Our Purpose? - Our People

I surveyed everyone in the company as to what they like best about working here and what they dislike most to see where we have gaps in our organization that we should address as part of our quarter end review. I was most interested in hearing the dislikes and initially completely ignored the likes. But then I started to stare at the likes and ponder the comments. There are some fantastic thoughts in here and when I contrasted them with one of the dislikes about the company needing a higher purpose I started to realize that we had completely missed why we exist. We don’t exist for some lofty marketing tag line about saving the planet, organizing all of the world's information, not being evil, or some other catchy slogan, we exist to make our people, our co-workers, happy. All of the points about the best thing about working here kept repeating that it was our transparency, honesty, continuous learning, and the lifestyles that we have because we work from anywhere. And this is when it dawned on me. We aren’t missing a higher goal, we are already working towards it.  And the one dislike that came up several times was that we can’t work anytime. We are missing the anytime part as we all work from 9 to 5 eastern standard time to maximize our communication.

With all of the above in mind, I think our purpose is really clear. To work from anywhere, anytime, to build a transparent and authentic, continuously learning organization that creates products and services for our customers that matter. This is our higher goal. We have no other purpose other than looking after our people and if we look after people they will look after our customers in extraordinary ways. I have to believe that the two are strongly correlated.

And with regards to that big dislike of not being able to embrace working anytime. Have we reached the point where our processes and systems are sophisticated enough that we can embrace flex time without hurting out velocity? I don’t know. And like any good learning organization if we don’t know we should run an experiment to see what happens. If one team wants to experiment with flex time for three months with the measure of success being that their velocity increases, doesn’t decrease, and no other team is blocked at any point due to their flex time, I am all for running that experiment. And of course this is a card on the board with points. All work is visible!