Adam Torres and Kerry Stover discuss people development.
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Pariveda Solutions is a leading management consulting firm that specializes in developing extraordinary talent that helps hundreds of businesses, from small startup ventures to Fortune 500 companies, solve complex technology and business problems. In this episode, Adam Torres and Kerry Stover, COO of Pariveda Solutions, explore the Pariveda Solutions story and mission.
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About Kerry Stover
Recognized by his colleagues as a people-centric leader bringing innovative approaches and unique insights to complex problems, Kerry Stover brings a wealth of corporate officer and board experience assisting public and privately-held companies across a variety of industries in elevating the performance of their companies and their people. With decades of service on corporate and non-profit boards and their various committees, he is known for his collegial attitude that encourages directors to express opinions and respect those of others.
His expertise in defining and implementing the strategy, organization, people, processes and technology required to implement meaningful business change formed through his leadership experience in leading management and technology consulting firms developing and implementing business strategies for clients enabled by leading technology
About Pariveda Solutions
Pariveda is a consulting firm dedicated to solving complex technology and business problems by aligning our people-development focus with the mission of our clients. They desire to help the clients achieve lasting success now and into the future. As an employee-owned company, They are naturally curious people have strong technical, business and strategic skills to help their clients identify, architect and develop custom solutions. Pariveda believe in challenging the clients’ thinking, and they are comfortable solving problems without a clear solution. Solutions create new opportunities for their clients, and manage the change each solution brings to their company.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on er guest to apply. All right, today I have Carrie Stover on the line, and he’s ceo, C O O over at par, Iveta.
Carrie, welcome to the show. Thank you, Adam. It’s great to be here today. All right, Carrie. So excited to get into Par Veda and really how you’re helping your clients succeed. But before we get into that, we’ll, we’ll start this episode the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute.
So, Carrie, we at Mission Matters. We amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts. That’s our mission. Carrie, what mission matters to you? I feel I’ve gotten great alignment in my personal mission and the corporate mission at Party Beta Solutions. At Par Veda, I’m the COO and I’m responsible for sales and delivery over consulting services.
But essentially our firm is about developing people towards their fullest potential. We work and look at the view of people not as our employees only. But as everyone we come in, contact our clients, our partners in the community, and even those in which we don’t go and serve in the community. So developing people is at the core of what we do.
We just use consulting as an outlet for finding nettle, some problems that are pretty valuable for clients if we can solve them. And clients look for curious intelligent, talented people to help them solve solutions. So it’s a great way to bring our mission to life is to go into the marketplace and look for these problems that help people develop towards their fullest potential.
It’s not just about business acumen, of course, it’s about their emotional intelligence, their community involvement, et cetera. So it’s a pretty well-rounded view we look at in our, in our way of doing it. And it’s a really great fund for me to be part of a company that’s so focused on developing people.
Man, that’s great. Love bringing mission based executives on the line to share, you know, why they do what they do, how they’re doing it, and really, you know, how they’re making a difference in the world. So, great, great to have you on. And I guess just to get, just to get us kicked off here, so I know you’ve been with Veta Solutions for, for quite some time now.
According to what I could see on LinkedIn, you know, over 16 years how did you get. Excited. And how did you get aligned on this mission of really management consulting and, and helping with people development? Like where’d all that begin for you? I was part of what is now Accenture, but back then it was a growing, nascent Rio, an entity called the Management Information Consulting Division of Arthur Anderson.
And that has grown over the, in they shorted in the name right? A little bit. Just a little bit, yeah. Slightly. Slightly. So and it was really about how do we, how do we find talented people and apply them in the marketplace to what was then a burgeoning new industry of consulting? Over the years, Accenture changed, but never.
Yeah, and it was less focused on the people and more focused on the client and the problems and really the growth of the company, which is awesome for a mission for companies. But in my heart, I knew I always wanted to be a developer of people. I met our ceo when I was working there. Bruce Boje and Bruce had wanted me to come work with him off and on over the years in various ways.
And then when he founded Par Beta, he offered me a role. I. Was already committed to buying another company, but Bruce stayed close to me. He put Barbie Beta’s first office next to the company I bought. He invited me to join the board of directors when was put in place. And finally when I realized that I should have joined him, he.
Graciously returned my call and said just walk across the hall and let’s get started. So it was, it was, and I’ve known Bruce for decades now, and I knew his heart for developing people, but I really didn’t understand how having a purpose like this has to permeate every process, every decision in which you make inside a company.
Mm-hmm. And when I learned that it really astounded me how well architected Bruce had built Veda and what a company I was joining. Mm. Can you make the distinction or maybe kind of help us work through this? Because I don’t wanna assume when you say you’re a people development solutions firm, I don’t want, you know, when sometimes people are thinking about consulting, they tend to kind of, you know, lump different consultants together.
But this is un a unique offering. It’s unique what you’re doing. So can you maybe elaborate on what that means to be solely focused on people development? Well, if you think of what. A company needs to excel at and go into the marketplace. Mm-hmm. We wanna make certain that we’ve got the most well-rounded.
Consultants to bring the bear that are highly talented. So we seek the top 20% of employees in the marketplace to hire. We give them opportunities to grow, not just in their technical skills, but in their interpersonal skills. We place them in problems that will grow them, and so we work as technology strategy consultants in the marketplace.
Mm-hmm. But inside the company, the process is, Are about making us the best the best consultants that we can be, which means really making us the best persons that we can be as we go to market. Because clients are looking for not just technical skills, they’re looking for business acumen. They’re looking for a.
Humans that they wanna work with. Mm-hmm. A lot of decisions are made by clients about trust and about how well people believe you’ll mesh with their culture and how how aligned you will be in the way you look at problems and solutions. And so you know, we hire really great people and the major feedback we get from our clients is, y’all are different.
We love working with you. You really want to be on our side of the table as we’re working to solve problems. What are the what, what are the or I should say, are there, are there different industries that you specialize in, like versus others or give us kind of a layout of who gets the most value out of working with you and your team?
Our predominant market is in working with the technology arm of companies right now. Mm-hmm. CIOs, we have a belief that people want to hire talent they wanna get smart people on their teams. Industries can offer a lot of great opportunity to specialize. And we do have people who are working in healthcare and in banking financial services, energy but we’ve also found that clients, when you’re looking for adapting and adopting new technologies, are looking for people who can learn quickly those technologies.
And bring them to bear. And in a market where these tech, these skills may be scarce, they’re looking for someone like us to come in and be able to offer talent, not necessarily skilled in their industry, but in the technology, and they can give us the industry experience. So that CIO is either we’re deep in an industry or we are very talented at learning new technologies and applying them quickly which puts us in the face of what we call fuzzy problem solvers because, you know, if you’re in the, you know, late majority of adopting a technology, it’s been done before.
You can find people who’ve done it before as consultants. You can find industry expertise where it’s been done before. But if you’re the innovator or, or the adopter stage of taking on a technology, the skills are gonna be scarce in the marketplace. And so how you find talent is to really look for people who have had some experience, maybe not in your industry, but you want to get them in and start having them adapt to your industry.
So we want to be on both ends of that. That’s the largest market share that we have. Hmm. So we’re recording this just for context for everybody listening. In April of 2023, so, you know, post pandemic it’s a lot of change in the marketplace specifically around talent and where they’ll go well, they stay at home.
A lot of big companies, you know, having people you know, come back, you know, to work full-time, a lot of, some of the hybrid opportunities are, are decreased. Maybe some of the hybrid opportunities are still there as well. The, the market’s expanding. I, I’m interested from your point of view, Carrie what are some, what are interesting things that you’re seeing or trends in the employment specifically around the talent that you’re sourcing and for companies?
What, what kind of trends are you saying? It’s been an interesting last few years with pandemic and then the great resignation that occurred. With companies seeking to get a lot of talent on board and salaries started going accelerating pretty quickly throughout that time. We faced a large turnover.
There’s a number of things that we we’ve averaged probably in the professional services industry. It’s pretty gold standard if you, you know, can get your attrition. Both wanted and unwanted under 30%. We’ve averaged about 13% over the first 14 or 15 years of our existence, actually probably 17 years of our existence.
And then the great resignation hit and our attrition went up to 20%, which by industry standards is still good. But for us it was just, And what was happening was when Being in the workplace no longer mattered. We put in a a program that said, look, you can go work anywhere right now, but somewhere in a couple of years.
Our desire to build people to their false potential requires us to be in community with you on a regular basis. We need to be working together as a team where we can see you in action, where we can give you real time feedback versus asynchronous remote feedback that gets bunched up. Or maybe you missed that.
We need the ad hoc experiences, the serendipitous experiences that when walking out of a meeting together and debriefing as we go to the next meeting, rather than bunching all that up and possibly losing the real time impact of it. Mm-hmm. So when we did that, we had a number of people that did not want, who had gone to a different place to live, maybe Utah, where we recruit heavily there and they went back to be with family and they decided they wanted to stay there.
We felt that that would be a loss to our culture if we had a real hybrid of some people remote. And some people in person because that would hurt the development aspects and put us in unequal footing in how we treated employees. So that’s been one of the key learnings is that, you know, there’s still a number of people that does, that are, that have pent up demand to be together in community.
Many college hires we hire about 70 You know, of our employees straight off campus every year. And after being in a remote learning environment where teachers didn’t want to come in, professors didn’t want to come in just sitting in your apartment or dorm room. Mm-hmm. They hunger to be together and in community.
So at least the ones that we found. So we’re, we think that there’s a some change in the way people look at trust. Which comes from a new generational shift as millennials enter the buying workforce that they’re going to think about trust a little bit differently as a buyer, but for the most part, people still value being with.
The, the people that they’re working with to some regular degree, not five days a week, but certainly not quarterly get togethers that you check in on your supplier about how well they’re doing. Yeah. If that’s the, if that’s what you’re interested in, you can find people who will serve you that way.
Yeah. But they’re not really grasping to try and find the highest best talent to give you in the way in which they service. They’re looking to fill roles and and take people to bring to bear and at probably a price point that you feel you want to get when you don’t have people on site. So, so that’s our, that’s how we really weathered through is sort of holding to our values wanting people who wanted to be with each other because it all centers around.
When you’re with us, you want to help others learn. You want to be a coach for others, you want to give to your community. And that’s core to who we are. And that’s why we feel we needed to be more in community with each other, at our clients. Yeah, that’s great. It’s a great story and I, and I’ve seen a lot of what you’re saying happen in many different companies and some, you know, some like some mission matters.
We happen to have been pretty remote workforce in the media in the beginning of our inception of our company. So it was in our dna, but for others it’s exactly like you, like you’ve proposed. And I think it’s interesting though cause I feel like productivity in a lot of areas have gone up for many companies.
A lot of innovation took place over this then, and I think will continue to take place. I guess shifting, shifting the conversation slightly kind of same feel of question, but on the technology side of things, I mean, we, we had a lot of different things happening with implementation now in advances because of, you know, like, I won’t say Zoom, but Yeah, even zoom.
Just, just the more, more so the idea that people are using remote more and that have these type of com communications. Like what, what’s interesting to you on that side of things, like, and how just businesses changed? I think initially there was a, a leap in productivity. Mm-hmm. We saw it in our, in our work when teams who were not.
Commuting to the client site when they were mm-hmm. In flight and told stay home. A lot of the noise from the day went away and productivity went up largely because the teams had been working together, had their norms down, and were able to just. You know, kind of work more freely at that point because you know you didn’t have mm-hmm.
As many, you know, random get togethers you didn’t have. Yeah. And, and you didn’t have some things. We also saw a loss. I distinctly remember one young now he’s a manager but he was talking to me during the pandemic and he said, Carrie, he said I disagree for our younger fins right now because I learned how to be a manager by watching the managers around me as they worked, I li I could hear what they were saying in the cubes next to me.
I began to see what kind of problems they were solving and how they thought about them. Mm-hmm. And people aren’t getting that osmosis. I was able to ask them questions real time in a quick break versus trying to use things. Now Slack is a great tool for getting some instantaneous responses. But you can speak a lot faster than you can type.
You can get a quick conversation in and then and rapidly learn versus have something that’s a bit more asynchronous assuming the other person isn’t on the ready to respond to your Slack message. Mm-hmm. So there’s great tools for for creating a productive environment. The question is, what is the outcome?
You wanted that for your people? If the objective is to build experts, I think the technology is allowing us to do that. Mm-hmm. But if the, if the objective is to be creating fuzzy problem solvers, That is getting hurt in the moment because the need for collaboration for the realtime give and get and sort of an a communal meeting.
I can’t tell you how many times people have just said we could never have had that conversation over Zoom. The ability to cut in and talk to people talking at the same time, and both making sense to you. That doesn’t happen in Zoom and so we are missing something. By that doesn’t mean it has to happen all the time, but you see even the biggest tech companies have been pushing back saying, you need to be on site because we need more collaboration.
We need time together. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. No, this has been, well, Carrie, this has been great getting really a, a a view of what you’re doing over at Parvata, of course, but also your, your experiences. We all, you know, go through this transition, get into this post pandemic business world in this new paradigm we’ll say.
That being said, Carrie, if somebody is watching this or listening to this and they want to follow up and they want to learn more about par Veta and connect with your team, I mean, what’s the best way for them to do that? And we are on the [email protected]. That’s p a R i V as in Victor, e D as in dog, A solutions all one word.com.
And we’re also found on LinkedIn, on Twitter. On Instagram, any of the social medias. But the best place to come is the website if you’re interested. Or just reach out to me. You can reach me at Carrie dot Stover and I’ll just give my personal gmail.com. If there’s anything that you’re interested in learning more about just from me and what I do and how I approach it, be glad to answer any questions.
Fantastic, and we’ll, we’ll put that information, the website in the in the show notes so that our audience can just click on the link and head right on over. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or listening to an episode Robot, bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them share their mission, you know, the reason behind their mission and why they do what.
They do so we can all learn and grow together. If that, if that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, then we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing. And Carrie, really it has been a pleasure.
Thanks again for coming on the show, Adam. You’re welcome, and I appreciate the time. Enjoyed the conversation as well.