Mytech Culture Experience April 2013

This month we would like to reflect on our March value of "Innovate through Creativity" by highlighting one of our Mytech team members who exemplifies this value every day – Michael Frascone. Michael joined Mytech in the last half of 2012 and has already had a significant impact on the way Mytech operates.

As Process Director at Mytech Michael has the critical responsibility to drive efficiency and consistency into the way we operate as an organization. You could say that Michael is the Innovation Director too as through his involvement and leadership, we as a team have to think through how we complete our tasks; how we set the next person up for success (our Mytech value we highlight in June); and where can we improve in any and all of the functions we execute. Mytech since its inception in 2000 has always worked to think scale, think process and efficiency that will enable future growth; however for the first time we have someone whose responsibility is to own this function and to drive integration of new processes into Mytech operations.

"Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form."
- Watts Humphrey

Michael is a Lion. For those of you who have read Make a Difference by Dr. Larry Little you will know what that means. This personality characteristic enables him to command teams, especially when collaboration is required to work out competing perspectives. Because Michael is defining how we complete tasks in our organization, his position typically sits at the intersection of different roles – role A has to complete task X and needs to effectively hand off to role B to complete task Y. The problem is that the people or teams completing role A and B do not necessarily agree about the best way to execute on tasks X and Y – even though they have the best interest of the company and our customers in mind. Michael masterfully orchestrates the collaboration, the listening to competing ideas, the documentation of the end results and the communication and training of everyone required to successfully drive change at Mytech. Michael's ability to listen, collaborate, lead through obstacles and deliver a successful outcome is one of the best examples we have here at Mytech that illustrates our March value of: Innovate through Creativity.

"A culture of innovation can be a company's primary source of competitive advantage, and can pay off steadily over the years."
- Stephen Shapiro

In the past several months I have seen the transformation of thinking that is happening with our team. As we roll out new processes to improve the way we execute on any given task, the whole team is involved in identifying the next area of improvement. When we run into a problem, the team solves it and then works to communicate how we can avoid the same problem in the future. What documentation should we change; what expectations should be set; what communication or training needs to be completed to make sure that we as a team can consistently improve the way we operate in order to serve our customers better. The words of Stephen Shapiro illustrate why Mytech has chosen Innovate through Creativity as one of our core values and that we are fortunate to have Michael Frascone driving such a critical aspect of our business.

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
- Steve Jobs

In the technology field (or any industry for that matter) there really is no room for standing still. Mytech is blessed to be in an industry where we have a deep knowledge of technology, which enables us to leverage efficiencies technology can create. However, since very often your assets are your liabilities, the technology field is constantly changing which requires Mytech to adapt faster and more often than many other fields. Additionally our field is one where there are many competitors; for example in the Twin Cities metropolitan area alone there are approximately 600 Microsoft partners. On the other hand we do not really face a lot of competition by national or international forces like many of the manufacturers in the state of Minnesota do. The reality is that nearly every company in every industry faces the constant need to adapt to change and drive efficiency that improves the interaction with their customers. This does not have to be every day or every week or even every year, however over time, if an organization makes the choice to ignore the need for innovation they will eventually be surpassed by those who embrace the inevitability of change. The words below by William Pollard offer additional insight to the benefits of being on the leading edge of change, such as Apple was with the iPhone – instead of being run over by change, like RIM and Blackberry over the last decade.

"Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable."
- William Pollard

The combination of "Innovate through Creativity" has given me pause for thought as well. The Mytech Culture Committee did not choose: Be Innovative or Creativity is Great, they specifically chose Innovate through Creativity. One or the other by themselves are perfectly good characteristics to emulate, however it is the combination of the two qualities in an actionable phrase that lend additional impact. We at Mytech desire a culture where everyone is taking action on our value statements to support our Mission and Vision. In order to provide the best IT solutions in North America (our vision) we have to be more than just innovative, more than just creative, we require that everyone in every position take action on their ideas to improve the way we serve. With consistent alignment to the value statement of Innovate through Creativity when we serve our customers, our vendor partners and each other we will fulfill our mission To create success through a visionary approach to IT.

"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."
- Theodore Levitt

Thank you for taking the time to read about a fantastic Mytech team member – Michael Frascone and for participating in part of the Mytech Culture Experience. I invite you to please join the team here at Mytech on our Culture Experience, so that together we can work to "Innovate through Creativity."