Flexibility. Mobility. Agility. These are qualities every company should desire in their partners. As a former professional baseball player, I used to associate these interconnected terms with optimizing my physical strength, running speed and power. As an early teenager, I adopted a diligent routine that consisted of functional movement patterns. This was more than a simple touch of the toes or light jog to generate some blood flow. In order to unlock my athleticism and maximize my full playing potential, I needed to be extra loose to fire the baseball across the field; limber to smash a hanging curveball into the bleachers; nimble to create quick bursts of speed in every direction without pulling a hamstring. Combinations of static and dynamic stretching, cone drills, and deep tissue therapy became as habitual as brushing my teeth every morning and evening. Any limitations to my flexibility, mobility and agility could increase the risk of injury, and consequently, my performance on the diamond.
Fast forward to mid-March 2020: a global pandemic causes a screeching halt to the world we once knew. I was less than two weeks into a career switch when the seismic shifts of working remotely and transforming living spaces into home offices and gyms developed into our “new norms” overnight. For a brief moment, it was as if my joints relocked and my muscles tightened back up. Being flexible, mobile and agile in the physical sense were not the solutions for adjusting to this “unprecedented” business environment. It was time for their abstract meanings to be applied.
When arranging online meeting times, have you heard a colleague or client say “I’m flexible?” Does your cell phone e-mail signature read “sent from my mobile device?” Have you attended any virtual happy hours to maintain some degree of interpersonal communication with friends, family members or co-workers? Were you lucky enough to receive the respected promotion of Chief Executive Parent/Teacher/Chef/Coach/Isolated Employee all at once? We at ISM have been impressive, to say the least, with our activation of organizational agility in spite of the turbulence that is 2020. Our team consists of a wide range of talented individuals, many of whom are—or were at one point—elite athletes and artists. From decorated football and basketball players to swimmers to runners and dancers, we are a diverse tribe that knows how to face challenges in times of adversity.
Internally, ISM’s workforce has been proactive across all verticals to remain robust, just as an athlete sharpens his or her physique to prepare for competition. Within the media unit, we work with current and prospective partners on how to overcome the disappointment of canceled sports seasons and live events without, or in some cases very limited, fans in the stands. We bolstered our roster with new talent and an upgraded menu of advertising capabilities. On the software side of the operation, our product development team acknowledges the health and safety benefits of contactless security access control systems by boosting the proficiency of Protect™. Our engineers continue to run fortnightly “sprints” in the form of technical iterations that my right-brained dominant mind can hopefully comprehend one day. (I attribute my technical savvy, or lack thereof, to getting beaned in the head with a 95mph fastball during my playing career. But that’s for a different conversation—remind me to tell you). The fact that we remain productive and have executed all of this without physically collaborating under the same roof is a fascinating feat in itself. As we streamline our processes across the board, we continue to flex our creative and resilient spirit, leading to stronger and more favorable outcomes.
Flexibility. Mobility. Agility. The words I once tied exclusively to fitness now provide more conceptual significance in running a healthy business operation. ISM illustrates these terms as an ability to adapt swiftly to new environments, respond rapidly to uncertain market changes, and accommodate customer needs with complete care. One movement at a time, our versatile lineup of agile and hard-working individuals is unlocking its potential as a player in the spheres of media and technology.