Did you know who Tenzing Norgay was before looking him up after seeing his name in the title of this post? Did you immediately know that he was a hero of human achievement? Did you know of his many honors including having a mountain on Earth and a mountain range on Pluto named after him? Tenzing was a mountaineering legend and his personal and professional achievements are on a scale commensurate with the peaks he mastered. Unless one is in tune with the climbing world, you likely have never heard of him. This is precisely why we bring him up when discussing Tamman.
As with Mr. Norgay, unless one is in tune with the digital accessibility and inclusion space or the Philly tech scene, it is highly unlikely that Tamman is a name you are familiar with either. We have always taken tremendous pride in that. This is because we view ourselves and tackle our work as something like Sherpas, just in the digital world. Like the amazing guides who have acted as mentors and expert guides to climbers for centuries, Tamman has cultivated a culture of consulting and a technical skillset that supports companies large and small through the highest and riskiest accents of their priorities and projects. We believe that embracing consulting practices in the digital world mirrors that of the guidance of Sherpas in the physical world. Specifically, this takes the form of:
- Identifying well-worn paths – and walking that path with our partners
- Using past experience to find new paths to new summits
- Carrying the load for the lead climbers
- Calling out the potential for danger ahead
- Patience for when the climb is slow or particularly arduous
- Gratitude for the partnership and the climb
In this way, Tamman’s efforts show up in the success of our partners. We pride ourselves on leading from behind, helping to illuminate the right paths, carrying the load, and like our hero, Tenzing, sometimes having to save a (proverbial) life in the face of danger. All of this comes down to trust. We are successful when, through a deliberative process of listening, understanding the needs of our partners, and hiking the journey with them, we are able to create a bond out of shared risk together.
Shared risk is what builds the bonds of trust faster and makes our consultative approach more meaningful than simply making recommendations and getting out of the way. The Tamman Team walks every step of the journey with our partners. When we are sharing this journey on well-worn paths, risks are mitigated for our partners. It is those expeditions when we are using our past experiences to identify new summits to tackle when clients need someone by their side who knows what they are doing. Using tested approaches to build, measure, and learn along the way makes the journey more manageable for everyone.
Enterprise-level clients are able to benefit from the wisdom and experience of seasoned guides. This is because there are many things that Enterprises do well because they are able to leverage their size and scale to reach large numbers of people. They can make investments beyond the reach of smaller players and do things consistently over long stretches of time with great success. This means, once they have conquered a mountain, they can quickly scale up and conquer the same mountain over and over and over again with efficiency.
However, when there is a new mountain to ascend with new paths and different terrain, the weakness of enterprises makes this much more difficult. Enterprises can be slow to identify that the course has changed and often lack visibility into what others are already doing. In addition, because they’ve had such success on one mountain or type of mountain, new summits are not always immediately obvious to them. And with larger climbing groups sometimes composed of people with competing priorities, it’s far more likely that they will abandon some of the practices that led to success, and accidentally fall down a treacherous ‘waterfall’. This is precisely why enterprise-level groups require trusted guides who are more flexible and more ‘agile’ to assist in leading them to success. Tamman is adept and experienced in all these areas with strategies to mitigate these weaknesses while recognizing and accentuating the strengths of our enterprise partners.
Leading from behind and finding joy in the ascent of others is not for everyone. Climbs are not easy or else more people would do them. Having a partnership where there is a trust established, built upon experience, and successes at many stages throughout a process, where agility and flexibility have created new opportunities is critical. Sherpas do not quit halfway and wish their climbing parties ‘best of luck’ when the weather unexpectedly turns or a crevice slows the journey. They are patient, identify the best ways forward, and encourage the team to take a trusted path forward.
True consultants, who embrace a leading-from-behind mentality, understand that the spotlight of success will go to others. That’s okay with us, we live for the climb, and at Tamman, we are all Tenzing Norgay.