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    Articles

    Our Mission—The What, the How and the Why of Predica

    When you know why what you do matters, it drives you to keep growing, developing, and getting better. So, how to define your company mission?

    Key points:

    • How to put your company mission into words?
    • What is the importance of the “what”, “how” and “why”?
    • What do they mean in practical terms?

    Whatever you do professionally, no matter how big or small your business is, it needs to have a purpose. Having clearly defined company values makes it easier to convince potential clients to use your services, but—more importantly—it reminds you and your employees why the work you do is necessary.

    Where to start with your company mission?

    There is a TED talk by Simon Sinek (Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action), which talks about organizations’ “why”, sometimes also called the Massive Transformation Purpose or, simply put, a reason for being.

    For us, it was clear fairly quickly what it is that we are doing, and how we are doing it. But understanding the purpose that drives us forward, our “why”, took us a bit longer, and required us to look deeper inward as to why we left the corporate world and started Predica. You can find a short story of how we found our “what”, “how” and “why” in our founding story.

    Get to know the story of Predica and the four Founding Fathers

    Do not be discouraged if it takes longer to find this purpose, it is natural to work it out after some time (in your life as well as at a company). Different experiences and exposure to various challenges are required to fully understand what your “fuel” is. For us, it took about 8 years of building and running Predica to precisely define and name our business culture.

    Our “What”

    The “what” is what you do, the result of “why”, a proof. First, we need to clarify who we are and what business we are in:

    • We are a technology services company
    • We work with people in Enterprise organizations
      • 500+ company size; no upper limit
      • Long-time presence on the market (not green field)
    • People we work with:
      • Technical decision makers
      • Business people with identified technology needs
    • A technology need is when there is a defined business problem and technology has been identified as a way to solve it.

    The “what” we do for our customers can be summarized as follows:

    • Advise on technology choice and solution
    • Deliver a specific technology solution to address the need
    • Deliver value through technology projects or managed services
    • Build on Microsoft as the technology foundation:
      • Cloud-first: we aim for cloud-based solutions, but also work on-premises when needed to transition
      • We do not cover everything—only the areas we are good at.

    Bonus: Our “what not”

    Even more important than the “what” is the “what not” that stems directly from the “what”, as its negation. We do not do:

    • Business consulting. We won’t advise you on how to do business in your industry (unless it’s IT projects), do any company auditing, finances nor optimize logistic processes. We can’t beat decades of your experience in these areas. But once a technology need is addressed, we will make it happen.
    • Non-Microsoft (or complementary to Microsoft) technologies, for example: Oracle, IBM, Java, Amazon. We know in which areas we have the expertise and do not pretend to be experts in all of IT.
    • Work with small businesses, unless they are spin-offs of large organizations. There are a lot of start-ups doing exciting work, but our competence stems from the combination of understanding new technology AND how the large-scale, multinational organizations work. It is at the intersection of these two that we do our best work.

    This clear definition of our aims is what keeps us focused. We evaluate every potential project from this angle to determine whether it would be right for both us and the client, and work out the best solution.

    Our “How”

    How” is the process, the specific actions you take to realize your “why”. Our “how”, the methods, are simple at their core:

    • Digitizing and automating enterprises with Microsoft-related technologies
    • Openly sharing our knowledge and tools, so others can contribute
    • Inspiring a culture of efficiency that seeks to liberate (rather than control).

    This simple “how” requires us to adopt several behaviors that are not always easy, but we know they are right:

    • Extreme transparency and authenticity
    • Decisions based on data, not just experience
    • Experimenting—not just to improve—and the willingness to accept failure
    • Focus on quality, not quantity
    • Enabling personal success of our employees, customers and partners.

    Your “how” will be reflected in your internal processes and procedures but it will also affect the way you establish external partnerships. It’s the basis for your professional quality and integrity.

    Predica’s project approach—part of our “how”

    Our “Why”

    “Why” is the purpose, the cause—this is what you believe in. Why would we even need such a formulated mission? Organizations like ours (or any, in fact) need it as a compass for strategic or everyday decisions. For us these decisions may be:

    • Company
      • Do we want to grow and expand?
      • If yes, then where and how?
    • Business
      • What kinds of projects do we want to do?
      • Do we want to engage in outsourcing?
      • Do we branch out into Oracle business?
    • Project
      • How do we manage project work?
      • How do we control the progress of the project?
    • Personal—for each one of us:
      • How do I want to invest my time today?

    Our mission

    The purpose of Predica can be defined as:

    To Accelerate the Transition to Self-Managed Organizations Where People Can Focus on More Meaningful Work.

    We can break it down further:

    • A self-managed organization is a group of people who work together in their own ways towards a common goal, which is defined outside the team
    • Meaningful work is when people can see their completed work and make connections between their achievements and a wider sense of life meaning.

    The best way to explain our company mission is to take it apart and compare it to one of the very well-known and recognized companies, Tesla:

    Company's mission: example of Predica and Tesla

    This is it. The core of our being, showing us and those around us what we stand for. Whenever you need to make a difficult or strategic decision, your company mission is where you get your guidance.

    How it all comes together

    The true success of a company’s purpose is in how it is implemented at the micro-level, in the daily grind of everyone involved. Some examples of what we do to get us onto that path include:

    Predica company culture: self-managed and meaningful work explained

    Another angle from which to look at the company mission is to see how our work with customers is contributing to it. Let’s take one example—Euromaster, a car retail and service chain in the Nordics.

    Application for Euromaster

    • The user (customer) need is servicing cars and changing tires
    • The business need:
      • Lower operational cost
      • Increase in revenue (show-up rate, up-sale)
    • The technology solution:
      • To implement a customer engagement process in a digital form
      • Based on Dynamics 365 CRM but it is not CRM deployment
        • We have not implemented lower level services (SMS, e-mail etc.), we used existing services.

    How does this work contribute to our company mission and customer success:

    • Meaningful work: we let people focus on other tasks than sending mail in envelopes, drive down cost and decrease environmental impact
    • Digitizing and automation, self-managed approach to doing business:
      • Communication moved to electronic form (SMS, e-mail)
      • Automated scheduling saves time for Euromaster and their customers
      • Using data to propose relevant offers, like tire changes based on usage
    • Microsoft related technologies: Dynamics 365 and Azure.

    It’s not always that simple, but it is worth it!

    In the last decade, this approach brought many successes for our customers, employees and partners. But, truth be told, our company mission and value system don’t resonate with everyone. We had our fair share of mis-hires or unsuccessful customer engagements. Many of them can be traced back to some form of misalignment on the purpose and have been great lessons in improving our recruitment and opportunity qualification processes.

    However, if what you’ve read here has resonated with you, join the movement as an employee, partner or customer.

    Key takeaways:

    1. You can define your company culture in 3 elements: the “what”, the “how” and the “why”
    2. Your company can use this model to define its internal processes and shape collaboration with external partners
    3. Not everyone will always share your company values, but cooperation with those parties will provide you with a fresh outlook and be a great learning opportunity

    Like what you’ve read? Feel that there’s a fit?
    Learn more about our mission, vision and values