Marie Bohm and The Aspect Group Human Resource Management Marie Bohm has created an effective organization centred on the core value of providing a humane workplace and flexibility for team members who share the same values towards achieving work-life balance and quality outputs. The Aspect Group is a small team of homebased professionals with a few on-demand specialists who could be called in to fill specific client or project needs as they arise. Marie Bohm is the quarterback of this flexible, organic team.
Bohm recruited professionals, individuals of the highest quality, who were an excellent fit for the firm’s flexible structure. She sought out people who have a high level of professionalism and reliability; people who possessed a positive attitude and good interpersonal skills. Communication within the team was a critical factor for the type of structure deployed and there was no tolerance for behaviours that were typically viewed as corporate politics or negativity; Marie was very direct with her feedback on these types of personality issues that upset the team chemistry.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
This focus on recruiting people who shared these values led to a cohesive team that attracted the highest calibre people. The shared values created synergies and high expectations that focused on delivering quality to the client and it fostered accountability within the group; as opposed to pressure. Alignment of people and the cultural values of the organization are an absolute foundational principle and a key success factor for The Aspect Group. The structure also produced a number of business advantages.
Lower overhead costs was achieved by the home-based approach as there was no office front to maintain along with some of the typical office associated costs like an IT function and a receptionist. It provided an opportunity to deliver more value to the client, such as going to the clients’ offices for meeting that saved their time. Hourly fees charged by Bohm to the client were also lower because of the lower overhead requirements but it still translated to higher profit margins which was win-win.
Technology allowed effective communication from the home bases of team members; face time was not always required and it created a sense of psychological freedom that inspired more creativity, a key ingredient in the business that they were in. The flexible work environment also meant higher productivity hours charged to clients which were different from the practice of padding bills with wasted time from larger agencies. Not all is perfect within this organizational structure and there will be some weaknesses that need to be addressed to foster growth.
One weakness of this structure is the dependence on Bohm as the sole project manager. If she is away from her role of business development for any reason it could have a paralyzing effect on the rest of the team. Another weakness that surfaced at times was the informal accounts receivable process which was essentially left to Bohm herself. The impact on cash flow if a larger client was slow in paying had a ripple effect on the organization as efforts to collect money owed took away from the focus of business development.
The Aspect Group model meant less job and income security in lean times but it was a sacrifice or trade off that was worthwhile to maintain the flexibility and work-life balance. The main issue facing Bohm is that in order for her business to grow she must take on another firm as partner. She has two options, partner with another small local firm in London, Ontario or she could partner with a high profile firm in the larger market of Toronto. The recommendation is clear.
The Aspect Group was founded on the work-life balance principle and the flexible work environment which has attracted high quality professionals who believe in these cultural values. The people who are committed to these values are the key ingredient of success. It is recommended that Bohm remain true to these cultural values and select the small local firm in London that shares similar values of quality and balance. To consider the Toronto firm would mean an end to organizational culture that currently exists, an end to the firm.