Monday, July 14, 2014

It's the Idea that Matters

By Angela Childs

We recently spent time working on IOS’s Why.  Looking not at what we do but why we do it.  If you’ve seen Simon Sinek’s great TED talk or read Start with Why, this will be familiar to you.

When we got to the heart of it for IOS, what did we discover?

Everything we do is based on the simple philosophy that it’s the idea that matters.

What drives us is the search for the most elegant way we can accomplish a goal, pulling in cross-departmental expertise and lessons learned from thousands of projects.  Elegant may mean inventive or it may mean simple.  Because…at the end of the day it’s the idea that matters.  Not who came up with it.  Not what departments are involved.  The idea.

This commitment to the idea, our expertise, and our people, let us reinvent ourselves to achieve the right fit; big or small, quick-turnaround or on-going, simple or complex.  We’re kind of like Taco Bell; we have 10 ingredients and it’s in how we put them together that the magic happens.

Why is it the idea that we’re so passionate about?

There are a lot of reasons but there were a couple that came up during the meeting that I'll share.  One person said it’s because we like being right.  That's honest.  Not the glossy finish that a marketing person would put on it, but we can all identify with that feeling.  When we come up with an idea and it solves a customer problem, we are validated.  We were right.  You go all in and come up with an idea and seeing that be successful for the customer is huge.

Another person had this take.  When a customer engages us to do something, we are asking them to trust us and by giving us the order they are extending us that trust.  When we deliver we are validating that trust.  That trust and fulfillment circle was what he found so fulfilling.

For me, I like the challenge of taking on something we’ve never done before or something we have done but do it in some new, better way.  I like the brainstorming, research, mockups and the back and forth while we zero in on “the idea”.  When the response is “that’s cool”, that’s my reward.

Yes… I get that it’s nerd cool and not Fonzie cool.

Go ahead, give us your biggest problem.

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