Spotlight on Core Values: Balanced Life – Work smarter, not longer
by Cheryl Bobbitt
Director of Corporate Responsibility
“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.” ~ Anonymous
The qualities considered necessary to produce a balanced life will appear as varied from one individual to the next as will their social, ideological and moral principles. Because of this, we encourage our employees to find their own unique balance between work life and personal life and we look for ways to inspire them to find the place where healthy equilibrium in life can be achieved.
“How Will You Measure Your Life? is the title of an article by Clayton M. Christensen published in HBR’s 10 Must Reads – On Managing Yourself. Christensen poses three questions that we at Md7 must also answer:
- How can I be happy in my career?
- How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness?
- How can I live my life with integrity?
Because in the busyness of life we rarely pause long enough from our work or play to assess our personal values, taking the time necessary to delve into the process of establishing enduring answers to the above questions can be a life-altering investment.
At Md7 we not only encourage the establishment of personal core values, but we are purposeful in our encouragement of our employees to maintain the integrity of their commitment to those values. We encourage involvement in activities outside of work that will promote family unity and growth in relationships; and activities that will produce personal growth through involvement in athletic, artistic and cultural enrichment activities.
The establishment of personal values and guarding the integrity of commitment to work-life balance will produce happy employees who will contribute to the success and growth of Md7.
Respect for the Individual
By Michael Moskowitz
Human Resources Director
“As long as I am focused on myself, I can’t fully focus either on results or on the people whom I am to be delivering these results.”
Leadership and Self-Deception, page 109
In 2014, every Md7 team member participated in a training program using the book Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute as a basis for the program. The training highlights one or more of our six company Core Values with ways to integrate them into our life and daily work.
The book is a great reminder that life and work are more enjoyable (and probably more productive and satisfying) when we behave empathetically and demonstrate respect for the people we interact with every day, taking the time and effort necessary to understand their perspectives.
The training program encourages everyone to behave according to the Md7 Core Value of “Respect for the Individual” through identifying, understanding and empathizing with the needs of fellow team members. We recognize that leaders who demonstrate respect for individuals can more effectively influence those individuals to achieve goals. Empathetic leaders facilitate a team environment where members tend to respect each other, leading to greater team communication, productivity and goal achievement. Team members tend to respect others when they are treated respectfully. As the cliché goes, “what goes around comes around.”
Not all people take to this concept immediately and automatically. Our training program points out the benefits, barriers and challenges of demonstrating respect for all individuals – fellow Md7 team members, clients and vendors alike. The training’s goal is to facilitate changes in skill and knowledge which, we have learned, leads to changes in attitudes and behavior. At the conclusion of the training program, all participants are onboard, ready to explore and commit to the Core Value.
Are we done? No. One of Md7’s other six Core Values is “Continuous Improvement,” so we are forever on a journey to seek better days tomorrow.
Did you know that Md7 does Zoning & permitting?
Zoning and Permitting Highlights
Md7 is developing new best practices in the field of zoning and permitting. Our team of zoning and permitting professionals leverages the experience of former planners, construction project managers, and attorneys to reduce overall project cycle times and get our clients on air faster.
- Performed Zoning and/or Permit (building, electrical, mechanical, and floodplain) services in 36 states including California, Florida, New Jersey and New York;
- Reviewed Zoning and Permit requirements for over 9,000 sites;
- Services include preparation of Airspace Studies, Joint Spectrum Analyses, and customized reports tailored to the jurisdictional requirements providing scope of work detail.
COST AND CYCLE-TIME REDUCTIONS
- On a recent client project involving over one thousand antenna modifications across six states nationwide we reduced cycle times on 60% of the sites:
- Jurisdictions forecasted 30 days for Admin Zoning Approval – in many cases, actual approvals were obtained in half that time;
- Jurisdictions forecasted 30 business days for Building Permits – in most cases, Md7 had permits issued in 14 business days or less;
- Persuaded jurisdictions to reclassify site modification projects originally designated as needing Public Hearings to Administrative Review, resulting in zoning completion dates 90 days sooner than forecasted by carrier.
WHAT HELPS SET US APART
We maintain a growing database of best practices, contacts, forms, code provisions, etc., for all jurisdictions (currently, over 3,500) where Md7 has performed services.
STATES WHERE MD7 HAS PERFORMED ZONING AND PERMIT SERVICES
by Daniel Goodrich
Too often we find our industry is focused on deadlines and bottom lines. Especially towards the end of Q4, the holiday crunch tends to intensify that focus.
Even though Md7 is working hard straight into the New Year, we at the San Diego office took a brief moment among the chaos to make an enormous impact with our Holiday Food Drive Challenge.
The goal: collect as many non-perishable food items as possible in under a week and donate them to local charities in desperate need.
The challenge: split the office into two competing teams, where each team would strategize to accumulate as many food items as possible.
The process: our competitive nature truly fueled the charitable fire while team members:
- emptied cash from their wallets;
- convinced others to empty their own;
- sold baked goods;
- cleared out home cupboards;
- taxied crates of food from the store to the office; and
- even auctioned unique packages (e.g. wine tasting, fancy dinner, even car washing) – time that the executives of the company graciously donated!
The result: The employees of Md7 were able to donate over 5,000 total items and over $1,500.00 dollars (plus a cash donation of $650.00 dollars from Md7 itself) to the following local charities:
These items were carefully selected to give local charities what is actually missing from the hands of those in need.
So, while “Giving Back” is one of Md7’s Core Values that does not directly equate to profitability, its value to us and to others knows no bounds.
The mobile industry is tough. With only a handful of wireless operators each trying to parlay new customers out of a saturated and demanding marketplace, the business climate is competitive to say the least. Wireless subscribers want cooler smart phones, more apps, more speed, more bandwidth, and they want it all for a lower monthly price.
Being successful in this kind of environment requires extraordinary effort. So servicing this kind of a client can be a daunting task for the team at Md7 as we work with wireless operators to help them effectively manage and grow their very large portfolios of wireless real estate in a way that’s never been done before.
The explosive demand for wireless data is forcing our clients, the wireless operators, to develop new best practices. When you’re helping people change the way they do business, customer satisfaction is no longer enough. A company must engender customer loyalty to make a difference. It’s not about responding to client needs, but anticipating them and then fixing any problems you encounter along the way. In short, it’s about giving a client more than they expect. In the end, a good deal or great results isn’t enough. At Md7, we call this “extreme service.”
Amazon.com recently introduced Sunday delivery in partnership with the US Postal Service. This is to address the biggest problem with online shopping – the denial of instant gratification. Amazon knows and anticipates the needs of its customers before we even realize they exist. The first reaction of many when they hear about Sunday delivery is “why?” but after trying it a few times it becomes addicting and can streamline a weekend project by eliminating a run to Home Depot or Target.
Because Md7 is seeking to redefine the way cellular communication sites are acquired and managed we must work to earn this same level of confidence with our own clients. We must anticipate our clients needs for faster site acquisition (both outdoor and indoor) at unprecedented volumes and develop new process and tools in anticipation of this challenge. This is Md7’s current extreme service challenge.
Kaizen – the Japanese term for “continuous improvement” or “good change” was first implemented in industrial Japan during the post-World War II era. Edward Deming, an American statistician, inspired the Japanese to seek new methods of production efficiency during the post war occupation by General Douglas MacArthur’s forces.
Rising from the rebuilt Japanese economy was this concept that many, successive, incremental changes can combine to create substantial change. And the ideas for these small changes can come from any individual within the company from the CEO down to the line worker on the factory floor. You do not need to completely rebuild and change everything every time you seek improvement. You simply need to keep measuring results and move forward on a daily basis.
While Md7 does not manufacture industrial products, we do “manufacture” leases and other related real estate documents for the wireless industry in high volume. We negotiate, process, and execute more wireless real estate documents each business day than almost anyone else in the world. In order to do this effectively, Md7 must continuously improve our processes and software. LiveTrack™, our proprietary software that we use to track and facilitate each and every step in the site acquisition process, is evaluated and updated on an almost daily basis. We never wait for the “next release” of the software. If we have a need, we diagnose the problem, whiteboard the solution, develop and update process flow, and then modify the software – all within days – to keep the flow of leases and all other stages in the site acquisition process flowing with scale and efficiency.
We also continuously train and retrain all of our employees on the latest changes in our processes and LiveTrack as well as constantly re-evaluating our negotiation techniques.
We don’t continuously improve because it is one of our core values; it is one of our core values because we continuously improve. It is part of our corporate DNA.
 One Small Step Can Change Your Life, by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.
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.