Michael Michael August 9, 2022
One of my favorite activities as an executive is interviewing candidates and meeting individuals from diverse backgrounds and work experiences. Interviewing and hiring are high-impact and high-leverage activities that all leaders need to invest their time in — hiring quality candidates is worth every minute spent.
We know what we are looking for in candidates, and we frame questions in such a way that we can ultimately highlight each candidate’s skills and make a decision whether to hire. However, interviews include a second dimension since the candidate also needs to understand what we do and assess whether we are a good fit for the next step in their career. To give them a baseline, I often talk about what makes Nuvalence unique, concentrating on the three keys that make us successful.
Relentless focus on outcomes
Many professional services companies place staff in roles within a client’s organization, where the staff contributes to a shared set of goals. We take a different approach, focusing on generating great outcomes, which is our first key to success. When you place a huge emphasis on great outcomes, you have to always think of the long-term impact of what you are building, avoid short-term hacks, and establish a level of trust with your clients. To maximize the value generated, Nuvalence also forms a partnership, a bond, with our clients. Through that bond, we teach and elevate our clients, transferring knowledge and skills. We want the individuals we work with to get better as a result of our involvement. To do that, our engineers fill the role of a player/coach, working alongside client teams to accelerate delivery and generate great outcomes. Our client’s outcome is our outcome, and project success with minimal friction is the true north.
Nuvalence Trivia: The covalent bond served as inspiration for the origin of our company name, Nuvalence. A covalent bond occurs when valence electrons are shared between atoms to increase their stability.
To demonstrate excellence and generate great outcomes, we set a high bar for the quality of work that every Nuvalien turns in, whether it is a document, a piece of code, or a presentation. To establish and maintain that bar, we use peer reviews and knowledge transfers to enhance the quality of our work, reinforce positive behavior, and never turn in a deliverable we are not proud of.
Our team members are difference makers
It is always easier (an unfair advantage to be honest) to generate great outcomes when you have elite personnel. The individuals we hire are difference makers. This brings us to the second key to our success: we built Nuvalence with high-caliber, outcome-oriented individuals who have a growth mindset and embrace Nuvalence’s emphasis on career progression. Also important is the fact that Nuvalence and its personnel exhibit a drive to learn and grow as the technology field advances. As a result, we recommend (when appropriate) clients to use modern cloud technologies as a difference maker too.
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to build meaningful software you had to work for a software product company. Today, many companies are embarking on a digital journey, becoming in some meaningful way, software companies themselves to remain competitive. Many of the individuals and leaders we have at Nuvalence have a product development pedigree, resulting in a different style of approach to professional services. We have individuals with deep expertise in bringing sophisticated enterprise cloud products to market, benefiting a huge number of customers. That list includes the virtualization management business at Microsoft, building modern cloud platforms on Kubernetes, delivering key solutions on Windows Server, Microsoft Azure, Google, VMware, and Amazon to name a few. These complicated delivery systems prepared us to handle the complexity of creating the platforms our clients need. When we take our broad knowledge and apply it to a single client engagement, we provide tremendous value and benefit to the client. At the same time, we also generate a sense of fulfillment and personal satisfaction as it allows each person to leverage their collective knowledge from past experiences, share with peers and then collaborate to deliver outcomes that routinely exceed expectations. Our team has used their cloud native, distributed systems, and big data expertise to solve important problems and create impactful digital platforms for self-driving car software, mobility solutions, managing infectious disease outbreaks, renewable energy solutions, IoT connected systems, and digital intake and processing solutions. In many of those situations, time to market was a significant component of the software delivery. One example of rapid delivery of outcomes is the high-impact digital intake solution we built for the New York State Department of Labor’s Excluded Workers Fund, enabling the state to distribute $2.1 billion to help those who weathered the pandemic without access to government relief.
Product Mindset engagement model
Our internal organizational structure and our client engagement model is another example of how our product development background informs our approach, making this the third key to our success. We typically operate with two product development experts in a two-in-a-box model, with a Product Manager (PM) and an Engineer leading each of our engagements. For many of our team members, this is their first time working at a consulting company, and many had not considered consulting prior to Nuvalence. We bring a fresh approach, a product-minded approach, to consulting and are not bogged down with legacy consulting practices and methodologies. In fact, we don’t have sales people, analysts, client relationship managers, or project managers in our engagements. This is not because those roles are not useful, but because we operate based on what we know and what has delivered successful outcomes in the past. More importantly, PMs at software companies are not project managers and we take the same approach. PMs have extreme accountability for delivering a product that customers want – nothing is “not their job”. We bring that mentality to consulting. Our goal is not to just do what’s in the statement of work, it’s to deliver results, wear multiple hats, and fly at whatever altitude is necessary to make that happen. Personally, I have built strategy and go-to-market plans, led architecture discussions for a mobility platform, and helped troubleshoot OAuth issues in the span of a couple of days.
Maximizing our effectiveness
Our three keys create a powerful combination that provides superpowers to our clients and allows us to help them in unique ways. We’ve had clients say to us that we “hire the type of people that not only have strong technical capabilities but also have the breadth to run their own businesses”. That’s true and it’s hard to find these individuals, but we’re in the business of doing hard things. We use that skill set to identify and work on highly leveraged activities, making a difference and maximizing our effectiveness. That impact is one of the key reasons candidates thrive at Nuvalence. In fact, when I ask recent hires how they are adjusting at Nuvalence, they mention the impact through software, the opportunities to advance their career, being surrounded by a talented team, and working on the latest and greatest cloud technologies as the reasons they love Nuvalence.
Nuvalence is a next-generation agency using a product-driven approach to help enterprises define and build digital platforms and products. Our software engineers and product managers find ways to help the most ambitious companies accelerate innovation with a special emphasis on our unique abilities to modernize existing assets. We don’t just deliver software, we deliver outcomes.