Month: September 2014

Celebrating the new Md7.com

In celebration of the new site (and the return of football) the San Diego office threw a kick-off party with craft sodas and beer, stadium snacks, and encouraged employees to wear their favorite jerseys as they gathered together to launch the new website.

Fun and games aside, the event was also a way to recognize how far Md7 had come and to engage employees and ignite excitement for where Md7 is heading.

See more photos on our Facebook page!

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Md7 Vision and Purpose

The Md7 Vision and Purpose statement is just seven words long.

Developing innovative solutions for communication networks globally

You would think that anyone could easily write a seven-word statement. However, this particular seven-word statement took the leadership team at Md7 over six years to develop. Md7 was founded in January 2003 and wrote this statement in January 2009, in conjunction with our six defining core values.

The leadership team at Md7 actually labored quite a lot over these defining seven words. We went through several drafts but none felt as if it would survive the test of time. We were inspired by the book, Built to Last by Jim Collins (the book that predated Collin’s more well-known book Good to Great) to define a purpose that would last for 100 years. We talked about developing something that our great-grandchildren would continue to use if they were leading this company in the year 2109.

In chapter 11 of Built to Last, Collins states that a company’s purpose should tap its “idealistic motives” and get to “the deeper reasons for an organization’s existence.” He quotes David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, as saying “I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists solely to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reason for our being.”

The team at Md7 looks forward to what the next 95 years of innovation may bring.


Scouting for Talent the Md7 Way

by Michael Moskowitz
Director of Human Resources

Emphasizing the three T’s – talent, training and technology – differentiates Md7. Talent, in the organizational sense of the word, is the sum of a person’s skills, knowledge, attitude and behavior that fill a company need. People with special abilities, aptitudes, and capacity for achievement and growth are at the core of every successful organization. Successful organizations start with talented people who continually surround themselves with other talented people with the willingness and ability to help each other achieve the organization’s vision, mission and goals.

Continuously finding, hiring, retaining and integrating talented people are essential to organizational success, but how are these extraordinarily challenging processes accomplished? The answer to this question requires much more than this 800 word blog! But for now, let’s start with the initial piece of one of the processes – how does Md7 find talented people?

A 22 year old waitress (let’s call her Estelle) works for a high end restaurant in a small European city where she lives and where Md7 has an office. When our managers ate a celebratory dinner there one evening, she provided exceptional customer service. After establishing rapport and engaging in friendly conversation with Estelle, the managers discovered that she is in the second year of a four year college program majoring in International Business. She spoke flawless English but revealed she is also fluent in four languages in which Md7 conducts business. Estelle has arranged for an internship for her third year and is looking to do a fourth year internship with a company that does business internationally. Her goal is to graduate and work in the small European city where she and her parents now live. Could Estelle be a future Md7 employee?

Talents desired by an organization are defined by its products and services. A trucking firm, for example, requires different talents than Md7. We’ve identified the “core” talents of our most successful employees and seek them in new hires. Md7 products and services focus on industry-specific lease negotiation and processing. We look for talented people with work experience in law, real estate and telecommunications. As a sales organization with a significant commission compensation component for our lease negotiators, we seek talented people with the ability to influence others, an entrepreneurial spirit and a matching risk/reward motivational attitude. As a customer service organization that relies on delivering exceptional products and services on time every time, we search for talented people who are critical thinkers, customer and process-oriented, and detail-minded who work effectively both independently and as team members. As an international company, we seek people who are fluent in English and other languages in which we conduct business.

On a business flight to a European city where an Md7 office is located, an Md7 manager engages in friendly conversation with a personable 35 year old attorney for a large multinational accounting firm with headquarters in Texas. Let’s call him Carlos. He is their Credit Manager and manages the Budapest office where he lives with his wife. She works in Budapest for the foreign embassy of the Central American country in which she was born. Each speaks flawless English and five languages in which Md7 conducts business. Carlos’ territory spans several European countries so he travels 2-3 weeks every month. He has worked for the company eight years. His frustration, in addition to spending too much time away from his wife, is that headquarters continually sends him associates who don’t have sensitivity to cultural differences. Not handled properly, Carlos knows all about the significant negative impact on customer satisfaction and new business cultivation. Carlos is in constant training and orientation mode with these new associates and headquarters ignores his pleas to either educate them prior to being sent overseas or to hire people with compatible cultural backgrounds. He longs for the day when he and his wife live and work in the same city so they can start a family. Could Carlos and his wife be future Md7 employees?

At Md7, we understand that no one comes to us with all talents to perform exceptionally from day one. We recognize that certain talents are nice to have while certain talents are must-haves; some talents can be acquired and honed by training, others cannot. Everyone needs extensive training to learn the Md7 way.

Md7, like most companies, cover standard bases to find talented people – classified ads, social media, colleges and trade schools, referrals from current and past employees, etc. But unorthodox methods, like talking with strangers (something my mother taught me to never do!) augment those standard efforts and sometimes produce results.

Will Estelle, Carlos and his wife become Md7 employees? Only time and circumstances will tell. Traditional thinking and standard practice would have never put them on our radar for consideration. Employing non-traditional methods as well and emphasizing the 3 T’s differentiates Md7.

Michael Moskowitz is Director of Human Resources with Md7. He has more than 30 years of experience in human resource management, training and organizational development. Michael has taught the Training and Development course at the University of California San Diego Extension campus for 25 years. Michael’s book, A Practical Guide to Training and Development: Assess, Design, Deliver and Evaluate, was published by John Wiley and Sons in 2008.


Product Review: Spigen Tough Armor Case for iPhone

by Lynn Whitcher
Associate General Counsel

I spilled my two-year old nephew’s lemonade slushy in my purse during a baseball game recently and, as luck would have it, my cell phone was ruined.  After weeks of trying to get all the gunk out of the buttons and speakers, I finally broke down and got another iPhone.  But then began the odyssey of finding the perfect case.  I had been a loyal Speck customer for years, but the rubber edging had been wearing down pretty quickly on my last few cases and I was tired of replacing it with the same old thing.  I wanted something different.  I wanted something sleek.

Enter, the Tough Armor case by Spigen.  It has a hard polycarbonate outer shell with specially designed shock absorbent corners and shock dispersing interior lining.  The raised bevel edge on the front of the case protects the screen from scratches, without the stretching seen with the Speck.  (I added a screen protector too, sold separately.)  The power and volume button covers are easy to use and very responsive to the touch.  The case is made of high quality materials, so it’s super light (31 grams) and has a slim profile (adding just 4.4 mm in height).  Amazon sells this case for about $19 and offers a video review that does a great job of going over the features.  The case is available in six colors, including champagne gold, silver, white and black.

The Spigen isn’t watertight, so it won’t save me from future lemonade slushy spills.  I do expect it will provide excellent protection at the bottom of my purse or gym bag, and from the inevitable fact that I will drop my phone a few times.  Overall, it’s the perfect balance of function and design – just like the iPhone.

Note: the Spigen Tough Armor case is also available for the newly-announced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

 


The Google Self-Driving Car Will Increase Demand for Bandwidth (and Increase my waistline)

Tom Leddo
Vice President of Business Development

My old college roommate used to say, “if you want a sure winner, buy shares of Taco Bell, because Tommy eats there so much the profits are going through the roof.” It’s true; even now I still love Taco Bell! But a desire to try to maintain a healthier lifestyle than I did in college is only the second biggest reason why my consumption of Combo #1 with a Diet Pepsi has decreased. The biggest reason is that it is too hard to eat a Burrito Supreme and a Crunchy Taco Supreme while driving. No matter how careful I am I end up with sour cream, beans and grease stains on my shirt.

But those stains may soon be a thing of the past because we are probably living within a generation of the Google Self-Driving Car becoming mainstream. And when it is mainstream, I can eat all the Americanized Mexican food I want in my best suit and tie without any worries.

If you are skeptical, then watch this video of a man living his daily routine in a driver-less Prius. Pretty cool stuff!

Now, even I can only eat so many burritos and tacos in a given day. So what will I do with the rest of my time in my self-driving car on my daily commute?   That’s easy, I’ll do the same thing I do with the rest of my idle time – play with my iPhone!

There is a big need for the wireless industry to increase capacity in areas where data growth is driving the demand for bandwidth. The current thought is that smart-phone users eat up the greatest amount of bandwidth while stationary – at home, the office, coffee shops, airports, tourist areas, etc. Simply put, it is not a good idea to stream an episode of Game of Thrones while driving. But my son streams Sponge Bob Square Pants while my wife or I am driving. Take a minute to ponder how the need for wireless infrastructure will evolve if we all start streaming video and posting narcissistic comments and photos about ourselves while being driverless-chauffeured to and from work like a four-year old boy on his way to and from preschool.

Data demand (and subsequently bandwidth) will be needed along every road, not just in places where we are stationary.

That is a lot of cell sites! Better make sure your site acquisition partner is a good one.