The vast majority of companies have a set of values that they have published. But what IS a value? It’s an ephemeral term, which is why a few years ago we changed our ‘values’ into ‘mindsets’. A mindset is how you “set your mind” when you come to work with us. A more direct word.
You can read about our reasoning behind this in a previous blog post here.
But since then we have been through more experiences, and reflected on what makes a successful team, what qualities should make up our Mindsets. And we have updated them, building on our original framework to create a mental framework which underpins our company culture.
This is important as often “culture” is seen as a series of employee benefits – like free breakfast, or a ping pong table – but to us its more about a way of being, the substance of the environment we operate in. So if we all aspire to filter our experiences through shared mindsets, we can better realise our individual & company potential.
All our team – from the founders to the interns – are expected to live by our Mindsets, and they form a key part of our 90 day 1 to 1 process, where we score each other on how we have performed.
Here they are below – give em a go!
Truth and integrity.
- Live with integrity NOT duality, so say what you think. Even if it’s awkward, embarrassing or difficult
- Progress depends on us telling the truth. Without this we will not realise our potential.
- The truth burns away unnecessary BS and makes us stronger as a team
- Be candid but kind: discuss issues in private, calmly and with empathy
- Tackle issues straight away
- Ditch your ego. The mission & team is more important. Put your Chimp in the box
- Progress is better than perfection
- If it’s worth doing it’s worth doing now
- Get something moving, even it is incomplete. OK is better than NOTHING.
- Be proactive, don’t wait to be told or asked
- Focus on what you know, not get stuck on what you don’t know
Service to others.
- Make yourself useful
- Create value before you expect anything back
- Respect people’s time & attention
- Be on time, be prepared, turn off notifications
- Create confidence by always delivering
- See wider than your part of the process. What is the end result, the bigger picture?
- Think around problems, suggest answers.
Clarity & discipline.
- Make a commitment – a specific thing on a specific date & time
- Create unique Methods – checklists for you and others to rely on in future when busy. Then stick to them until you find a better way.
- “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” – aka don’t rush, get it right first time
- ASAP is poison, pick priorities
- EXTREME OWNERSHIP: take full responsibility for your work and how you work with others
Listen, be open, discuss.
- Shut your mouth and listen. Don’t just scan for what you want to hear – REALLY LISTEN
- Communicate in ‘Human’
- Box your chimp if you don’t like the way the conversation is going
- Be humble: “Maybe they’re right”… “Maybe they know something I don’t”
- Talk everything through
- Write things down
- If you don’t know, talk about it
- Communicate first, task second.
Keep it simple.
- Do less (the right stuff, at the right time, in the right way)
- Always ask “what would this look like if it were easy”?
- Remove unnecessary words. Edit ruthlessly
- Communicate in plain English… don’t “talk robot” or “speak Yoda”
- Don’t drill through rocks when you can walk around them
Commitment to improve.
- Ask how you can improve things: for your clients, your company, your colleagues and yourself (in that order)
- Ask what could or should be there?
- Leave your comfort zone
- Reflect on what happens. What can you learn from it?
- Engage with & steal from the world.
- Don’t get stuck in a rut. Try stuff out.
- Get fit in body & mind.
- What could go wrong? “Only the paranoid survive”
- Are you doing what you find “fascinating & motivating”? If not, what can YOU do to change that?
Sense of humour & a positive focus.
- No one is going to die
- Keep your sense of humour
- Learn from the bad stuff but look for what went well
- Celebrate success, no matter how small
- Create space to think and have lateral thoughts
- Recognise the value of play
- Enjoy your work, then leave it at work
- Do a “positive focus” exercise before a brainstorm meeting, or management / team meeting
If you like this kind of thing, see this post for when our (now old) culture book was listed alongside those of Netflix, Google and Amazon.Find this interesting?