Day after day, we’re reminded of how grateful we are to solve problems alongside Account Director, Delivery Lead, and friend, Jim Garrity. He listens, questions, and pulls his clients and teammates into the process, so they can learn, explore, and deliver together. Always up for a challenge, he’s proven that brilliant people do brilliant things when they work together. And, he can play some pretty rad tunes, too.
World, meet Jim.
We want to know what tools Jim Garrity uses to stay on his A-game. Is there a particular tool or program you find yourself using constantly?
Microsoft Delve. Okay, okay. It’s not “cool” like a coding language, but in my role, I want to constantly keep up with the good content and solutions that my teammates are presenting to their clients. Delve is a knowledge management search tool (part of O365) that very intelligently surfaces the latest work and organizes it by teammate, topic, or search term. It scans the cloud, my OneDrive, and my computer; I can work faster and leverage my great teammates’ hard work easily, which inevitably leads to higher quality ideas for everyone involved.
What makes your approach to work and problem solving unique?
I believe that we cannot individually do what we can do together as a team. I listen. I question. I pull the client into the process and we learn, explore, and deliver—together. I believe that modest, capable team players are more powerful than high pedigree individualists. Therefore, everyone on the team truly matters. This philosophy is freeing, because it relaxes the threshold for individual greatness in favor of collective success.
We live in an individualist, achievement-oriented culture. It is no surprise that we continually rely on individual heroics, even in a team setting; this is 1-dimensional. When everyone on a team is viewed as a worthy combination of uniqueness, skill and potential, the possibilities for team greatness are truly 3-dimensional.
It sounds like you really value working in a collaborative environment. Is there a particular SingleStone project that required a lot of teamwork?
I spent two years deeply immersed in a client site, building a software app with a team largely comprised of their employees. In that time, I learned that everyone is on a career journey. I grew very close to the people I sat with every day. We laughed, played, worked, got up early, stayed up late, and moved the product and the organization toward customers.
I learned that I could interact with anyone, say no to anyone, influence anyone, listen to anyone. But the biggest thing I took away from that project? That we’re all just people on a journey.
Your field is not without drawbacks and challenges. What’s one project challenge that you’ve overcome this past year?
We were nearing the end of a project and struggling to get clear acceptance of the deliverables from the client. I facilitated conversations that pivoted away from, “does this resonate with you?” and moved towards “what about this needs to change for you to feel confident to put it into action?”
This shifted the dialogue from a yes/no transaction to an action oriented, confidence-building collaboration. The client responded to this, jumped to the white board, taught us something about his world, and expressed future challenges he feared. In that moment, the client really took ownership of their problem, and we recognized how to help them solve it.
What advice do you have for someone getting started in the tech or consulting industry?
Remember: this is a people business. It’s about connecting with clients, initiating conversations, understanding frustrations, and collectively putting technology to work, therefore, communication is critical. The words you say matter, and they allow you to empathize with others and drive outcomes.
Last but not least, what do you love about SingleStone?
I am trusted to do my job. We are considered capable hands and feet. We are considered ambassadors for the mission, vision, and purpose. I know this because I’ve been thrust into the fight… corrected, encouraged, pushed, sought after, taught, and learned from. I’ve made mistakes that were not hidden, and yet, they still send me back into the fight— that is trust.