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Building A Culture of Accountability

By November 8, 2021insights

When Jim Millican started a Cleveland-based IT business in 1994, it was simply a one-man operation that grew from word of mouth. Several years later, he decided to build out Ashton Technology Solutions with a team of experts, including Travis Grundke as a field technician engineer who came onboard in 2002. That’s also around when Jim starting using the Entrepreneurial Operating System tools to hit the ground running. But without a coach, it wasn’t easy.

Travis reflects, “We’ve always had good internal accountability with the L10 meetings but we needed reinforcement to help direct our energies and get us where we wanted to go. Kimberly was referred to us and once the Leadership Team met with her, we immediately hired her. Kimberly has a breadth of knowledge that was instinctively helpful to us and a no bull approach that keeps us focused on exactly what we need to do.”

Kimberly has been with Ashton for three years. In that time, she helped to refine their identity and direction to what their customers value. Now a 25-employee operation, Ashton is a Channel Futures MSP 501 Winner –the most comprehensive ranking of the top-performing managed services providers (MSPs) worldwide. Yet they don’t classify themselves as a such.

Information technology companies are part of an overcrowded marketplace, so Ashton choose to be different. Driven by client feedback, Ashton is a Business Technology Firm that focuses on successful outcomes rather than fixing day-to-day IT problems (though they do that too).

This has led Ashton to be more innovative and customer-centric in everything they do. With a focus on results, they restructured their delivery model to a more productive and collaborative environment. Simply put, they invest in their team to continually learn, eliminate bottlenecks, and produce lasting results. No one person holds all the knowledge, giving employees the tools to work independently.

Travis is a great example. Although his educational background is in international studies and economics, Travis self-taught information systems because he loves to learn, analyze, and solve problems. He started as a field technician and, because of Jim’s vision to have employees continually develop skills, Travis worked his way up to becoming Vice President of Operations in 2020.

Travis explains “Clients want and need solid business outcomes, so we train our engineers to handle most anything. This allows our employees to constantly be learning and growing while at the same time delivering effective business outcomes to clients at a much faster timeframe.”

Kimberly has helped Ashton Technology Solutions bring clarity to who they are and what they do. With a company culture and core values that puts the people first, Jim has built a company that is a testament to running EOS effectively – solving issues before they become problems; having the right people in the right seats; and building a culture of accountability.