Big iron or distributed systems are all servers in my mind. All hosting facilities provide services, but what separates great companies from good companies? I believe the organizations that differentiate themselves understand “how you do what you do" is equally important as "what you do.” The "how" is all about the execution of people. Companies that consistently win are companies with highly engaged people.
Experiencing the difference of great culture
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a company that is considered one of the Best Places in America to Work. As we entered the parking lot, the outside wasn't overly impressive, but that all changed once inside. Actually, it started with the greeting by the security guard. A serious job performed by a delightful person made for a warm welcome.
All of our hosts were enthused about their jobs and their company, but I was thinking they are paid and prepped to create this emotion. However, I was convinced this was real when I was genuinely engaged by an employee in the break room, the food services providers, and a janitor. I sensed that everyone felt important no matter the job they performed.
In many ways, the day felt surreal because I was a part of the former company in late '80s and '90s (dating myself) when the associates were engaged and genuinely proud to tell people they worked there. This changed when we ushered in the new millennium.They had solid processes, cool technology and people like every other company. However, the people really made the difference. One of quotes in the conference room put everything in perspective for me. I paraphrase as follows:
That still resonates. Work was fun at our former company when we were a small $60 million company in 1988, and it was an exhilarating ascent thru the '90s as we strove to become a billion dollar organization. Then, somehow we lost a critical piece of the puzzle. That company lost its culture and the high engagement of the associates followed.
We remember how to be small
Now, Ensono is small again with owners that are willing to invest in our business and its people. We are focused on building our unique identity and growing our business. That is pretty exciting alone, and it becomes even more exhilarating because we have the opportunity to make the ascent with trusted relationships developed through the years.