Former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch once said that an organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.
Facing the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic crisis, I feel that our team so far, connects well to Jack Welch’s quote. ETEK has been on a transformation journey for more than 7 months and we have embedded our culture in our day to day work. I feel this better prepared us to face the crisis. Here are my reflections on what made the difference during the last seven months, particularly testing us to the extreme in the last few weeks.
Client-Centric: We believe that our business exists because of our clients. The organization, portfolio, structure, and processes are built around clients. The ETEK team scaled and helped every client promptly and efficiently by helping them meet the urgent secure teleworking requirement, thus protecting them against malware and ransomware attacks.
Innovation: We strongly believe in innovation in every part of the organization and whatever we do. For innovation to thrive we must constantly disrupt ourselves, challenging all past approaches and practices. The organization was ready to make a quick shift, look at new solutions, and bring that innovation to the clients rapidly.
Harmony: Innovation is only possible when there is harmony, there is a space to dialogue and there is respect for everyone. Crises test people’s character and we ensured that we overcame and faced the most difficult situations with harmony internally and externally. When clients had a difficult situation with the depreciation of the Colombian peso, the team handled the most difficult conversations harmoniously between clients and solution providers, helping the client to a maximum extent possible.
Teamwork: Crisis teamwork the most. People must forget their role, job description boundaries, and work in a grey zone. Working in the grey zone requires a lot of maturity, empathy, and openness. Like in a war zone, we formed a cross-functional team with people doing things beyond their current job description. The only objective was to achieve a client outcome quickly with quality.
Extreme Ownership: ETEK is driven by outcomes and each one of us takes ownership to achieve an outcome. In crisis times we deployed a critical solution in a complex architecture in a matter of days. There was extreme ownership to solve the client problem as soon as possible.