I am a sucker for alliteration. I think it is even better than a good rhyming scheme.

I am also a sucker for putting first things first. You can see the results in my efforts from 12 years ago as I was putting the finishing touches on my game plan to launch interGen. I developed our core values with these two leanings in mind.

People, Places, Profit, Passion.

Those values have very particular meaning for our team. I developed them even before I had a clear vision of what it was interGen was supposed to do and be. In the beginning interGen offered “a broad array of products and services.” I did all sorts of stuff from gigantic inflatable outdoor movies, to large scale multimedia installations. I was doing consulting for non-profit organizations and had a steadily growing list of website clients. Try marketing that. It was a running joke among family and friends, “What is interGen?”

The bulk of the last decade was continually refining the answers to that question. What has not changed are the core values. People have always been first. While the importance of people to interGen has been consistent, my understanding of what that means continues to grow.

2017 was a pivotal year for interGen. We tripled our team and our client list. That is a lot more people to consider. I sometimes felt like there could be tension between how we handle relationships and how we handle the bottom line. While our profit value has alway meant much more than our balance sheet, I still felt a need to reconcile that tension.

I am not sure there is a single “aha” moment for me, but I know the significant factors were great dialogue with our team and insight gained through ongoing conversations with one of our new clients, Allison Garner of Align Coaching.

Allison shared with me a growing conversation out of Harvard Business School around Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDO’s). People are never the barrier to moving forward, they are the cause of and the reason for it. It is painfully obvious in retrospect. When those things seem at odds I am likely failing at both.

So the great insight coming into the new year is a growing appreciation of the best answer to the question from long ago. What is interGen? We are a company that puts people first. We always have been. We work hard to grow the people and the organizations with whom we are blessed to share the journey. Oh yeah, and we happen to be building a few pretty amazing websites along the way.