KARINS WAY PROGRAM: INVESTING IN INNOVATION
Over our 20 years in business we’ve learned the value of collaborating across multiple disciplines to solve our clients’ problems. In the Karins Way Program, we put a similar emphasis on inviting voices from diverse perspectives into the problem-solving process. We gave staff across offices the opportunity to lead innovations together, creating shared ownership and diversity in ideas.
We recently spoke with core team member Julia Fabrizi from the St. Pete office about the meaning of team synergy, friendly competition, and the benefits of collaborating at a distance.
What was it like collaborating with staff from different offices?
It’s great - I always learn something from someone. It’s interesting to get an idea of the differences in processes between locations. It’s always fun to spend some time with employees at other locations and build working relationships that we don’t normally have the chance to do day to day. It’s motivating to be reminded that we’re part of a whole, and that we’re all working toward greater success for Karins and for ourselves.
What was the process of ideation like on your team?
It was fun – just the idea of being on a “team” I think is a fun concept we can remember from childhood and it brings out a bit of friendly competitiveness while bringing people together in the sense of “I’ve gotta do my part well because I can’t let my team down” which in turn I think leads to fun and productive output for the company.
How did being distant effect the collaboration on your team?
I think there are pros and cons to it. Obviously being face to face would have been great because there likely would have been fewer communication issues (technical issues, connectivity issues, language barriers, can’t see all people, etc.) however the software we used seemed to work great. GoToMeeting saved us all the time of driving and gathering and allowed us to simply log on, get straight to the point, and then log off and go right back to work. I do believe that our team raised the same concerns we likely would have raised face to face, so in the end, I think this was an efficient and effective way to work on this project.
What results would you like to see come of the solutions you created?
I think we would all agree that getting all locations uniform documents like logos, formats, spec updates, report and proposal templates is a massive undertaking but absolutely necessary. It tightens up our brand in the sense that when documentation from all locations of Karins is uniform, organized, updated and professional, people outside the company notice that and employees feel a greater sense of organization and confidence when sending documentation externally too.
How do you see your solutions bettering your clients’ experience?
I’ve always found great importance in providing excellent documents to each client. Excellent meaning accurate content from engineering content to spelling, grammar and format. When a company sends/exchanges documentation with a client or other businesses, people look at those documents and sort of get a feel for the company itself. I’ve received documentation from other companies that appeared unimpressive and therefore, almost on a subconscious level, their image was lessened. Documentation in a sense is another “face” of the company. And when you receive consistent, updated, and professional documents from a company, it’s another way that people can feel good about their choice of where to place their business.
What does “engineering integrity mean to you?
Engineering integrity to me means that from the first contact with every client, we exhibit our professionalism, we provide an excellent and useful product, we stay true to our word, transparent and remain fair. Equally important, we provide a great experience by just being good people and communicating personally and effectively with our clients. People remember a great experience with a business and more specifically the way they were treated by the person they worked with.