Aligning Your Team for Better Engagement and Value

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Mark Iorio, Managing Partner at BCAT Partners, LLC, shares his experience on how aligning your team can create significantly better engagement and increase the value of your company.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Mark Iorio, Managing Partner at BCAT Partners, LLC, shares his experience on how aligning your team can create significantly better engagement and increase the value of your company.

Mark is a seasoned leader, specializing in brand and culture alignment. His innovative and quantitative approach helps organizations unify their teams around a collective purpose, driving engagement and inspiring individual excellence.

Mark’s work with BCAT Partners has proven instrumental in bridging gaps between brand and culture, increasing employee engagement, and reducing turnover. His method, based on the Brand and Culture Alignment Toolkit (BCAT), involves a four-step process that includes surveys, workshops, and personalized alignment plans, ensuring a practical and enjoyable experience for participants with measurable outcomes.

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BCAT Partners, LLC focuses on aligning people with their purpose through science-based solutions. Their tools measure and map the collective perception of an organization’s North Star, fostering open communication, collaboration, and continuous self-improvement. This approach has been successful in unifying disparate teams and stimulating innovation across various industries.

Damon is pleased to welcome Mark to his Livestream.  He is interested in learning more about Mark’s journey that led him to his current role.

Mark discloses that his journey started with a business in 1987 after working for a large company and in the printing industry. Initially focused on external marketing communications, his company was approached by AAA Mid Atlantic around the 2000s to work on internal branding. This led Mark to explore internal branding extensively, attending conferences and developing a curriculum on brand ambassadorship and delivering on brand promises.

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Over two and a half years, his team implemented this with their client, which involved extensive interviews and analysis, a time-consuming process. About 11 years ago, Mark met Al Cini, who had experience in audience research and social psychology from NBC Universal. Together, they refined Al’s four-factor model into what they now call Brand and Culture Alignment Technology (BCAT). Since then, they have successfully implemented BCAT with 230 companies.

Damon commends the guest’s journey and remarks that out of necessity, Mark and his team developed a solution to make their work on internal branding and team alignment more efficient.

While talking about the solution that simplifies the work, Mike explains that this model includes a 15-minute survey where team members select words that describe their team. It focuses on four factors: innovation, drive, analytical precision, and harmony.

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Teams are a mix of these factors, and members are plotted on a quadrant scattergram. Workshops follow to help teams identify their ideal state and align their behaviors. This includes developing “aligned inspirations” or commandments and using a professional alignment plan form.

The guest further adds that regular meetings track progress, which ties into broader business preparations, such as for exits or mergers.

Damon is curious to know how this data-driven approach impacts the outcomes compared to other methods.
In response, Mark shares an example of discussing their approach with a large organization known for certifications. He contrasts their system, which often relies on subjective feelings about core values, with his data-driven method. Mark explains that their survey generates both emotional and intellectual responses by using weighted words associated with specific quadrants. This quantitative approach, which engages both the emotional and intellectual parts of the brain, sets their system apart by providing more precise and measurable insights.

Similarly, at Damon’s request, Mark talks about common reactions and concerns that occur when organizations first implement the survey. Sometimes, participants initially think of themselves rather than the organization, requiring them to retake the survey. More frequently, there’s a notable difference between the leadership team’s quadrant and the rest of the company.

To elaborate on the initial responses, Mark shares an example from a few years ago involving a charter school in Philadelphia. The school’s CEO had a directive, metrics-driven approach, while the teachers and administrators valued harmony, fairness, and following guidelines. This mismatch was evident when they conducted the survey, revealing a notable disconnect between the CEO and the rest of the staff.

Upon recognizing this, the CEO adjusted his communication style to align with the team’s values. In his next speech, he used more inclusive, friendly language that made the teachers, administrators, and parents feel valued. This change led to a positive reception and a standing ovation.

Damon appreciates Mark’s insights and asks about the typical timeline for seeing results when Mark works with companies. Moreover, he wishes to learn what Mark enjoys most about his work.

Mark responds that he sees results quickly, especially in softer skills such as communication, collaboration, breaking down silos, and reducing backbiting. However, more quantitative metrics such as profitability, valuation, and productivity take longer to improve.

Mark finds his work highly enjoyable because he helps individuals and teams become better versions of themselves. Seeing teams improve, grow, and make strategic decisions, such as acquisitions and personnel changes, is rewarding.

Damon wants to seek the guest’s insights on how self-awareness and team understanding inspire people to further their growth.

Mark affirms that he frequently sees individuals expressing a desire to become better people after participating in the surveys. He often recommends “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” as a guide for personal development. The process not only helps people improve at work but also inspires them to become better in various personal roles, such as being a father, brother, son, or husband, by setting daily goals for self-improvement.

Damon requests Mark to share some success stories from his experience.

Mark shares two success stories. The first involves a nearly 100-year-old financial services firm. Initially, the company had an outdated, stodgy brand with cluttered retail stores that felt unwelcoming. Through a comprehensive rebranding effort, the company modernized its image and operations. Their retail establishments were revamped, becoming aesthetically pleasing and inviting, with beautiful interiors and organized spaces.

The second story recounts a senior living institute facing a tough market. Mark’s team helped rebrand the organization, including a name change, which improved its market appeal. The institute, previously struggling with non-performing assets and a lack of resonance with its target audience, underwent a substantial metamorphosis over four years.

Mark says that branding encompasses everything about a company. It goes beyond just the logo; it includes behavior, invoicing, dress code, communication, and website design. Consistency in these aspects ensures that the promise made by the brand aligns with the customer experience. For example, when people visit Tiffany or the Ritz Carlton, they expect high quality because these brands constantly work to maintain that standard.

Damon, impressed, discusses AI being touted as a solution for various tasks. While recognizing its benefits, he’s curious about how AI is improving team collaboration.

Mark views AI as a tool that can be beneficial if used appropriately. He sees potential in benefitting from AI to assist individuals in developing their personal alignment plans. By teaching AI to understand language that aligns with the team’s culture, individuals can better articulate their promises.

Damon expresses enthusiasm for the future of BCAT and its impact on team alignment.

Mark says that they are going to build an LMS (Learning Management System) called the Winning Team Method. They aim to launch it on Thinkific within the next month or so. This system will include videos, write-ups, and other resources to help coaches, consultants, and internal teams improve alignment and collaboration. “We’re really excited about that,” asserts Mark.

Given Mark’s extensive experience, Damon inquires about the changes Mark has observed in teams over the past decade.

Mark reveals that he has observed that there is a growing recognition of the critical role culture plays in organizations. While many acknowledge its importance, they often lack the tools to effectively address and improve it. Culture isn’t about superficial perks like ping pong tables or pizza Fridays, but about genuinely valuing and properly treating human beings within the company.

Damon wraps up the show and thanks Mark for his time.

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Damon Pistulka, Mark Iorio

Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again in the faces of business. I am your host, Damon pistulka, and I am happy today because I am so excited for our guests. We have Mark Iorio here with BCAT partners, and we are going to be talking about aligning your team for better engagement and value. Mark, welcome. Thanks, Damon,

Mark Iorio 00:24
great to be with you, my friend.

Damon Pistulka 00:26
It’s going to be an awesome day. Awesome day.

Mark Iorio 00:29
Yep, for sure,

Damon Pistulka 00:32
you have got an incredible background. Thank you. You’re with BCAT partners now you’re helping people align their teams with your systems, your processes that you guys use there. It’s just good stuff, but we always like to start back and really understand your background and how you got into doing what you’re doing today. Yeah, I

Mark Iorio 00:56
mean it. You know, I started a business back in 1987 after working for a large corporation for a number of years and then going into the printing world, I started the business in 87 Damon, and I guess at around 2000 2001 it was mostly marketing communication. So it was always external communications. I knew nothing about internal communications. And one of our clients at the time, it was triple A Mid Atlantic, so that was the typical AAA roadside assistance, fairly large client of ours, and they called us in and asked us to take a look at their their internal brand, their internal marketing. And I, you know, we had about 3540 people at the time. We grew it up to about 85 people. But at the time, you know, I said to Bill Harris, who was the managing director of marketing, I’ve got to learn more about what internal branding is. So we went around the country. We went to these conferences put on by the Advanced Learning Institute on internal branding, and really started to learn a lot about what it meant to become a brand ambassador and understand the whole idea of of brand and the purpose of it. And we came back and we built this entire curriculum, you know, using best, best practices and so on about, you know, delivering on a brand promise. And so we, we went through a two and a half, three year journey with with this client, and started to sell more of these programs. And it was very tedious work. It was it took a lot of time. You started to interview 2030, 4050, people, and then gather up all of their responses, go into a little conference room at our office, or a war room or whatever, and start to write down on these flip charts some of the common threads that you heard. But that process took forever. It was really a long and tedious process. And I guess about 11 years ago, I met my business partner, Al Sini, who was working for NBC Universal in New York City, doing audience research. And Al had a background. He was a Vanderbilt University graduate, and he had a background in social psychology. And he had worked on this, this four factor model that that they had designed at at NBC on audience research and and so he was using that, a very early version of B cat. And when he and I got together, we renamed it brand and culture alignment, technology. And, you know, I can explain the process and how it works, but that’s kind of how we got there. And that was 11 years ago, and 230 companies later, we were doing well,

Damon Pistulka 03:59
nice. So out of, out of necessity, you kind of built a solution to help do what you do. A little bit easier. Yeah, a

Mark Iorio 04:08
lot easier. Actually, it’s so so, like all of us, Damon, we’ve all had people in our lives that we emulate, that are role models, right? Yeah, people that we love, care about we might dress like we, speak like we may, you know, act like, behave like, or whatever. And this model is very, very much like that. So we ask these teams or these corporations to imagine their entire team as though it were a single person doing its best work on its best day, to deliver all of its promises and achieve all of its goals. And our and our, our model, our survey is 15 minutes. It’s you select words in that survey that best describe this team that you’re working for. You can’t be wrong. It’s just your interpretation. What the team looks like to you. And the four factors are teams that are more oriented around innovation, transformation, creativity, outside the box, thinking, or teams that are a little bit more driven, resolute in what they do, more about deadlines and so on, or teams that are more analytical, precision based expert, and what they do. The fourth area is teams that are more harmonious, they follow, follow the rules, treat people very fairly and so on. No one’s any better than anyone else, and like these personality profiles that we’ve done in our lives, like disc or MBTI, Myers, Briggs or even Hogan. We are a combination of things. Teams are a combination of those factors, those four factors. And every person gets plotted on this scattergram, the quadrant. And then we take an average of where they all landed, and we start doing a series of workshops as to where they believe they ought to go, aspire to go in the future. What is their purpose? Who are they when they’re doing their best work on their best day, and when they land there? We then start to build out a group of aligned inspirations. We call them or commandments. Call them whatever you’d like, but they’re basically behaviors as to how we all act. And then the last step is, is that we pass around a professional alignment plan form, which is a commitment that each person makes, that can help migrate the culture of the organization toward this purpose, or north star and and they do that. You know what? What can I do every day? There are four things on that form. There’s an accountability partner. So if you and I work together, I say, Damon, this is my commitment based on where we landed as an organization, I try to align with that. What knobs in my head do I need to change? In other words, am I coming to I may come to work as a person who is demanding, wants to get things done, but I work for an analytical company, so I’ve got to sort of turn up the analytical side of my brain so that I become a little bit more focused on data, right? So that’s the second thing. How does it impact my business or our company? Is the third area, and the fourth is, you know what? Which of those aligned inspirations are impacted by my commitment, my contribution that I make, and we meet on a regular basis, you know, to determine whether or not that person is is doing what they say they’re going to do. And then that leads into what you do, which is, you know, prepping for, prepping for the exit prep, prepping for an event. And, yeah, a merger, etc, yeah,

Damon Pistulka 08:08
yep, that’s good. It’s so it’s really interesting. We talked about your stuff before, and one of the things that I really enjoy about it is that you’re using quantitative measures? Yeah. I mean, you guys are not just saying, well, it looks like you excited. Are saying it is this, and we’ve moved from here to there. How do you think that affects the outcomes that you get compared to some of the other ways that people try to do this.

Mark Iorio 08:42
I love that question because I was on the I was on a zoom call yesterday with a an organization. We, you know who they are, I don’t want to mention their name, but they have a very large footprint, and they do a bunch of certifications. You know, they they have these certified practitioners that go out have this process as an operating system, yeah, when they do their core values, it is that it’s, you know, they have this feeling about what the core values are. With our system. We have, there is an emotional and an intellectual load that takes place when you, if I say to you, Damon, I think you are a extremely innovative person. Also, you’ve got this knack of understanding the quant side. You’re very analytical, right? And you you may be or not be, I’m taking a guess here. You have this feeling that you get when I say those when I use those words. And so what we have is this data of our frontal cortex react. Listening to those four the words in those four quadrants, so that emotional and intellectual load that takes place is quantitative. It’s not just emotional, it’s it’s intellectual, and that’s what makes the difference. Those words in our survey are weighted, and they’re weighted based on where they land in those four quadrants. They’re not just feeling words, yeah, it’s the way I think. Yeah, right, yeah. Big difference.

Damon Pistulka 10:32
So as you’re doing that, what are some of the things that I mean because there so you’re going to go into these organizations, and this may be the first time they’ve tried something like this. They know they need to do something, but it’s the first time they’ve tried it. What are, what are some of the things that people do when they when they first do this survey, they go through the first part and go, Okay, here’s where we’re at. What are some of the comments you get, the the discoveries they make, just at that initial point.

Mark Iorio 11:06
Well, two things happen. One is, sometimes they think they think of themselves when they’re doing the survey. So it’s, it’s the way they think, not the way they they perceive the organization. So we’ll have them Retake, retake the survey. The other thing that happens, and it’s happened a lot, I mean it, this is not something that happens every once in a while. It happens often. You’ll see the leadership team in one part of the quadrant, and the rest of the company a whole different area of the quad of of the quadrant, and what will happen is, as we are con having these conversations and workshops, one side will see the point of view of the other, and that’s how they coalesce. That’s how they come together. You know, I had someone say to me yesterday, in fact, the same guy said to me yesterday, you know, if I have a company of 200 people. How do you get all all like we only do workshops of 15 people at a time, because it becomes too unwieldy. And, you know, you build separate cohorts. And he said to me, Well, how do you get all, all the cohorts to be on the same page? It’s like you have to communicate with everyone as to what the point of view is and why people believe what they believe. And this is not, you know what I usually you know, I was a baseball coach in college, and I played and so this is not about I Oreo on my pistulka on the back of our jerseys, Damon, this is about exit your way on the front here. This is who we’re playing for. We play for this team. Now I’m bringing the skill set to the table. I’m not asking you to change anything about the skill set. I’m asking you to do something that enhances who you are, to make yourself a better version of yourself each day, and the team a better version of itself. I hope I answered your question.

Damon Pistulka 13:13
No, no, that is, it is. And I kind of thought that that you know, you got leadership that thinks things are one way. But when they really see the whole picture, they realize that their communication or what they thought they knew they they often don’t exactly,

Mark Iorio 13:30
yeah, I mean, we did a we did a number of years ago. We did a charter school in Philadelphia, and, you know, schools generally, the teachers want, their interest is to teach children the CEO, because it wasn’t a principal he owned. I mean, they charter schools are, you know, run like a business. And he was very red, he was very D, like a direct a driver, and all of his speeches were about that we did the survey, and the whole cluster of teachers and administrators were in the green area. They were in harmony. They were interested in in fairness, teaching, following guidelines, following the rules. And he was up in the upper right. He was like, oh, gotta get stuff done. It’s all about metrics. You know, it’s about the surveys that the state does and everything else. And he wasn’t resonating with people, so we do the survey. He realizes that the rest of the team is probably right, and he’s not. He delivers this speech to the entire school and all the stakeholders, including the parents, where he never got a whisper from anyone in the prior speeches, he changed the language to green language, more friendly, more open, more. More communicative, more inclusive, and he got a standing ovation because he changed his methodology and his language to get people to understand that that’s what we’re delivering. We’re delivering education. It’s not about the metrics. It’s not about, you know, driving people. It’s about teaching.

Damon Pistulka 15:26
Yeah, all right, some notes here. So Wow. So when you’re in there talking to companies like this, working with them, what’s a typical timeline before you really start to see results.

Mark Iorio 15:45
That’s a great quote. God, that’s a great question. You know, we see results pretty quickly, honestly. And I have to be careful here, because there’s certain KPIs that that clients come to us with that are more metric driven, yeah, more right? That might take a little bit longer. Profitability, certainly, valuation, productivity, but, but the more you know, the more intangible things like you know, the softer skills, communication, yeah, collaboration, breaking down silos, stopping the backbiting. That happens very quickly. That happens early on in the process. So we see that happen. First people start to talk more, collaborate more, because you’ve got the accountability partners. And then we have these open dialogs in these workshops. So those metrics change quickly. The the more you know, the more quantitative metrics take a little bit longer.

Damon Pistulka 16:56
Yeah, yeah. So what, what do you enjoy most about what you get to do?

Mark Iorio 17:07
You know, it’s it’s very It’s gratifying, obviously, because you get to see people become a better version of themselves, and then the team become a better version of itself. People rely on you there. They turn to you for advice. They they know that you’re able to see things, maybe around the corner that they’re not able to see because you have a different, different perspective. You know everyone needs to feel needed and wanted, and, you know, it feels pretty good when you watch, watch these teams become better and and you know, as a result, they’re, they’re they’re looking at acquisitions, they’re looking at adding more people to the organization because of the growth. You know, they’re letting people go, that that really do not fit well on the team, that feels good. I mean, that I don’t like, I don’t like people leaving. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s yeah, that’s not it. It’s just that, you know, I had a conversation with a woman earlier today, and there’s nothing more gratifying demon than than to have someone come up to you and say, you know, as a result of this BCAT process, I’ve learned a little bit more about who I am as a person and and I really want to do something different with my life. Oh, I’m gonna leave. I’m, you know, I’m, I’m gonna do something that I really enjoy, that I’m passionate about. Yeah, that feels pretty good.

Damon Pistulka 18:48
Yeah, no doubt. Well, we’ve got, who was got a something you comment here. He said, I get the metrics not being used for driving people. That’s good, that that’s really good, I think because they there’s there’s certain times they can be used certain times they can’t. But he’s also got a question here. He says, can you talk to when metrics are a good way to have an objective measurement that avoids criticizing the person and instead discussing the circumstance or the

Mark Iorio 19:19
approach? Well, Huba, I hope I answered this question correctly, but or to your satisfaction, but when, when there are issues that come up, let’s say, and there’s behavior that’s not consistent with with who we are as a team, instead of attacking the person, we’ll simply say is that in alignment with who we are as an organization, right? And you’re not criticizing the person, you’re criticizing their behavior. And I’ll give you one example. Let me give you an example. Yeah, great. We work with, we work with a. HVAC, fairly large HVAC company in in the northeast part of the United States, and their primary position as an organization is their experts. They’re high quality, very, very smart people. They’ve got 30 technicians out there. They’re all highly, highly educated. And so they’re very blue in our in our model, we have yellow for innovative, innovative. Red for driver, blue for expert, and green for harmony. So they’re very much a blue organization. And then they think outside the box. One of the fellas there, one of the top executives, is very good friends with one of the clients, and oftentimes Dan gets his relationship in the way of right, of doing the right thing for the business. So they have this crisis. They order this gigantic multi not a million dollar chiller, but it’s a very expensive, yeah, you know, several $100,000 chiller. And he’s on the phone with the guy, his client, and they order the chiller, and it gets rigged up from Virginia and starts to get trucked up to the location. And the fellow calls Dan and says, stop the process now. He can’t do that. You can’t, you can’t do that. And what happened was, rather than, rather than Dan saying, I need to get full authority to have this purchased. He relies on this relationship, which is right? And so it wasn’t. It wasn’t. We didn’t criticize Dan. We criticized what he did. And so I hope that, I hope that helps, you know in terms of, yeah, how we behave,

Damon Pistulka 21:58
yep, he gave a good, a good smiley face on that one. So We answered it. And I see what you mean too. That is really a big it’s that can be a big problem, especially when you’ve got long term relationships and things like that. But you, you brought up one thing I was going to ask some questions about, do you? Because a lot of times companies won’t spend don’t spend the time with people to really understand themselves a little bit more so that they can better engage with the team. Do you see that once people are doing these surveys and they understand the team, they understand how they are a bit better, that, like the one person you said, they are encouraged to go off and do different things or pursue more personal development work, because they see of how, hey, this worked pretty well for what we’re doing here. I wonder what I can do if I, you know, do more of this.

Mark Iorio 22:58
Yeah, we see, I mean, we see that all the time, and we’ve seen people, I’ve seen people come up to me and say, I want to become a better person, right? Yeah. What would you suggest? And, you know, my my backdrop is always, you know, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I yeah, that to me, is the behavioral bible of besides the Bible itself, but, but, yeah, behavioral Bible for how to become a better version of yourself and and to write that personal constitution to really understand who you are is very powerful. And, yeah, we see that a lot. Damon, honestly, we see that people are improving at work, and then, wow, I can become a better dad, I can become a better brother, I can become a better son, I can become a better husband. You know, how do I do that? How do I set those goals for myself each day, to become a better version of myself in each of the areas that you know, every one of my roles that

Damon Pistulka 24:03
I play, yeah, yeah, because that’s, that’s what I think you know, thinking about what you do, how you’re helping people with with bcad, and really getting these teams aligned and working better together, because they’re seeing how to do that at work. Hopefully it’s driving some personal benefits for them as well, to be able to, like you said, strive to become a better person. Or, if nothing else, what they’re learning at work is helping them to be like you said, a better parent, better friend, better husband, wife, whatever. Yep,

Mark Iorio 24:36
we also see that, you know, I think people get this confused. You know, you go to work happy, and then you become productive. In our view, if you’re productive at work, if you feel as though your team has your back your bosses, you’re part of a larger, you know, a larger team that that cares about you, and you feel like you’re worthy as you get. To work and you feel more productive. That’s what lifts you up, that’s what makes you happy. And as you do that, you go back home and you feel fulfilled. And so that’s cyclical.

Damon Pistulka 25:16
That is, that’s an incredible observation, because, you know, so many people are rolling through their days. They’re going to work, they’re going home. I’m not happy at work, and then that carries over to Home, and it’s just this cycle. It’s a cycle manifests

Mark Iorio 25:32
itself exactly, sure. Yeah, yeah.

Damon Pistulka 25:37
Oh, awesome, awesome. So talking about performance, business performance? Yeah, you’ve got some. You’ve been doing this a while now. What are some of your your real success stories, where you go, Wow, this company went from here to here, and it’s not the same place anymore.

Mark Iorio 25:57
I have a lot of stories like that. You know the one, the one story is a financial services firm that we worked with for, you know, two and a half years and, well, there’s two stories I’m going to I’m going to share with you that this one was that they, they began to see themselves in a completely different light. They had this old, stodgy brand. It was, it was almost 100 years old. Oh, wow. And, and all of a sudden they became kind of new, not new age, but very modern in their approach. And you go into these retail stores now, even now, and they’re beautiful. They’re beautiful. It used to be where people had papers all over the place and scotch tape on the windows, and now there’s beautiful posters. And they’ve merged with other organizations. They’ve grown their business. They have a whole different outlook on who they are. When you go into these organizations, the retail establishments, you feel very welcome, whereas before, you’re like, you know, the carpets buckled and, you know, I’m afraid I’m going to trip when I walk in and it looks old and cruddy. And I got yelled at a couple times because in the beginning by general managers who said, Who do you think you are telling telling the manager to go replace the carpet? I said, Hey, Wayne. I when I walk in here, I want this to measure up to the brand image that we’re portraying out there. So that that was one example. Another one was a senior, senior living Institute. We helped change the name of the company, and they was. It was during a difficult time in that market, continuing care retirement communities are expensive. They’re they’re not for just everyday people. They spend several $1,000 a month, and they get all these wonderful amenities. And I said to the president of we’re playing golf one day. And I said, Gary, you know, one of these, when we’re finished with this, the bank is going to look at you in a different way, you know, because you’re delivering on on the promise that you make to the world. And they shed some of their their non performing assets, and they’ve managed to become a much stronger organization. He He later retired, and he’s happy as a clam, and that place is as strong as it’s ever been. And prior to us getting there, Damon, they had a weird name. No one really resonated with them. And so it was a, it was a real, real change, real metamorphosis over four, four year period.

Damon Pistulka 29:02
Yeah, that’s those are great, great examples. And I tell you, the thing that’s really cool about your marketing and communications work in the past shines through this because you’re talking about your promise to the customer, the brand image and all the stuff that is also very critical, and the way you align people and how they work together, and how the organizational culture is built, it just, it just pushes and reinforces that brand and and delivering on the customer promise. Brand

Mark Iorio 29:36
is everything. It’s not just a logo or Yeah, it’s the way you behave, it’s the way you invoice, it’s the way you you know you dress, it’s the way you speak, it’s the way you design your website. It it has to have that level of consistency so that you know people who when you make that promise, that’s what they expect when you walk in. To us, Tiffany, or you go to Ritz Carlton, you expect high quality. And that’s they work at that. They work at that all the time. But that’s who they are. That’s their North Star. That’s their purpose. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 30:16
yeah. Oh, that’s great. Yeah, that’s great, yep. So we’re, we’re in a time when there’s all kinds of change. People are talking about AI for everything. You know, it’s going to replace this, that and the other thing. And I think there’s, there are definitely some benefits to it, but how are you seeing that that AI is affecting teams working better, or things that are coming down the road that might be positive to this from that

Mark Iorio 30:50
Well, I think AI is, is it’s a tool, and I think, think if people start to use it in that fashion or That way, I think it’ll be, it’ll be beneficial. You know, one of, one of the things that we tried to do, and I don’t know it may be a little bit early in the process, when you write your personal alignment plan, or your professional alignment plan form out, and we recognize that we are more, let’s say, more of an innovative company. So when I write my personal alignment plan, I want to make sure that I become a little bit more expressive, outgoing, better listener. How do I write that? I’m not really sure how I write that. I’m a novice. I don’t know this process that well. So I turn to AI, and I say, I try to teach. I try to get this program to understand that language so that it can help me craft my promise that will better align with who we are as a team, and that, that’s the way I see this. This working, also when you’re writing an email to a colleague or a client, if, if we can use the AI function to use more language. In this case, this example that’s more innovative, creative, transformational language. You know, there might be hundreds of words that you can select that are synonymous with innovation or creativity, and people have a difficult time crafting a sentence like that. AI can be helpful to that. Yeah, I’m writing an email

Damon Pistulka 32:51
Well, and that’s a great point, especially if your customer is a lot different than you are, or the people in your company are

Mark Iorio 32:58
exactly yeah. So you have to train, you know, train the AI, to sort of match who we are as an organization. But it’s a guideline. It’s, it’s helping us. It’s, it’s not your you have to make sure it’s your language, yes, but they’re you, they’re helping you kind of get there. You know, it’s a little bit of a roadmap, yep.

Damon Pistulka 33:21
So, the Well, first of all, it is a question I was going to ask you. So you told me offline, Yankees are the Mets Yankees? What do you like best about the season this year?

Mark Iorio 33:44
They’re playing great man. They’re, they’re, they’re, they’re really exciting. You know, they’ve got some firepower between Soto and and judge and lemahieu’s back, and they’re not hitting right now. They’re in a little bit of a slump. They just played the the Red Sox, our arch rivals. But you know what we’re doing, good pitching, and it’s a long season. Damon, it’s a long season. Man, oh, it is. It is first to 50 wins. So we’ll see what happens.

Damon Pistulka 34:13
Yeah, that’s cool. So best memory going to a baseball game.

Mark Iorio 34:20
Mickey Mantle’s retirement, 1968

Damon Pistulka 34:23
oh, my goodness, you just pull out one has in the history books.

Mark Iorio 34:28
Yeah, man, I was We. Are we standing ovation? I was with my father, who’s 89 years old now, and almost 89 he’ll be 89 in September, but, yeah, it’s like a seven minute standing ovation. I still have the I still have the flyer they gave us when we went to the stadium. Unbelievable. Ah, it’s

Damon Pistulka 34:52
incredible. Yeah, that’s incredible. Yeah. Like. Whoop. We’re in right for the home run. Yeah, grand slammer, yeah. So as you’re, as you’re looking forward to the future, what are you excited for? Be cat, helping teams with alignment and and really, what, what you guys have coming out, coming down the pike?

Mark Iorio 35:19
Well, that’s great. Great. Thank you for that. We are building an LMS system for, you know, winning to we’re calling it the winning team method, powered by BCAT, of course, yeah. And we’re going to launch that the next, hopefully the next month or so, on plat platform called Thinkific. And we’ve got to build out, you know, the videos and everything. But we’ve worked very, very hard on this. We want to get it out and as to as many people as possible, you know, get these coaches, consultants, internal folks, to use it. And I’m not sure what this, the point this, the price point is going to be yet, but we’re incredibly excited about

Damon Pistulka 36:10
that. Yeah, yeah. The technology, I tell you, the technology for the LMS systems, to really get these, these knowledge based programs out to companies, is, is incredible, the leaps and bounds it’s made and what it really has done for us as business owners and business consumers of that kind of stuff. Because now you can go, what’s something that may not have been available because of location, price, lots of other things, is available just about anybody. Yeah, yeah, that’s cool. Yeah,

Mark Iorio 36:41
we’re really excited about that.

Damon Pistulka 36:42
Yeah, yep. So as we as we’re moving forward down the road here, what are some of the things that you’ve been doing this a while, and I don’t want to go down a whole different line, but what are you seeing that’s changed like in the last decade or so? You’ve been doing this quite a while, but really in the last years, what are some of the things that you’re seeing as the teams, the makeup of the team, the overall things that have really changed that you go, this is interesting.

Mark Iorio 37:13
I don’t know that it’s it’s so much the makeup of the teams is that people are beginning to recognize that culture is a really critical plays a really critical role. And I want to clarify this, because a lot of people have said, or many people say, culture is very important. The problem is they don’t know how to do much about it. Yeah, yeah. We have a proven methodology to change culture. Culture is not about perks. It’s not about putting a ping pong table in your in your or having pizza Fridays. That’s fun stuff. And I we would never, we would never dispute any of that. That’s important. But I think people are finally realizing that we, human beings, play an important role in the value of the business. We’re not to be treated, you know, poorly. We want to be treated properly. And as as you build this, this team, these teams together, that’s, that’s how you’re going to build your business and grow your business, and you know, exit at the at the number that you’re looking for.

Damon Pistulka 38:27
Yeah, well, that you you hit it on the head, I think, is that two things. First of all, I’ve always enjoyed how BCAT can give you a score, or a quantitative view of how well your teams in your culture is actually aligned. I mean, come on, we, we, you just said it a while ago when we got started. Leadership thinks we’re over here, and the people think we’re over here. I mean, what better what better reason would you want to measure the real truth underlying truth across it than that? But when you do that, your your human capital is so valuable in businesses anymore, because Gone are the days of we have a gazillion employees that are just out there. We replace them like bowling pins and, you know, they just do their thing. I mean, we have, when you look at the organizations now, all the way from bottom to top or side to side. Everybody’s busy, first of all, because of the efficiencies that we need to do. And there’s certain skills that they all bring. And nobody’s cheap anymore. That’s right, exactly. And and then, like you said, too, for value of the business. If there’s an exit or something like that, it’s so much of it is dependent on that team, and that team’s ability to develop and execute the strategies that they need to and perform the way they need

Mark Iorio 39:53
to. And you know, Damon, the other thing too, is that with our process, you start to see emergent leaders. Coming, coming out, you know, out of the system. Because, you know, once they once they sit down and have these conversations in these workshops, you start to see people and listen to people who have great ideas. What does that do from a valuation standpoint? What does that do from an acquirer standpoint? And they look at your team, and they go, Whoa, it’s not just the top two or three people, 15 people that that can take over this organization or play key roles in the organization. That makes you more valuable, that makes you more right? Yep,

Damon Pistulka 40:37
that kind of depth is huge. That kind of depth is huge. And you know, it’s, it’s really incredible how you guys are helping companies do this. And God, so cool. So Mark, if someone wants to get a hold of you, what’s the best way to reach out?

Mark Iorio 40:56
Well, we’ve got several things. First of all, you go to the website, you can contact me via email. Mark dot Iorio, that’s I O, R, I, you call me on my cell, 609-577-4306 or you can get me on link LinkedIn. Yeah, I’m on LinkedIn quite a bit,

Damon Pistulka 41:26
yep, yep, and your cell phone numbers in your profile, and you can get you right there too well. Mark, thank you so much for being here today and talking a little bit about how you at BCAT partners, you guys are helping teams get aligned, building the right culture and really improving that performance and increasing value.

Mark Iorio 41:48
Thanks, Damon, I really appreciate you having me. I really do it’s it’s a great conversation.

Damon Pistulka 41:53
Oh, any, anytime, man, anytime we’ll have to have you come back after you get your new course launched and see how things are going. Oh, yeah, I’d

Mark Iorio 42:00
love to do that.

Damon Pistulka 42:01
Thank you. All right. Well, I want to just first also thank Huba for dropping the comments in there and the questions. Thanks so much for that. I also want to talk to the people that didn’t drop the comments. Listen, if you came in late, go back to the beginning and listen to what Mark had to say. Go check out, get B, cat, B, cat. Partners, B, C, A, T partners, and see what they’re doing there to help build great cultures and align people for better engagement. So much good stuff happening. Thank you everyone. We’ll be back again. Mark, hang out for a moment. We’ll finish up. Cool. You.

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