By Kazeem Olalekan CEO Iforg Limited
“A vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others” – Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish author and satirist
The above quote brings a wry smile to my lips. No doubt there was a good dose of satire imbued in that quote when it was written by the then Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. For there to be a vision, there must invariably; be a visionary. To the visionaries, we ascribe a lot of superhuman attributes; thus setting them up for an immaculate fall.
In the preface to the book that has now turned out to be Iforg Limited’s first completed project: “The Doctrine of Universal Truths” (2013), I wrote the following:
The journey so far…
Iforg Limited was incorporated on the second of October 2002 as a private limited company. I planned to use this company as a vehicle for developing my information technology (IT) career, and I needed a unique name. So I worked all night long on the right name. I came up with what I thought was a good one: INFOSYS—Information Systems—but, alas, this name had already been taken by a global behemoth. So I went back to the drawing board. In the end, I settled for IFORG: Information Organisation. It was unique, and, in 2006, I registered it as a trademark.
The stated aim of the business was to do good—i.e., to do the right thing in all aspects of the company’s undertakings. The mission was to develop patented or copyrighted technological solutions of the highest quality through focused projects, which would revolutionise the way specific tasks were performed in a stated area of practice. The core focus of Iforg, as I saw it, was to harness the many benefits of IT to deliver the best productivity results in different areas of health care practices.
The key was to rely on the strategic use of certain information technologies to deliver health care solutions, which would revolutionise the way certain tasks were performed. The underlying objective was to develop useful systems that would improve productivity and minimise the incidence of clinical errors.
As someone with an undergraduate degree in pharmacy and a post-graduate degree in business information technology, I thought the growth strategy for the business was very clear, but whenever I was asked, “What is it that you do?” I struggled to articulate it convincingly. The real purpose of the business would only become clearer later.
This is a true story of how I found my purpose and that of my business…
I am a visionary after all, I just didn’t know it at the time. As a wise man once said: “…you can only connect them (the dots) looking backwards…”. I started out by just wanting – deeply – to do the right things (which, in any case, might look and feel different to different peoples). The Armagh project, and in the manner it was executed, was clearly not meant to be the first completed project of this company but we remained agile in the face of relentless challenges. In this post, I will re-examine what our purpose is through our vision, mission, strategies and values.
“We can succeed only by concert. It is not “can any of us imagine better?” but, “can we all do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
—Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, Dec. 1, 1862 in: Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1859-1865, pp. 414-15 (Libaray of America ed. 1989) – Link
We didn’t have a vision before…no: that is not right! We didn’t have an explicitly stated vision before. We are putting that right and we hereby explicitly state our vision:
Our mission statement was: “Iforg Limited will develop patented or copyrighted technological solutions of the highest quality, through focused projects, which will revolutionise the way specific tasks are performed in a stated area of practice.” We are adding an extra word to this: ‘…information…’, to clearly reflect the pivotal role information is to our mission.
As part of our project implementation strategy (PIS), we stated that our projects objectives must include at least one or many of the following:
- Enhance Healthcare Productivity
- Reduce Incidence of Clinical Errors
- Provide Superior Integration of systems
- Reduce the ‘usability burden’ on healthcare professionals
- Simplify by Automation a Healthcare Task
- New or Novel way of performing a Healthcare Task
- Improve the clinical and practice knowledge of healthcare professionals
As part of this review, we have added an 8th objective:
- Inspire and Empower the healthcare professionals
This, we believe, gives us strategic coherence from our vision right through to our project implementation and execution. Otherwise the rest of our project implementation strategy remain intact.
Again, like our vision statement, we are stating explicitly our social mission. This has been implicit in the way this company was started and the motivations for starting it:
Just so that you know who you are dealing with, we will like to share our four values. The kind of stuff that ignites our passion:
We value honesty
Through honesty and transparency we get to better understand ourselves.. The road to empowerment starts with self-awareness
We keep our promises
We will always endeavour to deliver what we promise and we promise to deliver exactly what we say we can.
We respect each other
We respect one another the way we respect ourselves. And we treat each other the way we expect to be treated.
We want to get better
We never settle! We know we can always get better and we actively explore ways of getting better.
Just one more thing: Through Iforg Jobs, we offer our services in three key areas (…well that hasn’t changed!)
- Mentoring and Coaching ..go here
- Expertise for Hire – Project Manager, Pharmacist, Healthcare consultant ..go here
- Web Development ..go here
By re-stating our vision, mission, strategies and values; we are presenting this company as a strategically coherent whole; which we sincerely hope, you will be happy to do business with. Our vision to empower the world through Health, Information and Technology (HIT), is bound to be a hit. I will now go away to lay the ground works, so that we can once again, hit the ground and running.