Recently, a prospective client shared how the IT firm they had been using for years was failing to deliver. They felt it was time to switch to a new IT partner. When they switched, they didn’t become a Waident client; they hired someone else. A month after they switched, they were back at our door looking to replace firm number two, who ended up not being a good fit for their organization. The leadership team all seemed, smart, capable, and reasonable. The prospect leadership team asked a lot of great questions. So, you can probably imagine that I couldn’t help but wonder why the other IT firms hadn’t worked out. Finally, one of the leaders asked me, “What concerns you most about working with us?” After some reflection, I responded, “I’m afraid of disappointing you.” I guarantee that was NOT the answer they were expecting. After a slight pause, I added, “My concern was a good thing.” So, how the heck can failure and disappointment be good for us and our clients?
Here’s how. Waident is in the business of helping people manage IT. We deal with all aspects of technology and cybersecurity. The probability that something (or someone) fails is stacked against us. Fiascos are inevitable. We will fail. We will disappoint. It is what it is. We own it. Other IT firms, not so much. We live by the adage, “There is no failure, only feedback.” Our process is designed to engineer out weak IT and replace it with RESILIENT IT
. (NOTE: We say “resilient” IT—NOT perfect IT.)
Resilient means springing back or rebounding
. We know that it’s IT. Sh*t happens and fiascoes ensue. Can you say “shelter in place.” We take the inevitable fiascoes head-on. We take ownership of it. We get things back to “normal” for our clients. Most important, when everything is back to normal, we don’t let it go and move on. That is when we do our best learning! We step up, dig to the root of the problem, and make damn sure we do what we can to prevent the fiasco or something like it from happening again. Decades in this business have made us realists. We don’t just go through the paces. Our realism is a way of being at our best for ourselves and our clients. In The Waident Way, we
- Don’t want to disappoint anyone. We care about you and your organization’s ability to succeed.
- Embrace the fiasco. Too many people run away and hide which isn’t doing anyone a favor.
- Plan for fiascoes. We insist on having a robust policy and process in place for fiascoes. Having a plan and knowing your role in a fiasco helps your team limit risks, address the problem quickly and systematically, and communicate accordingly.
- Neither offer nor want to hear Bullsh*t. Most people have good BS radars. When it doesn’t sound or feel right, you’re usually right.
- Communicate before, during, and after. Then, we communicate some more. No one ever complains about someone communicating too much. Well, maybe, but it’s a rare, although welcomed, event.
- We constantly learn in order to improve. When the fiasco is over, we dissect the problem and minimize the risk of something like it happening again.
- Get ready for the next one. You don’t know when or what, but as a firefighter, we know it’s coming and we get prepared.
That’s how we fail—and aim not to disappoint. Dig deeper.