At inSTREAMLY, we believe that having company values isn’t something for the business. Because they provide a sense of security for employees when doing their job. They aren’t empty words and cliches without an application in reality. They guide us while we work and lay the foundation for company work culture and ethics.
That’s why we came up with a few basic practices to support us in finding common ground for everyone in the company. No matter what position they have or how long they’re worked here.
While Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements says, “Don’t make assumptions”, we take it a step further and always assume the best intentions from others (and ourselves). Everything we do should come from a good place and purpose. We want to create a fantastic product and a friendly working environment. So we apply this rule even if the decision turns out to be not the best one at the given moment.
The term “directly responsible individual” (DRI) was first coined by Apple and described a person accountable for getting the ball rolling in their task. Even the most minor task or project is assigned to a person who is responsible for it. Using this approach helps us avoid decision-making hell when no one feels responsible for making it.
Managing your time and work is an integral part of freedom to work the way you see fit. We do not need anyone to direct our days. Instead, we coordinate what we have planned on brief catch-ups to give the rest of our team a glimpse at what we are currently working on. Each one of us has a clearly defined objective. We are free to decide which path we want to approach it.
The beauty of an open approach and transparency is that curiosity is encouraged to be curious about what’s happening in different departments. Being open-minded means feedback is welcome in all discussions,hough ultimately, the DRI has the last word.
There are things that we don’t know. This is also true in our work as in all parts of life. You can run a thousand analyses repeatedly, each with complex models, but no one ever will be 100% positive about the outcome. We learned to accept this simple truth, and instead of dwelling too long on various hypotheses, move forward. What’s wrong can always be fixed, but something non-existent isn’t adjustable at all.
Sure, listening to feedback and advice on the job we are doing is always essential, but this does not mean you will need to agree with everyone around you. Consensus is not always the best course of action, and achieving it can sometimes take a lot of resources.
Most decisions are easy to reverse. The directly responsible individual (DRI) can easily make them without waiting for larger approval from the whole team. The occasional ones that cannot be reversed (or really big decisions) are preceded with more discussion. Do first, ask for feedback later.
The right path is not written in stone. Any decision, rule or way of getting things done can and should be questioned. If there is a better, more efficient way of doing something, we are always ready to discuss it.
Have you ever attended a meeting only to ‘brainstorm’ something? How long did it take to get everyone’s input? How long did it take to find a solution? We found that having a proposal ready and pre-circulated in smaller groups is a much more effective use of everyone’s time. A meeting works better as a review of a proposed solution.
Sometimes, when doing our job, we change our minds. It happens! Feedback, new experiences, someones’ input – these things can influence our point of view. You don’t need to defend it against all odds. It is OK to change your position because of new data. Letting everyone know provides clarity and encourages data-driven decision-making.
We look at our colleagues as people, not only through a work lens. Our feedback is always about the work and not about a person – it’s technical, not personal. We always try to be straightforward when giving it and when receiving it.
There is nothing wrong with reminding people about something they might have missed. Remind the person if you’re waiting for a comment or action about something! Ask, remind, be consistent! It’s not rude – it’s efficient!
No one is a walking Encyclopedia Britannica. We all have things that we have no idea about, and there’s no shame in that. Learning to say “I don’t know” is a great way to learn something new and create a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable and welcome doing their job.
These are the rules we follow every day while doing our job. We strongly believe that they are for all of us at inSTREAMLY. That is why all employees contributed to creating our core work values.
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