About the Sandbox
The sandbox defines who we are, what we do and how we do it. It is our mission, values and culture. The four sides of the sandbox make up the framework we use to make decisions in all areas.
We exist to help other organizations accomplish their mission more effectively by building relationships and providing excellent service, support and strategic thinking, primarily around technology.
We do what is right for the customer – every time.
We aren’t always going to be the best fit. When we aren’t we help the customer find the best organization to help them.
Different customers require different solutions even in identical situations. We know our customers and help them find the best solution for them.
We charge fair prices.
Fair prices aren’t solely based on what others in our field charge; it depends on the value we provide a customer.
Not every project will be profitable, nor does it have to be. Guiding people to the best solution every time will naturally result in profitability over the course of a long term relationship. There are times when what is best for the
customer right now (#1) isn’t going to profitable for us, and that is ok.
We are honest.
We are honest with each other, with our customers, with our partners and with our vendors.
We don’t oversell ourselves to prospects or customers.
We don’t over promise or over commit ourselves to partners or vendors. We don’t promise things we can’t deliver on.
We admit mistakes and fix mistakes instead of hiding them. No one and no one organization is perfect. What sets us apart is our drive to make things right when we make mistakes.
We get to know our customers, partners and vendors.
Each organization and person is different. We understand that what fits in one situation may not fit in another.
We understand that the only way to deliver high value to customers, vendors and partners is to have a long term relationship where we know each other well.
We respect everyone.
Each person and organization is different but there is no one that we don’t treat respectfully. Regardless of differences of opinion, skill, religion, values or politics we respect people.
When we take a stand on an issue, even controversial ones, we will always do so in a respectful manner.
Central Organization Focus
We are an externally focused organization. We value relationships over profit, or what we can “get” from a customer, partner or vendor.
We never focus on what we can get out of a relationship, we focus on what is best for the customer, partner or vendor.
Inward focus is short-sighted, we end up missing what the other partner can offer us when that is all we are looking for.
Inward focus kills the relationship and the value we can offer, which kills our organization.
We listen and dialogue with customers, partners and vendors.
We are not an organization that tells others what to do. We discuss challenges, opportunities and situations. We never assume that we know someone else’s mission and business better than they do.
We are always learning.
Organizations and people change, as well as technology. Change in an organization usually means that what was the right solution at one time no longer is.
Technology is changing faster than it ever has in the course of history. To provide high value for customers, partners and vendors we have to keep up with those changes.
We are effective first, efficient second.
Effectiveness is to actually accomplish a mission as well as it can be accomplished. Efficient is to do so with as few resources as possible. Efficient and ineffective solutions are damaging’ effective and efficient solutions are powerful.
Successfully accomplishing mission always means being effective first and efficient second. You can never start with efficiency and end up with an effective solution. However, effective solutions typically breed efficiency.
We understand that technology is a multiplier not a solution.
Technology can help organizations to what they do better but it can never “do” what an organization does. Technology can cut costs, increase effectiveness, increase efficiencies and allow individuals and small organizations to have huge impact, but it never does, it only multiplies what is already being done.
We understand that the best technical solution is not always the best organizational solution.
The best solutions have to take the the uniqueness of people, organizations, situations and context into account. A simpler and less powerful tool can often accomplish more than a larger complex one.
We are proactive.
When we see a potential problem we don’t run from it, we run into it. We do our best to put solutions into place that avoid problems instead of waiting for things to break.
When we see ways that an organization can be more effective we open a dialogue with them about it, regardless of whether it is something we do. (Although it doesn’t mean that we’ll be the ones doing it!)
We don’t fix what isn’t broken.
Shiny new things come along all the time — especially in technology — that doesn’t mean that we have to upgrade customers immediately.
We slow down when we have to.
It is easy to hear a situation and come up with a “solution” to fix it or improve it. However, this often results in less effectiveness over the long term than carefully researching, planning and executing a solution.
We are honest.
Honesty is something we practice always. Both internally and externally. We understand people mess up, have disagreements or mishandle things. We walk towards those issues instead of covering them up.
We do what say we are going to do when we say we are going to do it.
We always strive to exceed expectations in quality and time
When we can’t fulfill the above, we let those involved know right away.
For those times when we fall short we let the other know party as early in advance as possible that we had to deviate from what we said we would do.
We honor promises even when it is inconvenient.
Promises are made to be kept regardless of whether or not it is easy to keep them. If we make a promise we’ll keep it.
We communicate with each other, our customers, our partners and our vendors.
We are a relational company: the number one thing you can do to keep relationships healthy is to communicate. We let people know when they’ve done a good job and we appreciate them and we let them know when we need more from them. We don’t let issues fester or go assumed.
We are empowering, not controlling.
We strive to give responsibility away.
We honor clarity.
We let each other, our customers, our partners and vendors know what we expect on their part and what they can expect on ours. We don’t leave things up for grabs.
We value each other.
We appreciate each other’s skills and viewpoints.