Hallmark 4: Foster Creativity

by Ryan Shriver

We are in an era of rapid technological change, and this change is forcing companies to rethink how they view technology, how they communicate with customers and workers, and how they compete in a global marketplace. The rapid embrace of innovation, speed, and agility is fundamentally reshaping all businesses, in all industries, in all corners of the world. Organizations large and small are embracing agility over predictability, focusing on customers over themselves, aligning around outcomes, and empowering creative team members to succeed. 

Why are companies encouraging team members to embrace creativity? Because it is impossible to innovate products and services without it. For example, lots of companies are leveraging advanced technologies like AI and machine learning. But if you want your company to build AI-powered products that are different from all the others, you need every team member to be creative. Creativity is one of the five key characteristics of successful technology companies, and it is crucial.

We Are Creative Problem Solvers

At SingleStone, we aspire to cultivate creativity in every person who works here- from engineers, designers, and analysts to marketers, sales reps, and operations managers. We harness the creativity of every team member and bring that power to every customer engagement.

Every aspect of our work requires creativity from the entire team, every day- from the intuitive user interfaces our customers see and cleanly crafted architecture under the hood to the automation powering our code pipelines and continuous development of our solutions. We leverage creativity to ensure that our solutions deliver a delightful customer experience. Our industry-leading NPS score is a testament that we’re doing something right.  

Creativity Speaks to Me Personally

I see how creativity transcends all jobs, roles, and titles, which is why creativity speaks to me personally.

Each Fall, I teach a Design Thinking course in the Graphic Design department of VCU Arts. I teach young designers how to holistically solve complex problems with a focus on human empathy and outcomes. The students’ semester-long project puts their newly acquired skills immediately into practice giving them the creative confidence to succeed. 

At SingleStone, I’m the Chief Technology Officer, and I spend most of my days working with architects and engineers on creatively solving the hundreds – perhaps thousands – of challenges that come with building secure, scalable, resilient software solutions that customers love. Also, I love working with our designers, delivery leaders, analysts, and others to weave in creativity continually where I can.

At Reverb, I package my VCU Arts course into a two-day class that teaches organizations how to infuse Design Thinking practices into their teams. Seeing business and technology leaders working together creatively to solve the problems they face is my biggest reward. At Reverb, I also help customers design learning paths for the thousands of engineers on their own cloud journey.

Creativity is woven into all of these interactions and engagements. It’s a part of how we go to market with our solutions and try out new ideas like Team Insights. It’s not the job of one or two people at SingleStone to be creative; it’s the job of everyone to be creative in the best way they can.

Our Creative Journey at SingleStone

At SingleStone, we’re on our own journey to realizing what it means to be a modern tech company. Creativity is just one of the ties that bind us together. Our goal is to weave creativity into every aspect of what we do, not only for our customers but also for ourselves. We may not have all the answers, but we’re passionate about our work and always learning. 


How might you infuse creativity into your culture? What does creativity mean for your agile teams? For your executive leadership? 

Let’s start with a conversation. 

Ryan Shriver

Ryan Shriver

Ryan Shiver, our Chief Technology Officer, specializes in solving complex technical problems and is a trusted partner to some of our biggest clients. Ryan is passionate about teaching and mentoring: in addition to leading our Cloud and DevOps team, Ryan teaches Problem Solving for Designers at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Arts.

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