Aligning Your Team With Your Organization’s Core Values for Sustainable Growth

People are an essential asset of any business. How you manage them determines your organization’s outcome.

As the chief operating officer (COO) at Caresyntax, a surgical healthcare software and data solutions provider, Tim Lantz implements an operational framework that prioritizes his team and aligns them with the organization’s core values. 

Tim Lantz is the guest in this episode of the Process Breakdown Podcast. He speaks with host Chad Franzen about the importance of aligning your team with your core values for sustainable growth.

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Show Notes 

[0:26] Intro     

  • Chad Franzen mentions some of the past guests who have been on the show, including David Allen of Getting Things Done and Michael Gerber of the E-Myth.  
  • Chad Franzen introduces SweetProcess, a workflow tool that helps businesses streamline their operations even in life-or-death situations.     
  • SweetProcess offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.   

[1:20] Chad Franzen introduces the guest, Tim Lantz.

[2:25] Tim gives an overview of Caresyntax.

  • Founded in Germany about seven years ago, Caresyntax is a global innovator in software and data solutions that provides surgical healthcare software solutions to improve surgical outcomes for patients.
  • The organization established its presence in the United States in 2019. It’s currently transitioning from startup mode into growth mode with about 190 employees in six different countries.
  • Caresyntax focuses on using data and technology in the operating room to make surgery safer for patients.

[4:40] Tim describes his prior career experiences.

  • Although Tim has worked for a variety of organizations, 80% of his career has been in healthcare.

[4:55] Tim describes his day-to-day role as COO at Caresyntax.

  • Tim manages the organization’s global operations, including production and manufacturing, regulatory compliance, customer success, implementation, training, data security, etc.

[6:05] How does Tim prioritize technology, processes, and people in his day-to-day role as COO?

  • People are the most important asset in a company. Everything you do as a company operationally starts with people.
  • Your ability to adopt technology and create processes starts with people.
  • You have to build a strong team first and then incorporate the right processes and technology.

[7:33] Tim talks about the importance of aligning employees with an organization’s core values.

  • It’s important to establish the fundamental values of your organization and understand why those values matter.
  • Involving your employees in determining your values as an organization makes your values more impactful.

[9:09] How do you align your team with your core values?

  • Tim adopts a mission, vision, and core values development model, which he developed at his former organization.
  • The model involves engaging team members to establish and understand the organization’s mission, vision, and core values.
  • It’s important to have a diversity of thought, experience, perspectives, and tenures to get an inclusive framework.

[11:22] Tim sheds more light on communicating the organization’s core values to employees.

  • Start with finding out what your employees think your organization is all about. You’ll be surprised to know that not everybody understands your company’s goals and priorities.
  • There’s always a disparity between team members on the core values of an organization. Figure out the cause of the disparity and get everyone on the same page.

[13:23] How does aligning your team with your core values improve your processes?

  • It provides a cultural and mindset foundation for solving complex business problems.
  • Developing core values and principles helps you and your team make better decisions that align with the organization’s best interests.
  • In the face of conflict, understanding your core values gives you data to make an informed decision instead of being sentimental.

[18:20] How can people find out more about Caresyntax?

  • You can visit the Caresyntax website and LinkedIn page to get more information about the organization.

[18:55] Tim mentions some of his favorite leadership books.

[20:42] Outro

About Tim Lantz

Tim Lantz is the president and chief operating officer (COO) at Caresyntax, a global innovator in software and data solutions. He has channeled his expertise into guiding multiple companies through successful startup growth and turnaround phases.

After working in healthcare for several years, Tim founded his own consulting firm, Pantheon Business Council, in 2008. Four years later, the company was acquired by Cathedral Consulting Group, a New York–based management consulting firm.

Tim assumed the role of COO at Caresyntax in 2019. His healthcare subject matter expertise includes revenue cycle, patient throughput, strategy, finance, operations, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

Transcript of the interview

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Process Breakdown Podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your employees all the information they need to be successful at their jobs. Now let’s go get started with the show.

Speaker 2: Great.

Chad Franzen: Chad Franzen here co-host of the Process Breakdown Podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job past guests include David Allen of Getting Things Done, and Michael Gerber of the E Myth and any more this episode is brought to you by Sweet Process.

Chad Franzen: Have you had team members ask you the same questions over and over again? And this is the 10th time you spent explaining it. There’s a better way and a solution, Sweet Processes makes it drop dead easy to train and onboard new staff and save time with existing staff. Not only do universities, banks, hospitals, and software companies use them, but first responder government agencies use them in life or death situations to run their operations use Sweet Process, to document all the repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time, so you can focus on growing your team and empowering them to do their best work. Sign up for a free 14 day trial, no credit card required. Go to that, sweet like candy

Chad Franzen: Tim Lantz has expertly guided multiple companies through successful startup growth and turnaround phases. Leading teams ranging from less than 50 to over 400 full-time employees. In mid 2019 he assumed the role of president and chief operating officer at Care Syntax Corporation, a global innovator in software and data solutions that strives to make surgery smarter and safer. During his tenure, the company has grown from 130 to 190 employees worldwide, doubled global revenue, grown ARR by over 900%, improved quality and operational effectiveness, launched two new software applications on the digital surgery platform. Achieved back to back record booking years, and raised 100 at 30 million in new venture capital funding all during the global COVID 19 pandemic. Hey Tim, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?

Tim Lantz: You’re welcome, Chad. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m doing fantastic. How are you?

Chad Franzen: I’m doing great thank you so much. Hey, tell me a little bit more about Care Syntax and what you guys do.

Tim Lantz: Yeah, absolutely. So Care Syntax, we’re a venture backed startup kind of transitioning out of startup mode and into the kind of growth mode, company’s been in business about seven years. It was originally founded in Berlin, Germany, and we redomiciled to the US right in early 2019 about at the time that I started here. We have employees in, I think, six different countries. We transact business in about a dozen countries around the world. So predominantly North America, Europe, Australia, and a little bit in Central America as well. As you mentioned, we have about 190 employees, and the goal of the company is really to kind of look at surgery as a part of healthcare. I’m sure we’ve heard about all the improvements in population health management and all these different aspects of providing better quality care to patients at a lower cost.

Tim Lantz: Historically, a lot of the focus on improvement in the healthcare space has been on the medical side with things like chronic disease management, diabetes, things of that nature. So what our founders did when they started the company is they realized that surgery was an incredibly important component of healthcare. Both in terms of how it impacts patients and their families, but also from the kind of financial side of the healthcare industry surgery accounts, typically for 50 to 60% of all revenue that a hospital or a health system brings in.

Tim Lantz: And it had been largely kind of ignored from kind of a quality and safety and technology standpoint, at least on the digital side of technology. And so when our founders got together seven years ago, they recognized that there was an opportunity to really help people, to try to impact lives and try to impact clinicians and surgeons and nurses in a positive way, by bringing digital technology and more use of data and analytics into the operating room. And so our mission is to kind of use technology and data to help make surgery safer for patients and help bring more intelligence into the operating room so that surgeons and nurses can do their jobs better.

Chad Franzen: During your career, have you primarily worked for healthcare related organizations or have you worked for a variety of different types of organizations?

Tim Lantz: I worked for a variety of different types of organizations, but I would say probably 75, 80% of my career has been in healthcare.

Chad Franzen: So what is your what’s kind of involved in your day to day role as COO of Care Syntax?

Tim Lantz: Depends on what day it is Chad.

Chad Franzen: Yeah.

Tim Lantz: So within all our organization, I have global responsibility for what I would say is kind of all of operations. So our technology is a combination of hardware and software solutions. So I have ultimate responsibility for all of our global production and manufacturing, regulatory compliance, global customer success. I have in the past, up until recently had a responsibility for all of our commercial and sales activities globally, and then all of our implementation training. So anything that really kind of touches the customer or touches our products, reports up through me. So our CTO reports up to me through kind of all of our software and technology development work. I also oversee data security, so I kind of span the gamut.

Chad Franzen: Wow. So in terms of kind of your day to day operations, or maybe just big picture even, do you start with the technology or do you start with your process or do you start with the people involved?

Tim Lantz: It’s a great question. So we, and you hit the big three, right? So we look at it in kind of this order as people process and tools. And I’ve had the pleasure in my, my career to work for some great leaders and then to work with amazing colleagues over the years. And in my experience, everything that you do in a company operationally, fundamentally starts with your people. So when you think about company assets on the balance sheet, people are never kind of on the balance sheet as an asset, but they’re fundamentally the most important asset we have because your ability to drive process improvement, your ability to adopt technologies that make your business more efficient and more effective, still requires people to execute on all that.

Tim Lantz: So our approach, and then my approach always when I come into a new business is to first start with the evaluation of the people. And understand how well they’re aligned, understand what the cultural sort of trends in the company are, and the cultural norms. Understand where there’s how much transparency and flow of information there is within an organization that flows down to the people to help with that alignment. And then from there, we just continue to kind of build on that. And then we layer in process improvement, we layer in technology adoption, on the back end of that.

Chad Franzen: Would you say it’s important that employees are aligned or the team members are aligned with like the core values of the company?

Tim Lantz: Yeah, I think it’s incredibly important. And I would say it’s interesting and it depends on the size of the company a little bit. And I think it depends on, for startups at least, depends on sort of how the founders are oriented and how the leadership’s oriented. But it’s definitely important to have alignment to a set of… Obviously we always talk about vision and mission statements, but what a lot of companies don’t always get to is what are the fundamental values and business principle by which they want their business to run. And so I’ve always tried to extend that mission, vision values, exercise into that concept of it’s great that we want to do these things. This is our big vision.

Tim Lantz: The mission’s kind of why you’re doing it, but the values and the business principles get to fundamentally, how do we want to do that? And I think it’s really important to have that alignment and for a lot of companies they haven’t established those things. So it’s almost even more important to take a step back and say, do we have a standard set of adopted values and principles, and are employees aligned to that? And then more importantly, the way that I’ve done it historically is there an opportunity to actually involve the employees in determining what those are.

Chad Franzen: Yeah. Is there kind of a way you go about aligning team members with your core values? I’ve worked for places and their core values and they’re nice to have on the wall or whatever. How do you guys go about aligning them?

Tim Lantz: Yep. So there’s a process that I follow. I developed it at my previous company, working with our head of HR there who came to us from American Express, wonderful lady, incredibly knowledgeable and talented. So she and I developed a process where we basically did mission, vision and core values development in more of a grassroots style. So we went out to every department in the company, and we had about 450 employees in that company. And we did some education to the departments on sort of what do these things mean? Why are they important? Why are we wanting to spend the time and devote the effort and energy to looking at them? And then we asked each department to elect a representative of that department to kind of be part of this multi week exercise. And we did the same thing at Care Syntax when I joined, we went through this kind of the same process here. And then once you established that sort of democratic representation of every team in the company, then we started to go through a process of really evaluating what is the mission and vision and values of the company today? Do we know what they are? Are they, are they representative of how we work or not? And why?

Tim Lantz: And so you go through this sort of deep learning exercise together with the teams. And then the other thing we did as a part of that is we always wanted to make sure we also had diversity within that electorate group. So it wasn’t like, oh, every department director got to be on the council. We had usually one or two executives and you’d have some middle managers, and you’d have some frontline staff people. And we’d choose people of different tenures, so you might have somebody who’s been at the company for 10 years and you might have somebody who’s been at the company for 10 months. And so it was a way to make sure that we had diversity of thought and diversity of experience and diversity of perspective, so that we could capture a framework that was going to be truly representative of the entire company. And also would still be applicable to new employees as we grew.

Chad Franzen: And you said that you give them some input in terms of the core values. How do you go about doing that?

Tim Lantz: Well, if there’s already an established set, then you’re kind of in a review process. If there’s not an established set, then it really becomes more conceptual, and what we’ve always done and I found it really effective, and it’s also very interesting. Is to actually start with a discovery of what the employees think the company’s all about. And what I’ve found every single time, and for owners that are listening or for other senior executives that are listening, it can be almost unnerving when you sit down with a group of your staff and you realize that not everybody knows what the company does and not everybody knows why. They may know what their particular job is, but that’s always kind of where we started the process. Was having that discovery and talking through if you have something that you’re modifying or you’re reviewing, that’s a great starting point.

Tim Lantz: If you don’t, then that discovery of what do you think the company’s all about? Why do you think we’re doing this can be really, really powerful, because every time I’ve done it, you realize that there’s actually quite a bit of disparity across the teams based on role, tenure, department. For us because we’re a global organization based on what country you work in, you have that different experience. And so that provides kind of the starting point for information gathering, and then you can start to level set from there. And you start to work through where is there alignment and there’s commonality and where is their variance almost just like, you’d redesign a process. Where do I have variance from the standard? And then you can start to pick apart what’s the cause of that variance and can we get alignment there?

Chad Franzen: So once you’ve kind of got your team members aligned with the core values and you’re kind of moving forward, how does that impact your process? Rather than just starting with a process, having a list of steps you like to take and going from there, how does that maybe improve moving on to process?

Tim Lantz: It provides kind of a cultural foundation and a mindset foundation for how you approach solving more complex business problems. And maybe an easy way is for me to give you kind of a specific example. So at Care Syntax we didn’t have an established core value and principle set. So what we did with the team here is we created that together, and it was a long process. I mean, it was weeks of learning. It was, we kind of locked everybody to room in Europe for like three days and, we hashed through it and it was interesting. There was debate and there was argument and there was ideation, and it was like a really beautiful thing to see that play out. And in the end we’re really more aspirational.

Tim Lantz: And we had to kind of make the decision. It was an interesting conversation to say well, this is a value or a principle that we all believe in that we would like to exemplify, but we really don’t do it that well today, should that be a value or not? And we kind of agreed as a group that we’re a young company. And it’s okay to be aspirational and say, we want to set some lines in the sand on how we want to transact business. How we want to work together with our partners or with our colleagues. And so what I love about ours is that it’s sort of part who we already were and part who we wanted to be. And then what we’ve found is as we’ve started to roll out things like we’ve introduced [inaudible 00:14:50] to the organization.

Tim Lantz: So you start getting into real process design methodologies, and process improvement toolkits. When you establish something like ownership as of value, or one of the values we established was knowledge. And we define knowledge as using data driven decision making to support improvement. So once you have that value, you define it as knowledge for us is continuous learning and using data to make better decisions. And then you introduce a process improvement methodology. All of a sudden we saw this tectonic shift in the organization where decisions weren’t being made by feel, or weren’t being made by opinion. They were being made by data, so managers and even frontline staff that before would’ve just said, oh, I’m going to just do this because my boss said to her, I’m going to do it because it seems like it might make sense.

Tim Lantz: Now they’re pausing and they’re gathering information. And they’re communicating information and now we’re making of driven decisions. And then you start to see that, okay, now I’m making a process change and the new process solves the problem. Why? Because I had data, whereas before it would’ve just been a lot of guesswork. Because everybody’s busy and they’re trying to do a lot, it’s a startup environment. You’re kind of running hard all the time. And so that’s just one acute example of how establishing that value of knowledge and data driven decision making, got ingrained in people’s mindset and it’s changed the way that our employees approach their jobs on a daily basis. And we don’t always get it right. We had an issue a couple weeks ago where there was data available, and would’ve indicated we should have taken option A and somebody said, no, that doesn’t apply to us and we should go do option B.

Tim Lantz: And that employee kind of went with option B and it didn’t work well. But the nice thing is when we got back and we did sort of a retrospective on that situation, we brought that team together. And he said let’s evaluate, how could we have done this better? The first thing that came out is that employee said, Tim, I had the data and I let a non data driven set of guidance, overrule information that was very concrete and accurate. And that’s not consistent with our knowledge principles. Going forward, I need to do a better job of making sure that if I have questions, or if there’s a conflict there that I escalate that or that I gather more data to make sure that we confirm the right solution.

Tim Lantz: So even though it’s not a hundred percent, everybody’s human, it was great to see that anchoring and the employee to recognize immediately that there was an opportunity to improve that aligned back to those core values and principles. So I mean, just one anecdotal example, but I think we see many things like that week to week. Where it’s the anchoring that either drives the better decision the first time, or the anchoring that the employees are coming back to. And the managers are coming back to when a mistake is made and they’re saying, yeah, we have an opportunity to do to this better. And it’s by going back and applying these principles consistently, how do we figure out how to do that more consistently?

Chad Franzen: So I have one last question for you. These are some you’ve given us some great, great insights, but first how can people find out more about Care Syntax?

Tim Lantz: Website?, You can definitely go to our website, it’s That’s probably the best. We also are really active on LinkedIn. So you can definitely kind of follow the company on LinkedIn, and we’re always posting updates there. So those are probably the two best ways to engage.

Chad Franzen: Great, final question for you. Are there some books or other sources of kind of information that you’ve really found valuable over the course of your career, that’s kind of given you insights into leadership of people and things like that.

Tim Lantz: Oh man. Yeah. So I have a long list. Let me see if I can pull out some of my personal favorites. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People., I know it’s a classic, but say like that’s one that I referenced back to frequently with my staff. There’s also a book called The One Thing, that’s really fascinating. It’s something that the owner of one of my previous companies gave to all of the partners in the firm and had us read. And I implemented it and it’s been really impactful for me personally. I think from an executive standpoint, when you get super busy, it’s hard to sometimes sift through all of the noise and the chaos. So The One Thing really talks about kind of throughout the day, at every point where you need to make a decision on where to invest your time and energy, ask yourself, what’s the one thing I can do now that if I complete that well, it makes everything else either less urgent or maybe even completely irrelevant.

Tim Lantz: Putting it into practice, it was kind of a harrowing experience. Because all of a sudden you see your emails pile up and your to-do list go red, but it’s a fascinating book. And if you’re a busy executive and you have a lot of things to juggle, and you want your staff to stay focused on kind of the right things that move the business forward, I think it’s a really powerful methodology. You have to be a little thoughtful on how you implement it in your personal life. But I think that’s a great one. And then I think there’s a lot of other ones, but those are probably the two I would say that I referenced with staff the most.

Chad Franzen: Okay, those sound great. Hey Tim, it’s been great to talk to you. I’ve really appreciated your time and your insights and your thoughts this morning. Thank you so much.

Tim Lantz: Yeah, Chad, no, it’s been a pleasure. Happy to join. Thank you for the invitation.

Chad Franzen: Thank you so long, everybody.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the process breakdown podcast. Before you go, quick question. Do you want a tool that makes it easy to document processes, procedures, and, or, or policies for your company so that your employees have all the information they need to be successful at their job? If yes, sign up for a free 14 day trial of Sweet Process. No credit card is required to sign up, go to Sweet like candy and process like Go now to and sign up for your risk free 14 day trial.

Owen: Hi, this is Owen, the CEO, and co-founder here at Sweet Process. If you’ve enjoyed listening to this podcast interview, actually, you know what I want you to do? Go ahead and leave us a five star review on iTunes. That way we get more people aware of the good stuff that you get here on this podcast. Again, go on to iTunes and leave us a five star review, I look forward to reading your reviews. Have a good day.

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