A Vision in Motion

By Sebastian Chedal | February 01st, 2021

Hello everyone, things here on this blog have been quiet now for too long. The struggle the last few years has been steady growth fighting against the time required to actually be able to sustain regular writing processes. While I can’t say we are any less busy than before (we are growing actually more than ever) – what has been shifting is my own obligations are finally starting to spread out to more people on the team as my responsibilities as founder/CEO start to effectively permeate outwards to our great team.

The biggest positive shift in the last year has been adding Anwar Ali to our team at the director level. It has allowed me to focus more on operations, hiring and strategy because Anwar has been heading up the beckoning mountain called “business development and account-mountain’ing”. Nothing beats having someone close in business you can not only trust but also crack good jokes with and feel at ease, it brings a lot of joy and fun into the hard work and optimism that we pour into your vision.

One of the many benefits of our new partnership has been the ability to develop a more clear identity for ourselves. We are working to make a shift in our materials and website to more clearly reflect the steering we are undergoing as we continually evolve and grow what it means to be Fountain City at the start of the 2020 decade.

Strategy First

Fountain City™ will continue to persist as a creative-technical digital agency, but we’ve been moving steadily more and more in the last two years towards a more strategy-driven approach to everything we do. We want to better align with the work we are doing and reflect this outwardly more consistently in our messaging and materials.

“Strategy First” means not only doing what our clients want us to do, but applying the methods of science to a collaborative and proactive process where we add value and insight into the decisions that organizations are making to improve their businesses.

Our philosophy is that this methodology is both technical as well as artistic. At each step of the way you analyze information but you then synthesize those results using creative processes to identify solutions and propose theories which then undergo testing.

Even testing is an analytical-intuitive process. The best tests look at data but also interview customers to understand not only the behaviors but the empathic or emotional components of what makes a good product or service.

Types of Strategy

There are many kinds of strategies out there, related to various aspects of a business and their product-service. Our focus is currently on the following topic areas:

  1. Business strategy
  2. Marketing strategy
  3. Tech strategy
  4. Design strategy (Lean UX)

Each of these strategy-types deserves its own future blog post, so for now I will keep things brief.

Business strategy covers fundamentals of the organization but typically involves high-level thinking in terms of core vision, direction and often includes financial objectives & needs.

Marketing strategy (of which Digital Strategy is a part) typically also starts with a review of the fundamentals but goes generally deeper into them to ensure our partner has their customers defined and a clear understanding of who they are and how they will present themselves and their product and/or services. From there we often switch into a more lifecycle approach to the strategy with an iterative scientific method applied.

Tech strategy starts with assessing known and unknown technical debt, bringing together short and longterm business needs in relation to the underlying technical choices and looks to establishing good short and longterm decisions in terms of short-longterm gain prospects (ROI returns). It also factors into the equation the degree of support and maintenance new systems will create against the benefits of automating more of the manual processes the system currently engages in.

Design strategy is a very broad term, sometimes referred to as Strategic design, or Lean UX. This strategic approach looks at the intersection between business, customer and product / software needs. Through a process of learning, reflection, testing and revision we work with all the important groups to develop the necessary learning required to create a successful product / service that demonstrates strong value and growth indicators. When we talk about Lean UX specifically, we are focusing in on how we can generate positive indicators that the product / service is generating these strong value-growth indicators in as quick a cycle as possible with as little costs as possible in the process.

Strategic fulfillment

Every project we undertake and each new client we add to our family is approached from this perspective. Whether that be as a casual, one-time or formal integrated approach into the customer’s business.

Fulfillment in this area can be done on a temporary/consulting basis or to fill a permanent ongoing position formally.

We do this as part of our proactive approach but we can also staff part-time (AKA fractional) C-level positions in organizations to fulfill their ongoing strategic needs.

Closing thoughts

Stick around with us next as we move into 2021 and unveil more easter eggs into the Spring time. We’re excited for all the new great things that new horizons will bring. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and I am sure we are all eager to see the spring blossoms bloom.

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