Barc Holmes, CEO, Coral Mountain Consulting
Photograph by California Business Journal

“The pandemic has people rethinking what they want out of their lives and their employers,” says Barc Holmes, owner of Coral Mountain Consulting, a tech consultancy for hospitality and entertainment companies. “If you look at social media right now, you’d think better salaries are all that matter to job seekers. Salary is important, but not everything. We all want to envision the right environment for our future. We want to hear about what’s happening over the next five or 10 years that we can be a part of.”

In the midst of the ‘Great Resignation,’ Holmes changed his approach by not only setting up more efficient software delivery processes for his clients, but also help them craft their stories to attract top talent. Some get it, he says, by being more upfront about their environment, their management styles, potential career paths. With others, “it’s like pulling teeth. The best and brightest are going to move to the best companies with the best people, environment, and culture.”

Holmes says working from home is not always the best solution. “Technology teams need to work together more often than not, and they also need to be very close to the customer who is using the technology to understand what challenges they’re having.”

For over 20 years as a consultant, Holmes has been making life easier for executives at Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, Citrix, Intuit, and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Holmes is brought in to assess software delivery issues, set up a program management office (PMO), then put the people, processes, and tools in place to move from strategy to fruition as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“The magic happens in linking together the right people and strategy with the right processes and plans — the latter is different from client to client based on the initial evaluation,” Holmes says. “Stakeholders need to agree to the process, the end product, and the type of environment they want to create. Most are moving to a small, fast-moving, agile way of working. It’s very different from the old IT organizations, which, by the way, are still very useful.”

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Prior to starting Los Angeles, Calif.-based Coral Mountain Consulting, Holmes was Vice President of Production at The Walt Disney Company, Parks & Resorts Digital. Seven years into the Disney job, his entrepreneurial bug led him to start his own consulting company.

Unlike larger firms, Coral Mountain Consulting isn’t about selling a specific tool, methodology, or bringing in more experts to increase billable hours. Instead, Holmes works with his clients’ existing infrastructure and makes the most of what’s already there.

“The key to success comes from the top,” he says. Some executives learn about a new framework, tool, or threat and rush to make changes without making sure it’s the right fit for the organization, which can easily end in disaster. Others, like Holmes, pay closer attention to what’s happening at the company first.

“When hiring or changing your delivery approach, it’s important to tell the whole story of what the company is trying to build long-term. Then tell the story again. And again. It’s not just about salary.”

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