When Bit-Wizards was founded in 2000, it was built on a foundation that valued a service mentality toward employees and clients. Ownership thinking, a vital element of the company's core values, is one of the six pillars of the company's culture that accompany our mission and vision. Taking ownership of decisions and projects, regardless of whether they succeed or fail, is a critical part of being a Wizard. Vincent Mayfield, CEO and co-founder of Bit-Wizards, credits his military service as a strong influence for making ownership thinking one of the core values.
"The military is very much about camaraderie and how you don't want to let other people down or impact the integrity of the organization by not pulling your weight or doing your part," explains Mayfield. "That's the thing we try to teach our team—to have that service mentality, get out there, and take ownership of the issues our customers have."
With our Managed IT Services (MITS), our team strives to take ownership of every project and request to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Where people usually expect standard IT services, our team boldly goes where most managed service providers (MSPs) have yet to even think about. Louis Erickson, COO and co-founder of Bit-Wizards, emphasizes how ownership thinking influences our team's day-to-day work.
"We reinforce the importance of staying focused on solving client problems with Wizard flair," says Erickson. "They expect us to answer the phone and be technically competent, but we bring magic to IT by understanding the human element of our work and going above and beyond to create solutions."
What is ownership thinking?
Mayfield and Erickson created the following statements to define what ownership thinking means at Bit-Wizards:
- Wizards take ownership and then drive projects. They collectively own outcomes as individuals and as a team. Wizards succeed together.
- Wizards understand they wear many hats: Sales, marketing, delivery, personal, team member, and support. No task is beneath anyone.
- Wizards know that following through with action and taking the extra step breeds trust.
- Wizards understand that consistency and attention to detail while keeping the big picture in mind are keys to success.
When asked to share their personal experiences with an ownership thinking mentality, Mayfield and Erickson offered accounts that depicted their interpretation of what lay at the heart of this core value. For Mayfield, his understanding of ownership thinking developed through his experiences at various levels of a company's hierarchy that have stuck with him in the C-suite.
"My job is to be the CEO, but if the bathroom floods or a bear rips through our dumpster, I have no problem grabbing a mop or helping to clean up," Mayfield says. "And that's what we're trying to encourage others to do—to take on tasks enthusiastically, even if it may be the last thing you want to do."
Erickson likens his understanding to a tedious task many can relate to: yard work in his mother's yard with an oak tree and three magnolias.
"I hated that she'd often ask me to help with yard work more than my siblings, but I eventually realized she did that because she knew I couldn't leave a leaf untouched or a row of grass unmown," Erickson quips. "At its core, ownership thinking is that innate need to follow through to the end, regardless of how easy or enjoyable a task is."
How does our company culture promote ownership thinking?
Mayfield shares that he and Erickson consistently encourage the team to see things that need to be completed and take it on, even if they're not assigned to the task. If a specific person is responsible for a particular project, then it's about taking responsibility for it and driving it to a solution, no matter how much time or effort it takes.
When a customer calls and says they need help with something that requires coordination with multiple people, our team is conditioned to find the right resources to get the job done without hesitation. We assemble the right group for the task, give them ownership in the decision-making process, and ensure that our client's problems are resolved by following through to the end.
While ownership thinking is innate for some, others need more time and experience to nurture their understanding of how a Wizard should take ownership. Erickson believes that a core component of creating a team of ownership thinkers is accomplished by empowering each member to make decisions and take stake in the outcome. Most of all, he says the real learning moments are when decisions result in mistakes or errors.
"We create a place where our team feels comfortable making mistakes so they can own their projects, drive solutions, and experience learning opportunities," says Erickson. "We strive to help our Wizards understand why a decision turned out the way it did so they can learn from their mistakes and strengthen their ability to take ownership of their actions and consequences."
How do our clients benefit from ownership thinking?
Ownership thinking takes our services to a whole new level for clients because our team members operate under high standards of excellence. These standards are not just for technical prowess alone—our Wizards have the emotional intelligence needed to provide exceptional service. Mayfield shares that Bit-Wizards perceives client partnerships as relational rather than transactional. Even though the MITS team could easily just complete tasks and move on, they are compelled by their ownership mentality to care about our clients and understand why they do what they do.
Computers and networks are tools for businesses to use as strategic enablers, and Mayfield says that our team's role is to maintain those tools and enable our clients to focus on their work instead of IT problems. Through consistent support and attention to detail, our Wizards always follow through to the end and take extra steps to breed trust with our clients. By placing ourselves in the client’s shoes, Erickson says our team is better able to understand their needs and the importance of finding solutions.
"When our engineers consider how downtime can impact a client, they look past the technical problem and consider the greater impact," explains Erickson. "If their printer is out of ink, the problem is different depending on whether they need to print recipes for next week or payroll checks in the next hour."
Another factor that separates Bit-Wizards from traditional in-house IT solutions is that our team of professionals is highly proficient across a multitude of IT specializations. Many businesses start with one or two in-house IT personnel who claim to be jacks of all trades. Instead of having a one-person show that essentially controls a company's network with limited knowledge, our Wizards each wear different hats and can help create solutions for various problems. Erickson likens working with MITS to equipping your business with a team of experts where each member can assist with different types of tasks and intricacies.
"The IT world is complicated, and information is constantly changing, so it's hard to have one person who's an expert on all things IT," says Erickson. "We have several team members who are masters in Wi-Fi networks, firewalls, cloud migrations, servers, and other services and features, and they collectively offer a different level of professionalism and consistency through MITS."
Above all else, Mayfield shares that ownership thinking equips our team with the compassion and kindness needed to truly take care of our clients and serve their best interests. Whether it's a quick conversation about how they're doing or a more thoughtful effort to recognize a hardship, we're intentionally present in developing dependable relationships with our clients.
"We care about you as a person, not as just another business opportunity," emphasizes Mayfield. "We strive to build relationships because we value our clients as partners and own their successes as collective wins."
Ready to see the magic for yourself? Contact us today.