You know the scene on Titanic where the orchestra is playing as if the ship is not sinking? That’s a bit what 2022 feels like, to be honest.
We’ve just earned two significant wins for our small business … the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, and the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Washington State. We should be popping champagne and celebrating like we did in 2019 when we won the same awards. But instead, we’re downsizing like the rest of the economy. The ebbs and flows of business are nothing new to us. After 20 years in the industry, we have survived the Great Recession, multiple reorgs at client organizations, and we know well in a gig economy that when the gig is up, the gig is up.
But it’s not the reduction in revenue or the razor-thin profit margins that weigh us down. It’s the fact that our team is stacked with highly qualified and capable people. People who have worked so hard every day to show up for clients, partners, and peers. Worked the late nights, gone the extra mile to meet the deadlines, and refreshed that report repeatedly until the data was finally accurate. The people whose ingenuity built programs, whose innovation created new products and services, and whose commitment to co-workers created a culture that weathered the unthinkable over the past two years. It is the people who won those awards − who grew the business, who expanded into new areas, who built programs at scale, and who came up with ways to streamline operations and efficiencies. These awards don’t belong to The Odigo Group. They belong to #TeamOdigo.
It’s been said that “we don’t live in an economy, we live in a society,” and we have worked *so hard* over the past few years to create not just a company but a culture, a team dynamic, an inclusive and equitable environment that genuinely puts people first. A community that prioritizes the *life* portion of the work/life balance. A team that is comprised of unique individuals with diverse strengths to contribute. And their contributions are not just to work projects, but also to the company conversation, the team events, the Team News Feed, the birthday celebrations, the engagement announcements, the marathons, the camping trips, the weddings, the babies, the graduations, the college visits, the stuff of life. And so, as we downsize, the impact is felt deeply across the team … professionally and personally.
It’s not enough to shrug our shoulders and claim “business is business.” Because the pandemic taught us to be better than that. The pandemic taught us we can do hard things. It taught us to look out for our neighbors and take care of our communities. It taught us to slow down and prioritize our health and wellbeing. It gave us a glimpse of a people-first life model that enabled us to focus on our families and our mental health. So, as a leadership team, we are working hard to find creative ways to keep our team members employed. To find short-term projects and internal tasks to keep people busy during this momentary pause in projects and programs. Because as we all know, this downturn will pass, and the growth trajectory will rebound. And we want to be sure we have highly qualified and capable people ready to catch all the opportunities that come our way.
Please take a moment to reach out to your professional community − especially as we move into a pre-pandemic style holiday season with all the buzz and busyness of a world that has not paused. Check on your network. Make sure they’re weathering this storm as effectively as they weathered the last one. Tap into all those brilliant, creative, inspirational colleagues who are suffering from the recent layoffs in the tech industry. Put your minds together. Create the next big thing. Solve this pain point. Build a company around it. Take it to market.
The best ideas are born of necessity. It’s how The Odigo Group was founded. And it can be your story too.