Whether you read this article through a link sent to you by one of our recruiters, or you simply came across it through a random Google search or found it by scrolling our social media, you may want to read it for one simple reason. No matter how much you know about consultancy work, many of the things you read below may challenge your stereotypes.
So, the goal of the article is not only to encourage people who consider CFC Big Ideas as the next step in their careers to apply for a position but also to give everyone else a vision of a new corporate world, free of intrigues, inequalities, unproductive rules, and unnecessary boundaries. The vision of a corporate environment that encourages its members to grow self-responsible.
Nothing you will read below is a miracle, as it can be easily replicated in companies of any type and any sector. But especially in consultancies, where I have a lot of friends, whose numerous complaints over the years have made me think of building something different.
We stepped on this different path back in 2018, when we decided to rebrand our company from CFC Consulting into CFC Big Ideas. That change reflected our business strategy shift in the first place but also entailed a different approach to growing our workforce and nurturing our unique internal environment.
One of the first steps we took back then, which seemed very radical at the time, was allowing people to work flexibly and remotely. We still had our offices working but gave people the freedom to work from wherever they felt most productive and whenever they felt their productivity peak.
Since 2018, we have developed all necessary policies and frameworks for a flexible workday and remote work. When COVID-19 hit the world, the only thing we did was to let everyone take their laptop and work from home. Almost the same happened in February 2022, when Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territories.
The flexible and remote work policies allowed us to transition smoothly through COVID and the war in Ukraine, focusing on business opportunities instead of wasting time adapting to new conditions.
Our flexible workday policy, though, does not mean full freedom. While enjoying this flexibility, our team members have to commit 100% to team meetings, client meetups, and project deadlines.
Back in 2018, we also had a series of strategic sessions with our teams to clearly formulate our values, mission, and vision. Some of the most important values that both teams and leadership supported were openness and transparency. Without going into much detail, that simply means that neither the company nor the team members can do anything behind each other’s backs.
One of the most essential rules the value entails is the way a team member and the company want to part ways. In 99% of companies, it is a norm that team members declare their 100% dedication and commitment to the team while looking for and applying for jobs at other companies. We do not tolerate such behavior and oblige all team members to declare their intention to leave the team before they start searching for a new engagement, with no sanctions or consequences for a team member.
The company’s leadership, on the other hand, commits to disclosing any intention to part ways with any team member once such a decision has been made. We do not look for someone’s replacement unless we notify them beforehand.
As the company’s leadership, we see CFC Big Ideas as a trampoline for our team members’ careers, no matter where they see themselves in five or ten years. Many of our past team members now hold senior leadership positions in business and NGOs and have their own businesses. One former teammate also serves as a Member of Parliament. Whatever way we can propel their self-development, either inside or outside the company, benefits us at the end of the day.
Another important rule that makes us stand out from 99% of the firms is our full clarity and transparency on payment. Each team member’s pay consists of time-based and performance-based parts. The time-based rates are unified across all projects and departments and depend only on a team member’s previous experience and track record. The performance-based payment is calculated individually for each team member based on their contribution to the projects they are part of, their performance evaluation scores, the time they spend on each project, and its financial results.
There is a separate system of result-based payments for those who take part in the process of generating new business: promoting our company in the media, pitching new ideas to existing clients, creating valuable content for the website and social media, as well as helping the company get new clients.
That system leaves no room for internal lobbying, which is necessary for any individual advancement in 99% of modern corporations. The only way for team members to get promoted is to generate better financial results for the company or contribute to the new client acquisition process.
Our promotion systems, i.e., the policies that allow team members to advance in their positions and get a pay raise, are unbiased and humanless, as all team members are promoted based only on their accumulated performance-based payments, reflecting their overall contribution to the business, rather than individual preferences or our leadership or anyone’s internal or external lobbying.
That system also allows each of the team members to ultimately become one of CFC Big Ideas’ shareholders. That happens automatically once a team member earns a certain amount of performance-based payments or, to put it simply generates a certain amount of business for CFC Big Ideas.
To enable our team members’ advancement, we have built internal systems that nurture self-responsibility from the entry level. Instead of providing specific perks for everyone, we prefer to reward our team members with money and let them spend it the way they see most beneficial for themselves.
In the modern world, no health insurance, no gym subscription, no free meals, or free courses have ever made anyone a stronger leader. Instead of providing the above to all and expecting them to use these perks in some way, our systems are built to nurture people’s responsibility for their health and well-being. Only individuals themselves can improve their health by choosing proper nutrition, practicing physical activity, sleep and rest, limiting their social media consumption, and choosing the right people surrounding them.
When it comes to perks, we still have some but also provide them in monetary form. Starting in 2023, we established our corporate Wellbeing Fund, which is calculated yearly as a percentage of the total financial result and is distributed equally among all team members who worked with us throughout the year.
Each team member is entitled to spend their wellbeing fund on their health, well-being, and personal development in the way they want. While it is not allowed to spend the fund money on alcohol, other people’s needs, or normal daily expenses, our team members can use that money to buy books, courses, go to conferences or classes, get a health procedure (excluding plastic surgeries and beauty salons) or a sports training, as well as spend the money on informal meetups between themselves in the cities they are at.
And finally, what makes us stand out among other firms is the way we look for new talents. We understand that people who want to grow in such a different environment are much rarer to meet than average corporate clerks.
That’s why we approach all candidates whom we see as potential teammates strategically and proactively. That means we want to get to know them way before we make anyone an offer. We also want to give them an opportunity to learn about us and put us on their radar before they see our job openings. This strategic approach helps us grow our community of qualified talent, and when we get a new project for which we need new team members, we already know whom to call.
As for the people of talent, when a collaboration opportunity comes around, it takes much less time to make a decision on our offer, than in the usual hiring process. When receiving a proposal, candidates already know everything they need about the company to make that decision quickly.
If, after reading the article, you think that CFC Big Ideas could be your next career step, even if you don’t consider changing your job now, you are welcome to let us know about your strategic intention by sending an application through our website or talking to one of our recruiters.
If you are a business owner or a top manager who was reading this article out of curiosity, I hope that it will make you think of creating something unique and different on your own.
To apply for work at CFC Big Ideas, please select a division and a position below