With Great Success, Comes Great Change
Things to think about when your company is growing fast!
By: Jim Buie, Chief Financial Officer, Involta
Change is normal. Being part of the generation that grew up expecting an entire career would be spent with one company, I understand that change can often be hard to accept. I giggle sometimes thinking about my younger years and asking "What if things never changed?” Would it be so bad if we all listened to music on 8 track tapes and played blackjack on our Tandy computers? Without a doubt, our lives, including the companies we work for, are ever-changing. I've learned over the years that change is better and actually a more natural-feeling than being in are repeated “Groundhog Day” cycle. So why does change seem so hard at work? I believe part of the difficulty business’ have with change is an emotional mindset of expecting a “status quo”, only to be surprised that business’ will have new ideas and continue to exhibit change. Just ask the local diner that lost to Starbucks, the favorite department store closing its doors to Amazon, or the iconic muscle car no longer manufactured as the world gives way to Hyperloop, Uber, or Tesla. Similarly, status quo at a company like yours can be the mindset that all job responsibilities, customer expectations, co-workers, and the office space will be the same as it was yesterday. A perfectly normal expectation since human emotions crave that status quo feeling, but is as realistic and silly as the expectation of me playing blackjack on the Tandy tonight when I get home.
So how do we cope with change being normal? We are all different but one great technique is to simply not be surprised by your company’s inevitable future. At Involta, we thrive on the thought that we are an amazing technology company in a dynamic space, solving problems customers don't even know they have yet, with products we've yet to launch. Change is actually what makes us jump out of bed every day at Involta.
What got us here won't get us there. Involta's business over the last 10 years was built by serving secondary markets and standing by our brand Promise; Superior Infrastructure, Operational Excellence, and People Who Deliver. Will that brand promise work for another 10 years? Absolutely - but not when applied to the same set of markets, same customers, or doing work the same way. As a recent example, we have begun providing one of our large managed services client sour same reliable services but in new ways, including more automation, new tools, and new processes. In addition, these client solution changes have helped Involta grow our enterprise platform using the most state-of-the-art hardware vendors allowing us to extend it to all of our customers. With the new ways of delivering our reliable services to our clients it has changed the way Involta does business and opening new doors for additional growth.
How can I do more, do better, and do differently? One of the largest challenges in a fast growing company is figuring out how everyone contributes. Each employee has unique skills, capabilities, and level of career ambition. Regardless of these factors or where in the organization a person works, it’s important for employees to understand their ability to contribute and empower them to do so. If everyone routinely asks these questions in their roles and is empowered to create change, the magic of continuous improvement is institutionalized. While the engagement and answers will be different for each employee, the satisfaction from approaching work in this entrepreneurial and empowered fashion is universal and contagious.
In summary, the future is bright for companies that are growing fast. As we do at Involta, stay positive and remind yourself: Change is normal. What got us here won’t get us there. How can I do more, do better, and do differently?