Well well.. what a ride it has been over the recent 6 years! This article was released on ARN this week and I have received a bunch of emails from friends and colleagues, each of which has been very humbling. A number of people have asked me what I attribute the growth in our business to be based upon, so I thought I would write a brief blog series on some of the things that I think have been and continue to be most influential. I start this series with what I deem to be the most important contributing factor – our corporate culture. Let’s unpack some of the fundamental tenets in place..
Employ adults and treat them as such
This is by far and away something I believe to be a significant growth contributor. From day zero we have worked hard on our culture – one not modelled on any other companies, rather it is unique to our essence. It is based on some basic and clear principles of treating our team of individual contributors as people who matter and make a difference. At its simplest level, we employ responsible adults and expect that they will behave as such.
Get on the train
We are all on the same page as to where the business is at and where it is going with each contributor being on the Insentra train – an analogy that has been baked into our DNA since our first day. No one starts work at Insentra without understanding how the train works and where it can take them – everything is clear and honest from the outset.. no lies and no secrets. People are encouraged to make a conscious decision not to accept a job, rather to join the train for what should be a long and enjoyable ride where fun is expected and not frowned upon.
Open communication – No fear of retribution
Contributors vote with their feet and in six years we have had no staff turnover for what I would call “the wrong reasons”. Our staff are regularly head-hunted and if they are interested in another role, they are encouraged to come and discuss it with us without fear of retribution. Indeed, if they didn’t tell a leader about their potential to leave, that is deemed as a failure in management not a poor behaviour from the staff member – clearly management did not create a platform for their team to speak freely. We have had a couple of people who wanted to pursue opportunities that we couldn’t provide at Insentra so we helped each of them and endorsed them into their new roles. These people are still friends of Insentra today and we continue to work together in a partner relationship at their new places of employ.
A stable and happy team is obvious to customers – we all know when we are dealing with someone who doesn’t like the place they work. They are dispassionate, often bored and stagnant in their careers and overly concerned about their future rather than loving where they work, the things they are working on and growing as individuals. A happy or satisfied team permeates itself in all the dealings with clients – staff deliver outstanding service because they enjoy their roles and want to contribute to the overall success of the business whilst feeling respected and appreciated.
How do I know this is the case? Our partners and their clients provide consistent feedback that they enjoy working with the team we have, not only for their technical prowess but also because they just seem so happy with their workplace. I also know it because our team talk to me about it regularly and the words I hear are almost always “too good to be true”. Are we perfect? Nope. We never will be either… the key will be to maintain at least what we have as the organisation grows in size and to not lose focus.
Stay tuned for the second contributor… our business model.