March 15, 2021 - Blog

10 Years, 40 Quarters, 520 weeks, 3653 Days

Tom O'Connor, CEO of Version 1

Good Things Come in Threes

Version 1 is celebrating being recognised officially as a Great Place to Work in Ireland for the tenth consecutive year. Great things really did come in threes for us at the 19th annual Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces in Ireland virtual awards on the 10th of March 2021 for three separate achievements:

  1. Being named a Top 10 Best Workplace in the Large Workplace category (in 6th place).
  2. For receiving the prestigious ‘Inspiring Award 2021’ for our Shadow Board programme at Version 1.
  3. Last but certainly not least – for winning a ‘Best Workplace Laureate Award’ for successfully maintaining our Great Place to Work status for the past 10 years consecutively.

Reflecting on the Last 10 Years

It’s at these significant milestones that I’m prompted to reflect on my highlights of the previous years and to share the significance to Version 1 as an employer, and to myself personally. However, I always find it difficult to quantify success in terms of years (and consecutive years particularly).

Why? Well, it’s ingrained in me as a ‘Version 1er’ with our unique balanced operating model (Our Difference) to view success (and any potential shortcomings) on a quarterly basis, to a quarterly rhythm.

Our Difference 

What is our Difference? It’s our unique approach to achieving success quarterly across three commitments equally. These commitments are:

  • Customer Success: Make a real difference for our customers.
  • Empowered Employees: Build an empowering culture and growing a strong organisation for the future.
  • Strong Organisation: Grow a high-performing, financially strong organisation of the highest integrity – a strength that empowers our people and delivers customer success.

We know that our greatest strength is balance across all three commitments to our customers, our people and our company’s financial performance. Those looking for a short-term result or an easier road might sacrifice one benefit for another, but at Version 1, we never will. We know that our greatest strength is balance across all three. This is The Version 1 Difference.

Wired for Success 

When we discuss our balanced operating model with people outside of Version 1 such as our customers and prospective employees – the reaction is nearly always one of surprise or curiosity as to how we could keep up the balance quarter after quarter – for year after year. Achieving equal success every quarter for our customers, our people and our organisation is what makes Version 1 unique, but it’s not easy. It needs a specific set of behaviours to deliver this success consistently: our Core Values. That’s how we ensure the 365 days in a year are navigated skilfully. Every decision we make is governed by six core values. They are simply stated, non-negotiable and ever present.

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Personal Commitment
  • No Ego
  • Customer First
  • Excellence
  • Drive

Our Core Values are not aspirational – they are real and lived, it’s how our people are inherently wired, and this is how we spot ‘Version 1ers’– as values cannot be faked. As our Core Values govern every single decision we make, from the smallest to the largest, we look for them when we are hiring. If you think your DNA matches ours and this sounds like the environment you need to thrive, we have plenty of opportunities of all levels available currently.

40 Quarters of Dedication

So, to go back to my point above about celebrating or viewing milestones in terms of years, or rather looking back over a year and planning for a year ahead, internally at Version 1, we deeply study how we can achieve success across all sides of our triangle on a quarterly basis. We treat each quarter with the same energy and dedication as if it’s a year in itself. If something goes out of balance, we have to rectify it by the next quarter. This isn’t easy and requires tenacity of the highest degree. It makes Version 1 a “Great Place to Work Not an Easy Place to Work.”

40 Quarters of Balance

Our people operate to this sustained quarterly rhythm and when I’m asked what my highlights of the last ten years are – it’s the fact that our people have dedicated their time, innovation, creativity, analysis and energy to 40 quarters of balance – which has been no mean feat – but we believe it makes us a very unique place to work and a Great Place to Work for people who crave something very different for their career.

So – to try to distil my highlights of the past 10 years as (an official) Great Place to Work, it’s only right to share with you what our people have ultimately enabled us to maintain across the three sides of our triangle over 10 Years, 40 Quarters, 520 weeks, 3653 Days:

EMPOWERED EMPLOYEES 

STRONG ORGANISATION  

CUSTOMER SUCCESS 

Thank You

Our employees’ achievements above are just the tip of the iceberg and there have been many other moments over the past 40 quarters that I’ve been taken aback and left in complete awe of what our people have managed to achieve during a quarter.

I want to give a huge thanks to everyone at Version 1 for making these achievements possible and for everything you have delivered over 10 Years, 40 Quarters, 520 weeks, 3653 Days. It’s hard to imagine what we will look like in another 10 years – when our 10x strategy has been implemented and we have ramped up all of these efforts x10 – which is a story for another day!

I would like to finish up with a massive thank you again to our people, our customers, our partners and the greater communities in which we operate for supporting us in reaching this milestone.

Tom

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