July 2020

Non-Negotiable Items Celebrate Briljent Culture

By Adam Hayden

To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required

Serving others is a primary goal. It’s reflected in our personal lives and our business choices. It drives the types of projects we seek, the relationships we establish with our clients, and the way we embrace and support our family of employees.

We created our Non-Negotiable Items (NNIs) and Communication Creed to help us express this culture expectation. These items are the foundation for our recruitment and hiring efforts. That gives us the ability to expertly match our staff’s backgrounds, skill sets, and expertise with the needs of our clients, while maintaining the Briljent way of doing business.

Over the next several weeks, we plan to feature our NNIs to celebrate Briljent culture and share what makes us unique. We can think of no better way to celebrate these values than to highlight our family of employees, through their own words and reflection on the NNIs and through the words our employees use to recognize each other.

In the first of this recurring series, we affirm that the NNIs truly shape our culture by recognizing Briljent President, Matt Odum. He was recently nominated by one of our employees for exhibiting the NNI, To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required. We are thrilled to highlight Matt and his commitment to responsible leadership.

Let’s take a look at this NNI before sharing more about the ways Matt models this powerful commitment to our culture. VP of Client Services, Nick Blake, had this to say in an internal blog post about To Whom Much is Given:

Over my six years with Briljent, I’ve been fortunate on several occasions to feel the words, “to whom much is given, much is required,” resonate with me. To me, it has meant never taking success for granted and always working hard to earn the rewards success brings. However, as I thought about writing [an internal blog post], I realized it’s about much more.

Every day I am impressed by the generosity of Briljent. Whether we are supporting teammates through challenging times, giving to various charitable initiatives, or working with our clients, which support some of the most vulnerable and at-risk populations across the country, giving back is built into our DNA and something Briljent takes very seriously.

We can see this “DNA,” as Nick puts it, in Briljent’s founding, told by our CEO, Kathy Carrier, who describes that in Briljent’s early days as a startup, sometimes the company struggled to pay the bills but never missed a payroll! In fact, in more than 20 years in business, Briljent has always “made payroll.” Kathy’s generosity, commitment to her family of employees, and the way her values led to the development of the NNIs gives us all something to celebrate!

We also see this DNA in Matt’s leadership as President, highlighted by Briljent employee, Jennifer Daly, one of our Organizational Change Management (OCM) professionals. “You learn the most about yourself, your friends and your leaders in times of challenge,” Jennifer begins, “It’s easy to be generous and friendly when times are good.”

Jennifer went on to recognize that Briljent’s growth and leadership has always been thoughtful, but the recent challenges presented by the novel coronavirus and the disease it leads to, COVID-19, threatens both businesses and employees with risks to health and economic hardship. Jennifer recognized that not all leaders prioritize their people over profits, “It’s hard to resist chasing after income at the expense of investing in people for the long game.”

“And then there was Matt,” Jennifer proclaims:

Words cannot describe how valuable it was to see and hear Matt regularly during the early weeks of COVID—always updating us, always reaching out, always supporting. When other companies cut salaries and jobs, Matt vowed to fight for our jobs and even offered more…reaching out to our families and establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust and support.

Kathy and Matt’s moral and emotional support for the Briljent family during “normal” times is a distinguishing feature that sets Briljent’s leadership apart, and this support is especially poignant during the difficult times of COVID-19, but make no mistake, making payroll and offering moral support is only the tip of the iceberg! Kathy and Matt are in regular dialogue with employees about work accommodations for parents or guardians who must navigate childcare as schools and daycare facilities close to mitigate spread of the coronavirus; they regularly survey employees about our benefit offerings; Kathy and Matt absorb the facilities cost of our offices, while at the same time encouraging employees who are able to, to stay home for their own safety and slow community spread of the virus.

In her nomination, Jennifer acknowledged that Matt is surrounded by a terrific team of senior leaders, yet, she emphasized Matt’s leadership here, too, “They are so great because of the vision and the example he has set.” She concludes, “I couldn’t ask for a better role model. His actions exemplify someone who had much, and even under threat of losing at least some of it, gave much away.”

When approached about publicly recognizing Matt to receive one of the quarterly awards for our NNI award program, The Briljent Bravo Award, Matt, unsurprisingly, had this to say, “I don’t particularly want the recognition,” he told us right off the bat, “That said,” Matt continued, “I’m not so strongly opposed to go against the will of the team because I wouldn’t let you or any other team member get away with it.”

That’s Matt, holding himself accountable to the same standards he asks of all Briljent employees, to accept responsibility, because To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required.

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