Advanced Concepts Team came to Las Vegas 13 years ago from Colorado to fulfill a short-term contract with Valley Bank. Its success in working with the bank, to help it reorganize and set strategic direction, led the bank to renew its contract for an additional five years. During this period, partners Mark Keays and Michael Mazzone of Advanced Concepts decided to make Las Vegas home. Since then, the company has established an impressive list of local and national clients, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, EG&G, DeBolt Security, Beazer Homes, Mirage Resorts, Thomas & Mack Company and The Howard Hughes Corporation. Its staff includes experienced executive coaches, trainers, facilitators and counselors.
“The road to success begins with employee selection and development,” said Mark Keays. “Advanced Concepts utilizes proven scientific practices to help a company select the candidate most likely to succeed on the job and assures the ‘right fit’ as it brings new employees on board.” Applicants are given a pre-employment assessment, not to find out their level of technical skill, but to determine whether their individual characteristics and traits match the profile needed to succeed in the position. Mike Mazzone said, “Studies have shown that 85 percent of people leave a company not because they are incapable of doing the work, but because they don’t fit in with the company or the position.” Assessment profiles can accurately predict an applicant’s potential job performance. They can tell employers many things about individuals, including whether they are: open to change; practical or dreamers; loners or team players; confident or insecure.
The same type of assessment can be a useful tool in helping current staff members and executives achieve their full potential. Test results can predict if an employee is well-suited to his or her position. If not, a change may be in order, possibly shifting the person to another job that better suits his or her personality and comfort level. A detail-oriented introvert can certainly succeed in a sales position if he or she puts in enough effort and learns basic skills, but the firm might be better off if that person switched jobs with the aggressive extrovert who ended up in bookkeeping because that was the only job available when he or she was job-hunting. Both employees are more likely to achieve their full potential and stay longer with the company.
Advanced Concepts also works with senior management teams and top executives to give advice and provide organizational and motivational assistance. According to Keays, “We like to begin with top executives, because they drive the organization. We work with them first and show them ways to increase leadership effectiveness. Improving trust and communications is usually high on our list of priorities. Then we proceed to the senior management team and ask, ‘Can this team take the company where it wants to go?’ We work out game plans to fit the personalities of the individuals who make up the management team. This is how we differ from other companies in our field.”
Advanced Concepts’ executive coaches take top executives in hand and help them reach their goals. The coach assists each individual to identify specific needs and develop and implement an action plan. “We analyze their style, and advise them on what they need to do to be more effective,” said Keays. “Some people should loosen up and be less controlling; others need to be more firm and assertive. No one is perfect – there are always ways to improve, if you’re open to suggestions and willing to change for the better.”
Chris Brockman is in charge of training and development at Advanced Concepts. He works with clients to customize programs to meet the company’s needs, and also provides standardized programs, such as Rite of Passage, which helps people set goals and develop the skills needed to reach them.
Riley Wimberly, a former Fortune 500 human resources executive, heads up the human resources services division of Advanced Concepts. It provides a complete range of HR services, including: development of employee handbooks, job descriptions, compensation plans, appraisal systems, policies and procedures, harassment prevention and strategies for improving employee relations.
“By helping companies make the most of their most valuable resource — their employees — we can positively impact their bottom line,” said Keays.