Matt Procter started working for Improve Group as a teenager for $6.50 an hour. “When you’re a junior in high school, $6.50 is like gold stacks of money,” Matt notes. “So I went in for an interview.”
Since then, Matt has worked his way up through nearly every department (except Accounting) to become the company’s President. What was once a business focused on file management has since transformed into a driver of innovation across numerous industries.
How has Improve Group achieved this change? Hear it from Matt himself in this interview.
How has Improve Group changed between when it was founded and now?
"When we started, we were basically a storage company. We mostly sold avocado green filing cabinets and file holders. It was all about records management – how do we manage physical information about ourselves?
Eventually the product offering evolved. We got it to storage of assets, we did some workstations and furniture. I think it’s only been in the last few years that we thought, maybe we can tie all of our solutions together into one offering that helps people create a Radical Impact.
The Radical Impact Platform is what our value proposition has evolved into – it’s the idea that we help you articulate your Radical Impact and then align everything around it."
On that note, can you explain the Radical Impact Platform (RIP) in more detail?
"The Radical Impact Platform is our way of living out our mission of improving the lives of our clients, ourselves, and the community we work in. It’s really based on two words.
The first word is Impact. This is based on the understanding that organizations and humans tend to shortchange their potential. We don't really understand the impact we can make, so we settle for less.
The second word is Alignment. Once you know your Radical Impact, you can’t just do one thing to achieve it. You have to align the entire organization around the people, the space, and the technology to the end goal of Radical Impact. When we took on the project of downsizing Fort Carson's Central Issue Facility by over 50%, we didn't view it as a loss of opportunity – we saw it as a chance to align the facility around the preparation and success of each soldier stationed there."
Can you give an example of the Radical Impact Platform in action?
"A great example would be the University of Eastern New Mexico's (ENMU) academic library. They wanted to transform it into a Student Success Center (SSC) that would recruit and retain more students for the university. It would attract students by making a great first impression on them, and retain them by putting every opportunity they need for academic and practical success into one place.
So how did we do it? We aligned their people, space, and technology. We helped them realign their org charts and create a new position, the Guide, to help students around the SSC. Our architects and contractors redesigned the space to be easily navigable. We also installed a bunch of interactive technology, including navigation kiosks that help students know exactly where to go in the SSC to find resources or study effectively.
By aligning everything around student success, ENMU has a much higher likelihood of actually achieving that impact. Now it’s not just a library for studying – every single thing that happens there is geared around helping students be more successful and achieving their own Radical Impact."
What type of person would benefit from partnering with Improve Group?
"We look for two things. The most important thing is that this person is a disruptor. If they don’t wake up everyday looking for better ways to do their job or change their industry, it’s kind of a deal killer. It doesn’t mean we don’t work with them, but we’re not going to help them achieve Radical Impact. They just don’t think that way.
The second most important thing is that they have the position and the autonomy within the organization to be able to make decisions. We want somebody that’s got the influence to actually achieve their ideas. If you have those two things, we want to work with you."
Do you personally identify with these types of people?
"Yes, definitely. I think that my own why is to find a better way. I think the company why has to align with the leaders at some level.
When I was growing up, I never wanted to work in this company. I was totally uninterested. But now, as we’ve started to realize we can go build a company that helps people reach their Radical Impact, it helps us live out our mission of improving the lives of the people we work with, the communities we work in, and our customers.
It’s a pretty cool thing to wake up every day and think, alright, I get to help someone else live out their mission. And the more people we help do that, the better the world is. Sure, I get a little idealistic about it – but it’s awesome to see it in practice."
To learn more about Matt, connect with him on LinkedIn.