Ask any Source Allies teammate what the key to our success is, and they will tell you without hesitation it is our positive culture and ownership mindset. We have a culture that supports teams making their own decisions and shaping their own future. This culture enables Source Allies to be a high-performing organization fueled by self-direction, collaboration, continuous learning, and peer-to-peer feedback.
How it all Started
In 2002, in his early twenties, Matt Vincent founded Source Allies, initially working from his house. When asked about what motivated him, Matt shared, “What’s appealing about starting a company is that it’s a means of creating your own future. I knew I wanted to be around people who also desired freedom to set their own path. So, I began to build Source Allies on concepts that I personally believed in: freedom of choice, autonomy, humility, and continuous learning.”
This unique company mentality attracted technologists who were similarly motivated and brought in a diverse range of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests. Our common desire for freedom is reflected in a number of ways: our flat organizational structure, self-directed teams, organic leadership, shared interest in teaching, enthusiasm for pushing past personal comfort zones, peer-to-peer feedback, and de-emphasizing of job titles. In short, our teammates are liberated to define their own path for personal and professional growth.
Flat Organizational Structure
In 2008, Matt’s father, Roger Vincent, started working with Source Allies, bringing 30 years of manufacturing operations experience. Roger was the perfect fit to foster continued growth while maintaining a flat organizational structure. He was able to share decades of success in empowering semi-autonomous work teams at larger companies, including Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo.
Roger identified the parallel between self-directed software teams (uncommon in IT) and the semi-autonomous manufacturing work groups he had enabled over the past decades. Roger’s leadership led to a continued focus on self-direction, enabling Source Allies’ teams to make decisions around matters impacting them to drive positive change.
Ever-Evolving High Performance Culture
Our culture of self-direction is closely aligned with what we call our “ownership mindset”. This mindset is the key factor that sets Source Allies apart from other IT consulting firms. Our partners frequently comment on how Source Allies teammates quickly take ownership of the process and product being created. Decisions are made with an owner’s desire to innovate, focus on quality, and balance short and long term wins.
This ownership mindset brings out the best in everyone, from the newest to the most seasoned teammate. We hear from our teammates, “what can we do right now to improve what we have?” instead of, “that’s for the higher-ups to decide”.
This ownership mindset has a multiplier effect that allows teams to build on individual strengths to deliver unprecedented value to our partners. We truly believe that a close-knit, empowered team will always surpass that of a loose collection of individuals.
Another element that propels Source Allies forward is our focus on continuous learning. We never think we’ve “made it” or that we’ve “arrived”. Instead, we are energized and inspired by like-minded teammates, steadily practicing our crafts, and learning from (and teaching) each other. This practice can be seen in a number of ways. On any given evening, Source Allies’ teammates can be found participating in various IT user groups, charity hackathons, organizing and speaking at local and national IT conferences, keeping their skills sharp with side projects, and being involved in open source software communities.
Internal Focus Leading to External Success
We have experienced sustained success by continuously looking inward when reflecting on how to improve. Whereas some company visions/values are externally focused, we focus inwardly, knowing that when our teammates are supported (and support each other) the organization will thrive. When things get tough, we first ask “how can I improve?” This approach has fostered our reputation for excellence and new business growth.
As a result, we plan to stay the course of remaining a flat organization and growing organically in a self-directed manner. We continue to work with exceptional teammates and offer a variety of challenging problems to solve. None of this would be possible without the support of our team, our partners, the local tech community and the City of Urbandale.