In a fast-growing company, identifying the most important thing to work on in any given situation is not easy. There are always exciting initiatives, ongoing efforts, and emerging opportunities competing for attention. When COVID-19 hit last year, this already difficult assessment became infinitely harder. In the early days of the pandemic, we knew we needed to come up with a way for all Icertians to prioritize their actions given the unprecedented — and deeply personal — impact of the pandemic. That's why we developed an approach that we call the "Four Rings of Responsibility":
- Take care of self
- Take care of family
- Take care of community
- Take care of business
The responsibilities are sequenced this way because we believed Icertians should first take care of themselves, then their family, then their communities – once these were taken care of, they would be able to focus much better on taking care of business.
Icertians Wear the Four Rings
Icertians embraced this approach and, in the early days of the pandemic, were able to spend the time they needed to take care of themselves and their families and respond to the huge disruptions that stay-at-home orders had on their lives.
As the first two Rings were taken care of, we were happy and grateful to be able to focus on the third Ring — "take care of community" — and give back in all the regions we operate. These efforts included providing meals to Seattle school students, PPE to the local health authority in Pune, assistance to the Red Cross in Germany, and support to scientific research at the University of Washington.
It is also wonderful to note that as Icertians were focusing on the first three Rings (and maybe because they could focus on those), they were also doing an incredible job of "taking care of business," the fourth Ring. It is a testament to the efforts of all Icertians that these last 12 months were marked by tremendous success for the company — we raised a new round of funding, were named the undisputed leader in our category, and were recognized for our unmatched technology.
Icertis (the Company) Wears the Four Rings
Yet as we continued to expand as a business, we were aware that the pandemic was far from over and that we needed to continue to utilize the Four Rings of Responsibility to guide us. So, when COVID had a tragic resurgence in India this spring, we met this new challenge by rethinking and deepening our understanding of what Responsibility meant for the company.
As we saw first-hand the effects this terrible disease was having on our co-workers, their loved ones, and our community, we felt a profound obligation to do more to take care of our Icertis family the way Icertians had taken care of their own households. And we recognized that we needed to double down on taking care of community and show a new level of corporate leadership–in particular, in our hometown of Pune in the hard-hit state of Maharashtra. The company had to wear the Four Rings of Responsibility like never before.
We are proud to say that through the tireless efforts of our team we were able to accomplish an incredible amount in a very short period of time, including:
- In April, we conducted a vaccine clinic for Icertians ages 45+, and in June we expanded the vaccine clinic to all Icertians and their family members 18+ as well as office cleaning and security staff. To date, we have facilitated almost 800 vaccinations.
- In May we raised over $100K for the family of an Icertian who lost his life due to COVID-19. Icertians, the executive team, and our Board, all contributed generously to ensure his two children and wife were supported in the most challenging of times.
- In mid-May, we created a new policy that for the coming six weeks, Icertians in India would have Mondays off to take care of themselves and their families amidst the renewed quarantines and the strain that put on them.
- In late May, we sponsored a Pune-area widespread "vaccinations on wheels" initiative for the community, in coordination with the local Rotary Club.
- And most recently, in early June, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Singhagad, we donated an ‘Advanced Cardiac Ambulance' to Sahyadri Hospital – an institution at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic.
We are deeply grateful to the team who worked tirelessly to not only deliver these initiatives but also support many individual Icertians and their families in truly challenging circumstances. They have expanded the idea of what "take care of family" and "take care of community" mean to us and made what seemed impossible become a reality.
At Icertis, everything we do, including the Four Rings, is guided by our FORTE values of Fairness, Openness, Respect, Teamwork, and Execution. We like to say that the key to Execution is "focus, follow-up, follow-through — fast!", and we feel that these rapid response efforts in support of Icertians, their families and our community have exemplified the very best of what FORTE means.
We know that we are still not through this pandemic, but we feel confident that, with the Four Rings of Responsibility and our FORTE values, we are ready to help ourselves, our family, our community, and our business overcome any challenge that we may face.