The 2017 Best Small Firms to Work For: Cask

9. Cask

Headquarters: San Diego Billable Consultants: 150 Client Industries Served: Energy & Resources, Technology, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Retail,  Public Sector   Consulting Service Lines:  Strategy, Operations, HR, IT

After the briefest respite of just one year, Cask is back—for the sixth time in the last seven years—as one of the profession’s Best Small Firms to Work For.

Being one of the Best Small Firms to Work For has and continues to positively impact the firm across all areas of the organization, says Liz Guezzale, President, Cask. From a hiring standpoint, it dramatically helps with the ability to attract, recruit, and to hire the most capable and best-fit employees.

From a management standpoint, it provides a baseline from which the firm is constantly trying to improve the experience and opportunities, and reminds everyone that you have to work at being different and work towards your goals.

But the bigger picture is how it impacts Cask’s staff and clients. “For our staff, it illustrates our continued commitment to them and provides reinforcement that Cask is different in our dedication to operate by our values, which center around making Cask great for them so they can deliver services that are great for our clients,” Guezzale says. “For our clients, it both illustrates that type of partner Cask is to its staff and provides reassurance that we can recruit and retain great resources.”

Guezzale’s priority over the next 12 months is to continue to evolve the services and the organization to meet the needs of clients and delivery teams. “We will undergo several internal transformation efforts to continue to digitalize and automate everything we do— operating the same way we help our customers,” she says. “Cask is a growing small firm that provides everyone the opportunity to both work in the business and on the business.”

Cask started with the goal of being a small giant, and has long dispelled the need to grow simply for the sake of growing. Instead, she says, the focus is on growing to help follow the vision of being the best, which fosters its self-sustaining growth. “A key component has always been investing in the development and growth of our people, and treating everyone as a consummate professional, focused on the positive behaviors and actions of the professional, as opposed to intense oversight or micromanagement.”

On the survey, Cask excelled in the areas of Career Development and Work/Life Balance. “We have always tried to ‘over invest’ in the development of our staff —especially in the areas that people often aren’t thinking of investing in themselves, such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, economics, problem solving, and presenting,” Guezzale says. “We strive to help individuals be complete and well-rounded professionals—not just experts in one thing.”

Cask focuses on consultants that are “artesian-engineers,”—individuals that have expertise that spans both domain-specific and consulting disciplines. “Our hybrid approach allows us to help our clients with complex issues using smaller teams of high performing individuals,” she says.

Q&A: When you look at this year and next, what opportunities do you see?  

Guezzale: “We’re excited about the continued opportunities around digitalization, customer service, HR automation, and cyber security. We see customers making major investments in the way they enable both their existing customers and their workforces to consume data, request services, and digitalize their experiences to increase satisfaction.”