Firefield: A Reflection on What Makes Us Who We Are

November 9, 2016 | By Firefield CEO and Founder, Adam McGowan

Regardless of which political candidate (if any) you may have supported in our presidential election, I think its safe to say that last night’s result was surprising. For fans of the ultimate winner, maybe the outcome was never in doubt. But whether you’re happy, sad, or indifferent this morning, your path to get there likely took a number of twists and turns along the way. Given that introduction, I’ll calm your concerns now by saying that this post is NOT about politics; it’s NOT about candidates; and it’s NOT a treatise on the direction of America. This post was, however, sparked by yesterday’s culmination of the American electoral process.

Choosing others to represent us is as much a reflection on those candidates as it is on ourselves. The act of selecting and voting for our leaders starts with an understanding of what’s important to us, what makes us who we are, and what we value. We went through a similar (a notably less important, but still similar) reflective process as we have built and grown our company. At Firefield we repeatedly ask ourselves who we want to be. What do we care about? How does that manifest itself in what we do and how we do it? This election has made me think about many things, and one of them is the set of values that makes our venture what it is. We’re going to use a future post to clearly articulate all of Firefield’s Core Values, but this is a quick look into what matters to us.

It’s About Our People

The Firefield team spans the globe. The people who join together here daily span genders, races, religions, ages, ideologies, countries, backgrounds, and native languages (both spoken and technical). While we can always strive to be more diverse, we decided that a culture of inclusion was going to be a cornerstone from the start. If a potential team member knocks on our door, he or she gets judged on nature of her ideas, goals and experience. Nothing else matters. That has lead to a collection of peers who challenge and inspire each other. My “people” side loves this at any cost, yet my inner capitalist doesn’t mind that an engaged and encouraged team also produces better quality work.

And the People We Serve

Regardless of our end products or outcomes, Firefield is a service business at its core. We serve a client base that varies by industry, size, and scope. Our customers have different needs, perspectives, and objectives – all of which may fluctuate often. There is a long list of commitments we make to them, but none are more important than being honest. This goes beyond simply “not lying”. Our honesty comes out when we tell clients to build less, even if it negatively impacts our revenue. It’s expressed when we direct prospective clients to a better fit vendor, even if we “could” have done the job.  That honesty is on display when we make a mistake, own up to it, and ultimately make things right.

Before You Yank Me From my High Horse…

You should realize that I’m being selfish. I’m not writing just about some “do-goody” approach to others. Deep down this is about me too. These values make it more enjoyable to go to work, experience my colleagues, and interact with our clients. I can only hope those feelings are mutual.