ivision's Strengths-Based Culture Evolution
We had a great Kickoff event this year, celebrating our theme of Strength as well as a lot of milestones for our company. ivision turned 16 years old, grew to ~150 employees and achieved ~$80 million in annual revenue last year. The company has come a long way since starting in 2004, with each passing year presenting unique challenges. I credit our customer-centric culture and amazing, resilient people with why this technology company is thriving today more than ever.
An inflection point in our culture
CliftonStrengths was created several decades ago by Don Clifton. After fighting in World War II, Clifton returned home with an interest in human development and a passion for empowering others. He found that much of the research in human development was focused on fixing what was wrong with people. Clifton was interested in maximizing the strengths that people already have. This focus was the launchpad for what would later become the strengths-based culture of today.
In late 2019, ivision decided to evolve our company and become a strengths-based organization to support our next round of growth. Our executive team wanted to create shortcuts to success for our people and customers. These shortcuts will improve efficiency, foster more employee satisfaction and ultimately drive better financial results for the company moving forward. Investing in in your team members’ natural talents can create higher performance and engagement. Studies have shown that these organizations consistently deliver better performance and results!
Strengths-based organizations capitalize on each employee’s raw talent by positioning them to develop their strengths every day. Integrating strengths into key processes and systems organization-wide yields increased engagement, better retention of employees and customers, reduced costs and greater overall company profitability.
The ivision corporate value system
Today, the ivision value system comprises several key aspects that drive behavior both internally and with our clients. As shown below, we are guided first by our core values: Passion, Integrity, Rigor, Respect, Focus, Accountability, Humility – or PIRRFAH, as we call it. Meanwhile, our Client Engagement Values (CEVs) and Norms set the expectations for how we engage and interact with others. We inserted Strengths between PIRRFAH and our CEVs to ensure that when we act in alignment with our overall value system, we are doing so in a way that best leverages these strengths.
Why is this powerful?
Before Kickoff, every employee took a CliftonStrengths assessment and received a full report of all 34 strengths listed from top to bottom. We also shared a cool video at Kickoff where many of our team members shared a strength from their Top 5. It was a lot of fun to see the lightbulbs going off in everyone’s heads throughout the day as they began the journey to better understand and engage with each other.
The benefits of a strengths-based approach
There are many benefits to using a strengths-based approach in your organization. Overall, your team will have more engagement. It is human nature to be engaged when we are understood and disengaged when we are not. Some of the other benefits include:
- Retaining and developing top talent – an enormous challenge for all technology organizations
- Higher employee retention because of more workplace satisfaction
- A shared tool and common language to better communicate with each other
- A more cohesive team
- Ending focus on weaknesses, which breeds mediocre results at best
- Building teams based on strengths – and improving business outcomes to win as a team!
- Improved efficiency with and value from your time
- A workplace that understands when each person will be at their best
- A workplace that understands when each person is likely to be at their worst
- Managers who feel more like coaches, and team members who are coached to grow and reach their potential
We are excited to evolve as a strengths-based organization moving forward! We know that people are happier when they can maximize their unique strengths. Not only does that result in more engagement at work, but everyone is able to accelerate their careers and potential. As individual engagement and performance grows, so does the performance of the team. We’ll have the ability to better achieve our company goals – and have even more positive energy here at ivision!