Autonomy, Accountability, Purpose.
You (or your employees) are most likely familiar with the middle of the three, hence the Monday Blues.
Framing our thoughts around Daniel Pink’s talk about what motivates us, we believe the following:
Giving everyone in the company autonomy (eliminating the focus on time clocks, micromanaging, or required location to work from) can seem scary initially, but when combined with accountability (a single point of conversation, focused only on ‘result-based’ discussions instead of ‘where were you this morning?’) and a higher sense of where they fit in, or purpose – creates a happy, thriving business.
We are building the company we always wanted to work for.
Here’s how it looks:
Some days the office is entirely empty. Not a single person shows up. Are they working? Most definitely. But they’re working on their own schedule and in their own space. Every direct report, employee, manager, knows “this is what you’re supposed to do” and they know they’ll be asked “did you get it done?” and “how well?” We don’t care when, where, or how they do it (there are always deadlines, naturally), but all we want to see are results. What was the impact and how was the performance.
“When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers.
When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.” – Simon Sinek
We prefer to EDUCATE instead of DEMAND, and most decisions can be guided by:
“Use Good Judgment.”
We define ‘good judgment’ as favoring the company over the individual, and the customer over the company. It looks like this:
Customer > Company > Individual
Sounds complicated? It’s not: if an action is good for you but bad for the company, it’s not right. If an action is good for the company, but not for the customer, it’s dubious. In the long term, what is bad for the customer is always bad for your company” – HubSpot Founder Dharmesh Shah. Another way to think about this is via the lens of Humility. Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.
This may seem too simplistic, but it works so well that we sometimes appear flat as an organization, with the CEO at times reporting to a project lead – but we aren’t. We do have set roles, but we’re flexible. And it’s very freeing.
We ask these two critical questions from our team consistently:
1. Are you doing something you’re very good at doing?
2. Do you really like doing it?
Now many businesses focus on the first and not the second, viewing some tasks as ‘necessary evils’ of any position. No one likes EVERY aspect of his/her job, right? Well, actually – they should. And at Heartwood we do.
We’ve learned that if there’s a task someone dislikes, they don’t do the best job. AND we’ve learned that there’s always someone out there who really enjoys doing that hated task. (Yes, always.) If one day someone realizes “I used to like doing this, but don’t anymore” – they are required to speak up. We can’t always change things immediately, but we can listen. And that’s a good start.
Why? It affects quality. And quality is VERY important, especially if you want to master your niche area and eventually make a larger difference in the world, i.e., matter.
What do you do if you can’t find someone passionate about a certain something in-house? Search externally. It may cost a little more (or not!), but in the long run, it’s well worth the time and effort.
Just be sure to vet candidates for BOTH expertise and love for their craft.
You can learn more about our culture here. And this video expands on the concepts addressed above – check it out:
Photo credit: hang_in_there on Flickr