Building Leaders for a Fluid Tomorrow

by Sue Hawkes

Client Highlight: ThreeBridge’s Boom Lab

As a division of ThreeBridge Solutions, Boom Lab “builds and supports the careers of high-performing consulting professionals while providing project delivery and SAP solutions to Fortune 500 and 100 clients in nearly every industry in the Midwest,” shares Managing Partner Charlie Anderson. In a world that is changing rapidly, Boom Lab is building the next generation of leaders. When it was founded in 2009, Boom Lab was the only company making junior talent available for smaller consulting projects. By changing the model and focusing on their approach to consulting, Charlie and the ThreeBridge team have built a completely unique offering for their clients. The recent graduates benefit as well; they are given the “training and tools needed to cultivate successful, long-term consulting careers,” and in this case, long-term means fluid. Fluidity and adaptability are key parts of Boom Lab’s approach; they are preparing leaders for a changing tomorrow by providing a breadth of experience and redefining what a career looks like in today’s market.

Building Leaders
When hiring new consultants to join the Boom Lab team, Charlie focuses on traits. “Junior people don’t have years of experience and prior performance for us to look at,” he shares. “So we look for things like adaptability, creativity, intellectual curiosity, work ethic, strong social skills and self-awareness.” This self-awareness is key because the consultants don’t have daily oversight and therefore need to be able to identify when there is a problem and when they need help. Mentoring looks different than one might think, however Charlie says that when he and the other Boom Lab leaders act as mentors they are “very targeted and very effective.” Charlie also shared his belief that these millennial leaders are just like any other generation. “People criticize them for wanting to be the CEO right away and not putting in the years of experience, but everyone is like that coming out of college,” he says. “Everyone wants to be rewarded for the quality of their work, not how many years they’ve been working.”

Skills for a Fluid Landscape
Corporate America is changing rapidly, and the consultants at Boom Lab won’t be using the same software or working in the same industries three years from now. This pace serves as a benefit to the junior talent because they aren’t behind in experience. In fact, Charlie shares that many Boom Lab consultants are working side by side with professionals who are twice their age. A changing landscape requires that adaptability and fluidity, and Charlie and his team look to build consultants who are “decathletes, not single-sport athletes.” By focusing on breadth of experience as opposed to depth, Boom Lab consultants are gaining training and experience that will allow them to be successful in most situations.

Fluid Future
Boom Lab is dedicated to helping its consultants navigate and plan their careers, and this comes with advice they may not be expecting. “We expose them to a lot of things but also reframe their expectations,” shares Charlie. “Very few people end up doing what they set out to do right out of college or what their degree is in. The majority of people end up doing something different, and we encourage recent graduates to think more broadly about the skills and experiences they develop during their initial years as professionals so they can narrow down what they are passionate about,” explains Charlie. The next step is to “show them that what you’re passionate about you’ll be good at,” he says. “Then the question becomes how do you combine what you’re good at into a job you can do every day?”

In the changing corporate landscape, it’s clear Boom Lab is ahead of curve. They will remain ahead of the curve through their unique approach to consulting, which is to create “decathlete” consultants who can succeed in any situation. Preparing for the future means a plethora of experiences so they can be adaptable their entire career. Charlie and the rest of the Boom Lab team enjoy helping their consultants navigate these experiences, and Charlie’s favorite part about working with them is their “energy, excitement and positivity.” Boom Lab is creating leaders for tomorrow by helping them find their passion in a constantly changing technology landscape.

In need of consulting services or know a leader who would be a good fit for Boom Lab? Contact them today:

Sue HawkesBuilding Leaders for a Fluid Tomorrow