Stand for Something
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill
You might be thinking this is a little too deep for business....take a trip with me! What are we here for if not to find something we believe in and to fight for it? I challenge you to consider what you stand for; what you bring to the table that impacts other's lives.
How this is formulated and shared as a business culture is often times in the way of a mission statement. I'm sure you've heard them and I'm sure you have one. If it says something along the lines of "Giving our customers GREAT customer service, and the BEST prices" or "Providing TOP solutions to ensure our customers' SUCCESS" what are you saying you stand for? Isn't everyone striving for those things? That's not what makes your business unique. That's not what makes you a valued partner that your customers will look to time and time again. That's not really what you stand for. What your customers buy into when they partner with your company is why they trust and believe in you.
I'd like to share what has taken me roughly 10 years to realize what ASW stands for:
Work should not suck.
For our team, this means the opportunity to throw the 9-5 job away. To work as much or as little as they would like. To be paid for the value they bring, not the hours they put on the clock or their years on the job that pushed them up the ladder. Want to take Fridays off? No problem. Want to organize your travel schedule so you don't miss any of your son's football games? Sure thing. For me personally this means no meetings at 8am or 2pm so I can walk our kindergartner, Gus, to and from school each day. Work should not cause your personal life to suffer. Don't misunderstand though, this doesn't mean work shouldn't be challenging or even frustrating at times. It just means you shouldn't be "living for the weekend." If your job is making you miserable, fix it or leave.
For our clients, this means paying for solutions, for deliverables, for outcomes. 95% of our work is on flat fee projects. Gone are the days of a project coming in significantly over budget. Gone are the days of being reluctant to ask for help knowing a $250 bill will be coming right behind that question. In the consulting world, especially in our niche, this is very disruptive to the ways other firms operate. Many consulting firms count on hourly billing. They rack up 40 hour weeks to complete 10 hours of work. You want me to stay late, come in early? Sure thing it's your dime! This mode of operating is counterproductive and in conflict with being in the best interest of the client. At ASW it's our goal to:
We interact with hundreds of people a day either directly or indirectly, and all of these touch points change the trajectory of our day and theirs alike. Realize at times some of the smallest actions can change the course of someone else's life. You don't have to be Ghandi or the Dalia Lama to inspire others. Recently friends of ours told us a fleeting conversation we had about our decision to have a 3rd child inspired them to do the same. They had been on the fence for years. I can't imagine a more life changing decision than bringing another life into this world!
Let's bring it back from the depths and relate this to your ABC Company. Your company is a living breathing entity filled with people that can inspire each other or the folks they interact with at your suppliers' and customers' companies. Realize their actions, representing your company can not only make or break someone's day, they can truly change someone's life.
Challenge the Status Quo
Never accept "this is the way it's always been done" or "there's no way we can change that." Challenge the way things are today and don't be afraid to take risks.
We've elaborated on this one in the past. You know what we're all about!
Really though, who else brings donuts in for your team after a successful go live?
"Progress Demands Change" Cheers!