We’ve had a culture shift recently that might resonate with business owners. For years “pride” was a cornerstone of Quartet’s culture. Pride in our company and pride in our work. However, there was a shift in the IT industry a couple years ago and our culture evolved along with it. We replaced “pride” with “humility” to reflect that change and to remind us who we are.
Our role as IT specialists used to stop when the green lights were flashing and everything was working. It was a complicated role, but the boundaries were clear and our mandate was straight-forward. Then the strategic importance of technology grew. The companies that used IT well had clear advantages over those that did not and the biggest impact was on mid-tier companies. IT changed from a tool to a weapon. There was a shift from efficiency to effectiveness. A shift from productivity to knowledge.
IT’s potential however was limited by integration capabilities, not money. IT potential trumped IT reality. Critical success factors became change management, training and continuous improvement. Our role shifted toward integration and change management. We were making judgment calls on people, processes and budgets. Our role went up the management stack. Right and wrong wasn’t so clear anymore and we were being held accountable for results. Sort of like business ownership.
So what did we do? We embraced the change. We built flexible billing platforms. We mass-customized project management systems. We developed new financing programs and better shared risk contracts. But more than anything else, we evolved our culture. Prima donas were evicted, everybody was put on the front line, communication became paramount and above all humility ruled. We recognize that people are people and that patience, candor and teamwork are virtues.
Humility not only better reflects our core values, it captures our new, messy reality. Empathy, tolerance and stamina are as important at Quartet as discipline, skill and hard work. Pride drove us when our world was simple. Humility guides us as our roles evolve.