Lessons Learned: How an Investment in Professional Development Transformed Operations at ScaleCapacity

Mentorship Means Success

We’ve all heard the statistic that an overwhelming number of startups fail—70% to be exact—but the reasons why vary. A 2019 Forbes article pointed to issues including premature scaling, a lack of competitive advantage in the company’s intellectual property, and the disadvantages of not having a technical lead or Chief Technical Officer as a co-founder.

More interesting than those, however, was the notion that, according to the article, “mentored startups grow 3.5x faster and raise 7x more money.” Mentors can chart the way for startup founders based on their previous experience and free them up to spend more time on business execution.

Additionally, a 2019 report from CNBC states that 94% of employees surveyed said they would stay at a job longer if it invested in their learning and professional development. While a popular theory once argued that a “skills gap” was behind the shortage of workers available to fill specialized professions, it has become clear that the investment in developing those workers for those jobs was missing.

Unfortunately, professional development and mentorship often take a backseat to operations. With all the tasks to be completed in a day, there’s often not enough bandwidth for proactive business development. However, the statistics make it clear—you have to make the time. Or you can hire a consultant to hold everyone in the business accountable.

And that’s precisely what we did.

The 12 Lessons

ScaleCapacity was looking for a way to increase mentorship for staff and increase communication, specifically within our C-suite team and in our engineering department. So, we contracted with Sophia “Sofi” Prestin, Mindset & Business Coach, to refine our internal processes, establish our business goals, and grow our team with reliable talent. Using the Proctor Gallagher Institute’s “Thinking Into Results” program as her template, Sofi guided our team through 12 lessons over the course of six months, covering topics such as productivity, efficiency, proactive thinking, and problem-solving.

A post of this nature doesn’t allow for the in-depth description these lessons deserve. However, we wanted to share with you what we’ll later reveal was transformational for our company. So without further ado…

  1. Goal Setting and Achieving – teaches teams and individual members to set their respective goals in ways that inspire them to move forward and see themselves as part of the bigger picture.
  2. Return on Investment – helps team members close the gap between what they know and what they actually do, creating more efficient and better results.
  3. Productivity and Efficiency – teaches team members to turn their unproductive habits into productive ones, increasing retention and performance.
  4. Employee Peak Performance – empowers team members to take a closer look at their daily habits to see where they can be more efficient.
  5. Innovation and Proactive Thinking – helps team members realize that past results reflect past thinking and that doing things the same way won’t produce different results.
  6. Creating Powerful Teams – In this lesson, competition within teams is molded into cooperation between all.
  7. Overcoming Barriers to Success – teaches how to create an open environment for teams to discuss their fears, get support from other team members, and find creative solutions to their problems.
  8. Aligning Actions and Results with Vision – Team members learn to see the connections between their beliefs and behavior to align with the company vision.
  9. Attitude and Mindset of High-Producing Teams – teaches how to create a positive attitude regardless of the situation.
  10. Effective Leadership – Team members learn how not only to become good leaders but good followers.
  11. Profit through Service – this lesson is about giving without expectation of reciprocation and service to others, promoting a high standard of performance at all company levels.
  12. Team Problem Solving – lays out the steps for going from incremental changes to sweeping improvements in collaborative problem-solving.

The Results

The change in our internal processes and team and client interactions after only six months was dramatic. Here is how our CEO, Sharad Parsana, puts it:

Before the Thinking Into Results program, my thinking was all over the place. After working through the program, I became more methodological and also started looking at things more positively. For example, before, when something wouldn’t go as planned, I would try to uncover the flaws in the process or project. But now I try to identify all the things that went right. What aspects of the project are going well? What positive things does the other person bring to the table? When you look at the positive, you attract more positivity—and the project goes more smoothly.

Beyond streamlined processes and happier staff members, the program has also impacted business development. “Our business has increased 40% since starting this program,” says Parsana. “A typical increase might be more like 10-20% growth—but the 40% I can attribute to our improved processes and client relationships. I would not be surprised if we eventually experience 200% growth!”

In fact, our results were so highly successful after working with Sofi that we asked her to join the ScaleCapacity team so that we could begin to offer this program to other businesses. Groups of five to 10 team members will meet weekly over six months, with Sofi working on solutions to their growth and leadership challenges.



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