Before the idea of Bit-Wizards existed, co-founders Vincent Mayfield and Louis Erickson always prioritized the importance of being in a workplace that invested in its employees' personal and professional growth. Once they started their own company, they charged themselves and their future team members with a commitment to the never-ending pursuit of knowledge. To this day, our Wizards pursue the traits of a lifelong learner to help our clients and each other.
Staying on top of the latest information and trends is essential for our Managed IT Services (MITS) team to provide top-notch assistance for our clients. Each Wizard brings an unparalleled managed IT experience with a human touch by consistently pursuing knowledge that improves their personal and technical skills.
What makes a lifelong learner?
Mayfield and Erickson created these statements to define how a Wizard emulates a lifelong learner:
- Wizards are life-long learners, continuously reinventing themselves. They know that personal and professional growth are the keys to success.
- Wizards thrive on continuous improvement in technology, consulting, and relationships.
- Wizards do not fear the unknown. They project confidence, embrace change, learn just in time, create, and enlighten others.
- Wizards transfer knowledge through help and mentorship producing exponential benefits for others.
- Wizards know that knowledge is empowerment.
As business owners in the managed IT industry, Mayfield and Erickson understand that every resource and person must constantly learn new information and stay on top of relevant trends for the company to succeed. They recognized the importance of committing to a life spent pursuing knowledge, understanding that choice would become a lifestyle that pays dividends for Wizards and clients. Mayfield shares that this value of being a lifelong learner was instilled in him well before he co-founded a business.
"Before we started Bit-Wizards, it was ingrained that Louis and I didn't want to be anywhere where people weren't willing to invest in the people there to get better and grow," explains Mayfield. "Even though it can sometimes feel like putting your mouth on a fire hydrant and trying to catch all the water, striving to learn throughout your career makes you highly motivated and knowledgeable."
Erickson feels the journey of a lifelong learner is greater than that of an Olympian in that it continues well past a medalist's career and focuses on an alternative to traditional competition. Becoming the best pole vaulter in the world and winning gold medals is temporary, and your era of success depends on keeping tabs on who's behind or ahead of you. As a lifelong learner, the journey lasts as long as you continue to challenge yourself and become better than you were the day before in some way. Erickson says he carries the importance of this lesson in his roles as a business owner and a mentor.
"People often think they've reached a point where everything will be great when they get that next degree or job, but that point is never really there since there's always the next challenge," he emphasizes. "Being a lifelong learner is all about committing to taking on every challenge, growing as an individual, and maintaining that curiosity needed to learn."
How does our culture foster lifelong learners?
Mayfield and Erickson approach continuing education as a partnership between themselves and their employees to cultivate Wizards who excel personally and professionally. In addition to working with the Bit-Wizards operations team to identify and provide access to relevant certifications and training for our MITS team members, Mayfield and Erickson give each Wizard room to govern what's included in their journey as a lifelong learner. Erickson illustrates that each Wizard should act as the master of their own destiny when it comes to training.
"We want our team members to think about themselves, figure out what training they want, and bring it to us so we can make it happen," states Erickson. "We do our best to pay attention to what our team needs, but we let them have some control as another way to support their educational goals outside of what we recommend."
Besides requiring and offering specific training opportunities, Bit-Wizards creates a close-knit work environment where everyone can rely on and learn from each other. The interconnected nature of the Wizard collective enables an exchange of ideas in any conversation, even if it's unrelated to work. By fostering connections with fellow team members, each person can rest easy knowing they can quickly get a second opinion and benefit from others' knowledge to make decisions and own them. Mayfield believes that the ability for Wizards to collaborate and share information makes the whole team stronger.
"Because not everyone can be an expert on everything, we ask our Wizards to have knowledge that's a mile wide across the board and a mile deep in one or two specialties," he describes. "By having an idea of how each specialty fits together in collaborative efforts, our team can solve bigger problems with more robust solutions by working together and combining their expertise."
Outside of the on-site opportunities, Bit-Wizards often invests in off-site education through seminars, conferences, and other out-of-office events. Besides the motivating factor of going elsewhere to be immersed and reenergized in your profession, Mayfield and Erickson believe that meeting professionals from different companies can open your eyes to new trends and approaches. While many business owners may recognize the value of sending employees to off-site education opportunities, they hesitate to do so because of the travel expenses and potential losses if those employees leave the company. Mayfield perceives this investment as well worth it despite the risk.
"I often hear from other business owners about how they avoid investing in someone because they sometimes turn around and leave," reveals Mayfield. "For every one person we may lose, we retain five Wizards who become more dedicated because they recognize that we appreciate them and invest in their growth."
How do our clients benefit from lifelong learners?
Mayfield and Erickson strongly believe that a Wizard's innate motivation to learn and improve directly benefits our clients. By reinforcing the importance of technological knowledge just as much as personal skills, each client who works with Bit-Wizards interacts with a professional who understands their needs as a person and recognizes how they can help their business. While technical training is essential for providing excellent managed IT, Erickson voices that training to help develop a person's soft skills is just as crucial in delivering an exceptional experience to every client.
"Our clients are of course interested and benefit from our Wizards’ technology training, which is at the center of our core value of being a lifelong learner, but that alone isn't enough," says Erickson. "The training on communication and leadership skills supplements that technological knowledge to ensure each client truly feels they're receiving expert guidance from someone they trust."
Managed IT is part of an industry that's constantly shifting and adapting to new information, trends, and technology. Working with a provider committed to expanding its knowledge gives clients an exponential advantage in staying relevant and delivering value to their customers. Without continuously learning new information to help their clients succeed, a managed services provider quickly becomes obsolete and incapable of using technology as an enabler for their clients. Mayfield compares the ease of choosing a managed IT provider that stays informed to picking between two doctors of very different experience levels.
"If you need to see a doctor, you wouldn't want the doctor who went to medical school and then only operates on that knowledge 20 years later," quips Mayfield. "You want a doctor who went to medical school, made significant efforts to learn as techniques changed, and continues to learn and provide cutting-edge care for their patients."
Ready to equip your business with lifelong learners who provide expert guidance without the "tech speak?" Contact us today to add a human touch to your IT.