The Rest of the Iceberg – Ideomed’s Intentional Culture

iceburgSome of the world’s most familiar brands and beloved products are as well known for their corporate cultures as they are for what they do. The most obvious examples, particularly in the Tech sector are Apple, Google, and Facebook. Just the mention of these companies conjures images of cool products and services that everyone can instantly identify, and most of us interact with daily. The fact that each is as well known for the work environments behind their products is equally significant. It speaks to the reality that a great product is just the “tip of the iceberg”. Looking below the surface, at “the rest of the iceberg”, is to understand what it takes to deliver products and services that delight, amaze, and inspire; an environment that fosters creativity and  encourages innovation.

Ideomed has been around for about four years, and our flagship mobile health solution, Abriiz, has been used by hundreds of people of all ages and medical conditions, from across the country. As a team, we’re pretty excited about helping people get more engaged in their health, and enjoy a better quality of life as a result. While we are not quite as recognizable as the world’s best known brands (yet), we ARE on our way! We believe that Ideomed’s culture plays an instrumental role in our getting there.

The team thought it would be cool to “peak behind the curtain” and show off what makes Ideomed an awesome place to work. In this periodic blog column our team members will share some of the characteristics of our corporate culture. This week’s entry comes from Operations Associate, Emma M.

The ‘On Time’ Jar

About a year ago our company was going through some intense internal growth and change. Employees’ schedules were in constant flux and this turbulent employee shift brought with it a marked frustration: critical meetings were being missed… A LOT! The subject of meetings may not seem like the the most obvious choice for highlighting innovative corporate culture, but stick with me…

Ideomed is a small company and every role is different, multi-dimensional, and mission critical. As fast as things move around here, we count on our bi-monthly staff meeting as an opportunity for everyone on the team to download and sync with each other. We wanted to create awareness and emphasize the importance of these meetings to our successful collaboration, without being heavy handed or punitive.

So we created the ‘On Time Jar’  – The idea was simple. There’s a jar in each conference room. Every employee has a bundle of Popsicle sticks labeled with their names. Before the start of any meeting, team members who arrive on time place a stick in the jar. A stick is drawn every two weeks at the full-team meeting and the winner receives a small prize.on-time

Prizes vary from lunch to lawn care items, treats to cheeky gifts. It’s been a big hit, and employees make sure that the drawing is never forgotten! With a minor incentive and public reward, we succeeded in getting the team better engaged in a more timely manner.

Don’t underestimate the power of incentive and also the power of collective solutions to collective problems. The encouragement that the incentive provides created some friendly competition to see who could be on time most often. An e-mail with a meeting announcement would not have had the same effect, and penalizing team members for being late or missing meetings would have been contrary to the positive vibe we work to foster.  But some popsicle sticks and small prizes fit within our cultural framework, and that made all the difference.


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