|In 1998, in the midst of the Internet startup boom and fueled by sleep deprivation and way too much coffee, discussion drifted to the subject of how we could work better. Better in terms of efficiency, satisfaction, and maximizing our efforts on behalf of our client as opposed to our investors or executives. It was suggested that a historical model exists for just such a thing. The seed was planted on that day to create Icon Ridge and to do so in the model of a condotta.
The Italian word condotta literally translates to "band of mercenaries". Although the term mercenary has acquired a negative spin in recent times, it was once a noble and professional calling and arose as a direct response to a situation you probably see on a regular basis.
During the Middle Ages, a period of Feudalism, diplomacy consisted largely of city-states and quasi-countries making war upon one another. In simplest terms, a king would declare a war. The king would call upon his lords to muster an army. The lords would task their direct reports to round up whatever peasants could be found, creating the army, and compel them to march under the king's banner with whatever farm implement they could find as a weapon. Substitute your CEO for king and your senior managers for lords, and this probably looks like how you do projects in house right now. The business drives the need, the managers are tasked with rounding up available resources, you lobby for resources and attention and do the best you can.
Objectively viewed, the problems in this model become obvious. First of all, your potential soldiers have other obligations like growing crops, keeping the village functioning, and other important things necessary to keep your kingdom running smoothly. It is expensive and wasteful to feed and equip a standing army when there is no war in progress. Because of this, the potential soldiers you have on staff are already fully engaged or (more likely) overcommitted taking care of your existing needs. Taking cycles from your existing pool means getting in line, bumping an existing project, or more typically having your project never get done. In the 1400s, these same problems caused the end of the Feudalism model of warfare. Using ad hoc armies of peasants conscripted against their will is simply no way to conquer your neighbor or keep him from conquering you.
In the city-states of Italy, a relationship developed between governments and skilled soldiers who wanted to pursue the military as a career. They formalized their relationship with a contract (a condotta). A given city would contract with a general (called a condottieri) to provide military services to the city for a given period of time. The contract would specify a length of time, types of resources provided, and how and when the general would be paid for these services. The general would then take care of the details of managing the army, including hiring, training, and equipping staff, allowing the city government to concentrate on policy and political goals rather than rounding up a band of peasants to fight off an incursion. This also provided a means for military professionals to focus on the military as a career rather than a distraction. The condottieri are credited with early development of martial science in the Western world.
The model of the condotta is directly on point when you do business with Icon Ridge. You provide the parameters of the services you need. We handle the resources necessary to fill the contract.
The Icon Ridge core team includes professionals with experience as project managers, C-level executives, application developers and designers. Depending on your needs, we can call upon a large network of professionals for special needs, giving us the ability to fill any requirement you may have. Regardless of your requirements, Icon Ridge can propose a solution within your goals and your budget.
We have a deep commitment to customer satisfaction that goes beyond the superficials of marketing jargon. Our success is derived from yours, and how we serve you. We hope that you will come to depend on Icon Ridge as your trusted partner for services, and the highest compliment we can receive is to have you commission your next engagement with us or recommend us to your colleagues. We strive to earn that trust every day with all our clients and look forward to serving you soon.