With over 40 years of investment management experience, Fisher Investments has long been a trusted adviser for clients. Powering that success is a team committed to building cutting-edge, secure solutions to help advance Fisher’s growth for decades to come.
Built In recently spoke with three members of Fisher’s technology team and heard how a culture of cross-collaboration and professional partnerships allows talent at Fisher to flourish.
Tim D., who serves as Fisher’s Information Security Program Vice President, shared that collaborating across different business functions and teams requires an ability to align people around a common goal.
As Tim and his partners work to support teams across Fisher, understanding the unique processes, data, and commitments of both internal and external stakeholders helps to build strong alignment and efficacy throughout the implementation process.
“This is especially important as we develop a robust security and technology program. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach with information security solutions,” he told Built In. “We want to tailor our tools to optimize operational functionality and avoid impairing a team’s progress with the very technologies meant to streamline workflows.”
Identity and Access Management Specialist Rakiah M. agrees that building context and understanding across teams helps keep projects moving forward effectively.
“In order to fully understand their piece of a project, each person must also understand the surrounding context,” she said. “The tools and processes we have in place really help us to see how our individual contributions fit together and the end result is that we are able to build and maintain alignment around a shared goal.”
In addition to building the context needed to accomplish high-quality work, Tim also sees the aligned workflows as a foundation for meaningful collaboration.
“By having an in-depth understanding of the Fisher Investments business units and their relevant technologies, partners, systems, data, and customers, I am able to align our technologies, workflows, and processes so we can support one another in a collaborative environment,” he said.
Tim also emphasized the importance of alignment: “Aligning along meaningful objectives creates opportunities for resolution when a company faces cross-functional challenges. Fisher has done a fantastic job enhancing technological workflows and processes while continuing to grow to enterprise-level maturity in this fast-changing environment. Transparency around strategic planning and roadmaps, as well as implementing practices across teams, enables and empowers us to collaborate, be more agile, and leverage the knowledge of the entire firm.”
In order to help employees build the in-depth knowledge required for effective cross-functional support and collaboration, Fisher Investments has strong systems and processes in place.
At the heart of those processes is the agile methodology, according to Rakiah.
“Using Agile practices allows our team to have a clear vision of how each individual contribution supports firm goals and helps our clients,” she said. “We have biweekly retrospectives to celebrate our wins and, in turn, discuss how we can better our losses in the next sprint. Our wins show us that our process is working and give us the opportunity to recognize team members for their efforts.”
“Using Agile practices allows our team to have a clear vision of how each individual contribution supports firm goals and helps our clients.”
In addition to the retrospectives, Fisher teams also hold monthly department calls to showcase work being done and recognize team members for accomplishments.
Brian P., an Information Security Specialist, shared, “This gives us the opportunity to know our larger teams and put faces to names when new employees are on boarded.”
Brian also notes the behind-the-scenes tools that helps ensure these calls augment team communications rather than providing a roadblock to collaboration.
“The business has integrated video collaboration tools,” he said. “It’s important to provide this functionality and flexibility to continue to meet the challenges of the business.”
In addition to the companywide efforts that make collaborative work possible, Rakiah, Brian, and Tim also bring personal commitments to relationship building and authenticity to their roles.
“In addition to tracking my sprints and keeping my board visible and up to date, I shoot for a positive approach and help ensure I am available to others,” Rakiah M. said. “I carve out time for communication, responses, and working sessions, and I ask questions and encourage others to do the same.”
“People can hear it over the phone and sense it in my communication via email,” she said. “I personally want each and every person that crosses my path to have had a great experience.”
In addition to setting up shadow sessions, recurring check-ins, and surfacing questions whenever possible, Brian shares Rakiah’s engaged attitude, which he says helps build relationships across teams.
“I approach all scenarios with a will-do attitude and a genuine willingness to listen,” he said. “Being approachable makes others comfortable when reaching out for any question or issue and allows me to begin creating alignment by establishing good relationships.”
As a leader, Tim shares this genuine and authentic approach. “By establishing clear and transparent communication and defining our departments’ and teams’ purposes, I take a vested interest in the personal and professional development of team members to help ensure they are getting the opportunities to improve within their current role but also looking to their future goals,” he said. “I also lean strongly on individual and team strengths and trust in each team’s efficacy, and Fisher is exemplary at providing avenues for rewarding and acknowledging excellence.”
“Fisher is exemplary at providing avenues for rewarding and acknowledging excellence.”
By building on Fisher’s strong cultural foundation with personal excellence and systems for alignment and advancement, Rakiah, Brian, and Tim model just how Fisher’s team is prepared to grow together to support customers and employees alike.