Our culture exists to help us achieve our mission.
We definitely want a workplace full of happiness, achievement and fun, but not because that sounds like a really nice culture to have. We've built that culture because we believe it will help us achieve the best outcomes for our clients.
To describe our culture in one sentence, it's this: A culture of leadership. We want to raise the standards of our industry. We want to push everyone forward and innovate in our field. To do that we must all be leaders.
So to have a culture of leadership, our company must hold the qualities of a leader.
Understanding & Respect
It's one thing to say that we must understand and respect everyone, but it's equally as important that our business as a whole understands and respects everyone who is part of our team. We have individual needs and goals. We have lives outside of work.
We take the approach that we're all responsible adults and we can be trusted to do what's best for Pure Learning, our clients and ourselves. This offers us all flexibility to make decisions about how, when and where we work. There are no set hours or locations for work. We're all smart enough to know when we should be on-site with a client, in our offices for face to face collaboration, or working from home. But without a solid understanding of our business and of each other, we would not be able to have this autonomy and flexibility.
- We actively listen, to each other and to our clients.
- We respect each other.
- We respect our clients.
- We know that empathy is crucial to our work.
- We understand our own business and our industry.
- We understand our clients' businesses and the people we're designing training for.
- We always seek to understand each other's point of view.
- We don't leave a meeting until we fully understand what's been discussed and agreed upon.
- We respect our colleagues and clients enough to challenge them when it's needed.
- We have respect for the work we do.
- We understand that we all have lives outside of work, and respect that everyone's health and family is more important than Pure Learning.
Learning & Education
This is what our business is all about, so we'd be amiss to include it as a big part of our culture, wouldn't we?
- We are curious and constantly learning.
- We find learning opportunities in every experience.
- We educate our clients throughout every interaction.
- We share what we know and what we're learning.
- We change our minds if the data doesn't support our opinion.
Feedback & Ownership
From day one we've acknowledged that feedback is crucial to any success our business would have. You can't learn and improve without feedback, so we must be seeking it out all the time.
It's not just expected that we need to give and receive feedback, it's an obligation. If we are dedicated to our own growth and development, and devoted to helping others improve, then we must be giving and learning from feedback.
- We seek out diverse opinions and experience.
- We're candid with each other.
- We're accountable for, and take pride in, our work
- We don't take feedback personally, it's about our work.
- We give and receive feedback with positive intentions.
- We're good at accepting feedback.
- We feel obligated to give feedback to ensure our work is the best it can be.
Expertise & Innovation
This is why our clients want to work with us. This is why people want to come and join our team. Our expertise and dedication to innovation drives the success of our business and creates a sense of well deserved pride and achievement within our business.
- We're always seeking to be experts in our respective fields.
- We should have as few rules as possible.
- We innovate to get the best results, not for the sake of doing something different.
- We always test and validate our ideas.
- We share our expertise with everyone, we do not keep knowledge to ourselves in fear of someone becoming better than we are.
- We value independent decision making over micromanagement.
- We value making decisions based on data and principles, rather than following prescribed processes.
Movement & Momentum
If we want to push our industry forward, we must always be pushing forward. Our clients are paying us to help them solve problems for them. We can't solve any problems by standing still.
The most successful projects are the ones that keep momentum going.
- We prioritise action over inaction.
- We drive the momentum of our work.
- We remove restrictions and obstacles to keep our work going.
- We bring work forward whenever we can.
- We prototype and test, to reduce the risk of going backwards.
- We don't let excuses get in the way.
- We find solutions to problems (it's what our entire business is based on) and keep our projects moving.
- We treat constraints and limitations as a foundation for creative ideas.
- We use communication and collaboration to keep our work moving in the right direction.
Communication & Collaboration
We're not competitive, we're collaborative. A competitive culture breeds negativity and one-upmanship. Eventually producing a workplace where the client becomes second to the careers and desires of the most competitive individuals.
We work together as a team and want everyone to grow and prosper. We believe that we can all learn from each other, and that we should be doing everything we can to share what we know. This belief is not just about sharing within the walls of our offices, but sharing openly with the rest of the world - our clients, our industry and even companies that would be classified as our "competitors". If we're to truly improve the way everyone learns, we must be sharing openly with everyone.
- We collaborate intelligently and effectively.
- We don't collaborate for the sake of collaborating and we don't over-collaborate.
- We help each other whenever we can.
- We challenge and push each other.
- We're open and transparent.
- We approach everything as a discussion.
Some important points of clarification.
When we say leadership, we're not talking about management. In fact, you could describe us as anti-management. In many cases management can lead to many of things we want to avoid. Things like rules, meetings, hierarchy and complacency.
Unnecessary rules get in the way of real work and they can limit our ability to innovate. Rules limit individual decision making and autonomy.
Meetings take up time and energy. We're not anti-meeting. We're against meetings with no purpose. The more we collaborate effectively, the fewer meetings we need.
Hierarchy is an enemy of a culture of leadership. If everyone is to act as a leader, then everyone must be empowered to be a leader. A chain of command could slow us down, remove accountability and ownership, and encourage competition over collaboration.
Complacency is dangerous. We never want our work to be easy. It will always be challenging because we will always be pushing to do better work. Each new project should be better than our previous projects. We do not want to create a system in which people "reach the top" and are tempted to rest on their laurels.
By not having multiple layers of management we open up further opportunities for development and growth, rather than limiting them. Real development and growth isn't about job titles. It's about developing new skills and building up your expertise. It's about doing better work and taking on bigger challenges.
We're not going to get it right all the time, but we must do our best. We need to strive for the best culture possible. If there is anything that does not align with our culture, then we must call it out. Everyone at Pure Learning is a custodian of our culture. It's our responsibility to protect our culture and make sure that everyone who joins our company is welcomed into, and understands, our culture.