The story of Insentra’s success is a great example of the importance of culture in business.

King Consulting specialise in providing HR Consulting Services for business.

Read on to learn what culture has got to do with Insentra’s success and how it was created and shared?

Businesses can create and maintain an awesome culture that delivers to their mission and drives profits. The following is a story, not about Google, but about a great business in Sydney, gaining attention for its awesome culture and rapid growth, Insentra. Further, we discuss how Outsourced HR Consulting Services for business can be invaluable to help define the right culture, tell the story and drive profits and sustain growth.

About Insentra

A channel focused service provider in the Information Technology space and in the News:

  • BRW Fast Starters 2012
  • Symantec Service Partner of the year 2012
  • Action Coach My Business Best Start up 2012

About the founder of Insentra

Ronnie Altit is a business associate of mine and co-founder and Managing director of Insentra, a channel focused specialist IT Services Company. He recently picked up highly commended in the category of ‘Personal innovation – Leadership’ category at the ARN Arnet Information Technology Industry awards.

His award was based around the extraordinary culture, staff retention and team spirit at Insentra. He achieved this culture of success due to the way he hires, on boards and manages his team.

He explains that he uses an analogy to engage and align all of his team to Insentra’s mission and values which form the basis of the Insentra culture.

How did he create this award winning business?

Ronnie explains how he started with getting the Culture right first:

“Running a business is like running a steam train. We think of Insentra as a steam train. I, as MD, am the driver. I have a dream for this train.

The train has cost a lot to set up. All the items involved in the setup are the enclosure, rent, maintenance, and in the analogy, the price of coal.

The train is shiny and new, we are full of pride and hope, and we are under pressure to keep it moving and get to our destination successfully. I can’t run the train on my own.”

He brings his team on board and this is what he does when they are about to hit tough times:

Continuing with the Steam train analogy he explains:

“I have invited every member of the Insentra team to get on board and shovel coal into the fire to help the train move forward. They could work on any train. They’ve chosen to be on the Insentra train – ours.”

“Every now and again the train is going to need to climb a hill… that’s when the company gets really busy. At this time, everyone will need to shovel coal together and a lot harder, to help the train get to the top of the hill. That includes me, as the driver.”

Through this process it is going to get hot, dirty and messy. People will probably tread on each-others toes and maybe even accidentally hit the other with a shovel… all in the name of trying to get that train up the hill.

We are head down shovelling coal. We’ve got to get over that hill or we get stuck. And there are other trains coming up behind us. There is only one track.”

Read more about good hiring-strategies-best-fit.

Once past the tough time:

Continuing with the Steam train analogy for when they are past the tough part:

“The hill will then be conquered. We physically straighten up and take a moment to enjoy the view and then we will coast downhill for a period. At that point everyone will be able to take a breath and prepare for the next hill.

Then the train will pull into the station. At this point, more people may be taken aboard to deal with the track ahead and those who don’t want to shovel coal on the Insentra train can get off.

The new people shovelling coal will need to be trained in how to shovel coal the way we do it, which will allow the longer term coal movers to step up and develop the new, more junior team. And so, it continues. “

What if someone want to leave:

Again, using the Steam train analogy:

“The team are also aware that if they become undecided about continuing, there is a way off the train. If the indecision leaves them with one foot on the train and one foot on the platform, or hanging off above the track precariously, the train driver and his engineers (the management team) want to know. So, they can rectify any issues preventing them from staying on the train.”

“If they have outgrown the train, the driver and engineers will assist them in finding a new train more suited.”

There are no hard feelings or awkwardness. Thereby, avoiding hostility and time consumed on unnecessary arguments.

“For those who want to stay and love it on the train, we will work hard to train and expand their horizons, so that when they meet their destination, they are able to make a fresh start from a higher view point. That’s what we love best, when our coal shovelers start to live their dreams – on us.”

The above approach is very important and forms the basis of good practice in HR Consulting for Business success. By allowing for an exit strategy it removes the emotion and stress and is less likely a business will have a Fair work matter to deal with. As Ronnie points out, they also love to have their people grow and excel in life. This is a terrific attitude and likely to keep all involved positive and supportive. Wherever the team members end up they will remember their experience at Insentra positively.

How the team respond to this Steam train analogy:

“Our team love the train story. They all feel a part of the same machine travelling on a railroad which ensures all of them are taken together, on a journey, along the same track, knowing that each of them individually and jointly are what makes the train move. The better they work together, the better the train will stick to its timetable and reach its destination”.

This is a fabulous analogy for team work and the benefit it has for all concerned. It is another core component of HR Consulting to businesses by creating an aligned team. All working together to achieve success. As the saying goes, their is no ‘I’ in team.

In conclusion:

This is a terrific story and an excellent use of analogy and story telling to ensure everyone understands and shares the business journey. It is a fantastic way to explain to the team how important it is that each member is aligned to the mission, vision and values of the business. Therefore, the culture is formed and embedded to drive the business forward with an aligned team.

A business needs a team to grow or the business owner will be driven in to the ground trying to do everything alone. The team needs to be aligned to the business and to do that it needs the right culture. The culture is the mission or purpose of the business, the values and the behaviours needed for the mission to be achieved.

Ronnie’s analogy makes perfect sense and enables anyone to understand and appreciate the importance of setting up the culture right first and then aligning everyone to it.

How we can help:

Not every business owner has the capacity to find their story and share it as well as Ronnie has with Insentra. King Consulting HR consulting can assist your business to develop your story to create the right culture, maintain it and drive profits.

We often refer to this story with our clients. It helps to create an image which most people can relate to. Complex topics such as culture, team work and driving through difficulties are much easier understood with stories and imagery.

It is also, easier to refer to this story when discussing difficult topics such as behaviour. Too often, I hear people referring to their company policy without expanding on why it is important. Further, without a story and shared understanding the topic of behaviour becomes stressful and emotional.


Businesses need to start by defining their desired culture in their human resources management process. Then, find a method to create a story to explain the vision and purpose. Thereby, making it easier to share and find like minded team members to share the journey.

King Consulting HR was created to support businesses with their human resources management systems. We start with the Culture which drives all the other related activities to keep the business on track and profitable.

Read more about culture and human resources:

   Culture is the key to success! 

   HR Strategy – 7 Tips for small business

√   Employee Engagement is the key to success in business

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