Guest post by Jessica Higgins
Running a successful asset management firm and building the technology solutions that power their strategies is an unconventional business model, yet the team at Charleston Capital accomplishes this, citing their uniquely diverse team as a core driver of their success.
The company facilitates an open culture that values developing brilliant ideas and brilliant people, and actively fosters diversity into everything they do. This very un-Wall Street approach to finance is what attracts such great talent to their team. Their developers come from the likes of Amazon and Zappos, and their newly appointed CEO boasts over thirty years of financial leadership experience, including AMF, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse.
Below is a look inside this promising finance firm and Fintech company, including their own insights about the value of a multi-generational workforce.
What are the benefits of building a multi-generational workplace?
If you walk inside the offices of Charleston Capital in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, you’ll find a team mixed up of young coders, seasoned financial professionals and talented millennials analyzing data. CNN streams across the televisions of the 11,000 square feet of office space throughout the day, and the tech team can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons in a conference room later that evening. It is unconventional, to say the least.
“Success is about building a selfless team. Hunger and talent are ageless. Each member of a team has a unique role to play and must feel like they have a unique role to play. Although the young often have great energy and the old often have great experience — assume nothing. Harness your workers’ passions so they bring their best to their job every day.” says Sol Berkoff, a Principal at Charleston Capital.
The company benefits from their multi-generational workforce, believing that your own team should be a reflection of the diversity of your customers. They deploy this thinking into all of their team-building efforts, pairing young talent to work beside industry professionals with over twenty years of experience. The results of this management approach generated an 11% annualized return to its investors last year and led the company to build its own technology platform, inFactor.
“While older generations have more experience, younger ones are more experienced in what is happening in our world today,” said Caleb Goding, CFO of the firm. “I encourage you to look inside your own organization and ask yourself if you have the right team facing your clients now, and in the future. Knowing that your client base is going to change with time, is your team set up to succeed today? Do you have generational knowledge sharing internally?”
What are the best tips for managing these generations’ innate strengths and possible challenges?
The Charleston Capital team goes far outside of classic command and control management structures, treating everyone as members of a winning team on an inspiring mission. They urge companies who want to be more diverse to understand and avoid, the potential challenges of a multi-generational workplace.
“Teams are motivated and most effective when working together to achieve common goals. But people are individuals and have individual needs and concerns. One must always be sensitive to these concerns and be willing to listen.” said Berkoff. “Balancing the good of the whole versus the needs of the individual is a never-ending challenge, especially when dealing with a multi-generational group.”
Regardless of whom you are managing, the company believes it is important to encourage team members to have a voice. Often, seasoned business professionals believe that age and authority create rank. This can be a challenge when dealing with younger team members and older team members alike. Both groups see things their way and believe they are accurate. Charleston Capital puts forth constant effort to avoid this thinking, opting to replace potential politicking with mission-driven work.
The company has undertaken its’ mission to fill the small business funding gap across the United States. Small businesses continue to fail from a lack of funding that banks are unwilling to give. This destroys jobs, lives, and innovation. Charleston Capital aims to bring Wall Street to Main Street where the majority of all jobs are created. This mission binds its unorthodox workforce, creating a culture of selflessness.
“We encourage team members to have a voice, at all levels, giving individual ownership throughout the organization,” said Goding. “I don’t look at strengths and challenges for managing generations, but rather the strengths and challenges of managing human capital in general. Regardless of age, people want to be included, valued, and appreciated. I would encourage your organization to create a culture that re-enforced this behavior regardless of title or age.”
For more information about Charleston Capital, visit www.charlestoncm.com.
Jessica Higgins, J.D., MBA., is a marketing communications professional and serial entrepreneur at the crossroads of technology, finance, and business development. Read more of Jessica’s work at jessicahiggins.co.