Company Culture

In 2014, Merriam Webster cited Culture as the most searched on word of the year. In 2015, Deloitte identified Culture & Engagement as the most important issue overall in their Global Human Capital Trends Survey.  In 2016, the Wall Street Journal published an article called The Relationship Between Corporate Culture and Performance. Then, in 2018, Harvard Business Review featured The Culture Factor in their January-February edition. You get the picture right?!  Culture is on our minds and we want to know how to harness its promised benefits.

Corporate Values, usually cited as “what an organization stands for”, are often aspirational, abstract, and open to interpretation. As nouns without clear definitions, they are not very useful for providing feedback and direction to employees. Behaviors, on the other hand, clearly defined and expressed as actions provide the teaching and coaching that is a natural part of growing people within your organization. These behaviors in the aggregate are the company culture.  They create a sustainable competitive advantage that lasts and cannot be hired away. Using the High Performing Culture proprietary eight step program…


  • Facilitate discovery of the behaviors critical to your family business’ success and define them collaboratively within a written plan.

  • Roll the program out to your entire organization in facilitated exercises to ensure these behaviors cascade throughout the company.

  • Wrap the practice of these behaviors in rituals specifically designed to cultivate them into habits.

  • Provide tools to measure the effectiveness of your plan.




Strategic Planning

According to Drs. David Kaplan and Robert Norton in their book The Balanced Scorecard, 90% of businesses fail to execute their strategic plan. Why?  Some would argue business schools that have excelled at teaching the development of strategy have been ineffective at teaching its implementation.  Boardroom Stats is one resource you can study for insights and clues to the root causes of this problem.

Amidst all the noise and differing opinions, we have found that effective communication, proper allocation of resources, accountability, and effective measurement are foundational to changing how this story ends.

World class organizations strive for performance excellence. It starts with strategic planning but relies on effective execution.

Family owned businesses armed with solid plans, intentional cultures aligned with the mission, clarity of purpose and an unambiguous vision can develop an unimaginably sustainable competitive advantage. For strategy consulting, we utilize the Strategy Map and Balanced Scorecard. These are elegant tools for developing and presenting strategy in a way that clarifies who does what, when, and why. Talk to us about your Vision and let us reduce it to an implementable plan with teeth.


Break it down into three major components:

  • Current Situation Analysis

  • Plan Formulation – Strategy Map

  • Implementation – Balanced Scorecard




Leadership Training And Development

No one would argue that leadership is unimportant.  Whether it is in the executive suite or leading a team implementing a project, the skills of leadership are basic to overcoming the inertia that would otherwise prevent a company or project from moving forward.

The challenges of leadership are many and the more complex the operating environment the greater the challenges.  

Leadership does not happen in a vacuum.  Because of this, we have created a millennial leadership plan to identify and develop tomorrow’s leaders today.

The role of leadership in determining sustainable family business success is well documented. Organizations with quality leaders and a clear vision are easily distinguished from those with ineffective leadership. But how do you build a pipeline today with tomorrow’s leaders--young staff who have the competencies needed for competing in a changing market? How does one develop leaders?

Successful leadership can be developed and improved. The five principles found in Kouzes & Posner’s work, The Leadership Challenge, form the basis of our work in this field.


  • Help you articulate the core competencies required of leadership within your operating environment.

  • With you, define your goals for developing current and future leaders.

  • Individually meet with each leader to help them develop their personal leadership plan.

  • Provide coaching to reinforce the goals and clarify the leadership principles being developed.




Process Improvement

There are two ways to increase the profitability of your family business: drive top line revenue and wring out inefficiencies that add unnecessarily to costs.  Most companies focus on the former at the expense of the latter. But it isn’t a binary choice. Every dollar of identified waste falls right to the bottom line.

Your family business operates in dynamic environment where competitive forces might be as close as across town or as distant as an overseas operation. When leadership fails to develop the best in people, processes, and product or service quality, competitive advantage wanes and eroding margins follow.  

PathFinder Group can help you leverage current leadership strengths and provide guidance as indicated. We have process improvement consulting experts that can also assist in helping you assess, analyze, and improve your processes.


  • Assess your “as is” state.

  • Provide an analysis report.

  • Make appropriate recommendations.



Other Services We Offer Include:



It is true that most family businesses do not have formal boards with outside directors.  I think this is a mistake.

Good board governance is less a burden than it is an opportunity for creating a competitive advantage. Intelligently structured boards provide an important element of accountability and perspective for business management and protection for shareholders, whether family members or not. Not since Sarbanes-Oxley has the need for sound governance, risk and compliance (GRC) practices been as important as they are now. Whether addressing sexual harassment, cyber security,  marketing, internal financial controls, compliance with industry regulations, or accessing new markets, good boards make good business and reduce risks.

Well composed boards also provide important opportunities for mentoring up-and-coming leadership within the family business. They help build credibility in heirs amongst more seasoned non-family members of the business.


  • Determine the right talent mix for your board based on your needs and aspirations.

  • Provide guidelines for maximizing your board’s talent.

  • Develop a Board Scorecard for driving accountability on the board.




How dependent is your family, the families of your employees, and the community you live in on the success of your business? Have you ever really thought about the ripple effect of a catastrophe on all those who depend on you?  Insurance is helpful but not all disruptions are insurable. What’s your responsibility in managing this risk?

It’s a weighty issue but one that others have struggled successfully with before you.

Business continuity is so important that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have required healthcare providers in seventeen (17) categories to have fully developed plans in place or face stiff penalties and cessation of reimbursements for services provided.  

BUT I’M NOT IN THE HEALTHCARE BUSINESS, YOU SAY!! Is the survival of your business any less critical?

Business Continuity is a proactive plan to avoid and mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations. It details steps to be taken before, during, and after an event to maintain the financial viability of your business. Disaster recovery is “continuity’s” reactive cousin--a plan for responding only after an event.

This strategic process plan, the result of scenario running, is a strategy created with a recognition of the potential threats and risks facing a company.  The process ensures that personnel and assets are protected and able to function in the event of a disaster.


  • Assess your current “As Is” state.

  • Make recommendations as needed.

  • Develop a plan for implementing solutions that manage the risk inherent in the scenarios management identifies.

  • Implement, or assist management in implementation, to maximize accountability.




Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

Preparation and planning are both important but sometimes growth in a company or changes in the competitive landscape prevent us from being as prepared as we can be.  Sometimes growth outpaces an owner’s ability to read the signs and make the best decisions. Sometimes we’re just too close to the action and it takes another objective set of eyes to see clearly what’s right in front of us.

Consider hiring an onsite business management consultant at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. All the benefits of a professional you need without the risk in long term commitments that come with a recruitment effort.

We provide that fresh set of eyes with the collective wisdom of over 110 years of operating experience..


  • Conduct an In Depth Interview (IDI) to determine your sense of the most pressing needs.

  • Analyze the current situation.

  • Recommend a course of action.

  • Provide management expertise in overseeing the implementation of the recommended course of action.




What’s the value of closing deals faster? We like to think of marketing as a tool you use to shorten the sales cycle.

In today’s environment though the rules have changed. Technology allows us to be more precise in reaching who we want, where they are, with triggers they respond to.

It begins by understanding who your customer is. What are their needs and wants relative to your offering and the offerings of your competitors? Who is the audience? What is their persona? Have you identified their “go buttons” and tailored your message accordingly? What are those messages? How are you different? Where will your audience receive the message? Where do they hang out? How will you confirm its effectiveness? How will your competitors respond?

How are you leveraging technology platforms to reduce costs and increase penetration?  Are new customers calling you?

This is a lot to wrap your head around. It should be clear that external/internal research is at the heart of accurately answering these questions.


  • Work with you to establish your goals and objectives for growth.

  • Research then analyze your current standing in the marketplace.

  • Develop an implementable marketing strategy to reach those growth goals.

  • Train you and supervise your staff implementation or deliver as a service any plan we develop




Did you know that eighty-five percent of capital improvement projects suffer from missed deadlines, budget overruns, and poor communication? Owner’s Representation by an Owner’s Rep is the solution.

Owner’s Representation is the administering of a capital improvement by an experienced professional in the development world. The real estate, design, and construction industries have their own languages, timelines, costs, and expectations.

While operating as an advocate, an Owner’s Rep stresses the value of mutual success in managing risk. This ensures the entire team is working toward a common goal for the benefit of not only the Owner, but all parties involved. This "win-win" philosophy allows the team to rally around a problem to solve for the mutual benefit of the project and the consultant/contractor team.  

Trends in development and construction are leading to leaner, faster models of delivery. An Owner’s Rep lubricates the process, bringing development experience and specialized management to an executive team. The ROI for this position is in reducing risks and costs associated with design and construction overruns and missed deadlines.


  • Act as your comprehensive advocate on the job.

  • Manage the entire process for delivery of services.

  • Provide daily updates with weekly reports.



Succession and Exit Planning

Does the next generation want to lead the family business one day? Seventy (70%) percent of family owned businesses fail to make it through the second generation.  By the third generation ninety (90%) percent will have failed. Given the high failure rate for family owned businesses as they move from the founding generation to the 2nd and 3rd generation, what have you done to increase the odds of their success?

Your preference might be exiting the business without succession but did you know that eighty-five (85%) percent of business that are listed for sale fail to close?  Exit planning is critical and in most cases will benefit from a multi-year process. We can help.


  • Determine if the next generation is ready and if not, how best to position them for success.

  • Assist you in developing a custom plan around your succession or exit goals.

  • Work with your current advisors to affect a comprehensive approach to accomplishing your goals.