Founder’s Blog: Why You Should Give a Damn about Your Vendor’s Culture

We think we have something pretty special at Cadence that you may never see directly.  It is technically invisible and a little hard to describe, but we think it’s tangibly felt by all our clients.  What is it?  It’s simply our internal culture.   Perhaps you are thinking, “Sure, but why should I care about it?”

I’ll give you 3 good reasons that impact you and the work you do every day with a vendor:

  1. Staffing Turnover
  2. Deliverable Quality
  3. Partnership Skills

It’s undeniable that when you work with a vendor, you’d prefer to have a consistently knowledgeable team, quality output and a great service over and over again.

1. Turnover (or the lack thereof)

A company’s internal culture has a big impact on whether you will see the same staff at the next engagement. If internal culture is poor, it results in high turnover leaving you exposed. You may face new team members who need to come up the learning curve on your project once again. The Harvard Business Review recounts a surgeon that achieved 2.5 times more surgeries than his peers with better outcomes by building teams that worked well together for long periods of time.  (HBR Dec 2013).   At Cadence we focus on staffing our projects from start to finish with the same experienced team, and building a great place to work that leads to high staff retention. For you, this means longer-term support with real continuity.

2. Quality

It’s somewhat simple.  The quality of the work is a function of not just the intelligence of the team working on it, but their ability to focus and deliver valuable insights.  Ultimately, a team of people deliver the work. The environment that they operate in has a huge impact on their focus and effectiveness.  Are team members in a culture that helps them resolve conflicts? Is it a place that supports creative thinking and honest conversation? Does the culture empower them to contribute their best?  If not, you aren’t getting the best output on your project.

3. Partnership

In my view, the best partners are a bit like a good friend.  They can tell you the straight story even if it is hard to hear, they show up for you, and your interactions are genuine and beneficial.  These relationships feel authentic to you for good reason.  You have mutual trust, they have your best interest at heart and you succeed together.  What does culture have to do with this?  Well, if we can’t build strong relationships inside our organization, how are we going to foster them outside of it?   Teams are more successful in providing services when they have these partnership qualities – authenticity, a proactive work ethic, team orientation, strong communication skills, etc.   We look for these qualities in bringing staff in the door, and work with them to consistently deliver a great partnership – inside and outside Cadence.

Do these factors seem obviously simple?   Maybe so, but we bet you’ll find they deliver a powerful experience.

Laura Smith Biswas

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