I was introduced to this thing called an “ISM” on my first day as an intern at Quicken Loans. The ISMs are ideas we live by that shape our culture. From the start, there was one ISM that stood out in my mind – “Obsessed with Finding a Better Way.” Fascinated, I didn’t have a full understanding of what this meant in the workplace. As I spent time in the business, I quickly learned what this value looks like when put to use.
This ISM came to life for the first time when I started on the Client Champions team. Our team looks at the business solely from the client’s perspective and finds better ways to serve them on a daily basis. There are many processes that work perfectly fine and run smoothly, but is that good enough? No. It has been amazing seeing my team go to great lengths to amaze a client and change a process in his or her favor. When a problem arises, there may be many solutions to that problem, but the key is finding the most beneficial and efficient solution.
Although I was very impressed with how this ISM was applied in the workplace, I never saw myself adopting it as a part of my very own philosophy. When you start to put yourself in the mindset of “finding a better way,” it starts to shift your outlook on every aspect of life. Some examples of this may include your relationships, daily routine and work ethic.
I have really taken to this principle and applied it to my everyday routine. I can sometimes fall into a rut, and find myself doing something only because it has always been done that way. This summer has really brought a new perspective to my outlook on problem solving. Using a process because it has worked before doesn’t mean it’s always the right process for things in the future.
One way I put this ISM to use this summer is by analyzing how my family has organized our kitchenware. When we moved into a new house last summer, our friends and family helped us to put the kitchenware away wherever they saw fit. This arrangement has worked for the past year, but is certainly not the most efficient way to be set up. Our Tupperware is on a lazy Susan and collapses every time it’s turned. Also, our most frequently used mugs are up on a high shelf that is hard for everyone to reach. Before my internship experience, I would have probably just made it work and moved on with my life; instead, I took the time to switch some things around to the places that made most sense to our family. The Tupperware was placed in a stable cupboard and the mugs on an eye-level shelf. Who knew I could “find a better way” to do something as simple as organizing kitchenware?
There are so many potential opportunities to apply this to my daily life as I head into my last year of school. There’s a better way to prioritize responsibilities, communicate for group projects and stay organized. As I make the transition from an intern back to a student, I will keep this ideology in mind.
There are many other examples of how “Obsessed with Finding a Better Way” can be applied in other aspects of life. Not to mention the other 18 ISMS. The possibilities are endless!
If you’d like to intern at a company that challenges the way you think about problem-solving so you can find the best solutions, check out QuickenLoansCareers.com.
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