As the Chinese proverb goes, "For the man without a destination, any road will do." The same holds good for an organization as well. Therefore, we have clearly defined our goals in terms of the where, how and who.
Let us start with the Value System
Intelligence, knowledge, competence and drive are not enough for ultimate success. One must also adopt a value framework within which to operate. The value framework directs our corporate behavior and guides decision-making when faced with a question, problem or dilemma.
Individually, we are all "walking Value Systems". We process every new input through our Value System and the result of the processing – in other words, our reaction to the input – is an output of our Value System. Two people see the same event, but one person smiles while the other grimaces – because their Value Systems are different.
An organization is a collection of individuals and, therefore, a collection of Value Systems. If it is left to chance, the decision makers will usually enforce their value system on the organization. If the organization must have one unified Value System, it must be clearly defined – so that everyone may practice it.
bodHOST operates with reference to a clearly defined system of value.
In the new economy, everyone is a client. If they expect something from us, they are our client. We must treat everyone as a client.
Marketing is not a discrete, department bound activity any more. It is a holistic activity involving the whole organization. Every single team member is in marketing whether your title says it or not.
Do you deal with clients? Yes you do, we are all "clients", right? Then you are in marketing.
Every one of us has to hone our marketing skills, sharpen our sales skills, and be focused on adding value to all our clients. We must constantly promote the organization to the world; turn every meeting, social gathering or chance contact into a lead and a marketing victory for our team.
In other words, if it does not add value to our client, we should not waste our time doing it. On the other hand, it we think it does add value to our clients, then we should very seriously consider doing it. Our goal should be save our clients time; help our clients achieve their goals better, quicker; and make them more successful. That is the path to OUR success.
Excellent value is a worthy target to chase. Perfection is not. In many instances, perfection could be undefined, subjective or economically unviable. Pursuing of perfection is not a value add. Define your excellence threshold; when you reach it, stop engineering and start producing.
We do as much of our thinking BEFORE we finalize our plan. Midway through execution is usually not the right place to pause and think. Exceptions always apply and we do not propose thoughtless execution of a plan. But if the plan has to be altered too many times during execution, then the Planner is not adding value to those who are executing. He is not thinking hard enough. He is not adding value to his clients.
Think hard before you finalize your plan; finalize your plan before you act; and focus totally on acting when the time comes to act.
More projects fail due to poor execution than any other reason. Execution is difficult. It required a different kind of mindset. It required UNDILUTED TENACITY. We can do everything right, but if we do not have the tenacity and perseverance to execute properly, all the thinking and planning mean zip. Execution is important to us. Execution gets priority. We reward people who help us execute, not just those who help Plan.
All the wonderful plans, ideas and intentions swirling in your head add no value to you or your clients. Action does. Therefore, act! When in doubt, take ACTION. We have process-centric systems. We use proven methodologies. We implement best practices. But every once in a while an emergency, unforeseen situation will occur that require you to break all rules. When that opportunity arises, it is better to act than not act.
It is better to do something wrong than do nothing: people should not be terrified of making mistakes. The next time they try they'll learn from it and do it right, or hopefully better. So excellence could be gained incrementally, through a series of small steps bonded by a central message.
This is not an endorsement of failure. If you repeat same mistake over and over, or fail too many times, you will automatically be eliminated. If you are terrified to act for fear of making mistakes, you will be eliminated anyway. So ACT.
If we do our thinking; if we decide what the right course of action is; and if we take the pre-determined action consistently, predictably, mindful of quality, then good results are bound to follow. Such effort is "excellent effort" and should be rewarded, regardless of results.
In comparison, mediocre results, happening somehow, without thought, without a process, without planning – is not exciting for us. It is not sustainable. We will even reward bold ideas that fail -- but not thoughtless action and lack of quality even if they result in mediocre success.
Ideally, we want everyone to be self-driven; entrepreneurial; eager to take ownership of projects and relishing autonomy. We reward this kind of behavior so that more team members are encouraged to behave in this manner.
In this regard, let us recall the words of jack Welch: "My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too."
We are process-driven and disciplined. But since entrepreneurial, autonomous behavior is our goal, we value self discipline, not the discipline of the martinet.
It was no longer enough to be excellent: companies have to stand out from the crowd. They must make the workplace more interesting. We spend a significant part of our life at work.
We must, therefore, make the office a fun place to achieve our goals. We promote enjoyment at work.
Fierce (meaning "unbridled") communication; vigorous communication; always open communication keeps everyone on the same page.
We believe in create powerful communication. A flash of humor can change a completely mundane, easily overlooked communication into a person expression of attention. We do not mind stepping out of the "straight" corporate communication style and experimenting in the funky. Communication is meant to communicate. Whatever grabs the recipient's attention, as long as it is in good taste, is permissible. Draw a picture; add color; draw a huge exclamation aka Tom Peters. That's good, effective communication. We love it.
We read Susan Scott's "Fierce Conversations".
We listen. As a team member, we invite your comments on anything and everything. And not only will we listen, we will respond to you, and in many cases you will be surprised at how quickly your suggestions are implemented. We believe in building consensus so that our new initiatives are backed by true believers and not by those just carrying out executive decision.
If you have a private agenda (goals), share it with someone. Trust someone. Let him help introduce your agenda into the corporate agenda. There is no other way to succeed unless we all work transparently. FIERCELY TRANSPARENTLY. If you cannot trust anyone in the team with your private goals then do not waste a single more second of your precious time. You need to find another team where you belong.
We love Susan Scott's "Fierce Conversations".
We believe, heretics not prophets, create revolutions. We believe you can't use an old map to find new land. He applaud Jack Welch for having introduced the practice of establishing "anti-groups" within certain divisions whose role was to put forward the opposite to official policy in a deliberate attempt to encourage debate and discourage group-thinking.
So we love detractors who propose an alternate solution to the official line.
However, we are not fond of Nay Sayers, contrarians and Doomsday Soothsayers. They are just time vampires and suck value out of us rather than add value.
True detractors, who demonstrate independent thinking, shoot down theories, break up age-old beliefs, and "really shake things up" by proposing radical new solutions are appreciated, loved and rewarded.
We are capitalists. We utilize capital in every form to generate wealth. But wealth is only the currency of commercial success, it is not our goal. Our goal is to generate greater value in the form of opportunity, utilization of talent, generation of professional satisfaction, exponential growth for all team members, great sense of achievement, comfortable feeling of belonging and – ultimately – happiness.
We, therefore, do not lose ourselves in the mere pursuit of commercial success. We know that our real target is far greater and more difficult to achieve. We know we can achieve it only with personal accountability and integrity.
This is what we call Capitalism with Character. We do not mimic any role model. We accept personal responsibility for behaving with full integrity. The words of the Management Duo Kjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale ring in our earns: "Look inside. Do you want to be a first-rate version of yourself or a second-rate version of someone else?"
Our definition of "integrity" is not based on the conventional view of morality or legality.
For us integrity means acting as the person we project ourselves to be. If we say one thing and do something else, we are out of integrity, out of balance, and we know it. That feeling of inner deficiency will not lead to best results. If you feel small, you cannot ultimately achieve big results.
What is professionalism? Who is a true professional? A person in a business suit with a bunch of fancy degrees from renowned universities? A professional who is technically competent in his area of expertise and qualified to advise others? Someone with excellent work ethics? Great politeness? Great vocabulary? Excellent personality?
The truth is, someone could have all of the above and yet not be a true professional.
In the final analysis, professionalism is a state of mind and not merely a set of competencies. We believe a true professional is a technician who cares; a technician who takes a sincere & genuine interest in solving the client's problems; cares for the welfare of his client. CARING: One of the most important components of professionalism.
People matter most. We touch lives. We believe in the power of small acts of kindness to change the world. So we start with our own team and community first. We enrich and add value to every facet of our team members' lives.
We care. Therefore, we are professionals.
Money is not our prime motivation. We make good money, but we are more focused on making happiness. We believe that both money and professional satisfaction are consequences of being truly professional.
We believe in treating business as project work. We do not promote being part of an infinite business process – be it computing, marketing, recruiting or managing – and losing our days, weeks and months chasing targets. We believe in treating all work as projects; in breaking down all work into projects. The pursuit of prospective client XYZ Corp is a project; the hiring of Tony Mendoza into our Enterprise Cloud practice is a project; responding to our client's new RFP for a Private Cloud is a project; organizing a Cloud Computing Training Course for our five junior associates is a project. Everything is project work.
We complete one project and move to the next. Sometimes we do multiple projects at the same time. Some projects take minutes, while others last for months. We treat each project as a deliverable. We learn from each project. We experience success and failure with each project.
We are forever In pursuit of our "Wow" project.
We know work is being reinvented. The future of white collar work is all Project Work. Somewhere, in the belly of every company, someone is working away in obscurity on a project that 10 years from today will define the company's proudest moment.
We all want to be that person. We never stop looking for our "Wow" project. We are never disappointed or discouraged. We are always observing; we are always learning; we are always collecting ideas, leads, and starting points that we can turn into a Wow project later.
The question we ask ourselves every single day is: What are you working on that makes a difference to this company?
Some projects result in failure; and we learn from them. Some projects result in success; and we learn from them. We bring improvement into each project. The way we sign off on a SLA; the way we design a custom hybrid cloud for a client; the way we begin our presentation; the way we design a user interface; the way we pre-screen a customer support candidate.
We are forever striving to improve. We are forever implementing Incremental improvement in our search for excellence.
We take an Uncommon Pride in all our work, whether it is architecting a system, developing a program or writing an email. We apply our Personal Signature to everything. We try to create legacy through work that will outlive us.
We try to create a legacy out of every day. At the end of the day we ask ourselves: What is the legacy of the day that has just passed? Did it contribute meaningfully to my company and to me? Did we do something that could potentially change our lives? Did we at least PLANT THE SEEDS for a better tomorrow? Perhaps we wrote an email to Bill gates?
Every day must leave its legacy. We create legacy.
We do not know how to separate business from life. We live up at home; we go to work; we attend meetings; we attend parties; we attend M.S. classes in the evening. We meet clients everywhere. We are forever on the lookout for a sale or a chance to promote our company, promote ourselves. Work does not only happen in the office; our Blackberry goes off everywhere. Learning does not only happen at the University; it happens everywhere.
Life is everywhere; work is everywhere; fun is everywhere; learning is everywhere.
We take life personally. We take work personally. We take business personally. We take fun personally. We take learning personally. We execute each of these with passion, enthusiasm and emotion.
Our work is our personal signature on the evolving future. So please don't tell us that it is just business.
We give loyalty - first to our team members. We stand by our team members first in any situation. We provide security. We stick together in bad times.
We are a 24-hour company. We are available to our clients (whether internal or external) whenever they need us.
We believe in the maxim that those who work into all hours of the night ultimately have their day. Which means, we understand that sweat and the midnight oil are necessary ingredients of success, and that "instant success" is sometimes 20 years in the making.
Our big breaks will come from new ideas. We must continually promote learning. When team members express a desire to study, earn a new degree, conduct research or just take an evening course, we will adjust to their convenience so that they get the opportunity to pursue learning.
We do not avoid change. Rather, we proactively embrace change, we seek change, we make change happen. We believe, if we do not life change, we must be prepared to like irrelevance.
This is our value system which drives our decisions and conditions our behavior, and against which all our actions are evaluated. It is important that you understand our value system, because this is ultimately who we strive to be.
Where are we headed? What is our destination?
We want to be one of the most respected names in Cloud Computing worldwide. We want to be a great commercial success without losing sign of the fact that our real goal is the pursuit of happiness in ways much greater than mere economic gratification.
How do we get to our destination as defined by the vision statement?
By continually building and nurturing a first-rate organization that: