Unique programs play a large role in fostering this innovative spirit.
iPipeline is in the process of rolling out a program called “innovation time,” in which employees will take a half or a full day off work, build an idea and bring it back to their team to present.
Another program, “5-5-5”, takes five team members and gives them five days and $5,000 to execute a great idea.
Quarterly meetings for all employees help contributors stay connected to management’s vision, mission and strategy. Employee newsletters at iPipeline help communicate and support that same vision.
“Our employees are much attuned — and we communicate to them on a constant basis — to what our core values are, our missions, our strategies, our overall financial plans,” Wallace says.
Along with sharing the company’s vision, it doesn’t hurt to think big.
In recent months iPipeline has introduced a new website to cater to North America, the United Kingdom and the Asia-Pacific region, which aligns with its goals to grow iPipeline into an international brand. Most recently, the company’s focus has been on seeking out new opportunities in Europe.
“We want to be the No. 1 provider of SaaS (software as a service) solutions to the insurance industry, and we believe we can build a really great software company here. Our goal is to take the company, and double in size in the next four or five years,” Wallace says.
- Find the right people.
- Spearhead confidence in the product or service.
- Value a healthy work/life balance for all employees.
The Wallace File:
Name: Tim Wallace
Education: Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My first job was delivering the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and I was probably 10 years old. I just remember I had to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, deliver the newspapers, and I could come back and go to sleep for an hour before I went to school. I learned discipline and hard work. There weren’t too many kids my age getting up at five in the morning delivering newspapers.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? I’m not sure if it’s been one individual person — I would probably say it’s been a multitude of people throughout my life and career development that have affected me at different points in time.
My dad obviously had a big influence on me from a work ethic standpoint. My father had a phenomenal work ethic. My parents were very close and our family’s very close, so my family’s been absolutely instrumental throughout my life and my career.
And then from a business standpoint, I had a couple of great partners. When I first started my career (at Arthur Andersen), they took me under their wing and gave me a lot of tutelage and guidance. And then as I got out into the work world it’s just been a multitude of different people that I’ve looked to for advice and counsel that have helped me be successful.