One thing that has impressed me the most since joining the Avascent team is the organizational culture of the firm. It is so clear to me that the fim is full of incredibly intelligent individuals with varied passions and skills. The firm as a whole is pretty young, even among project managers which I think fosters a more relaxed and friendly environment. While other consulting firms are known to be buttoned up and uptight, Avascent strives to cultivate an environment where people both have fun and work hard. While people value hard work and putting out good final products, the firm has also made an effort to establish clear work-life balance, even in the middle of a pandemic when the work environment has essentially meshed with the home environment. We learned these values both formally and informally: we had specific training sessions dedicated to educating us on the culture of Avascent but this also just happened fairly naturally by observing firm-wide meetings and the friendly banter that would happen on the side in the Teams meeting chat, the various “non-work” Teams channels dedicated to sharing pictures of pets, favorite recipes and drinks, and funny things that had happened in the midst of project work or found online that was related to the industries we are involved in. While normal methods of communication were different given the remote environment, senior management tried to mimic the natural state of the office where lower level analysts frequently pop into managing directors or the president’s office to just check in or ask questions by organizing office hours. Throughout firm-wide and intern-specific happy hours, Avascent made clear the emphasis they put on developing personal relationships that last outside of the office and long after people may leave the firm. The consulting industry can often be intense and involve long hours and while I think work at Avascent is less intensive than at other firms, long nights and weekends do happen from time to time but management seems to understand that those long hours are far more enjoyable if you like the people you’re working with. I think one area of company culture that leadership is really trying to focus on, especially in our current climate, is diversity inclusion and awareness. On the whole, Avascent is a relatively non-diverse firm and the recruiting team seems to be focusing on improving that diversity through recruiting efforts and internal initiatives. There is an internal team that focuses on giving presentations, fostering discussions, and brainstorming ways the firm can become more inclusive and diverse. I was glad to see that this was something the firm seems to acknowledge as a big weakness and something that high level leadership is taking seriously and actually trying to address.
- Piecing Together Task vs. Relational Leadership
- Ripple Effect Images Organizational Culture