Meg and Tim Ward, co-founders of Gravitate Solutions, share insights on innovation, organizational culture and navigating the digital marketplace in Association 4.0™—An Entrepreneurial Approach to Risk, Courage and Transformation.

The book describes how Meg and Tim, who the authors call transformers, built and are evolving a company that serves a changing association industry.

A few excerpts:

The Wards promote creativity and innovation by creating a culture of openness. “We strive for no drama and no ego,” says Tim. “We encourage everyone to speak their mind and to identify what is not working. It’s a good strategy for getting engagement and buy-in.” Hiring employees who are the right fit for this positive environment is a top priority. “Our interview process is very rigorous,” says Meg. “We do phone screening followed by three waves of interviews with teammates from different cross sections of the company. There are role-playing exercises, and the final activity is a cultural fit session. We look for candidates who are willing to be flexible and have the intellectual gravitas to dig into problems that we’re asked to solve every day. This process ensures that we hire the right people.”

“Gravitate makes an enormous investment in our talent. We take care of our people because their expertise is so important, and we want to make sure they enjoy what they do.”

“Mistakes, as we develop our processes and products, are one thing. But when the client requires us to deliver, failure is not an option. Our clients trust us. If we try something that doesn’t work, we absorb the cost.  We’ve done a good job learning from our own experiences. We pivot when things are not working. There are no sacred cows. It could be my own great idea that we need to abandon.”

Each chapter of the book offers examples, benchmarks and questions for leaders who want to meet and exceed the demands of the volatile business environment that the authors call Association 4.0.

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