How To Attract And Keep Great Talent – 8 Years In And Still Lovin’ It
Why I am still at Insentra Eight years in
I had been working with a large software vendor in the UK where I performed a role not too dissimilar to a navy seal or hardened marine, well at least that’s how I felt. I would be flown (or dropped) into distant corners of the globe to solve some pretty horrible problems and leave some very happy faces. However, the role was not where I wanted to be in my career, I wanted to be a part of something bigger and involved in the creation and growth of an idea. I searched within the company I was with and even looked as far the USA and Canada for this almost utopian position or opportunity. Needless to say, I could not find what I was looking for and as a result, was not certain that I had what It would take to turn my wants and desires into reality.
It seems like only yesterday on a cold and rainy night in London, my now wife and I were on a Skype call with Ronnie, the man with the big voice. On that call, I met his family and he mine (albeit very small) and we learnt a lot about each other. We had a lot of fun and needless to say for those that know Ronnie there were a lot of laughs. We also had some very robust conversations about what Ronnie and his co-founders were about to do with Insentra in the ANZ market.
On the skype conversation, Ronnie was able to tease out of me exactly what It was I was looking for and we went on to map out that landscape together. We discussed how the core values of Insentra (Honest, Integrity & Trust) formed the very foundation and fabric of the business. This is when the first commitment was made. “You will have a contract in your inbox when you wake up tomorrow,” said Ronnie. So, here was a small start-up based in Sydney, talking to me in London and making a commitment of employment based on our conversation. I Went to bed that night with my head spinning, could this be it? Could this be the business that could give me what I was looking for? I woke the following morning and true to his word, I had the email at the top of my inbox and there was my contract. That was it, decision made, I would move to Australia and put my complete trust in Insentra. When I arrived in Australia, the greeting I received from the extended Insentra family, was like nothing I had experienced before. There was none of the pomp and circumstance that you get from a vendor or any other business. This was like a group of old friends meeting again after a long gap, they welcomed me and my girlfriend with open arms into the family and treated us as such. This, by the way, is a core value that it not written down but runs through our business like blood through veins – LOVE. In fact, we are fortunate enough that we get to do what we love in the service of people who love what we do, every day and it doesn’t get much better than that.
So why am I still here eight years later, and what makes me continue to back my decision? – Eight years ago a big voice from the other side of the world made a commitment that was followed through and inspired me to leave my homeland in the UK. This was the first of many commitments, and each and every time followed through and delivered upon. I have been fortunate enough to be here almost since the inception of Insentra, being crew member number three when our offices could hold no more than five to six people. I have seen the culture grow from its infancy and the evolution of our core values to include One Team One Dream (OTOD), Accountability, Efficiency, Celebration, and Service Excellence. A great example and speaking from my own personal experience is the ability to provide feedback at all levels in the business and have it listened to without fear of retribution. This is both empowering, rewarding, and ensures that our business continues to be agile whilst maintaining the culture that is at the heart of Insentra. Another great example is that of the “Pebble in the Shoe”. What? I hear you ask, so let me explain. Typically in business, if an individual has something that they need or want to discuss but do not feel empowered enough, they will just keep on walking, we call that a pebble in the shoe if left unaddressed, the pebble will ultimately create a blister and become unbearable. Not on our train, we encourage our crew members to openly discuss the pebble in the shoe so that we can prevent the blister from forming and allow them to focus clearly on the journey ahead. It works, and it works well.
Over time, I have watched Ronnie define our core values into a unique message, our train story and we now have a crew of 80 plus. With industry awards to boot.
I have seen and been a part of the growth of the senior leadership team and been supported at every turn by the executive leadership team. My personal growth since making the decision to leave the UK has been exponential. Despite the rate at which we have grown over the last eight years, which in the scheme of things has been both steady and aggressive where required, the culture has remained and permeated within. Our vision to be the Number One channel services business on the planet is the journey and I am so proud to be a part of realising that vision each day through our core values and culture.
So here’s to the next 8 years – who knows, our train may be powered by Tesla by the time I get “Why I am still at Insentra after 16 years”