Friday, May 16, 2014

Collaboration at the Core: How to Work Where Intrapreneurship Meets Passion


Rightpoint's core values are no secret - they are on our website, our business cards, our walls…and most importantly, they live within us. That sounds really cheesy, right? But it's true. And it's the reason I'm a Rightpoint-er for life. I knew I would be a lifer when I first met co-founders Brad Schneider and Ross Freedman way back in 2009; and that notion has been affirmed repeatedly ever since, most recently in the journey to open our West Region office in Denver, CO.

Intrapreneurship: Create from within
Passion: The fire in our belly
Collaboration: We're all in this together

My Passion and love for Rightpoint led me to begin this Intrapreneurial journey to expand our presence nationally, but we would be nowhere without the support and Collaboration of our home base.


When I started with Rightpoint over 5 years ago, I knew I wanted to work with a company where I could feel like I was part of a movement. Back then, we were maybe 15 people in total, a staggering difference from where we are today. I wanted to do great work for my clients, but as importantly, I wanted to impact the company's growth via that great work. And we achieved that, together. For me, I evolved from an architect with a passion for leadership to leading the National SharePoint practice. For Rightpoint, well they got unlimited access to my brain. :) When we set our sights on Denver, I knew it was the right next step in my career path. What better way to contribute to the growth of an organization than to step out on a limb and literally expand? My point with this historical digression is that Rightpoint has focused, whenever possible, on growing from within. For me, that has meant grooming me for my career within Rightpoint. Your career is what you make of it, and I've made my career at Rightpoint, but only because of the amazing people I work with.


I love what I do for this family away from home. And I'm lucky to be able to say that, and truly mean it. I love the people I work with - brains, personalities, quirks, style…all of it. I love our clients - the partnerships we form with them, the projects we work on, the way we transform their means of doing business. I love our space - how it speaks to us and spawns creative thinking regardless of which side of your brain you like to use. When I set my sights on Denver, there was a part of me that thought I could not achieve these same things outside of our home base. But, I reminded myself of our core values - specifically Passion, Intrapreneurship, and Collaboration. What's the old adage - "if it is to be, then it is up to me?". Yep. Sorta. Only it's not all up to me, we are in this together.


The beauty of the expansion into Denver is that I get to go back to our roots - feeling like a startup, but with the luxury of financial and brain-trust support of our home base. There's a weight on my shoulders to be successful - for me and my family, but even more importantly for my Rightpoint family. But I don't carry that weight alone. I've been able to leverage key insights from our recent expansion into Michigan and pair that with strategies for success across all markets. Has it been easy? Nope. Are we there yet? Nope. Have there been tears? Maybe. :) But I have the unwavering support of leadership at Rightpoint, along with my peers that I have worked alongside for years.

It all Boils Down to Culture

I read an article once which insighted that many companies claim to have culture, but don't really have "it," whatever "it" is. It angered me because many of the punch list of items that were flagged as a company's culture were things that Rightpoint does on a regular basis…and I thought the article was telling me that what I felt was somehow wrong. I'm a firm believer that culture is created…a core set of people shape and mold "it" and "it" proceeds to grow organically through the remaining organization. It's purposeful and actionable; it is what we make of it, and it grows and spreads with our careful guidance. I believe in Rightpoint's culture not because we have a great space, or a keg, or a pool table, or summer BBQ's or happy hours. All of that's great, but the article was right, that's not what culture is. Culture, for me, is the feeling of family that I get when I consider my Rightpoint team as a whole. Does the punch list of activities contribute to our culture? Absolutely. But, greater than that, it's living our core values - through our clients, through our peers, through our home families - living our core values is the reason why I am a Righpoint-er for life, and it's why I'm tasked with the high honor of bringing our core values (and our culture!) to Denver. More on that in a future post!