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Work Mantra

Work mantra

Back when I worked at a different organization, the Chief Information Officer would have his entire Information Technology team arrive on Monday mornings at 9:00 am for what he called the “Monday Morning Huddle” and at the end of that huddle we would recite a work mantra.

This is where a person from each area in his department would give a brief update on what is planned/scheduled for that week for the entire team to hear.  I remember folks hating this huddle.  The CIO loved it because it was partially used as a way for him to get people to work by 9:00 am bright and early Monday morning.

As part of this huddle, we would end it with a basic mantra that we were to reference when it came to executing our various roles within the Information Technology Department:

  • Value our customers
  • Honor commitment
  • Face facts directly
  • Spend wisely
  • Accelerate

I remember hearing my boss grumble at having to recite this each and every time at the end of these meetings but quite honestly – I didn’t mind.  I thought it was a good attempt at bringing us together as a team, and not various groups within a single department PLUS it helped remind us why we were all there and the values beholden to the department.  Let me break down the meaning of each one to you and why I think it holds true today, many moons and companies later.

Value our customers – this one is very straightforward.  It means to put the customer’s need before the needs or wants of the I.T. Department.  It meant to find a way to get to a “yes” as part of a solution that pleases the customer.  It also means their opinions and contributions matter.  We are not Highly I.T. and they are the Lowly Business area.

Honor commitments – do what you say you are going to do otherwise update the customer if plans change.  If you don’t honor commitments, your integrity comes into question and the customer loses trust in your abilities.  Follow through and communicate often, especially if there are changes to the original plan.

Face facts directly – sometimes the truth is hard to swallow but it is necessary to be open and honest.  If something is going to cost so much it blows the budget, reveal it, be open and honest about it.  If mistakes are made, make the appropriate people aware and then let them know how it will be fixed.  If a timeline is too aggressive for a complex project – let management know.  Better to discuss now rather than later when major money has been invested and it is difficult to halt a project due to the dollars sunk.

Spend wisely – we all should be good stewards of the corporation’s funds.  We should spend on what we need, and not necessarily on wants unless there is money allotted for it.  If there is an opportunity to save money, let’s raise it up and explore that option.  We should not overspend even though it isn’t our own personal funds.

Accelerate – move as swiftly yet as accurately as you can.  Our world is fast moving and fast changing.  No time for slow pokes and we looked at our projects the same way.  Always look for opportunities to bring the schedule in a bit sooner if possible while saving money, honoring commitments, facing facts directly and most importantly valuing our customer.

What values does your organization promote that you have adopted in your work life and ethic?

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