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Finding the “why?” asking “why not?”

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RingCentral’s Ivan Jones asks the big questions – and puts the answers to work in ways that strengthen our culture.

The world is in the middle of a seismic shift—in where we work. How we work. And what the culture of a company means. This week’s Employee Spotlight focuses on Professional Services team member Ivan Jones, and the ways he’s contributing to – and influencing RingCentral’s culture in ways that reflect that shift.

Jones’ believes the employer/employee relationship is changing – and that’s changing the nature of work itself.

“Technically, I’m a RingCentral employee, but I really consider myself a business partner. I’ve got access to RingCentral’s resources, and in return, RingCentral gets access to me. I bring a specific skill set and a different dynamic. I’m unique because I’ve been a business owner in the past—so I see it, feel it, understand it and appreciate it a little bit differently than most. I look at my work with an understanding that I’m responsible for the brand. It’s more critical than ever to ask “What is my role not only within my team, but within the larger vision for the company?”

That feeling of ownership changes the way people work – not only from a day-to-day standpoint, but from a philosophical one.

“I just wrote a piece for the new Professional Services newsletter that asks: are you living up to the RingCentral brand, or are you living off of it? The focus of the article is, ‘are we doing things the way they’ve always been done, or are we asking why-and-how?’

When we really understand the “why,” – the company’s mission and where we fit into it – we’re able to ask the kinds of questions that let us deliver for our customers…
If the customers’ needs change, we need to be there for that. That’s how we deliver value, and build the long-term relationships that are so vital to our business.”

For Jones, taking an ownership role means taking an active role in the health of RingCentral’s culture.

“I’m a leader in an Employee Resource Group called Black Employees @RingCentral; I think I was number 67 to join that. Employee Matters, I was number 13 to join that one. Black Lives Matter, number 26 – and we now have 700+ in that group, so it’s exciting to see where it will go.

But it’s not just how many groups you join and when. I want the clearest possible picture of our culture; where it is, and where it could be. That’s part of the ownership mentality—understanding what’s right, and identifying-and-working on areas where we could be stronger.”

Diversity is a strength of RingCentral’s culture—but there’s still a long way to go.

“A vital part of the business is that we mirror the community, both internally and externally. The executive team needs to look like both our employees and the customers we serve. If our executive team has zero Black people and only 15% women, that’s not acceptable. It doesn’t mirror who we are, or who our customers are. I’m Black and I have five sisters, so this is a big deal to me. The good news is, I know these issues are on management’s radar. When we hire-or-promote diverse voices, we get perspectives we didn’t previously have. And that’s how you innovate.”

Jones is known for his thoughtful approach, and commitment to our culture. What he’s less known for? Sweet moves on a pair of skates.

“Something no one knows about me? I am amazing on a pair of roller skates. Not rollerblades – gotta have four wheels per foot. But yeah, I’m almost as good on skates as I am at walking. I love that stuff. Find me a skate rink.”

Ivan Jones looks at the big picture, and puts that understanding to work both internally and for our customers. And if there’s a roller rink nearby, he does it with signature style. For more of what makes #workingtogether special for everyone at RingCentral, stay tuned for more Employee Profiles in the coming weeks.

Originally published Sep 10, 2020, updated Feb 24, 2021

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