The DSA Way

Our company embraces the DSA Way Fundamentals, which is a set of behaviors that augment our guiding principles.

Since 1963, we’ve demonstrated unparalleled success in helping customers achieve sensitive, mission-critical business goals and objectives. We do it by pairing the best expertise in the industry with a culture that delivers results. That culture can best be seen in the 36 Fundamentals that follow.

  1. ACT WITH INTEGRITY. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one is looking. Always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.
  2. BE A LIFELONG LEARNER. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, to increase your skills, and to become a greater expert. Be resourceful about learning and sharing best practices.
  3. THINK AND ACT LIKE THE OWNER YOU ARE. Make decisions by asking yourself, “What should I do since this is my company? Will this increase the company’s value?” Be a good steward of our resources, spend our company’s money like it was your own and focus on creating value.
  4. LISTEN GENEROUSLY. Listening is more than simply “not speaking”. Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand.
  5. SPEAK STRAIGHT. Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause healthy conflict when it is necessary for team success. While being responsible for how you deliver your message, be courageous enough to say what needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected rather than hiding behind text, email, or voicemail.
  6. BE INNOVATIVE, TAKE INTELLIGENT RISKS. Innovation, improvement, and success come from a thoughtful and intentional willingness to try a different way and to ask, “What if?”. Be creative within the confines of applicable regulations. Try a new way. Think differently.
  7. DEMONSTRATE A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE. Take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work given the time constraints under which I am working?”
  8. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS. Missing just one important detail can have an enormous impact on a job. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work. Get the details right the first time.
  9. BE ALL IN. Have passion. Be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done right.
  10. EMBRACE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION. Be open-minded and be willing to learn from others regardless of their background and life experiences. Treat everyone with dignity, fairness, and respect.
  11. WORK IN HARMONY WITH THE CUSTOMER. While staying true to the DSA culture, understand the customer environment and work to assimilate into their operation seamlessly. Express what they need to know rather than what they want to hear. Make yourself a welcome and invaluable partner.
  12. HONOR COMMITMENTS. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. Be on time. Meet your deadlines. If a commitment cannot be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new date/deliverable to be honored.
  13. FOLLOW APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. Our work is framed by a wide array of laws and regulations. Understand those applicable to your job and be diligent in your adherence to them.
  14. PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM-SOLVING. Demonstrate a relentless focus on solutions rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned to improve ourselves and our processes. Avoid making the same mistake twice. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.
  15. WORK AS A TEAM. It’s not about you. Don’t let your own ego get in the way of doing what is best for the company. Support each other and be willing to step into another role or help a co-worker when that is what is required for success. Collaborate across boundaries rather than being limited by your organizational unit or location.
  16. FIND A WAY. Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Think “how to do it” rather than “why it can’t be done”. Identify challenges and suggest potential solutions. Be resourceful. Show initiative. Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. Whether it is starting early, staying late, or doing something that is not in your job description, take ownership and see issues through to their completion. Go the extra mile. Know when to ask for help.
  17. BE CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others. When you are not clear on expectations, ask for clarification. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates.
  18. PRACTICE TRANSPARENCY. With appropriate respect for confidentiality, share information freely throughout the organization. The more people know, the better they can collaborate.
  19. PRACTICE MEANINGFUL APPRECIATION. Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out things they do wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all areas of our lives.
  20. BE RELENTLESS ABOUT IMPROVEMENT. Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. “Because we have always done it that way” is not a reason to continue doing something. Embrace change and guard against complacency. Be flexible and agile. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more efficiently.
  21. SEEK TO UNDERSTAND AND BE SLOW TO JUDGE. There is always more to the story than you think. Learn to ask questions and gather the facts before jumping to conclusions and making judgments. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Be curious about what other information might give you a more complete picture. Ask open-ended questions to better understand a situation.
  22. INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS. Our business is built on trust and trust is built on relationships. Make smart decisions that enhance long-term relationships. Strong relationships enable us to work through difficult issues and challenging times more successfully. Be aware that trust, while built slowly as relationships develop, is lost easily.
  23. BE RESILIENT AND RESOLUTE. Bounce back from adversity. Never quit. Persistence is often the difference between success and failure. Keep at it. Be relentless. Know when to pivot.
  24. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. Don’t be a victim. You have the power to choose your attitude. Ask for what you need and take full responsibility for your actions. Be accountable.
  25. BE A PROUD AMBASSADOR FOR OUR COMPANY. Treasure, protect and promote our reputation. We are all responsible for, and benefit from, the DSA image and name. Consider how your actions affect our collective identity.
  26. WALK IN OTHERS’ SHOES. Get out of your own head and understand others’ worlds. Know their challenges and frustrations. See things from their perspective. The better you understand them, the more effectively you can anticipate and meet their needs.
  27. BE POSITIVE. Choose to be optimistic and enthusiastic. Your attitude is contagious. Spread optimism and positive energy.
  28. BE COMFORTABLE WITH AMBIGUITY. Not everything in life and work is black and white. Though we have policies and procedures, situations are sometimes ambiguous, and guiding principles are more important than following a rule. While making sure everything you do is ethical and legal, use your judgment and common sense when making decisions.
  29. DELIVER RESULTS. While we appreciate effort, we reward and celebrate results. Follow-up on everything and take responsibility to ensure that tasks get completed. Set ambitious goals, use measurements to track your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
  30. CREATE A GREAT IMPRESSION. Every conversation, phone call, email, letter, and even voicemail, sets a tone and creates an impression. Pay attention to every interaction and be sure you are setting a tone that is friendly, professional, and helpful.
  31. WORK SMART. Be organized and plan your work for maximum efficiency. Embrace technology. Be thoughtful about your schedule, and have a game plan for your calls, your tasks, and your workday. Know your priorities and work on them first. Be proactive.
  32. BE FANATICAL ABOUT RESPONSE TIME. Respond to questions and concerns quickly whether it is in person, on the phone, or by email. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question, and we are “on it”, as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.
  33. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. The best way to influence others is through your own example. Walk the talk. Take responsibility, both formally and informally, to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others. Be the change you want to see.
  34. USE ACCURATE INFORMATION TO MAKE DECISIONS. Make good decisions by relying on facts and data rather than opinions. Analyze the data and use this information to make decisions that have a higher probability of success. If something is important, measure it, track your progress, and improve your performance.
  35. KEEP THINGS FUN. While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously.
  36. CARE FOR OUR COMMUNITIES. Be socially responsible and caring. Support local community involvement in areas that matter to you, your peers, DSA, and our customers. Practice good citizenship.