WashingtonExec, in partnership with the Fairfax Chambers of Commerce, kicked off a new series profiling government contractors nominated for the 9th Annual Greater Washington Government Contracting Awards. Interviewed nominees include small, mid-size and large “Executive of the Year” as well as “Contractor of the Year” finalists. The winners will be announced on November 1st at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner.
This quick bi-weekly series asks nominees direct questions as to how they achieved success and notoriety in the GovCon community.
Meet Harry Martin, the ultimate entrepreneur. Martin founded the company Intelligent Decisions (ID), a defense, intelligence, federal IT solutions provider over 20 years ago. Today, the President and CEO of Intelligent Decisions is nominated as as “Executive of the Year” in the over $300 million division.
WashingtonExec: Obtaining top talent in the private sector is fierce. How does your company not only draw top talent, but maintain it?
Harry Martin: Intelligent Decisions (ID) has never had a problem attracting and retaining some of the most talented employees from across the region and the U.S. We have been voted one of the best places to work by Washingtonian magazine and were recognized specifically for our emphasis on innovation, ideas, and continued training, including an in-house academy, with $5,000 a year budgeted for each employee to take a course, enhance skills, or earn certifications. The magazine also cited ID’s supportive, family-first atmosphere.
In addition, to attract and retain top talent as a small business, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that meets or exceeds those offered by some of the nation’s largest and well-known companies.
ID also has an employee recognition program that rewards employees for their work on their anniversary date – for 5 years of distinguished service we provide $1000, for 10 its $2000, for 15 its $5000, and for 20 years its $10,000 given towards the employee’s dream vacation. We even pick up the taxes so employees receive the actual award amount!
WashingtonExec: In your opinion, how does a company stay nimble when it is in a period of large growth and expansion?
Harry Martin: At ID we have focused on strong partnerships with key companies in order to remain nimble – specifically, sharing knowledge and expertise with our corporate partners to deliver the top IT products and services to the federal marketplace.
Many companies attempt to insulate themselves, particularly in these tough economic times, and that’s a mistake. Instead, at the core of staying nimble is across the board collaboration in order to ensure long-term growth.
For example, ID has also always considered clients its partners. We cannot be successful without looking to them as a valuable source for what has worked, or not, for them over time. By staying educated about their organization through close team work we save valuable time and resources. We’re making informed decisions from the start, helping us to stay lean and nimble.
WashingtonExec: People always talk about corporate culture, but what is something that your company purposely focuses on to create and emulate the ideal company culture?
Harry Martin: That’s easy – our corporate culture is one that recognizes the importance of the right work, life balance.
All of ID’s employees understand that we have a supportive, family-first atmosphere. At ID we also want to make sure that each employee knows they are valued. To achieve this, we have implemented a variety of employee recognition programs and focus on providing a comfortable work environment.
We recently completely renovated our ID break room and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with more employees than ever choosing to enjoy their lunch, or simply just relax, in its modern and comfortable atmosphere. It has also created a new way for our employees to interact, share ideas and learn about what is going on in other areas of the company, all things that are vital to our growth. A small investment that has already had huge returns.
WashingtonExec: As a nominated CEO “executive of the year,” how are you building a strong, stable and innovative company?
Harry Martin: In terms of how we continue to build a strong and stable company, ID emphasizes consistent checks and balances – that is, we regularly evaluate the way we do business, the expertise we maintain and our overall policies and procedures.
Innovation by nature is less quantifiable, but more often than not it’s a delicate balance between the talent we hire, the right management, and the freedom that both are given professionally to develop and implement ideas.