Just over 6 years ago Vijesh, Michael, and I were sat in a bar in the Wynyard Quarter in sunny downtown Auckland, dreaming big and laying the foundations for what would become Cyma. Anniversaries are a good time to stop and reflect so I thought it would be interesting to share where we are now and how close that is to where we want to be.
Bucking The Trend
When we created Cyma we wanted to do something a little bit different to everyone else. We could see that there was an opportunity to try something new in a relatively homogenised and traditional IT services market. Bucking two major trends in the industry we decided to focus exclusively on architecture rather than tackle a wider IT service offering, and we committed ourselves to be platform and vendor independent.
Different Inside and Out
But we didn’t just want to look different from the outside, we also wanted to be different on the inside too. We wanted to play with new ways of operating and running a business, and we wanted Cyma to be a place that would appeal to the next generation of technology specialists and thought leaders. So, we embraced the ideas of business ecosystems, of collaboration and co-operation rather than competition, of flat organisational structure and emergent leadership, and many others. We also thought it would be a great idea to model good practice with regard to the use of technology, and endeavour to be server and software free wherever possible.
On top of that, we wanted to find ways for Cyma to give back to the community at all levels, making sure we have a healthy work-life balance and support structures at work, encouraging and facilitating professional development within Cyma and outside by organising and sponsoring a variety of events, and engaging meaningfully with social enterprises and not for profits.
Of course, we also wanted to be successful and create a sustainable business with a reputation that brings new clients and employees to our door.
So that’s what we had in mind 6 years ago, and it is pretty much what we think today. But we have changed a few things in our vision, goals and values, to help us adapt to the challenges of an ever changing world. In fact we have done more than change our vision, we have built change into our vision. There is a lot more that can be said on this subject, but I’ll save that for another post.
Vision and Value Help
Six years later and I think we are heading in the right direction. Cyma is not exactly what we pictured back at the bar in Wynyard Quarter, but it is certainly recognisable. There are some things that we haven't done yet, some that we no longer want to do, and many unexpected things that we have surprised ourselves by doing - you really do have to adapt and change.
We have made extensive use of our vision and values to help us along the way. They have helped us deal with significant issues, guiding our decisions and tempering our actions. That doesn't mean to say we haven't made mistakes, quite the opposite. But we can honestly say that decisions were made for the best reasons at that time. It is interesting to note that whilst our vision has (and should) change over the years, our values have remained pretty much the same.
As a result of all of this we have a great team, great clients and great partners, and after 6 years (speaking for myself) I can’t imagine doing anything else. Of course, it is stressful and challenging at times and sometimes in ways that I never considered. Doing something different was never going to be easy. But the sum of the equation is most definitely very positive.