Michael Waddell

GOING BEYOND THE STATUS QUO

Michael Waddell
Co-founder and Managing Partner
INTEGRITYOne Partners

At INTEGRITYOne, the status quo is never an acceptable place to rest. From its talent development, to the quality of its services, INTEGRITYOne is truly dedicated to going above and beyond for its clients. While other companies are content to win the race by dropping prices, INTEGRITYOne is focused on showing clients the true value of its experience, resources and innovative thinking.

Q: How did you develop a passion for information sharing, and why is it such an important part of government work?

A: At INTEGRITYOne, we believe in our country and what our country means to its citizens and others around the world, so we look for areas where we can contribute. Information sharing was one of the first places our efforts took root and grew. The information that our government shares with other countries helps keep our country safer, and helps keep other countries informed and hopefully safer as well. Without the exchange of information that our government completes, we would take a step backward.

Q: In the “race to the bottom line” how does INTEGRITYOne Partners make sure that quality doesn’t suffer?

A: In short: by trying not to race to the bottom line. Instead, we try to save our clients money not by being cheaper than everyone else, but by being a better value to them. There will always be someone that is willing to lose money to gain business, so we have to be on guard at all times for that. But, we try our best to provide a better service for a similar price. Sometimes that is through bringing years of experience to the game and providing more efficient use of resources; other times it is through true innovation and approaching a problem in a different way. In either case, we won’t compromise quality.

Q: With the battle for talent getting even more intense, how does INTEGRITYOne ensure that it is hiring the best employees?

A: For INTEGRITYOne, the fight for talent begins with knowing who we want in terms of a potential employee’s alignment with our firm’s “Core Behaviors” and our overall culture. We are not the firm for everyone, but for those that hold beliefs that are similar to ours, we are the firm of choice. There are plenty of brilliant, capable people out there that need a specific type of environment to thrive, so we search for those people that will be challenged at our company, and that will rise to that challenge again and again. We want people that know who they are before being here, and people that will grow within our firm to provide only the best service to our clients. Those are the people we look for.

Q: Tell me about INTEGRITYOne’s learning culture and how it makes the company better.

A: Our learning culture is about never being satisfied with your skill set. Our clients and their priorities challenge us every day to do more, better, and quickly. To keep up with that pace, our employees must continually enhance their skills, either by depth of knowledge in a particular field or by expanding their knowledge to new areas and technologies.

We are purposely building upon our base of knowledge through completion of internal projects, rewarding research in new fields, and challenging teams to complete exploratory projects that are proofs of concept or prototypes for new services. By showing our clients and other team members that we are not satisfied with the status quo, our employees move the needle for themselves, our firm and our clients.

Q: What is important about the way INTEGRITYOne approaches the missions of each of its clients?

A: A client once told me that for a consultant to be considered useful to them, that consultant would need to spend at least two years getting to know the lay of the land. For our clients, knowing the lay of the land includes not just where to go for information or how to avoid pitfalls and setbacks, but also understanding their department’s or agency’s mission. We prepare our consultants from day one with agency- and department-specific knowledge, including the client’s stated mission, and what it means to them. By preparing early and often with pertinent domain knowledge, we dramatically shorten the period of time it takes for a consultant to become more valuable to our client and, by extension, to our firm.

Q: What is coming up for INTEGRITYOne that you are excited about?

A: We are working very hard to expand our target market through the acquisition of new government contracts and vehicles. We’ve set our sites on a number of GWACs, IDIQs and other contracts in existing and new markets, and expect 2016 to build on the momentum we experienced in 2014 and 2015.

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