Delight the Customer
We want every communication and deliverable to create a supremely satisfying (informative, inspiring, triumphant) experience that delights our customer or partner.
We achieve this through thoroughness and industriousness. We are diligent and hardworking, choosing to do the hard and necessary before the fun and easy.
Practically speaking, each of us should be working from a list of tasks; do the hardest task first and complete it. Overlooking small but important details can spoil the customer’s experiences. To do the big things, you must first do the small things right.
Do the Right Thing
We consider every decision in light of what is best for the customer and the team—even if it means that we must sometimes choose to forgo some revenue; we play a very long game. We think and behave like owners of our company and our customer’s companies. Our strength and growth are driven by selflessness. This starts within the individual contributors and extends to our customers and partners. When we do that, revenue and profits naturally follow.
We hold each other accountable by establishing who is the responsible party, setting goals and outcomes, and committing to achieving them. By keeping our promises, we delight our customers and earn their respect. Of course, unexpected things do happen. Priorities change. But our team members know that whenever they have any doubt about delivering on a promise, they can immediately turn to each other for the help they need. We know that our mutual success depends on the success of each individual.
It is critical to do what you set out to do. Push through!
Be an Enthusiastic Listener and Learner
Our business is complex, ambiguous, and evolving. Ideas and inspiration emerge from unexpected sources. Recognize the power of knowing how to deal with not knowing. We have found that making space for new ideas is essential to our success; we are ever learning. Since 1999, we have experienced at least 3 major technical revolutions in our business. We’ve been able to anticipate and exploit these opportunities because we are creative and love to learn. Read voraciously. Listen to your peers and co-workers. Value their opinions. Test their ideas; and if you disagree, work to disprove them with data. Have an open mind as you challenge the ideas of others. However, if your idea prevails, be humble and adopt the heart of a teacher. We are committed to the merit of ideas. Recognize that each of us communicates in different ways.
Our commitment to learning and adapting is at the foundation of our extraordinary competence. We have the necessary ability, knowledge, and skill to build software successfully. We are efficient and capable. We are ever learning, continuing to adapt our technology and processes to succeed.
Be the Change You Want to See, Take Smart Risks
We pursue continuous improvement from each team member, process, and technology. We expect each team member to act as an agent for change by suggesting new technologies, removing roadblocks, and breaking down silos.
We are very ambitious. We take calculated risks in pursuit of extraordinary returns. Our growth and our customers' success are the result of nearly two decades of rigorous analysis, planning, and smart risk-taking. We analyze the data, consider multiple options for each decision, and choose the option that most aggressively advances our goals without running the risk of ruin. We reward people for testing the boundaries of the possible, even if some of the things we try do not succeed. We are building a “Just Culture” that accepts that failure is inevitable and that there is tremendous value in learning from failures.
Bad News Must Travel Faster Than Good News
Our success is built on our ability and commitment to rapidly address problems. If you see a problem, say something immediately. Do not hesitate.
Realize that you have nothing to fear from the truth. The most effective way to solve a problem is to address it quickly and honestly. This is accomplished through effective briefings, communication, analysis, escalation, and debriefings. We work in a business that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. We are frequently successful; however, occasional failures are inevitable. Do not feel bad about your mistakes or those of others. Instead, value the mistakes and learn from them. To do this, we recognize, analyze, and learn from these failures. Resilience is the result of trying, failing, recovering, and learning.
We have adopted a concept from aviation called “Just Culture.” Just Culture is a culture in which team members and others are not punished for actions, omissions, or decisions taken by them which are commensurate with their experience and training, but where gross negligence, willful violations and destructive acts are not tolerated.
We do not tolerate dishonesty.
The truth is sometimes uncomfortable, but relationships that are built on honesty and transparency are stronger and more satisfying. Our meritocracy of ideas requires thoughtful disagreement. The key is to find the most tactful way to tell the truth.
Our dedication to fact finding and accountability makes us resilient. It is how we are able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
Complete the Circle
We believe that success is the result of a ruthless dedication to excellence and a compulsive drive to fulfill our commitments. This means that we must constantly get in synch and never assume that “someone else will take care of it.” Ask questions, a lot of questions! We do not assume that you will know the answer ahead of time, unless that knowledge is within your core capability. If it is within your core capability, be prepared because it is your personal responsibility.
One of the responses we value most is, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” This embodies our commitment to continuous learning that leads to extraordinary competence. We challenge ourselves and our peers to test whether an idea is true and can be supported with data.
The keystone of our success is our ability to synthesize disparate information and ideas, understanding them and connecting the dots. We strive to reach decisions quickly, and work diligently to disprove them. If we waited until we had all the information we would need to be comfortable about a decision, we would not achieve our ambitions. If your solution isn’t good enough, think harder or escalate that you can’t produce a solution that is good enough. Avoid the temptation to compromise on that which is uncompromisable. Don’t try to please everyone.