Innovation is the Future

Innovation Value

We’re big on innovation at Iridia. In fact, it’s so important we’ve built it right in to our annual performance evaluations. That’s right, along with teamwork, quality and many of the other performance indicators you would find on a typical review, we’ve added innovation as a performance criteria.

That means when managers sit down with employees to talk about their year, one of the things they review is what efforts the employee made to innovate in their role at Iridia. Did they bring new ideas to the table? Did they implement something that made them more efficient or effective? Did they find ways to use technology to improve productivity or performance? Were they able to look at a problem or challenge and come up with an innovative solution?

Innovation is part of the DNA at Iridia. We talk about it all the time. For the past four years, we have held a monthly “Innovation Corner.” Each month someone brings an innovative idea to share with the group.

 

Here’s a sampling of some of the services / ideas that have been shared over the years:

As with lifelong learning, we talked about the importance of continued learning because it changes the way we think, feel, and behave. So it is with innovation. As the world changes rapidly, we must constantly be thinking of new ways to improve our productivity, better serve our clients, manage our resources (both capital and human), and solve problems.

“Innovate or die” is the battle cry of modern business, and Iridia is making innovation part of its life blood in order to stay healthy and vibrant in these changing times.

 

Client Focus is at Our Core

Client focus

Client focus  is a big deal at Iridia. We’re always talking about them, thinking about them, and working hard for them – clients are at the forefront of everything we do. Not all of our staff are “client-facing,” in other words, we don’t all talk to or deal with clients on a daily basis, but we all know who we’re working for!

At our monthly staff meetings we report on each of our service areas, and without fail, those reports include how we are meeting our clients’ needs, or where we might need to develop new and creative ways to meet their needs.

Our founder, Dr. Allan Holmes, told the staff the story of how and why he started Iridia  17 years ago. It was to meet a need, and meeting client needs continues to be the heartbeat of Iridia today. Our philosophy of being responsive to client needs shows up in how we hire, how we focus our teams, and how we structure the company.

 

 

 
We want to be #1 in our clients’ eyes. We want their trust so that they keep doing business with us and speak well of us in the industry. Client focus takes hard work and we’re 100% committed to it.

 

Canada’s Women’s Soccer Team Teaches us a Lesson About Teamwork

Teamwork leads to exceptional output

Employees at Iridia are not merely cogs in a larger machine. While we each have our roles and specific areas of responsibility, our company operates on the premise that we are a team that shares collectively in the wins and losses of the company (Iridia core value).

Teamwork

One of the most talked about events during the Games was the Canadian women’s soccer semi-final. Most commentators and spectators agreed that the Canadian women played the US team exceptionally well, but that some questionable refereeing that went against Canada led to their defeat.

After an emotional loss, the team was devastated, angry and distraught. They felt they had been robbed of a chance to go for gold because of unfair officiating.

In those first few devastating moments after the game, the media approached and some of the women, still reeling from the emotion and exertion of the game, said some things in anger and frustration that, perhaps, they shouldn’t have. The media jumped on that and the comments were spread around the world.

Talk of punitive measures from Olympic officials, including suspensions that could have significantly impacted the Bronze medal match, made this a dark day in the life of this team.

How do you get ready to compete again with the same level of intensity and passion you put forward in a game you feel you should have won? How do you deal with words you can’t get back? How do you cope with your name, your team’s name, being smeared by others? How do you rally back and find the motivation to play again in the face of what appears to be hopeless?

Canada women's soccer teamwork

I think most of us can relate on some level; we’ve said something in a weak moment we wish we could take back, lost a contract, sale, or client in a way that felt unfair, had someone say bad things about us, felt the frustration of a project or task that seemed hopeless.

The challenges of life are difficult enough when we’re facing them on our own, but when we face them as part of a team – where the group dynamics become a factor in recovering, they can be even more difficult.

Team members can get so lost in their own grief and way of coping, that they find it difficult to support one another. But therein lies the difference between a true team and one that just plays together.

The Canadian women did rally. They took responsibility for their actions, supported each other through their grief and ignored the negative media, choosing to gather support from their fans, families, and well wishers. They played with fierce intensity in a game where they were considered underdogs, and won a Bronze medal for Canada – the first Canadian soccer team in history to medal in the Games. They arrived in London with their eyes set on a medal.In spite of their setback, they accomplished that goal.

Canada Bronze Medal Soccer

The Canadian women’s soccer coach, John Herdman, said it best when asked about his team’s efforts. “They got kicked, they got up, they kicked back. What more could you have asked, and what more could you have done?

In the context of everyday life, the principles are the same. Respect for your team, pride in what you do, tenacity in the face of setbacks, and commitment to the goal provides the framework for winning in sport, work, and life.

It can’t be denied that in the case of the Canadian women’s soccer team, teamwork most definitely led to exceptional output. 

Going for Gold – Iridia’s Core Values

 

Iridia’s Core Values

I’m an unabashed Olympic addict. I love everything about the Olympics. The opening ceremonies – all the grandeur and creativity that represents the hosting nation – and I admit I get chills when the athletes enter the stadium proudly bearing their country’s flag.

Night after night I sit in front of my television, mesmerized by the talent, the strength and the endurance of the athletes running their races, competing in their events. It’s dramatic, exciting and mind-boggling as year after year, records are broken, proving the human body capable of more than we ever thought possible.

I love the stories and profiles on the athletes – learning about them as people gives us insight into their journeys and connects us with them in a powerful way so that we can’t help but cheer them on at the starting box. And who doesn’t have an internal sense of pride when one of our country’s finest pushes through their own barriers and ends up on the podium?

This world-stage event every two years is a magnificent gathering of the best of the best from all over the world; a bringing together of nations, a demonstration of teamwork, and an example of what can be accomplished with commitment, passion, and determination.

But what does this have to do with the average person going through everyday life. As I was reviewing Iridia’s core values this week, I realized that many of them align with what it takes for an athlete to compete on a world stage; to be extraordinary.

Two years ago we experienced “extraordinary” right here in our backyard as the world came to our house in February of 2010. I can say I’ve never sensed national pride like I did during those days.

Very few people came away from the 2010 Olympics without being touched by the experience in some way. But the games were extraordinary for reasons that went far beyond the schedules and the events and the medal ceremonies. They were extraordinary because they were ours! They were a demonstration of our culture, our community, and our heritage.

There was almost as much talk about the volunteers as there was about the athletes. There was a demonstration of compassion and integrity as we experienced and dealt with the tragic death of a young athlete in the first few days of competition – the worst nightmare of any Olympic games. We faced the adversity of uncooperative weather and demonstrated innovation in “making it work” so that the skiers could compete.

Core Values

Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting some blogs, based on Iridia’s core values, on what “Going for Gold” looks like in the real world – the world of every person who thinks they’re ordinary, but who has the potential to be extraordinary.