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Our Management
Methodology
Our mission: We help people succeed in business
The mission applies to our customers AND our employees.
When our employees are successful, they can effectively help our customers.
The processes have and will evolve over time, but the core philosophy has
remained the same since we began in 1988.
People are the key to a successful business.
Processes, techniques and technology can be learned, tested, changed and
relearned, even automated.
People are unique and unpredictable. Managers provide personal attention,
positive support, and cultivate trust to help them thrive.
Managers are essential
Good managers are vital for our employees’ success
and for hiring people who are a good cultural fit.
Therefore, our managers must be a good fit with our philosophy.
That’s why we wrote this summary of our management methodology.
Our management methodology
1. People-centric
2. Servant leadership
3. Hire to elevate
4. Build relationships on trust
5. Share knowledge
6. Work happy
7. Act like an entrepreneur
8. Drive continuous improvement
We are people-centric
Our customers are the reason we do what we do,
and our employees are the reason we do it well.
We focus on our customers, our employees and our community.
“Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting
the right idea.” Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull.
People are #1
Our customers
All of our employees are focused on our customers’ needs and understand what
our products do for them.
Everyone in our company has the opportunity to:
● Sit in with our Customer Advocacy team
● Get comprehensive training in using our software
● Help real local businesses & nonprofits use our software & methodologies
● Continuously grow expertise through personalized career development
Our employees
A manager needs to make sure there is a perfect balance between their direct
reports’ needs and the needs of their team and the company.
"Look at employees as a whole. Care about them as real people, and understand
that there are needs outside of the office."
Sabrina Parsons, CEO
Our community
Caring about our employees includes caring about the community in which they
and their families live and work.
● Our employee-led Palo Alto Software Charitable Advised Fund administered
by the Oregon Community Foundation
● Four hours per month of paid volunteer time
● All-company volunteer days
● Gifts to families in need every December, purchased by PAS, selected,
wrapped and delivered by PAS employees
Servant leadership
Our employees are smart, well-educated, experienced and empowered to take
proactive action as they see fit. Managers give them the tools they need and get
out of the way.
“It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great.
It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.”
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Leaders are peers who encourage and empower success
Autonomy to be awesome
Autonomy is an important element of our company culture and the way we
manage people.
It's efficient and effective to empower employees. How comfortable people are
with that freedom, and how managers equip them to be successful, impacts their
experience here.
This doesn’t mean that our teams are leaderless
Managers do make final decisions, set goals, measure performance and hold
people accountable.
Mutual trust is central to the success of a team and their leader.
Hire to elevate
If we aren’t leaving an interview saying, “hell, yeah,” then it’s a “no”.
For the right fit, we value:
● Diversity
● Self-direction
● Talent
● Team mindset
● Curiosity and Love of Learning
● Appreciation of Our Culture
It’s hard to get a job here
Build relationships on trust
“There is quantitative evidence that innovation increases when managers don’t
devote constant attention to employees and allow them to act without getting
permission first...Regardless of what managers do, innovation also increases
when employees don’t ask for permission before doing things, don’t bother to tell
managers what they are doing, and even defy their superiors’ orders.”
Weird Ideas That Work by Robert I. Sutton
Earn trust and encourage trust
Trust-building takes time
We treat each other with respect and supportiveness throughout the stages of
employment, from recruiting and hiring to exiting the company and maintaining a
relationship as a former employee.
“I believe that when you trust your employees or direct reports, they act in a way
that’s more trustworthy. If you treat someone with respect, they’re more likely to
feel obliged to honor that level of trust and act in a way that is honest and
straightforward.”
Celeste Peterson, Director of People Development
Share knowledge
Managers help ensure that clear and honest information is constantly flowing
throughout the entire company.
“Remember: once you build Radically Candid relationships with the people who
report to you, you will eliminate a terrible source of misery in the world: the bad
boss.”
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Share what you know, and what you don’t
Work Happy
"Remember, work has to be fun. We value employees who live rich and rounded
lives. We run a flexible workplace, and we have ever since we were a blacksmith
shop that shut down whenever the waves were six feet, hot and glassy. Our policy
has always allowed employees to work flexible hours, as long as the work gets
done with no negative impacts on others. A serious surfer doesn't plan to go
surfing next Tuesday at two o'clock. You go surfing when there are waves and the
tide and wind are right."
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia
Happy people do better work
Ingredients for happiness
● Flexible schedules and remote work options
● On-going training and mentorship
● Networking opportunities
● Volunteer opportunities
● The LiveWell Committee
● Team-building activities
● Company events
● Fair wages and bonuses
● Excellent benefits and wellness support
Act like an entrepreneur
Just like small business owners, managers are frugal, have a bias for action and
use the LivePlan method: plan, manage, check and adjust
"Not planning your business would be like taking off from an airport without a
destination in mind, a planned route, or knowledge of how much fuel you might
need to get where you want to go."
Noah Parsons, COO
CEO of your team
Courage to fail
Managers also must encourage bravery.
If we celebrate risk-taking and do not fear the failures, we will continue to take
risks and find the most successful solutions.
“This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot
fail, you cannot learn.”
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Drive continuous
improvement
Continuous change underlies all the previous seven elements of our management
methodology.
It affects the ways that we treat people, lead and hire. It helps us cultivate trust,
keep learning and stay happy.
It keeps our business thriving.
There are no sacred cows
Performance management
Managers set goals, but don’t prescribe how to achieve them.
They communicate what our company goals are and ensure each team member’s
goals are aligned and on track.
Goal owners choose their methods.
Practicing what we preach
Managing change is also a core concept of our business planning and tracking
software, LivePlan, and lean business planning.
It’s what puts the “live” in LivePlan.
In any evolving company, change happens continuously.
Managers are stewards of the process and the impact it has on the people.
The methods will evolve
Because we are people-centric, every person we hire contributes new elements to
the big picture.
Throughout our evolution, our core philosophies stay the same.
We will always care deeply about the people who make and use our products.
Our management-methodology

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Our management-methodology

  • 2. Our mission: We help people succeed in business The mission applies to our customers AND our employees. When our employees are successful, they can effectively help our customers. The processes have and will evolve over time, but the core philosophy has remained the same since we began in 1988.
  • 3. People are the key to a successful business. Processes, techniques and technology can be learned, tested, changed and relearned, even automated. People are unique and unpredictable. Managers provide personal attention, positive support, and cultivate trust to help them thrive.
  • 4. Managers are essential Good managers are vital for our employees’ success and for hiring people who are a good cultural fit. Therefore, our managers must be a good fit with our philosophy. That’s why we wrote this summary of our management methodology.
  • 5. Our management methodology 1. People-centric 2. Servant leadership 3. Hire to elevate 4. Build relationships on trust 5. Share knowledge 6. Work happy 7. Act like an entrepreneur 8. Drive continuous improvement
  • 7. Our customers are the reason we do what we do, and our employees are the reason we do it well. We focus on our customers, our employees and our community. “Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.” Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. People are #1
  • 8. Our customers All of our employees are focused on our customers’ needs and understand what our products do for them. Everyone in our company has the opportunity to: ● Sit in with our Customer Advocacy team ● Get comprehensive training in using our software ● Help real local businesses & nonprofits use our software & methodologies ● Continuously grow expertise through personalized career development
  • 9. Our employees A manager needs to make sure there is a perfect balance between their direct reports’ needs and the needs of their team and the company. "Look at employees as a whole. Care about them as real people, and understand that there are needs outside of the office." Sabrina Parsons, CEO
  • 10. Our community Caring about our employees includes caring about the community in which they and their families live and work. ● Our employee-led Palo Alto Software Charitable Advised Fund administered by the Oregon Community Foundation ● Four hours per month of paid volunteer time ● All-company volunteer days ● Gifts to families in need every December, purchased by PAS, selected, wrapped and delivered by PAS employees
  • 12. Our employees are smart, well-educated, experienced and empowered to take proactive action as they see fit. Managers give them the tools they need and get out of the way. “It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.” Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek Leaders are peers who encourage and empower success
  • 13. Autonomy to be awesome Autonomy is an important element of our company culture and the way we manage people. It's efficient and effective to empower employees. How comfortable people are with that freedom, and how managers equip them to be successful, impacts their experience here.
  • 14. This doesn’t mean that our teams are leaderless Managers do make final decisions, set goals, measure performance and hold people accountable. Mutual trust is central to the success of a team and their leader.
  • 16. If we aren’t leaving an interview saying, “hell, yeah,” then it’s a “no”. For the right fit, we value: ● Diversity ● Self-direction ● Talent ● Team mindset ● Curiosity and Love of Learning ● Appreciation of Our Culture It’s hard to get a job here
  • 18. “There is quantitative evidence that innovation increases when managers don’t devote constant attention to employees and allow them to act without getting permission first...Regardless of what managers do, innovation also increases when employees don’t ask for permission before doing things, don’t bother to tell managers what they are doing, and even defy their superiors’ orders.” Weird Ideas That Work by Robert I. Sutton Earn trust and encourage trust
  • 19. Trust-building takes time We treat each other with respect and supportiveness throughout the stages of employment, from recruiting and hiring to exiting the company and maintaining a relationship as a former employee. “I believe that when you trust your employees or direct reports, they act in a way that’s more trustworthy. If you treat someone with respect, they’re more likely to feel obliged to honor that level of trust and act in a way that is honest and straightforward.” Celeste Peterson, Director of People Development
  • 21. Managers help ensure that clear and honest information is constantly flowing throughout the entire company. “Remember: once you build Radically Candid relationships with the people who report to you, you will eliminate a terrible source of misery in the world: the bad boss.” Radical Candor by Kim Scott Share what you know, and what you don’t
  • 23. "Remember, work has to be fun. We value employees who live rich and rounded lives. We run a flexible workplace, and we have ever since we were a blacksmith shop that shut down whenever the waves were six feet, hot and glassy. Our policy has always allowed employees to work flexible hours, as long as the work gets done with no negative impacts on others. A serious surfer doesn't plan to go surfing next Tuesday at two o'clock. You go surfing when there are waves and the tide and wind are right." Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia Happy people do better work
  • 24. Ingredients for happiness ● Flexible schedules and remote work options ● On-going training and mentorship ● Networking opportunities ● Volunteer opportunities ● The LiveWell Committee ● Team-building activities ● Company events ● Fair wages and bonuses ● Excellent benefits and wellness support
  • 25. Act like an entrepreneur
  • 26. Just like small business owners, managers are frugal, have a bias for action and use the LivePlan method: plan, manage, check and adjust "Not planning your business would be like taking off from an airport without a destination in mind, a planned route, or knowledge of how much fuel you might need to get where you want to go." Noah Parsons, COO CEO of your team
  • 27. Courage to fail Managers also must encourage bravery. If we celebrate risk-taking and do not fear the failures, we will continue to take risks and find the most successful solutions. “This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.” The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • 29. Continuous change underlies all the previous seven elements of our management methodology. It affects the ways that we treat people, lead and hire. It helps us cultivate trust, keep learning and stay happy. It keeps our business thriving. There are no sacred cows
  • 30. Performance management Managers set goals, but don’t prescribe how to achieve them. They communicate what our company goals are and ensure each team member’s goals are aligned and on track. Goal owners choose their methods.
  • 31. Practicing what we preach Managing change is also a core concept of our business planning and tracking software, LivePlan, and lean business planning. It’s what puts the “live” in LivePlan. In any evolving company, change happens continuously. Managers are stewards of the process and the impact it has on the people.
  • 32. The methods will evolve Because we are people-centric, every person we hire contributes new elements to the big picture. Throughout our evolution, our core philosophies stay the same. We will always care deeply about the people who make and use our products.