Up to this point, we’ve revealed two of the SADA Core Values we’ve integrated into the day-to- day operations of our company: Make Them Rave and Be Data Driven. Today, we’ll be discussing our next core value: Be One Step Ahead! While this may seem like a pretty basic idea in the fast-paced world of IT, being just even half a step ahead can make the difference between falling behind or getting ahead…ahead of competitors, ahead of upcoming technologies, ahead of customer needs and expectations and so on.
At SADA, to Be One Step Ahead means that we are dependable, efficient individuals who get things done right. We don’t wait to be told what to do, we take initiative. We are exceptionally self-managing, resourceful and creative. In short, we want to be the ones blazing the trail, not the ones following it!
More than any other industry today, the IT field is in a constant state of flux. With this shift, however, also comes the ability to forge new business opportunities, foster new relationships with clients and partners, and also develop new tools that will help organizations complete tasks faster and more efficiently. In order for all this change to be advantageous, however, we’re required to live up to this very important third core value.
So what does it mean working for a company where being even just half a step ahead can mean the difference between failure or success? Being one step ahead doesn’t just mean the ability to forecast changes in our industry – it’s also the ability to foresee issues and address them proactively, before they turn into problems or even catastrophes. Knowing what issues a migration tool might have in a client’s environment, the target audience at the next marketing event or being able to anticipate questions and concerns from a potential client are all things we can do to Be One Step Ahead. Instead of being reactive to things as they happen, we should be more proactive and anticipate the changes that lie ahead. Our CEO, Tony Safoian, best summed it up when he wrote this quote on the whiteboard in our office: “The ability to predict the future may be the greatest form of intelligence”.
Our core value activity that week was a game that’s been played in countless schools and organizations across the country: the spaghetti tower challenge. On the surface this task seems pretty straightforward – take a couple pieces of spaghetti, some tape and try to build a tower as high as you can. It gets a little more complicated when you throw in the fact that you only have a limited amount of tape to work with, are under a time crunch and (oh, yeah) also have to support a marshmallow at the very top of your tower!
The takeaway from this activity is that here at SADA, we need to Be One Step Ahead and identify the assumptions in our projects – the real customer needs, the cost of the product, the duration of the service – and test them early and often. That’s the mechanism that leads to effective innovation. We also need to Be Data Driven and anticipate any potential problems or setbacks. Not only will this save us time and our clients money, but when we can avoid hiccups, that reassures our clients that they chose the right partner to trust – one sure-fire way to “Make Them Rave”.
When have you found it essential to Be One Step Ahead in your organization? Share your thoughts with us!