P'unk tap
September 26th, 2014

From Good to Great

Sloan Miller

What does it take to move the needle from good to great?

Sometimes after an extraordinary amount of work, sweat, and even tears, a great product or solution still eludes you. You feel that no matter how much more time you invest in this project, you are a little too far from what you would consider greatness. It can be unbelievably frustrating and extremely disappointing.   

Every so often, as you take a step back from what you are doing, you realize that great work has been done. Both you and your project partners are thrilled. But it almost feels like it happened by accident.

Does great work occur by circumstance? By luck? Or can you stack the proverbial deck in your favor to routinely do great work?

Starting Off on the Right Foot

At P’unk Avenue, we believe that the foundation of doing great work for good people lies in knowing ourselves, enacting our core values, and thoughtfully evaluating potential clients in a way akin to matchmaking.

As our founder and leader, Geoff DiMasi, highlighted in his recent A List Apart article Living up to Your (Business) Ideals, we evaluate our potential projects and partners in a very thoughtful and intentional manner, making sure that the work aligns with our core values, strengths and passions.

We start by making sure that we have a foundation of trust and respect from which to build a partnership. As craftspeople, we have an ingrained desire to do great work and to continue to improve ourselves and our skills, but we need to make sure that there is the appropriate time allotted to do so.

Equally important, we want to know that our work will have a greater impact upon the community and the world that we live in.  

What does it take to be the best possible version of yourself?

To produce great work, to get great results, it helps to be the best possible version of yourself. As the recent viral video from Austin Texas high school football player Apollos Hester has showed us, it helps to have the right attitude, to know yourself, and to surround yourself with the right team.

At P’unk Avenue self reflection is encouraged; it reminds us of the progress we’ve made as individuals, as teams, and as a company.

Self-reflection takes many forms, many of which have been highlighted and discussed on this very blog. Forms we practice include peer-to-peer interactions, friendships and adventures as outlined in What it Means to be a Khrony, as well as interaction at the team level as discussed in Teams @ P'unk. To become better problem solvers, we routinely share our experiences and best practices at every level: one-to-one, in small teams, and company-wide.

On a company level, as Alex Gilbert has previously outlined in his summary of our State of P'unk company-wide quarterly meetings, we operate in an open environment. We routinely and intentionally share decisions around the search for ideal clients, projects, and potential job applicants, plan conference travel, schedule sprints on internal projects like Apostrophe, and share financial metrics.

Impact and Paying It Forward

We believe strongly that great work comes from an environment where people take ownership, demonstrate leadership, and align their individual and organizational goals. That’s why we offer other individuals, leaders, and companies a platform to explore these themes, manifesting in our Junto Retreat which occurs this week.

All of these efforts, initiatives, and practices create good habits around accountability, responsibility, and open communication. They serve as a reminder to us of the progress we are making as individuals, teams, and as a company.

Finally, we love our work, we love our clients, and we love our projects. We embrace the challenges that they bring, with an eye towards improving our skills in strategic ways, becoming better communicators, more willing to collaborate and solve problems in an open setting.

There will inevitably be some unexpected curves on our path, bumps in the road, and stressful periods. But as a team we have stacked the deck in our favor to routinely accomplish great things without exclusively focusing on it.

We believe in utilizing each individual person’s skills the right way at the right time, taking the time to reflect on the great work we do, and selectively engaging in the projects that we want to work on, with good partners that respect us, our approach, and our work.

And in doing so, we can all become better people, better teammates, and better partners.

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