In this series, we’re going in-depth on our core values—how we developed them, what they mean to us, and how they help us create coherence in our studio. This week, we’ll focus on who we are.
We are a calming force that is true, empathic and joyful. We treat each other with kindness, honesty, and respect. We balance empathy and rationality to help clients make confident decisions, learn from the past and move ahead boldly. And we laugh wholeheartedly because humor bonds us and makes it all more fun.
Those of us who work in service industries know how hard it can be to set boundaries, but we’ve found we deliver better work when we have the space to breathe. It’s simple—when we can be our best selves for each other, we come up with better ideas, deliver stronger work, and are able to give more positive energy in our team and client relationships.
Our Co-founder, James Clark, attributes the origin story of this core value to concepts he learned from his mentor, David Dibble. It merges ideas from two agreements—Love, Grow, and Serve Your People, and Mind Your Mind in the Moment:
Love, growth and service to others creates an environment where you can release the creative power of the human spirit in the workplace. In this kind of environment, “miracles” are not only possible, but also probable.
Mind the mind in the moment asks us to use our awareness and notice when the mind is not acting impeccably with our thoughts and words, when it causes us to take things personally, when we make assumptions and our mind causes us to do less than our best.
When we focus on growing and serving our people, they can more freely act out of love and not fear, and focus on loving and serving our customers, partners, and the world.
We’ve increasingly been thinking about the idea of doing our work while respecting our own humanity. It’s only from this place of rationality and calm that we can be our best selves. The concept of acting out of love, not fear embodies this for us. It’s about being true to ourselves and empathic toward each other, clients, and customers. Every recommendation we make takes all three into account—this is how we build long-term value over just short-term gains.
Though this can sound heady, you could think about it more plainly: don’t be a jerk. When we learn to pause and reflect before we act, we make better outcomes. This applies to interpersonal relationships, but also extends to work in making more considered decisions.
When the pandemic struck, we made the decision to become a fully remote team and continue to do so today. We didn’t panic, we used the structures we had in place, listened to what the team wanted and moved forward in a positive way. And we continue to work on improving this now integral part of culture all the time.
Receiving negative or critical feedback is always going to be part of our job. Through acting out of love instead of a place of fear, we demonstrate empathy, we put ourselves in the client’s shoes and ask questions. With this perspective and understanding, we rally as a team to discuss the feedback and find a path forward that improves the quality of the work. And along the way we keep a positive attitude and find ways to make each other laugh.
How do you define who you are as a company and team? How do you articulate the way you and your teammates work on their best days? How about when you encounter struggles on those not-so-great days?