Nurturing a Trusted Partner Culture Is Core to Nisos

How Nisos cultivates a culture of integrity, innovation, inclusion, responsibility and collaboration — which empowers its team to fulfill a mission with real-world impact

Written by Conlan Carter
Published on May. 22, 2024
Nurturing a Trusted Partner Culture Is Core to Nisos
PHOTO CREDIT: Nisos
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As CEO of Nisos, Ryan LaSalle credits his employees’ commitment to mission, values and a strong sense of culture and teamwork to the company’s success. 

Nisos fosters the elements that clients expect from a top-tier intelligence company — combining data collection, a “deep understanding of the adversarial mindset” and a mission to protect clients from sophisticated threats using intelligence expertise. Sustaining that mission is a set of organizational principles and practices that leverage employee feedback and educational opportunities to keep the entire Nisos team nimble and executing together.

“Our goal is to cultivate a thriving and inclusive environment where every team member feels valued and inspired to reach their fullest potential,” explained LaSalle. “Together, we'll build a culture of continuous learning and teamwork that drives our organization's success, enriching the lives of every employee.”

It takes a mission-driven company to cultivate and champion expert employees. Built In sat down with LaSalle to get a closer look at the culture and leadership that keeps this intelligence organization sharp.
 

Tell us about your role and responsibilities as CEO.

As the CEO of Nisos, I help organizations anticipate digital threats, inform critical enterprise decisions, and resolve the issues that expose them to risk through unparalleled digital investigations, actionable open-source intelligence and exceptional insights and analysis.

 

How LaSalle Supports Employee Development Through the Entire Employee Lifecycle

  • Onboarding: New hire orientation, new leader assimilations and onboarding learning pathways 
  • Performance enablement: Quarterly check-ins and 30-60-90 day new employee check-ins
  • People leadership development: Leadership and management effectiveness learning series, 360-degree reviews and leadership assimilation action plans
  • Ongoing individual development: Lunch-and-learns, DiSC and Strengths Finder assessments and a quarterly professional development stipend
  • Succession planning: Individual development plans to prepare for the next role, internal promotions and internal advancement opportunities

 

What role do your team members play in building, strengthening or celebrating Nisos’ mission and culture? 

We make a difference, driving positive real-world impact every day.  Nisos helped capture one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted fugitives after years on the run. Our team believes in our core value of “We Operate with Responsibility,” and our mission and purpose to protect people from adversaries seeking to harm them. 

When the FBI reached out for help, the Nisos team delivered because of our core mission and belief to do the right thing in the best interest of humanity.

 

“We were asked to help the FBI and support their efforts because we have the most sophisticated analysts and have access to the best open-source research tools.”

 

What is the employee value proposition for those thinking about joining Nisos? What impact does working at Nisos have on someone’s career?

With a remote and hybrid work environment and a global team, we continue to seek out a mix of alumni from intelligence agencies, law enforcement and premier threat intelligence organizations who are obsessed with helping clients unmask threats.  

Each day offers our employees the opportunity to have purpose. Our open-source intelligence services help security, intelligence, legal, and trust and safety teams make critical decisions, drive real-world consequences and increase adversary costs.  We help our clients keep their users, customers and teams safe.  

In addition to the tremendous impact our employees have on keeping people and organizations safe, we support the Nisos team to achieve their full potential through training, performance management, professional development and advancement opportunities.

 

CEO LaSalle and other Nisos employees smile for a photo while out for drinks at a Belfast pub.
Nisos

 

How do you build team culture? Why is that important for the work that you do?

One of our values is “We Work Together” — we achieve exceptional results through support, collaboration and teamwork. 

Together, we all feed off the energy and collective brain power from one another to solve very complex security problems and drive a “team of knowledge” environment. 

At Nisos, we provide programs and processes that encourage and support collaboration, teamwork, health and well-being.  Additionally, we get together every month as a company to make sure strategic decisions are understood, every week as a department to keep our teams connected, daily by teams to deliver great work to our clients — and we have ad hoc touchpoints and communities powered by a powerful collaboration suite of technology. 
 

How Nisos Invests in Team Culture

  • Rewards and recognition program, including peer-to-peer recognition 
  • Monthly All-hands showcasing client testimonies to understand the real-world impact of our services
  • A total rewards package that includes bonus opportunities, employees stock options (for every team member), 100% paid healthcare, health and wellness, professional development, work-from-home stipends and a 401(k) match
  • Flexible PTO and generous family leave programs
  • A robust talent enablement program with quarterly feedback sessions 
  • Social virtual events like escape rooms, bingo, comedians and more

 

What’s your vision for leading your team? How is your organizational approach unique?

My approach to leading my team revolves around three core principles: empathy, transparency, and authenticity.  Empathy means caring for my team members inside and outside of work, understanding their concerns, and offering support when needed.  Empathy is leading with heart and inspiring your team to do the same. 

While transparency is important, not every conversation or decision needs to be shared with everyone.  Instead, I focus on providing the necessary information and context for effective collaboration.  

Finally, a key strength of mine is adaptability, allowing me to adjust my communication style to connect with different audiences while remaining true to myself.  It’s like code-switching, adapting without losing authenticity.  By staying grounded in who I am, I ensure that my leadership resonates with my team, fostering trust and alignment. 
 

“Empathy is leading with heart and inspiring your team to do the same.” 

 

What structures or policies support Nisos’ culture and mission?

With a collaborative, inclusive and supportive culture, we foster our people’s careers so they can show up with their whole selves every day and be received by a team that cares for and about each other. This starts with a focus on the entire employee lifecycle and putting a premium on knowing, engaging and developing our teams. We start by creating an entrepreneurial environment where team members are inspired by, empowered to execute on and aligned with our mission and goals and feel highly satisfied with their work at Nisos. 

It's also important to listen to our stakeholders — our employees. Through stay interviews, employee engagement surveys, one-on-one meetings, and exit interviews, we provide space to receive feedback and listen to our people.  Employees’ open and honest feedback — even starting their first day —  is key to making improvements to our business. They provide valuable insight into what is and isn’t working and what gives them joy and keeps them engaged.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Nisos.

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