Kansas-based company, Catalyzer Inc, develops world-class programs that are specific to its clients’ organizations and contexts, in order to ensure that effective training and leadership maximizes personal and team growth for businesses. We find out more from the company’s CEO as it is recognised in the Midwest USA Business Awards 2023.
As the war for talent rages across America, turnover is not only disruptive, but also exceedingly expensive. Smart companies with well-developed, effective leadership are much better positioned to mitigate these challenges. It is way more cost-effective to keep current employees engaged than it is to find, hire, and train new ones.
Veteran-owned leadership development consultancy, Catalyzer Inc was established in 2009 and combines rigorous leadership study with unique, high-energy programs that are delivered by a cadre of accomplished leadership practitioners. These relationship-focused programs are personally tailored to each organization and delivered so as to ensure translation from the training room to the workplace.
As a business, Catalyzer involves four primary services, these being: to build and deliver its tailored leadership development programs; to identify, tailor, deliver, and analyze integral assessments that support program development or enhance self-awareness for participants; one-on-one coaching for leaders spanning front-line to the C-suite; and to support organizations with intellectual muscle for a variety of people-focused projects and initiatives (succession planning, retention campaigns, learning and development strategies, etc.).
An experience in 2013 highlights Catalyzer’s primary differentiator against competitors, and President and CEO, Stephan Ingalls, tells us more.
“Catalyzer’s first client organization was a community bank in north-central Ohio,” he begins. “On one visit, we took a new teammate who, at the end of the day, announced that she would no longer work with us. Curious, I asked why. She responded, “You all invest way too much in the relationships here, when what I’m looking for is to show up, deliver what you’ve asked, go home, and get paid. The relationship takes too much time.” How else would we engage? We are unapologetically relationship-driven and never see that changing. People require time and attention – we’re in that business.”
The firm’s core values fiercely uphold this example, being initially identified at its founding and continuing to guide it in everything it does today. They are: Character, Empathy, Trust, and Accountability.
“Back to the aforementioned example for a moment,” elaborates Stephen. “How is it possible to practice genuine empathy, that leads to a trust, and enables accountability, without building strong relationships?”
This ethos is practised company-wide, with the internal culture following this values-based model too and the team works diligently to be the type of organization it is coaching others to be, with the primary focus manifesting itself in transparency about everything, whether future initiatives, finances, or programming.
“Catalyzer maintains focus on continually growing our thinking,” Stephen continues. “That occurs in myriad ways, including recruiting and engaging new thinkers, an aggressive reading program across the team, and sustained dialogue regarding what we see and what’s next.”
The firm’s engagement with multiple industries and differently sized businesses across the county affords it a birds-eye view of the business landscape and enables it to bring solutions from one industry vertical to another, where appropriate.
Being based in Kansas does not hold Catalyzer back from developing and enjoying long-standing relationships with leaders and organizations ranging from South Carolina to California, and from New York to the southern Texas border. However, Stephen tells us that the firm experiences difficulty in building business nearer to home.
“We find ourselves leaving Kansas to do what we do around the country,” he tells us. “We have on average 63.5% of all organizations we engage with inviting us back for an average of 4.5 additional, follow-on programs. As a consequence, we believe that new business, closer to home, will generate similar results while reducing travel significantly.”
Recently, in light of its sheer commitment to upholding its core values to build esteemed lasting partnerships with its clients, Catalyzer gained recognition in the Midwest USA Business Awards 2023 and was bestowed with the title of Best Leadership Development Company 2023 – Kansas City for its efforts.
Having experienced its most successful financial year since inception in 2022, and with 2023 looking to surpass that, it’s safe to say that the future for Catalyzer is looking very bright indeed.
“Our journey is approaching 15 years old, meaning we’ve hit that 10,000 step mark Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book, The Tipping Point,” Stephen enthuses. “We know what we’re doing and have been doing it well for a very long time. Conveying that success to organizations in need is, therefore, a focus.”
To this end, Catalyzer is expanding its exposure on social media, via podcasts, and elsewhere in a thought leadership campaign aimed at sharing its expertise. Also, the organization’s aging sees senior leaders approaching that time when they may wish to take a step back, Stephen included.
“This means our own recruiting, continued retention, and focus on succession is critical,” he states. “This is in order to ensure Catalyzer grows beyond our founders and into a new generation.”