Thoughts Over the Wire

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Meet the TW Team

We’re all guilty of this, at least a little bit: we get into our own bubbles. When we’re at work doing our own thing, we tend to lose sight of what our colleagues get up to on a day-to-day basis. If you’re a software engineer, how much do you really know about what an accountant does? If you’re in marketing, how much do you know about software development? How much do any of us know about executives? (Judging by the kind of comments I see on Twitter about Jeff Bezos, very little!)

Since collaboration is one of our core values here at ThoughtWire, I decided to take some steps to fill those gaps in my own knowledge by reaching out around the office and asking people to explain a bit about their jobs. But instead of asking normal questions that I could answer myself by looking up job descriptions in our HR portal, I decided it would be more fun to ask weird questions.

AgnesThe first person to respond to me for this project was our HR Business Partner, Agnes! Agnes is a foodie and gummy bear fan, and much less frightening than we all expected when we learned we were getting our first dedicated HR person. She’s one of the major karma chameleons in our Culture Club, organizing social events for the office, and part of the Health and Safety committee.

How would you explain your job to a six-year-old?

I make sure we have the perfect amount of happy people.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

That HR is all about hiring, firing and implementing/enforcing rules.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Change management. As a company grows, there is a lot of morphing of strategies, structures and processes.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

Take the time to understand the team you support. What do they do, what motivates them, what frustrates them, how can you help them get to their next career step?

DanNext up we have Dan, who started off as one of our Delivery Consultants and has clawed his way up the corporate ladder to become our Manager of Healthcare Solutions! Dan is also a trained nurse and the go-to guy in our office if you need to know if something looks infected. I once watched him lance somebody’s blood-blister. It was weird.

How would you explain your job to a six-year-old?

I figure out how to best use our healthcare 'tools' and who would get the most from them.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

That I focus only on sales, it's actually a lot more focused on strategy. We have some really cool products that are evolving at the rate of the technology we connect and work with. My role focuses on figuring out how we can get it out to as many people as possible.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Getting potential customers and clients to see what sets us apart from our competitors. A lot of the time, they focus on what they get at the end of it all, the results, rather than the technology underneath it all and its potential.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

Be authentic and genuine in everything you do. When pitching to a potential client, they can smell the bullcrap. If you're always present and being truthful, they will get it.

StephenLast but certainly not least for this instalment, our Chief Technology Officer Stephen Owens. When I first started at ThoughtWire, one of Stephen’s major company initiatives was the field of Bagelmetrics: the study of how providing fresh bagels to a thriving young company positively impacts productivity. As we’ve grown in recent years, that project has been delegated to our Office Manager, but I know the bagels still hold a special place in his heart. He once saw me put queso dip on a bagel because we were out of cream cheese, and I’ll never forget the look of sadness on his face.

How would you explain your job to a six-year-old?

I help people understand what they have to do and how to do it. I spend a lot of my time explaining people and their work to each other so that everyone understands each other and what they are doing. When people don't agree with each other I talk to them to understand why not and then help them try to come to an answer together.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

That it is more about technology than it is about people and social systems. To be fair the word technology is right there in the title so it's an understandable confusion.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Many different ideas and opinions about the right way to get to a desired outcome meet in my office. Mostly there's no clear right and wrong answer, just different views on constraints, value, and complexity. That makes it very challenging to get agreement on whether we're doing the right things.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

Learn constantly about a broad range of technology, methodologies, systems level design, people, processes, social systems, and management systems. Embrace the complexity that exists outside of the work that you do day to day. Find out what the people you're working with are doing, understand their challenges, see if you can help improve their outcomes. Spend time on understanding and helping refine/explain/achieve the high level goals of any organization you work in. If you don't like working closely with other people, and don't value the work they do, don't aim for this role, you're only going to hurt people.

Of course, one of the best ways to learn about careers at ThoughtWire if you’d like to know more is to actually, you know, apply for one! Check out our Careers page to see if you would like to join the TW Team

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