Reflections: Changing, Leadership, Values and Incept

In my almost three years at Incept, I’ve seen changes made to improve the quality of experience that comes from working at Incept. Such changes focused on everyone from our newest agent on the phones to the very top of our leadership team.

As I stood there filming our Let’s Talk…ResultsLaunch Event on Saturday, January 15th, 2011, I realized that those changes weren’t individual milestones meant to fix one small problem at a time; they were a well-orchestrated evolution meant to improve the quality of everything involved in the Incept experience.

Looking Back

Only a few short months after I joined the Incept team, I was asked to become a part of what we then called the Employee Retention Committee. It was a group spearheaded by our Vice President, Dave Walter, with the sole purpose of seeking out weak points and strengthening them in order to make Incept a better place to work.

I was excited by the opportunity to work with veteran members of the team and jumped at the offer. The months that followed were filled with questions that were difficult to answer, but the result, for me, was a chance to improve my workplace and get an inside look into how our company was run.

After a while, Incept continued to grow, and it became eventually clear that the committee had fulfilled its role. Hence, we closed the book on that chapter of my Incept experience. I walked away with a deeper insight of the decisions that made Incept what it was, as well as a strong feeling of ownership for the role I played in making Incept something special.

In The Middle

Time kept turning, and Incept kept growing. By the time November 2009 had arrived, our company had almost doubled from when I first applied. There was still a feeling among theTele-service Representatives (TSRs, as we were then called) that we worked for a company that had something special about it. The problem was not many of us knew what that special something was.

November 13th, 2009 changed that feeling completely. Incept hosted a huge launch event where a new logo, new mission and new values were introduced to every member of our company. Incept had become a Contact Center, specializing in Conversational Marketing and employing Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs). Our leadership team explained their new titles and what role each played within the company to every employee face-to-face. Everyone walked away from that event knowing what everyone else did to contribute to the team effort.

More importantly, that day marked a change in Incept’s values. We were all introduced to our company values: IntegrityNever SatisfiedCompassionEveryone’s A CustomerPresent andTenacious. Each value reinforced the others, and I think that was the moment when everyone knew exactly what made Incept special. It valued its employees just as much as it valued its customers. From that moment on, everyone was accountable for everyone else. Incept had become something completely different from the rest of its competitors… and it felt good.

At that moment, Incept stepped into the lead and set the pace for the new standard of customer service both internally and externally.

The Present

Saturday, January 15th, 2011, marked another step for our company culture and values. At theLet’s Talk…Results Launch Event there was food and fun, but most importantly there was education. Our leaders stood up and spoke in turn about our new Service Standards, which were based solely on feedback provided by our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs).

I think everyone walked into that event expecting to hear what changes our Live The Brand committee had made to our policies. Instead, we were all told that the changes were 100% up to us to make. Incept had just been handed to the employees to steer the company where we want to take it. Let me tell you, that felt good!

That some fabulous prizes were given out was a plus, but in order to put into perspective how exciting the event truly was you have to understand the schedule of events at the Launch Event. Dinner was served while the members of our Live The Brand committee spoke in front of the company. As dinner moved along, a few small prizes were given away here and there. After all the speakers had finished up, we were told that we would have a one-hour break, and that five committees of employees would be formed to take ownership of every one of our Service Standards. Each of those committees was represented at a table in the lobby, and interested parties were to go and apply, if interested. (But we needed to be back in one hour, because the four BIG prizes were going to be given away then.)

That hour went by quickly, and it came time for the big prizes (and I do mean BIG) to be given away. However, it seemed that everyone was still in the lobby applying for and talking about committees. Apparently, the excitement over getting to become an active part of rebuilding Incept from the ground up was more overwhelming than the excitement over winning an iPad or a 42″ plasma screen TV. Who knew?

The reality of what had just happened dawned on me at some point while the big prizes were being given away – Incept was now in the hands of the employees. Management had turned the company over to us. But now us even had new meaning. It was no longer the Management team and the Conversational Marketing Experts; now we all had equal control over where Incept was heading. The playing field had just been leveled in a big way!

The only way I can think to describe what Incept has become is this: “Something beyond special. Something innovative. Something incredible.”