Values are important to every organization. Even if they aren’t expressly stated, they’re still omnipresent and felt by everyone the organization interacts with. If you choose to name those values and be intentional about them, then comes the responsibility to see them acted out. If you choose not to identify values, your team will develop individual values which could lead to a loss of unity and clarity across the organization.
At Rocket IT, we have four driving core values that we work and live by. They are the backbone to every decision we make and the lens though which we see the world around us. These four values are: Connect with people, be passionate stewards, find a better way, and have a blast! It is the third of these values that will be addressed in this post.
Finding a better way equates to not settling for the status quo. In business, there will always be the temptation to settle for good enough or be content with what is not broke. When it comes to providing transformational IT services, good enough is never enough. What are we really asking of our team though? What does finding a better way really look like?
We are asking our team to be creative. When we service a ticket, install a server, set up a new backup or any other task, we are asking our team to think through what they have just done. We are asking our team to tap into their creative mindset to find a better way.
Creativity is a muscle. We are certainly not implementing every idea that gets put on the table, but if you are not exercising creativity, the muscle gets weak, ideas don’t grow, and your options become limited. By regularly engaging with creativity, whether a good idea or bad idea, you are exercising the muscle. With time, the muscle grows, your consistent efforts begin to produce more quality ideas. Exercise can hurt at first, but persistence will definitely lead to better results.
So here are a few questions to ask yourself each time you finish a task in your business to start exercising your creativity muscle and find a better way:
- What are 5 other ways I could have done this same task?
- If this task involved a client or customer, what could they have been thinking about at the time of this task? What would I feel if I were in their shoes?
- If I had to accomplish this task with only 50% of the time that it took me, what would need to change?
- If I had to accomplish this task with only 50% of the budget that I have, what would need to change?
- If I had twice the budget that I have for this task, what would change? What effect would it have?
- If I had to prevent this issue from occurring in the first place, what would need to happen?
- If I could invent anything to do this task for me, what would it look like and how would it work?
The specific task and business highly affect the questions you ask, but look for questions that stretch the answers. Take a moment to suspend disbelief and be willing to imagine a solution that may be scientifically impossible. The point of the exercise is to build the creativity muscle, not produce 129 different business process improvements in the first month, so don’t worry about perfection. That part will come with practice.
Peter Wyngaard is in New Business Development at Rocket IT. He also owns a photo booth company in Richmond, VA, and he typically participates in about 3 mud runs each year.