Something to talk about Featured

8:00pm EDT May 15, 2006
While most companies tout communication as a central component of their culture, few live up to that like DynTek Inc.

After the mid-market technology solutions provider acquired Redrock Communications and Integrated Technologies Inc. in 2004, CEO Casper Zublin Jr. built the company’s success on a solid foundation of communication with employees and clients.

“Most of leadership’s job here at DynTek is to ask a lot of questions and be quick to listen and slow to speak,” says Zublin. “People, I think, are a little tired of inauthentic leaders, so we’re trying to create an environment of leadership that is both transparent and authentic. It leads to having some faith and trust in the leadership of the firm.”

DynTek’s revenue has grown from $49 million in 2004 to $76 million at the end of its 2005 fiscal year last June.

Smart Business spoke with Zublin about how he uses internal and external communication to keep DynTek on a path of success.

How do you show your employees that you and the other members of the leadership team are transparent and authentic?
All leaders at DynTek publish monthly an accountability report detailing what will get done in the next month and how we fared this past month. Honest, direct and straight communication is key.

Additionally, we are starting something called the DynTek Scorecard. Essentially, during our quarterly conference calls, we announce to the team what we define as our key metrics for the upcoming quarter. We then report back to the team on how we fared. We really believe in being an open and honest management team — business may not always be rosy, and we think people would rather hear about truth rather than spin.

How do you communicate your culture to your employees?
We’re actually going through a bit of a cultural reinvention at the moment. We want to create more of a bottom-up corporate culture, so we are reaching out to our employees through a series of conference calls, webinars and in-person town hall forums.

[We handed] out an employee questionnaire. How would you rate our sales, technical and corporate services? How would you rate DynTek’s future outlook? What internally drives you? What are our distinct advantages in the marketplace?

With the answers to that employee questionnaire, we provide the summary answers at the town hall meetings as kind of a baseline of information of how we’re doing. We want to actively listen to what our associates have to say about our culture, how they view it, and then tell them what we heard. From that baseline, we think our work is to shape the culture we have today into an ideal that everyone can believe in.

How do you also listen to your customers?
Customer surveys, customer advisory board and then me personally being out talking to our customers on a regular basis. (The board) is really like a long lunch with three or four of our key customers.

The advisory board advises me on what they’re seeing in our market from their perspective. You get very open and honest feedback, and because there’s multiple CIOs around that table [you also get] them kind of confirming each other’s thoughts. That’s just extremely valuable feedback to listen to multiple CIOs saying, ‘Yeah, the world’s heading in that direction. And we’d sure like you guys to head in that direction.’

When you’re in the services industry, everyone is focused on customer service. One of the things is you have to be asking your customers, ‘How are we doing for you?’ I think part of our corporate culture is creating that willingness to ask the customer how we’re doing on a consistent basis and then listening very carefully to what they have to say and adapt.

Being in the services industry is largely about adapting to the customer requirement on an ongoing basis.

What is the concept behind your ‘technology, process, people’s philosophy?
If I asked you what’s your experience been with technology, has it been just as wonderful as promised? Probably not. It’s not just about technology.

Let’s add another leg to that. Let’s say we get the technology right, but we also get the process for procuring it, for installing it, for supporting it right. Does that make your experience a little better?

Then, what about now you, throw in the people aspect of people actually caring about your experience with the technology? Does that kind of round that whole triangle out?

It seems like it’s a three-legged stool. You can’t just be saying it’s about the technology without also talking about the process and the people that are part of that. It takes all three to have a successful and meaningful impact of an implementation of technology for any kind of organization.

At the end of the day, we really are staking our reputation on helping our clients build their reputation. So many of our clients are not only the executives of mid-market companies but really the IT professionals within those mid-market companies. If we can’t go in and fundamentally make them look like heroes, then we’re not doing our jobs.

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