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November, 2012

Focus on the Five Percent
  • November 29, 2012

For most companies, 95 percent of what they do is what EVERY company has to do – build and service a customer base, human resources, accounts payables, etc. Instead of focusing on that, businesses should be focusing on the five percent that makes them unique.

The products and services a business has, how they deliver those products and services to customers, and the company culture built around them – those three things are what a business needs to focus on. It’s their “five percent,” if they want to leverage their company’s uniqueness, and innovate in the business and technology space.

A business will win in the business and technology space by having people engaged in its unique company culture. Company culture is possibly the biggest part of the five percent that makes one unique, and dictates where a company heads and how it heads there. It’s easy when there are only three to five employees, when everyone knows everyone. But as the company grows, there are problems sourcing and selecting the right people. Companies need to know what they want in employees, to build the right culture.

People are hired for what they know, but are fired for who they are. Too many companies hire for the what, not the who. Companies need to know what they want. For Contegix, we need people who are brilliant, agile, but more importantly, they have to know how to TALK to the customer. We need people who understand Linux, and also understand how it impacts the customers. When stuff breaks, because tech always breaks, our people need to understand how that impacts the customer.

Aside from our company culture, Contegix’s five percent is the products and services we have, and how we deliver them. We can supplement what IT departments need. Businesses say things like, ‘I don’t want to maintain a server room. I just want to take my equipment, and put it somewhere I know will be safe and secure.’ We help people get the innovation gap back by helping companies cope with increasing IT needs with managed services, with colocation, with cloud computing. And once they have the innovation gap back, they can focus on their own five percent.

At Contegix, we don’t just want to sell you ‘computing.’ We also want to be there to help you understand what the right thing is for you, and to help you understand how technology makes your company better.

So what’s your company’s five percent? Talk to us, we’re happy to listen.

Five Questions for Family Dinner.
  • November 27, 2012
  • 1 Comment

When it was time for dinner, Courtney and I sit with our kids and want to know how each of their days was. Sometimes, a child would just utter “Fine”, “ok”, etc. and want to move on. Other times, a child would be so excited that others wouldn’t have a chance to share their day. This was completely non-conversational and awkward!

A few months ago, we started structuring the conversation and came down to five (kinda, six) questions.

These are the questions:

  1. How was your day?
  2. What was your favorite thing that happened today? What was your least favorite?
  3. Who did you have lunch with today?
  4. Who did you play with at recess today?
  5. What is one thing you learned today?

Everyone participates, including Courtney, me, and any guest. Each person must answer every question and then gets to pick who goes next. By having the current person randomly pick the next, it helps ensure everyone is paying attention and not mentally preparing for his/her turn if he/she already knew they were next.