging times. He emphasizes the importance of every department connecting its activities to the strategic plan, fostering a culture of change and transparency. Paul acknowledges the natural human resistance to change and highlights the need for clear communication about organizational shifts.

To engage employees and celebrate incremental changes, Thesis Systems holds monthly town halls and quarterly “kudos awards” to recognize individuals who exemplify desired behaviors, especially those who go above and beyond for clients. It showcases what good behavior looks like and encourages others to align with the company’s direction and values.

Paul also addresses the reality that some employees may choose to leave if they’re uncomfortable with the direction of change. He stresses the importance of respectful conversations in these situations while bringing in new hires who embody the behaviors and experiences supporting the company’s growth objectives. 

Remarkably, most new hires are internal, which demonstrates a strong culture of promoting from within.

Thank you for your time!


Lou Carter : As CEO of the number 77th 2023 UK Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces, Thesis Systems. Paul McConville is focused on improving student outcomes, institutional success, and sustainable change through the power of software. He is a proven business leader who has delivered over $1 billion in exit value.

He has a track record of reorienting, EdTech SaaS and DaaS businesses for rapid growth beyond $100 million, delivering improved profitability and creating significant increases in enterprise value. Paul is trusted and respected by investors, employees, and clients for his disciplined and transparent leadership, focus on the numbers and deep knowledge of building repeatable processes.

Thoughtful in strategy and planning, Paul can solve organizational problems and align teams to accelerate go to market results. And Paul will be on with us right now to talk about the values he's created and how he's embedded those into Thesis to create a most loved workplace and be so successful in his work and for so many other people.

Paul, it's great to have you on today. Can't wait to dive into this about Thesis. I know you're in Dublin today. You're about to go out to dinner in Dublin. Great Irish food I hope, and great dinner, and I'm psyched. We're going to dive into what you're doing with Thesis, what your product is all about, what you do to add so much value to so many people, how you've been so successful as well.

So many important things to learn about. Paul, welcome to The Leader Show. Let's dive in. How are you doing today in Dublin? How was Dublin?

Paul McConville : Wonderful. Life is good. Great to be here, Lou. And I think I'm going to ask, maybe you can join me on every meeting going forward. That was a great introduction. Made me feel special, so thank you. Good to see you. Nice to be here.

LC : Great to have you. And here's what I'd like to start with, right? I want to start with you, learn about your successes. You have so many of them and all that you've done. Wow, 1 billion you brought in. You're helping so many people to be successful. How do you do this? What's your secret formula, Paul, to this? Tell us a little bit about you and how you got to this and what the secret to your success is.

Leading Through Change: A Journey Of Empowerment And Growth In The Business World [02:36]

PM : Yeah, well, a little bit about me. I've been leading commercial enterprises for 20+ years and I grew up in the business world in sales, client success, operational success. And yeah, you note I'd say a fun number that I've been a part of. Some really just interesting, fun, compelling growth stories going into businesses that needed a little bit of a boost and leading through change and inspiring people. And ultimately you do the right things and the enterprise value will follow.

And I'd say that that is the result of the fund, I'd say. But when I talk about my success, I more often talk about the pride I've got in building other leaders. That really is what drives me is finding those people in an organization that when you say, Hey, here's my vision that they want to attach to it and find ways to contribute.

And often that's in ways that maybe they hadn't done previously in their career. And sometimes it's giving people a push, helping them to stretch. And normally when I talk about my success, I actually talk about other people. So a guy, Dorian Cas who I hired as an inside sales representative and five years later I put him in, he took my job and now he runs a billion dollar division of a public company. And Lauren Dickstein, who was in kind of a product role and kept coming up with ideas to improve how we work with clients. And I said, well, great, I'm recruiting into the team, you're going to start working with clients. And she had huge success and she talks about that as being a big change in the way she worked.

And she's now a CEO of a venture backed company. And guy Phil Hartman or my last position, my three VPs, Phil Hartman, Laura Fisher, and Chris Minsky, both, all three of them executed on the playbook that we built and now they're all CROs of PE and venture backed companies. And that's where I get excitement is finding those people that can stretch what they do and come up with great ideas and really just need somebody to help back them to do bigger things than maybe they thought they could. That's where the business gets fun.

LC : It really is about talent, isn't it? And I love how you described it. It's harnessing and sort of harvesting this talent, right, to develop great ideas. And what I always thought, I'm also a fractional Chief Strategic Officer in addition to MLW. And the thing I see time and time again with CEOs is that they say, I don't want people to come in and be articulate about problems. I could do that all day. I can be articulate about my problems all day. I want people who can solve them in such a way that brings us to a new place, something even more innovative, something even better than where we were before.

And it sounds like from what you're saying, Phil and Dorian and others have improved existing processes, know how to enable the playbook to work and to happen, and you place them into positions where they can thrive. This is sort of the paradox of companies and organizations and communities. We have communities, but the communities really allow people to grow and give them a platform to grow and to shine. As long as we find the right ones and help them to shine.

PM : You hit it. I mean, I think because when I look at people, and I'll use, when I came here to Thesis, we were about 95 employees across the globe. In my first 45 or 60 days, I probably met one-on-one with 60 of them. And I was consistent in asking, what are we doing really well? What should we be doing better? Made it clear you can't complain if you're going to tell me that we need to do something better than if you were in my shoes, if you were sitting in my seat, what would you prioritize to do first?

And that helped me understand what is it. As I built my strategic plan, the team has got the knowledge of, hey, where are we special? And I learned so many of the special things about us as a company of our culture is fantastic. People generally, and I'll say enjoyably, support their peers.

They love to see their peers succeed and there was this sense of teamwork and comradery. I knew, boy, I better not mess that up. But then there was tactical things that consistently across those 60 people that we were saying, Hey, these things need to improve. But then I got to see who wants to step up to fix those things. I can't do that. I can set the strategy and say it's important and put resources behind it, but it was really a joy to watch people step up and say,

Hey, that's a problem and I think I can solve it. Okay, great. What resources do you need to solve it? Somebody that now runs our professional services team that two years ago was closer to a frontline kind of consultant, but he recognized problems and brought solutions and then came back and said, lemme tell you what I solved, as opposed to here's where I'm stuck with a problem. And then took a new challenge and said, Hey, lemme show you how I solved it.

But that becomes fun to back and those people become change agents and can get others to do more. And finding those and then understanding their characteristics is then a great recipe for growth and bringing you find those same characteristics.

LC : Paul, I'm also very interested in what you said about being tactical, right? Because you talked about achievement and achievement is the fifth element of Spark that you did with Loved Workplace Index, giving those resources, being an investor in resources and then giving a structure for people to grow like they collaborate, they co-create, align with your values and your vision and your playbook, which is essential, right?

So, I'm curious how people understand that. How do you enable that? Is it just in recruitment? Is it just that first phase? Is it in your continual conversations as you go one-on-one with people? How do they get some of that magic sauce from you?

Fostering A Culture Of Growth And Transparency In Leadership [08:36]

PM : All of the above. It starts with knowing our values and we are deliberate about them. We got five core values, collaboration, authenticity, quality, results driven and honesty and integrity. So we look for that as we bring in people. We're deliberate about how we communicate internally. One of the things I've committed to in every organization I've been in is to be open and honest and transparent about performance and results.

So, we do a monthly town hall as a business where we celebrate our wins, we celebrate our people, we talk about the technology that we are developing. We look for client stories, but we also talk about the things we need to do better. And then on a quarterly basis we go into the financials of the business. Everybody here needs to understand how are we doing because their bonuses are tied to our performance and those are cross metrics that we think are most important for us as a business.

And we show them how are we doing? What are we doing well, what do we need to improve? Because then that becomes touch points in which we can change behavior. If we are not doing as well as we can be or should be in an area, let's have honest conversations about it. We do need to deliver results, but we try to do that in what I call growth culture as opposed to a performance culture.

Growth culture says give people opportunities to try and if they fail, it's okay, as long as they learn from it and they teach others, you can't make the same mistakes over and over. We have to deliver results, but let's give people an opportunity to contribute, learn, and teach. And we try to build that into all of what we do and how we do it. I do coffee with the CEO every two weeks so that I have a more intimate setting with three or four people in the company where we catch up. How's life, what's going on? But also, hey, what do we need to do better? What do you need from the organization or anything that you think we should or could be investing in that would make a big difference here? So it's that spirit of openness and I think living it that as we saw in the results in your survey, people seem to value and respect.

LC : Paul, let's dive into what Thesis’s exciting texts is and what you're selling because we want to tell everybody about that as well. So I'm sure that's an excitement layer for your employees and why they come to work every morning. And so I would love to hear more about that from you.

Empowering Colleges And Universities For Success [10:57]

PM : We've got this unique privilege. We work in helping colleges and universities do what they do better, and I love what frankly their world stands for. If you look at every study and survey, it will tell you that those with college degrees or advanced certifications, they live longer. They live happier lives, they live healthier lives and they make a whole lot more money over their lifetime.

There is no other industry that has that clear of a value proposition. Colleges and universities don't necessarily always tell that story as well as they should, and we're in the business of helping them do really the business of college far more effectively. So we're a student information system, a student management system.

We've got two core businesses, one that serves where I am today, UK and Ireland, and then Canada as well, where we work with mid and large size colleges to help them from the moment that they start to interact with a student to graduation. Managing all those processes in between getting classes registered for correctly to ensuring your bill is credited in the right way when you pay too, ensuring that when you pass your classes you can go to the next year and all of that works well.

Other business does very similar things for small colleges in the US where we're helping them really to transform how they work into a far more customer or student friendly way through the use of technology.

LC : It's interesting, Paul. It is a huge challenge in US colleges. I know in universities right now, especially small ones, staying revenue positive, enabling them to really prove the value of their tuition at a higher rate and keeping parents happy, applying to grants and federal loans so that they can stay on the up and up to get students in. Tell me about how you see your vision ed tech connecting to really helping educational institutions, especially small college universities to maintain and stay in business because it’s such a huge issue today.

Bridging Technology And Student Success [12:59]

PM : Yeah, if you look, especially as you know, the small school or small college space, they've got a lot of financial pressures and our goal really is to help them ease that. So efficiency in how they work can make their world different. And is this, I find this space fascinating. So a study done said that about 70% of small colleges in the US are using a student information system that's 20 years old or older.

And think of the changes in this world over the last 20 years. I did an internal presentation where I showed a picture of the original iPhone and I asked our 90 employees of, okay, what is it? What year did that come out? And it was January, 2006 or 2007. And then I asked, okay, how many of you still use your original iPhone? And I had 90 people stare at me, what is this guy?

Nobody uses that. Of course nobody's using that. But we serve an industry as using technology that is as old as that original iPhone or older. We don't use that as consumers today because it's not an efficient process. That original iPhone didn't have a front facing camera. Selfies were awkward and there was no true video on it. There wasn't Siri. Think of all the things that weren't there that we now take for granted. We're in this spot in which the education colleges really have to go through this transformation to become far more modern. When they become far more modern, they can be far more efficient, they're far more efficient, they can put more of their resources towards serving students and serving them more effectively. So it is a joy to be part of helping them to move into that, make that transformation so that they can serve their students more effectively.

LC : Absolutely. I mean there's so many connections to first gen, second gen, bringing them all together and enabling 'em to come back. You're helping with all of that at college and universities, which is the fabric really of our society. Like you said, people who graduate from college, more successful, more happy. I mean, that's a bottom line.

PM : I credit a guy, John Grant, dean of students at Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College. I didn't have a background in education or ed tech, but seven or eight years ago I got into ed tech and it was early in this industry and I was out with John Grant, dean of students at this technical college and we were using a technology there that he was excited to say, Hey, let me show you how many lives we've just impacted.

So, we helped improve retention by 16% in an at risk group, lower income grant eligible students that were having a really tough time retaining with our technology. They helped improve that by 16%. He looked at me and said, think of how many lives we're changing. And that was my aha moment of, oh, okay, great technology can have great results and that impacts a lifetime and maybe changes the next generation of that person. So it really is a powerful place to be.

LC : Absolutely is. And using tech in that way and enabling that new culture, man, it's like we're giving life to culture and making it even better than it was now. I mean, talk about progress. We say AI is bad. No, it's not Tech, tech enables us to get even better. And it's a beautiful thing and I think a lot of people are so averse to it and saying, we don't want to get better. We don't want to improve the versions, but no, we're improving ourselves. You can't be with that iPhone one anymore. You have to put together phone, email, and text at least together. Like Steve Jobs said in his famous iPhone presentation, let's get to phone, text and email.

So let's go back to the culture clear that that's the way that you're moving from a performance culture to a growth culture. This growth mindset. We often look at growth is just financial, it's growth mindset because growth happens through talent. So we just got to, first of all, somebody just said something real nice about Angela Spring and she's part of your company, she said that she values that transparency and honesty. So that's a good thing to see.

So Kerry asks, what advice would you have for business leaders and how to move from a performance culture? We talked about that to a growth culture, the growth mindset, what you were talking about. How can they start that and how have you started it?

Cultivating A Culture Of Ownership And Innovation [17:29]

PM : Again, a great example today is I'm here in Dublin. I had one of our employees meet me here. We were out at a client and after the meeting with the client, I asked, we do a debrief and hey, how did things go to this employee? What should we have done more, better or different? So we just started kicking off a good conversation and I said, well, tell me what else should we be doing as a company to make this business better?

And we've got two ears in one mouth. I try to use those in proportion, listen more than I talk. And so asking those questions and then listening. And one of the things that Emma talked about was, hey, building for our employees career development and what she wants to do, what things can she do to build her career? And I said, well, what do you want to do?

Because I shouldn't be telling you what you should be when you grow up. You should tell me we should be supportive. And I think that has to come into moving to a growth culture is understanding what is it that people want to try and do and it has to fit within the job description. But she said, Hey, I'd like to try other things. I want to learn more across the business. Could you give me opportunities to do? And she noted a few things and that yes, absolutely.

And that giving people the opportunity to try also means giving them the opportunity to try and potentially fail at something. And that's not bad. And so there has to be some tolerance built into it. And I think it starts with some of those conversations. We've got a strategic plan and part of that is one of our strategic pillars. It's about empower ownership.

And to me that goes to the help people feel as if they can make decisions and they can solve problems. And doing that as close to the problem as possible, the more that gets pushed up to me or leadership team, but the less clear we are on the problem because each time you go up a level, you're further and further away from the problem.

So I think Kerry's question, it starts with those conversations. It starts with just finding small ways to give people opportunities to try things.

LC : And Paul, I'm curious about empower leadership and the pillars. Did you develop those with your top team? How did you come up with them and ink them if you will, and make it a part of the fabric of your company?

Streamlining Priorities For Impactful Leadership And Growth [19:51]

PM : So each year we talk as a leadership group and it's what are we trying to accomplish this year? And that list often becomes 10 or 15 or 20 things. I don't know why I settled on years ago that if you have more than six strategic priorities, you're going to be overwhelmed and you can't do too many. And so then it's as a group, narrowing those things down about what will have the greatest impact on us as a company for our clients, for our growth into the future and whittling those down as a team. And then what we have as a strategic priority, there's the tactics below that, okay, how will we accomplish that ownership?

So you can assign the RACI who's accountable and who's responsible for it, and then metrics and time. So, it's once you have that priority, what are you going to do about it? Who ultimately owns that and how will we know if we are successful? The metrics that say yes, we are making progress and putting a time balance so that it's in the first quarter we said we were going to get these things accomplished for improving quality.

What did we do? Did we deliver on it? And it gives us a chance to reflect every quarter and say, Hey, do we need to course correct, or boy, we're doing this one really well, let's double down on it so we get more impact from it.

LC : Absolutely. I like that how you keep it down to six, they say that you can't remember more than a seven digit phone number. And I think we've brought that down to six, at least to six as it's so there's just so much headspace and energy we have to drive it forward. That does speak to the next question I did want to bring up from Scott Baxt. He's really asking here about alignment and motivation, especially during these challenging times. And you mentioned RACI, bringing people together and clarifying those objectives, taking the time to do that.

Are there other ways that you're saying approaches that you've taken to really achieve your numbers, which is extremely important, right? Satisfy and engage your customers and also for prospects while innovating throughout time to improve. What have you seen as sort of daily strategies beyond town halls that people can stay on track really and stay aligned with your visions and values.

Streamlining Priorities For Impactful Leadership And Growth [22:07]

PM : Yes, we have that strategic plan, every part of the organization, which department has to define how they attach to that strategic plan? To Scott's question in a lot of ways, we as humans are designed to resist change. And it often is the most challenging thing in any organization to say, we're going to move from the way we've done it for the last year or three years or five years or 10 years and say we're going to embark on something different. It's uncomfortable. And I think that's why we as an organization try to be overly transparent around what we are doing.

That's why the monthly town halls so that we get the small demonstrations of that change and we can do better in this, but it's one thing we try to do is celebrate the small parts of change. And that could be one of the things we do is every quarter we have what we call our kudos awards.

So who's exhibiting behaviors that we want to celebrate? And those behaviors may just be, Hey, this person went above and beyond for a client, but the way they did it was substantial because we can highlight them. Others see what good looks like, and you start to drive others saying, okay, I understand how to align, how to change. But also that becomes part of the honest conversation of, hey, this is where we're going.

And it's okay if some people may want to self-select and say, well, that that's not really what I want to do going forward, or I'm uncomfortable with that. Okay, well let's have the respectful conversation where we're going. We'd love for you to be a part, but if you're uncomfortable, that's okay. And then that works. Part of change is helping you bring in others into the institution or into the organization that do model the behaviors and the experience that you want that can help us to grow and to change.

And as a business, we brought on 16 new employees last year and I'll thank you. And I think part of, I think 15 of the 16 were all internal hires. We didn't use any external vendor or recruiter because we can say things, Hey, we are a Most Loved Workplace and there is a special culture here. And then we align our interview process to understanding will people be part of that culture. They can help us to stretch and to grow.

I don't want group think more and more people that look like what we have. I want change and different. And so it's been a powerful formula to drive change never goes as fast as you want. There's always some pain along the way, but being open and honest and talking about those things is really helpful.

LC : I personally appreciate that you see that and are using the model for that because that's exactly how it was designed to enable you to have promotion from within to express it inside of your models and values and your strategic plan.

Paul McConville, it's awesome having you here with us today on the Newsweek Leader Show and I look forward to talking with you soon and working with you as a Most Loved Workplace. Thanks very much, Paul.