By Karen Ross, Sharp Decisions CEO
Our country is continuously challenged by the world, but the one thing that stands the test of time is our steadfast commitment to protect our values as a nation. From the time of the American Revolution, our flag and our pride shall not wane. This country has produced heroes – alive and posthumously – and on Memorial Day we have an opportunity to reflect and thank those that made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom; we owe it to them to never forget.
For the brave men and women who continue to fight for our freedoms, we say “thank you!” Our military is the living embodiment of courage, integrity, brotherhood and unselfish commitment.
For us at Sharp Decisions, we are proud to do our part to recognize the country’s most dedicated work force and stand up and be counted.
Since launching our V.E.T.S. Program five years ago, our organization has aligned our culture with insight, discipline and adaptation from our military personnel. We have grown and developed with a sense of mission, team and appreciation for each individual’s ability to contribute to the organization as a whole.
The insights we gained from our first deployments began to reshape the V.E.T.S. Program and, ultimately, how we operate as a company. As a result,we have learned as much from our veterans as they have hopefully learned from us.
And as we have now reached our fifth Memorial Day with our V.E.T.S. Program, we take stock in how far our entire organization has come in that time. Today, 25 percent of our staff is veterans and we couldn’t be prouder.
We credit that large growth to our veterans because one of the most notable attributes of our armed services is the ability to learn and adapt to circumstances quickly and efficiently. That’s because every element of every engagement is rigorously deconstructed and analyzed for successes and failures. Best practices are identified, mistakes are rarely repeated, and the entire organization is impacted by key learnings. Our military is a highly-structured organization that is designed to get smarter and better every day.
There is something else about our military that is worth noting: it is an entity that puts culture at the center of everything. Our service men and women are connected by an intricate web of protocols, common language, shared experience, metrics and chain of command. That’s why a visit to military bases around the world reveals a homogeneity of individual and team that seems nearly impossible to replicate in the private sector. Plus, every individual on every base knows exactly what their job is and, more importantly, they know the life of the person next to them depends on how well they do their job – just as their life depends on others.
In businesses across the country, ambitious self-starters follow an ethos of individuality and focus on personal contribution. One of the most significant challenges any company faces is how to get a team of individuals to work together. The military approach to teamwork is a core and essential value established by training, maintained by team members and celebrated by leaders. Rarely have we seen a veteran who puts their own needs or wants ahead of the team’s. That’s a powerful business proposition.
Moving forward, we will continue on our mission to equally employ veterans and civilians alike so we can finally close the gap on the misnomers that are associated with veterans.
As such, we are – and have been for a few months now – expanding our program to include cyber security capabilities because there is no one group of individuals more equipped, more diligent or more committed than a veteran who voluntarily chose to protect our lives.
So, this Memorial Day we remember the fallen and those that continue to fight for our values, but we also ask corporations to hire them – they will transform your organization as you could never have dreamed. When there is a shortage of technical talent in today’s environment – trust the “value of a veteran;” we certainly have and will never look back.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!