Unconventional thinking and the merger of strategic and tactical concepts was popularized by General McChrystal and the successful Afghanistan counter insurgency campaign, and is now so engrained in popular culture that it's a part of the urban dictionary. It's defined as, “a combination of strategic and tactical concepts in which a core long-term strategic plan is the base, but based on the current environment tactical changes can be made to enhance the overall performance.” This has been a key ingredient for OGS, and we play it out through an emphasis on Thinking Big and Thinking Small.
Think Big. Never be afraid of stepping up to a challenge. In our market, there are a large number of big ideas based on obvious questions: How do you get successful commercial innovations into the IC (my kids asking me why we don't use iPhones at work)? How can you be a better integrator (my brother in law working for a large integrator and quitting because being another number was mind numbing)? Is there a better way to do 3D visualization (self-evident when you meet with operators in the field)? And there are large incumbents that traditionally get 80-90% of the work in a recompete, so you’ve got to be bold about offering something different. Don't pick from the menu that they provide; provide options that don’t exist yet. Realize that for the large contractors, their core competency is responding to RFPs and writing proposals, so make sure you have that capability yourself and then differentiate based on delivering every time. Work hard to understand how to play the game so that you can create new rules that advantage your customer and highlight your strengths.
Think Small. Focus on the things that you can control and make progress on, as this is where progress is made. Keep chipping away and encourage your project teams to question the status quo - is Cognos the right tool for the job because it’s already there, or should we spend some money in our lab to evaluate a product like Highcharts and then take the time to customize it for our client's environment? When the client doesn't want to look at new tools or approaches, don't chalk it up to a lack of vision, see what the root cause is. Is it because they lack a development environment and are stressed to the max by their real world production needs? Then spin up a virtual server in the lab and use it to mimic their environment and throw some interesting data and tools against it and test the configuration and throughput for an opportunity. It can even be as small as finding a solution for an unexpectedly broken projector by turning around the laptop to the audience and quipping that “everyone should get in close, like our parents had to.” Those are the kinds of people that we love to hire on sight and the ethic that we try to model at OGS.
-Garrett Pagon, President