The most evident thing for me that lead to most of Sapient’s success in the 90’s and their capacity to hang on after the internet bubble burst, was its ability to string the company’s purpose to its vision and integrate it into every piece of its culture. Not an easy thing to do in any environment, let alone one that changes so quickly and consistently like the information technology industry. In the paragraphs that follow, I would like to highlight three main themes that I gathered from the case study reading and offer my view of areas they succeed and areas in which they should reevaluate.
• Sapient’s strategic context approach and its effects on the organization’s alignment;
• Sapient’s leadership style and its seemingly relentless commitment to the culture; and
• Sapient’s agility and future.
It was very clear that Sapient’s purpose was imbedded into every fiber of the organization. Their purpose, simply put yet very powerful, was “being a great company enabling human potential”. Further explained, “…helping humankind to realize its possibilities for achievement, impact, meaning, fulfillment and joy.” (p.7). This was a tall order as Sapient began to look past its own industry and has a vision of essentially changing the world. To do this, Sapient had to develop a strategy that set them apart from their competitors and achieved its far reaching purpose. Again, Sapient looked past the immediate I.T. solutions that their competitors provide and sought out to “meet a client’s business goal”; therefore, differentiating themselves, especially with the fixed price and fixed time model and creating a very impactful client value proposition. Sapient then took their core values, vision, and goals and sandwiched them between their core purpose and client value proposition, which nicely linked the short-term cultural milestones and long-term strategic thinking and aligned them along the way.
The core values fulfilled an internal and external...