At this years NYC Camp, FFW’s Director of Technology, Kenny Silanskas, in his session entitled “A Complete Guide to Being the Best Drupal Shop on the Planet,” talked about building great sustainable Drupal teams. This session focused on technology best practice, training, solutions and ways to handle scale as you build a team in-house or a consulting shop from the ground up. If you missed the session its well worth a quick read or if you prefer, watch the video
Kenny is spot on! He hits many of the core elements of team success.
Building on Kenny’s points there’s an important binding ingredient that is often overlooked when companies begin to hit the growth curve. It’s a combination of team members; and their collective values - that when combined - create an awesome team dynamic. Hopefully we’ve all seen it in our careers - teams that really gel - creating sustainable products and companies.
As a team grows there comes a point when an explicit focus on harnessing these collective values becomes important. Values are often considered soft, fluffy, and irrelevant. In fact, many companies tout their values without necessarily staying true to them. In my view, the value of “values” is significant, especially if implemented and spawned from the ground up.
At Blink we place a hefty emphasis fostering our values. They are explicit “pillars” of our business by which we attract the best and brightest talent; grow our team, and deliver sustainable high-quality to our clients.
So what are some of the key benefits of values?
- Brilliance: they help us to nurture learning, sharing, and collaboration at all levels of our team
- Velocity: they provide a framework for us to execute, deliver, speak freely, solve problems, and create great solutions with a culture of awesome people that enjoy their work, their customers, and enjoy inspiring others.
But how do you go about defining and implementing values? First and foremost you have to have great people - folks oriented toward building great teams and solutions. Values can’t be defined in a vacuum; they can’t be forced. They’re entirely collaborative. Once defined, socialize and incorporate them into all aspects of the business. Post them everywhere around every office - everyone should be all able to rattle them off. They should resonate with and have meaning for everyone and anyone we hope to attract. During our interview and new hire onboarding processes, for example, we allocate time for discussion and understanding of values.
At Blink we have defined our values as a derivative of our overall mission, combined with the core essence of what has made Blink a rapid growth company to-date. I share them below as examples:
- Be awesome. Our goal is to always deliver the best solutions and experiences - not just to our clients; but to our team mates, the postman, everyone.
- Make an impact. We all want to do something impactful, sustainable, and that makes a difference.
- Foster community. Drupal is the biggest open source project in the world - so we’re big believers in fostering community and offering a helping hand. Not just in the community; but also with our team-mates, partners and own communities wherever they may be.
- Make it happen. We have an exciting opportunity in front of us - making it happen often means stepping out of ones defined role or boundaries to help push an initiative forward.
- Never stop learning. Our world, company, and technology space keeps evolving - and so we want to embrace that change, no one on our team is above learning
- Enjoy the ride. We’re a fun loving crew, and we realise that our job is not everything - if we’re not having fun then what’s the point!
With a culture of awesome people that enjoy their work, they can inspire each other to foster and share our values - to become a part of the fabric of how we communicate. So our advice to you as you grow your team - don’t ignore values - don’t create them in a vacuum - build them around your people; nurture them, and let the rest take care of itself.
Interested in finding out more about FFW values? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.