The Secret Sauce, Cheat Code and Superpower of Ensono? A Shared Mission, With Structure and Programs to Support It

Ensono’s reorganization of its client-facing teams has improved client relationships, opened new paths for leadership — resulting in several more women leaders — and supported an entrepreneurial, equitable and inclusive culture for all employees.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Jun. 08, 2023
The Secret Sauce, Cheat Code and Superpower of Ensono? A Shared Mission, With Structure and Programs to Support It
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Aligning culture, values and structure across an organization isn’t a one-time project. 

This is especially true for a company like Ensono, where decades of expertise and a current trajectory of “rocket ship growth” have set the stage for a transformation in the company’s approach to client engagement — the value of which is at the center of Ensono’s work supporting its partners to build future-proof technology solutions for cloud, mainframe and more.

According to SVP and Managing Director of North America Paola Doebel, the transformation encourages service delivery managers and sales leaders with aligning segments to collaborate deeply in the service of building stronger client relationships.

“There’s more transparency across the client environment,” Doebel said. “With end-to-end transparency between the client engagement organization and operations, we see better outcomes and more clarity for our clients.”

For Ensono’s team, the changes have sharpened the cultural focus on ownership and accountability throughout the organization. “Collaboration between sales and service delivery teams doesn’t just make our segments stronger, but makes the organization stronger,” said Director of Service Delivery Management Dolly Colleran. “We all have skin in the game.”

Having skin in the game stretches beyond service delivery and sales, as well. “Everybody’s in business development,” Doebel said.Whether in cloud management, HR, enablement or operations, the realigned structure makes it clear that each role across the organization offers unique insight into how to better serve clients and help Ensono grow.

“Collaboration between sales and service delivery teams doesn’t just make our segments stronger, but makes the organization stronger. We all have skin in the game.”

“As long as you have visibility into what a client could need, you can contribute in a positive way to the mission,” Doebel said.

According to Senior Director of Service Delivery Maggie Buckley, the reorganization offered the operations teams additional insights into those client needs. “This helped us become accountable for what the clients need and how to service them better — and to do so proactively,” she said.


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Transforming Client Experiences

The simplified team structure internally is also reflected externally in a streamlined client experience.

“The people sitting in front of our clients have the authority to answer questions and make decisions,” Doebel said. “Clients don’t want to talk to people who can’t make decisions, can’t answer a question or can’t get to a solution in short order. Clarity of responsibility enables quick decision making and helps us become an even more well-oiled machine.”

While initially the reorganization caused some nerves on the internal team — Would this client work as well with another partner? Could a shift disrupt ongoing work? — ultimately, the changes resulted in positive movement for many clients.

“We didn’t have any notable escalations,” Doebel said. “That’s a huge testament to our team on the ground. If a person has a relationship with a client who might struggle with the transition, they made the call, regardless of their job title. We leaned into the mission, and the teamwork for that process was invaluable.”

For many clients, the process wasn’t just functionally successful but also led to improvements across the account.

“Fresh eyes and perspective brought opportunities for growth on accounts,” Buckley said. “Flexibility from our ground-level associates and partnership across the team made so many new things possible.”

“That’s our power,” Colleran agreed. “We have a flat organization, and everybody wants to jump in.”

Candid photo of team members seated in stadium-style seating, smiling and clapping


New Paths to Leadership

As the team structure shifted, opportunities emerged for internal growth as well.

“There was an opportunity here to create a pipeline of women in leadership,” Doebel said, “not just in title but in exposure to the organization.”

Those shifts allowed both Buckley and Colleran to make transformative moves in their careers.

“There was an opportunity here to create a pipeline of women in leadership — not just in title but in exposure to the organization.”

For Buckley, a long operations career has included roles in leadership and stints as an individual contributor — both of which have been across operations and client services. 

“I had already been working with Ensono to take a view from the client seat rather than operations, and with the reorg, I was able to raise my hand for the leadership opportunity,” she said. “And as we have more women leaders in the room, these additional perspectives give us an edge that we can offer in our work and to our clients.”

Over a long tenure with Ensono and a predecessor organization, Buckley has seen the development of intentional programs to foster meaningful diversity across the organization.

“As someone coming from the LGBT community, I have seen this company move into having authentic programs that support and celebrate diversity,” she said. “People will see programs that are just meant to be a checkmark, but here, our flat structure and our culture allows us to be really open and real about what diversity means at the organization.”

“That’s our secret sauce, our cheat code and our superpower,” Doebel agreed. “We have a shared mission and the programs to support it, and because of that, we are able to offer a platform for serious conversations. With a singular mission, we have a baseline to support having real conversations.”

Candid photo of two women team members smiling and side-hugging as they talk to another colleague


Entrepreneurial Culture

What Buckley describes as a “put me in, coach” culture is not isolated to her own experience.

“As a company with entrepreneurial spirit, the growth mindset is really important,” Doebel said. “Everybody has a different relationship with change or ambiguity, but the reason people gravitate to a company like Ensono is to move fast, grow and take the risks that lead to success.”

“People gravitate to a company like Ensono to move fast, grow and take the risks that lead to success.”

For Colleran, who joined Ensono two years ago, the opportunity for growth and advancement was clear from the very beginning of her tenure at the organization, when her class of new hires was brought to the Ensono headquarters in Downers Grove, Illinois, for a series of events with their new colleagues and executive team.

“The tone is set right up front,” she said. “We are empowered to see what needs to be done across the organization and step out of our boxes to do it — not just within the boundaries of your own little job.”

But even within the fast-paced, all-in environment, Colleran was struck by Ensono’s supportive and energetic culture. “Even when we’re busy, there isn’t a high-stress approach to the work,” she said. “We have a refreshing organization where people are supported with mentorship and have the chance to grow by their own merits, no matter who they are in the organization.” 

“We don’t have the luxury of limiting anyone who could be successful here,” Doebel agrees. “The circumstances yield themselves to high-performing candidates of any identity — because when you’re in the room trying to solve a problem for a client, all that matters is who has the best idea.”


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

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