Last week, we met SingleStone’s Director of Design, Kevin Tuskey, and learned what it takes to lead the design efforts of a technology consulting firm. Introducing you to our team is our way of showing how and why we’re not your average consulting firm. For us, it begins with our team members.
This week, we’re hearing from Chief Customer Officer Chrissy Keeton, learning how she strives to help clients truly utilize the full potential of technology solutions and how many people come together from different areas of expertise to produce amazing digital experiences and technology products.
Get to know Chrissy Keeton, Chief Customer Officer
You’ve been with SingleStone for 15 years. What keeps you challenged, inspired and excited about your journey?
I’ve had the great fortune of moving within the organization – working with different teams, projects and facets of the company. I’m inspired by our ability to solve client problems in unique and game-changing ways. I love the feeling of kicking off a new project and then the reward of delivering a final product to our clients. I’m constantly introduced to new business problems, technologies, and ways of thinking and working. That’s energizing to me.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Navigating growth for both the organization and client-base. One of the things I love about SingleStone is our openness to outside opinions on continuous development. For example, we recently partnered with Ann Deaton and Kelly Lewis to coach our leadership team. They helped us identify polarities in our organization and projects. Polarities are things like “near-term and long-term” or “control and autonomy,” that you sometimes feel in conflict and cause you to pick one or the other. I’ve learned that finding a way to get the “and” – the benefits of both ends of the spectrum – is one of the most important and challenging jobs of a leader.
That does sound like a lot. For those who are in a leadership role and reading this, what are your tips or advice on how you manage that balancing act?
The “a-ha” for me when I learned about the polarity concept was – tension is a good thing. As a natural born peace maker, I used to try to avoid it. When I felt tension, my instinct was to resolve it. I learned that is not healthy. Typically, when you’re feeling tension like that, it means there’s a good, diverse set of opinions about a topic. Hold that tension, because the more you can, the better outcome you can get.
Where do you see the greatest potential in your expertise?
I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior. Lately, technology advancements are moving so rapidly, and people are adopting it, but they tend to forget the human element of the transformation.
For example, companies may take a lift-and-shift approach to moving to the cloud. They move out of their data center and into the cloud, but still operate like a traditional data center. Not allowing them to realize the benefits of speed, agility and data analytical power that the cloud offers.
I’m fascinated with the potential in helping humans adapt to new ways of working where they will actually get the full benefit out of the technology. I think there’s a lag there in many organizations, which is why we’ve recently invested in our transformation and training offerings to accelerate the human dimension. Because without changing the way you think and work, you’re not able to realize the benefits of the technology.
What is your advice for someone considering your field of work?
Don’t let technology intimidate you. Initially, I consulted primarily on the business side, and felt like there was this whole world of technology that was mysterious that I didn’t understand. Then I finally realized that technology is an enabler to business outcomes and goals, and it all comes back to what problem is the business trying to solve and how can technology help? Creating technology solutions to solve business problems requires a diverse set of skills and experiences that include strategists, designers, analysts—just to name a few—in addition to traditional engineering roles.
What is your favorite part of SingleStone?
For me, it’s our culture of learning. Year over year, I learn and grow so much as a person and a professional. I think part of that is because the consulting industry in general is fascinating…you’re always learning about new businesses and new problems. The other part is our culture at SingleStone and our team of curious people who challenge each other to learn and grow every day.
Have you stuck around at one company for awhile or jumped from job to job? How has that impacted your career? Is your company using tools/technologies the “old way”? Send us a message or share a comment below.
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