If you are a regular here at the Mind the Gap blog, you have surely noticed us discussing gap intelligence’s culture and core values. At gap intelligence, gappers live by the five core values that are the foundation of the company’s identity.
If you have the chance to meet gappers throughout the organization (currently there are nearly fifty of us), you would clearly see the group is a curated collection of these qualities. The company looks for these values throughout the recruiting process and, once hired, nurtures an environment that these values live on to create a gaptastic workplace. For those of you non gap intelligence regulars, here is gapGlossary to help you understand some of the language spoken at gap intelligence, thanks to Danielle Skarin.
What does Professionalism Mean (to me)?
Of all the values here at gap intelligence I have to admit that I’ve had a hard time really understanding what “Professionalism” was all about. Of course, you behave professionally in the workplace when interacting with others either internally or externally. You represent and advocate for the company, department or yourself with integrity and by adhering to the guiding principles of your organization. Who wouldn’t? However, I have recently come to realize why this seemingly obvious value made the list at gap. It was by a single encounter with a piece of calligraphy stating one word, 道. (It took me a whole three years. Happy Anniversary to me.) Here is my interpretation of Professionalism.
Being a professional means:
Take pride in what you do
Make continuous improvements
Never stop learning
Path to Mastering Skills
In the culture I come from, there is an ancient concept taught that the path to mastering one’s skill is a way of life. This art of mastering is literally written as a “path.&rdquo
The Tea Ceremony is a perfect example of this journey to mastery. Tea Masters practice the rather simple ritual of making tea to its mastery level. Over. And. Over. There are strict laws how every single step of the Tea Ceremony is performed leaving no room for your creativity, yet it takes one’s lifetime to perfect this skill until you become able to perform it in a flawless and elegant sequence. In repetition of this sequence through the four seasons and ups and downs of life, you encounter numerous opportunities to learn about the environment that surrounds you and ultimately about yourself within. Failures would keep you humble, success would grow your confidence but at times make you arrogant. You may question your approach and the process when things are not going the way you expect. The key here is to keep learning, love the journey, and be obsessed.
The Path to Great Fantastic Data
While the Tea Ceremony is an extreme example, the art of mastering is everywhere today if you look around closely – the craftsmanship for ramen, beer, and latte art just to name a few. In fact, I witness the craft of Great Fantastic Data taking place at gap intelligence every day. Through ups and downs of industries and seasons coming and going, my fellow gappers take pride in producing the most accurate and consistent data and services that our clients rely on to make their business decisions. And let’s not forget about all the love and fun that goes along with being a gapper.
This is the professionalism that my colleagues show me on a daily basis and I am encouraged and empowered to keep working on my own professionalism (while practicing my tea ceremony).