This Explains Why We Don’t Work

Here at Elm, we have always made a point of doing things differently.  That is why the firm was started in 2001 and why our growth over the years has been deliberate and focused on HSE management.  This approach is simply embedded in our nature.  Sometimes it’s hard to explain to others, and when we do it can seem like buzzwords or jargon.  But this piece from LinkedIn explains our thinking and culture better than we can, and does so in a meaningful way.  As the author makes clear, “busyness” is a major distraction to success and this is something each of us has personal experience with.

Each of our partners has worked at big firms that focus on billable hours and utilization.  We have seen first-hand how that serves to undermine client service and satisfaction.  Rather than looking at the quality of work and service provided, other firms emphasize the quantity of work done.  In a very real way, HSE consultants/auditors goals frequently conflict with client interests in cost management and efficiency.  Clients want good work and cost control, while consultants primarily seek to maximize the project cost.  Quality and service are not measured.

In contrast, we typically do not bill by the hour, and we have no internal goals or metrics related to utilization or billable hours.  None.  And we never will because doing so would go against our foundation and culture.  This is not idle talk – we have been courted for potential acquisition twice in the past decade and rebuffed them both.  Our reason for doing so had nothing to do with money but everything to do with the fundamental change that would have been required of our business model and mindset.

Yes we are different because we are not “busy”.

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