By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“We want to provide an industry standard for measuring and achieving business excellence through an intuitive technology platform,” says Rusty Goodsell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Orchard.
It’s a Brentwood-based start-up with a name that has a specific meaning and symbolism for the Virginia native who grew-up in an area known for its apple orchards. “They don’t just pop-up anywhere,” Goodsell explains in describing orchards. “They are intentional. The land has to be cultivated and nurtured. They require on-going maintenance. The plants have to be pruned regularly. The seeds we plant in the orchard will produce results over time.”
It’s that careful understanding of the environment and its ever-changing nature – the seeds for sustainable, long-term success that New Orchard helps it clients identify – that is the focus of the company founded in January 2020. Goodsell describes the mission as “creating an environment of innovation.”
The genesis of the start-up goes back to a working relationship between Steve Burgess, the other Co-Founder of New Orchard, and Goodsell that started in 2011 when the latter joined Guidant Partners where Burgess was the owner and CEO. After that company was sold, Burgess left to focus on his business strategy and coaching work while Goodsell remained with the acquirer.
They had, however, established a friendship and kindred mindset that would be the basis for New Orchard.
“Steve believed that there could be a standard developed to quickly assess a business instead of what typically took weeks to complete based on feedback from individuals and data collection,” Goodsell explained in a recent interview. “He believed that he could surface the operational behaviors of an organization quickly rather than the two- to six-month process that it normally takes?”
As the old saying goes, “Time is money.”
Gleaning from the ITIL and CMM frameworks along with multiple focus groups, New Orchard developed its flagship product named Journey that includes 47 business principles, with five levels of maturity in each principle, that will generate three to five improvement actions for each level ranked across seven different impact factors to create strategies. These elements result in more than 1,500 individual points of data that have been individually tested and affirmed by experts in operational maturity and behavior.
“It’s an objective assessment through a binary tree process,” Goodsell explains. “Our clients bring executive teams together as a group, not individually. Within 90 minutes to two and one-half hours, they can assess where an organization is. Journey is our flagship product, but it is just the beginning of the process.”
From that point, New Orchard uses a patent pending approach named Strategy Builder to help determine and prioritize the next steps to achieve the overall strategic goals for the enterprise. The process is driven by algorithms that weigh the various factors.
“It’s an objectives-based, standardized assessment that allows for the development of a strategy, that then leads to the execution of that strategy,” Goodsell says. “We are speeding-up the process to get our clients and their clients to the execution phase more quickly, and by combining data science and the experience of the consultative individual utilizing the software produces the next logical steps.”
Just a little more than a year old, New Orchard is still evolving. The start-up’s CEO says the company has developed two additional sector specific versions – one for healthcare and a second for non-profits – and is working on versions for both K-12 public and private schools and higher education institutions. New Orchard clients include individual companies; CPA and accounting firms; merger and acquisition firms; and human resource, coaching and other consulting firms.
The product can also be licensed by companies and white labelled.
“Journey is agnostic to any consultant’s tactical methodology,” Goodsell adds, describing the New Orchard toolsets as “quickly being described as the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) for the consultative world.”