Is Your Billing Process Half Full or Half Empty?
Ok, let’s start the long standing debate on a perception challenge conundrum that has baffled mankind since language was invented. Is the glass half full or half empty?
Now before you dig your heels in on either side of this debate, I am going to give you a third perspective to evaluate this problem. Is the problem the level of the water or is it simply the problem that the glass is twice as large as it needs to be? If we cut the size of the glass and leave the water alone, we end up with an undisputed full glass of water, problem solved! It is through this third perspective of keeping an open mind that we solve one of the most paradoxical challenges of mankind.
At Billtrust one of our seven core values is open mindedness. We refer to the open mindedness tenant many times over the course of a week as we drive the company forward. We are constantly evaluating our actions, what worked well yesterday may not be the best solution for what we need for tomorrow or even today. Since coming to Billtrust I have learned to never accept the status quo and to continually strive for continuous improvement. In a vibrant, fast paced, growing culture like Billtrust it is our open feedback loops that empowers the team to question “why” we do anything a certain way. For most of us, open mindedness was a hard value to get used to in the beginning. Oh sure it sounds easy and who doesn’t want to say that they have an open mind?
We have all heard that minds are like parachutes and they work best when they are open. But to truly practice being open minded means that you need to open up and expose everything you do to be questioned, challenged, and tested. When I first came to Billtrust it was a bit unsettling to be in a meeting and think that you clearly had the right answer to the question at hand because “that is how we did it in the past”.
No sooner would you throw your prefabricated solution on the table and then someone would start to question is that half full, half empty, or did you miss another solution along the way defending your old solution? As you can see, you need to be very open to some critical shots to get to the right solution. Think about it, how many of us want to be wrong in front of our peers or even our boss? Many times we are guilty of defending our proposed solutions simply so that we are not wrong. It takes constant deliberate practice and confidence to really be open minded. It is hard and it goes against our normal nature of wanting to be right by defending our solution. At Billtrust, having open mindedness as a core value empowers our team to question the status quo.
The French literature critic Charles Du Bos sums up the Billtrust core value of Open Mindedness best: “…premier tressaillement vital; surtout il s’agit à tout moment de sacrifier ce que nous sommes à ce que nous pouvons deveni” translated “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”