Jason Torczynski, COO and Partner with Praevius Group out of Saledo, talk about his consulting group that is instrumental in helping civilian companies with their generational knowledge management.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome to Texas Business Radio. Happy Veterans Day Weekend! I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry had to step out. He’s going to join us here in a little bit. As you know, if you listen to the show. I mean, we talk, talk business. We’re going to have a veteran focus this week. We’ve got a lot of veteran owned businesses and a lot of guys that you probably need to be aware of. And we’re going to jump right into it because we have a very, very packed show. 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. Get your calls in, we’re going to get your questions answered. We also monitor #TBR on Twitter. TBR, Texas Business Radio, TBR. A lot of ways to get your questions in. Also go to the Web site, texasbusinessradio.com. We’re going to go first to Salado, Texas. It’s a veteran owned, a multiple veteran owned consulting group out of Salado. That is, consists of and founded by junior military officers. Came out of the military and have started this consulting group. That not only consults with the military but also with various civilian companies. And via Skype is Jason Torczynski, who is a Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Praevius Group out of Salado. Jason, welcome to the show sir.
Jason Torczynski: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate what you guys are doing to promote veterans and better businesses. Thank you.
Matt Register: Yeah! No doubt about that. Now, we’ve known each other for a long time. We were roommates at West Point and have known each other for years and years and years. Tell me about Praevius Group and some of the work you guys are doing.
Jason Torczynski: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for that introduction and you kind of hit the nail on the head. We are veteran owned small business. We’ve been around since 2006 helping organizations from the Department of Defense all the way through several civilian corporations. Really just helping people transfer experience from one generation to another. Helping with innovation around emerging products and technologies to help, have, to help leaders be able to make the best decisions they can with the best technology they can. So, we do consulting in the Department Of Defense in a number of ways. We provide innovation and tech development support and field support to a variety of technologies for our troops here and abroad. And we do a lot of work with leaders in organizations where they have challenges with emerging leaders or generational challenges. Where they’ve got a lot of leaders that have been around for a while but are moving on.
Matt Register: Sure.
Jason Torczynski: And try to transfer that experience to the next round. So, that’s kind of our, our focus right now.
Matt Register: Well, the knowledge management piece in civilian companies is, is a big issue and it’s going to get bigger as the baby boom generation starts to retire. As the, there’s a wide gap between them and the millennial generation. You have some leaders that have to come in and get up to speed very quickly. You have to capture that knowledge before the, the older generation retires. Right? Talk to me a little bit about how you actually go and do that. Because this is a, this is a challenge that happens in companies large and small. Right?
Jason Torczynski: Absolutely. Yeah, there’s a lot of different ways this problem can play out. But, certainly what you have is a wealth of experience and knowledge in an older generation. And then you have a new generation coming in and the technology in some cases is different. In some cases the, the technical problems sets are a little bit different. But the real rich experience that’s been gained by the older generation is around the decisions they’ve had to make, the challenges that they had to work through.
Matt Register: The, the, the ways they have screwed things up, right? Is a…
Jason Torczynski: Learning from their mistakes. And so what we do, really quite simply is, we engage with that organization and we extract through, we extract the stories that mean the most to them. We extract the scenarios and the stories and the experiences that mean the most to them. And then we have a way of engaging with the entire team through workshops, one on one coaching and training. And then we have a set of technological products in the form of video or web based products. Decision making tools where we present these stories. And really what we do in that scenario, quite simply is, we asked the learner “What would you do in this situation.” And then we help guide that process. So, we have a lot of ways that we do that. We look to work primarily with organizations that consider themselves to be professionals. Where there’s a commitment to their craft and they really care a lot about transferring that experience and that knowledge. It means a lot, that experience has been gained means a lot to the profession. And so in a lot of cases we’re engaging with health care professionals; doctors, physicians, physicians leaders. In some cases engineering firms or research and development institutions where you’ve got a lot of high, high tech people that have learned a lot about their craft per say.
Matt Register: Sure.
Jason Torczynski: But may not have gained a lot of leadership experience or have a lot of leadership training. So they’ll ask us to come in and help support their leaders and growing. Not so much in how to be a better physician, not how to do a better surgery. But how to lead other physicians and help them gain that experience or transfer that experience to, to the next round of leaders.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what and especially in that profession, there’s a big skill set difference between being a good physician and being a good leader of physicians. Right? It’s not very often that those directly translate. Now, all of your counsel, all of your consultants or most of your consultants, came directly out of the military.
Jason Torczynski: Not all but the vast majority of the people that work for our organization are veterans. And as you stated before, we are a veteran own business. And, you know, our lineage goes back to 2006 and we’ve got a lot of different things over the years. But certainly, we’ve stayed connected to helping veterans in our community. Helping veterans as they make their trans, you know, as people that are serving now make their transition out of the military into the civilian workforce. That’s something that we have tried to pour a lot of our energies into. And we feel very strongly that veterans offer a lot to, to the civilian corporations that they got work for, once they make that transition.
Matt Register: Well, talk to me a little bit about how transferable those skill sets are. Because you’re taking a guy who is a junior officer, a captain, a major, a Lieutenant directly out of the military and putting him into a situation in a civilian corporation. He certainly doesn’t understand that civilian corporation but he does understand leadership. Right?
Jason Torczynski: Absolutely. Yeah. There’s a ton of experience gained in the military. A ton of maturing that goes on during the age that most people are serving, young in their life. They are exposed to a lot of experiences around, you know, how to make tough decisions, how to get people to do things that maybe you don’t want to do. Just wake up in the morning and you know go run five miles is not necessarily the first thing people want to do. And so as a young leader in the military you’re trying to motivate individuals at times to do things that are not easy.
Matt Register: Sure.
Jason Torczynski: And there’s a lot of, there is a lot of technical expertise that’s gained in the process of learning how to be good at something. Is something that you do over and over and over in the military. So, you know when you get out of the military you’re more than likely not going to have the same occupation that you had in the military. But if you rely on that experience and you’re and you know, in just learning how to do new things. If you look back, you’ll say “I’ve done that a lot.” And when these new, these individuals, these veterans go to work for the civilian corporations, they’re getting someone that has had that experience of leading other people. Working through tough challenges and they’ve probably become pretty good at something once or twice before in their life. And that’s a really, a, that’s…
Matt Register: That’s a good place to start. Right?
Jason Torczynski: Absolutely. Absolutely. And from the veterans perspective, I think, what we see when veterans are challenged, is in a lot of cases they are holding onto their identity in the military. They’re saying “Hey. I was a, I was a squad leader or a platoon sergeant in the military and now I get out and they want to, they want to put me at the bottom of the, of the rung, if you will”.
Matt Register: Sure.
Jason Torczynski: They want to stick me low and I don’t have the same authority or the same command that I had in the military. And that is something you will have to work through. I think just accepting that based on the experience you have had you’re going to move up the ladder pretty quick. If you do the same things there that you did before. But you’ve got to form a new identity around your new job and your occupation. So, we work with veterans on things like that about having a broad sense of identity, not being just tied up in that one role of being in the military. That causes a lot of problems.
Matt Register: Sure.
Jason Torczynski: Your wearing a uniform, you take it off, you’re not that rank anymore. But you are still a father, you’re a mother, a sister or brother, a member of a community, probably in a church. You have a lot of different things and values that you offer. And when you go to work, whether you start your own business or go to work for someone else, all those things are going to matter too and all those life experiences will help you out when you transition.
Matt Register: No doubt about that. Now talking to CEOs of companies that are in our audience. What problem are they going to have that lets them know, they need to call you guys?
Jason Torczynski: Well, that’s a great question. I think, I think the generational issue is something that a lot of them feel already. And so if you have, if you feel like you have a team of people that don’t communicate well together. Or you feel like you’re dealing with the same problems over and over again from your junior leaders. Or you feel like you’re about to lose key members of your team and there’s nothing you can stop, do to stop that train. And you think you need someone to come in and help make sure that the right learning experiences and lessons are going to be extracted from those individuals and adequately and properly trained into your junior leaders. Then I think you’d probably want to call Praevius Group and we can do some good, good work for you. And again I would like it… Go ahead.
Matt Register: No. Wonderful. Hey, we’re out of time.
Jason Torczynski: Alright.
Matt Register: Jason Torczynski, Partner and COO of Praevius Group. Praevius.com, P R A E V I U S. We’re going to have that link right there from Texasbusinessradio.com. We do have to go pay some bills. We’re going to be right back right after this break with a whole lot more Veterans Day special here on Texas Business Radio. Thank you Jason, we’ll talk to you soon.
Jason Torczynski: Thank you.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.