Spur LLC was created from the appeal of Hebrews 10:24, "Let's give continuous attention to how we can spur one another on toward love and good work." It was formed in the height of COVID in late 2020 when founder Dan Kaskubar observed that leadership fatigue was a widespread yet surmountable challenge - especially for companies with frontline employees with lower wages.
Dan's first coaching customer had just weathered the brunt of the COVID storm incredibly well. At a mid-size manufacturing facility, middle managers had developed skills to shift from "babysitting" to effectively delegating decision-making down the hierarchy and develop frontline supervisors; frontline supervisors were equipped to take ownership in motivating, engaging, and proactively communicating with their team members; and that provided bandwidth for senior leaders to look outside the walls of the business and anticipate market challenges. They had developed effective operations with a culture of trust and supportiveness. When many others in their industry suffered from rising costs, high turnover, and low morale and lost customers, they were well-positioned to pivot quickly, pick up those customers (from across the country!), and provide them with unprecedented service at an unprecedented time.
Good work is a virtuous cycle. Stability and value grow together when mid-level leaders are developed into coaches, workplace cultures prioritize people, and senior leaders can disentangle operational challenges for the good of everyone involved. This is the opportunity that Spur looks forward to every day.
We are working to build a countercultural movement in workplaces with frontline employees with lower wages. We have three distinct offerings that we believe can change the ecosystem of work.
We envision a future where every organization is an ecosystem of flourishing for their employees, leaders, customers, suppliers, and communities.
Our values propel us toward this vision:
(how we prioritize our work)
"More businesses die from indigestion than starvation.”
- Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard (1995)
Operating under a "slow is fast" value doesn't necessarily relate to our speed as a company. It does imply that we choose to work in a methodical, purposed, unhurried, and intentional way. Rather than for speed, we filter decisions through our values for longevity and legacy. We take care to not be influenced by the common refrain of "scaling up" because we have seen how that can lead to taking shortcuts that short-circuit the mission. We focus on responding to what is in front of us; we're convinced we don't need to chase new, more, and big. We have found that this approach leads to better and more-consistent decision-making, which ends up being a more direct path to accomplishing our mission (even if it is often the hardest one).
(how we work with each other)
"Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the world unless
The builder also grows."
- Edwin Markham
Interpersonal health is a non-negotiable for us; we choose to remain on each others' team because we believe that our workplace relationships set the foundation for the work we do with our customers. We choose to engage the good, the bad, and the ugly - together, with a humble growth mindset. Our victories and losses are faced as a team, and we choose to stay on good terms. Our team is respectful and invites differences, and we believe that our intentions matter. From the inside out, we work hard to live this value and show that workplace relationships can be life-giving, encouraging, and a tremendous source of energy to propel us toward more good work.
(how we engage our mission)
"It's a magical world, Hobbes Ol' Buddy... Let's go exploring!"
- Calvin (from Bill Watterson)
Whimsy starts with the belief that doing good work doesn't necessarily mean working long hours or sacrificing time with family and friends. We all have a tendency to work hard, here, so we remember to invite fun into our work. We're on a critical mission, yet we acknowledge we have limits because we're human. Playfulness drives out the anxiety we tend to feel under a stiff deadline. It reminds us that we can only do so much, and that the best confidence is the type that can find humor in responding to a challenging situation. So, we find ways to invite fun, lightheartedness, and laughter into our work - even our meetings. When we do, we are more fully human: more creative, more productive, and more wholly ourselves.
(how we add value to our customers)
"Focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."
- Steve Jobs
The wide variety of methodologies and tools available to leaders is both overwhelming and noisy, so they often go unused - not for lack of training but for lack of knowing how to apply them in context. Our team works with tenacity to get those tools off the shelf and into our tool belts - to inform and clarify the best next action for ourselves and our customers alike. We believe simplicity is the key to clarity, and clarity is the key to good decision-making.