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Clara Operating Principles (pre-team-feedback) 2017.06


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This was our initial presentation to the team of a proposed set of operating principles. The goal of this presentation was to gather feedback so we could iterate and finalize the principles.

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Clara Operating Principles (pre-team-feedback) 2017.06

  1. 1. Clara Labs Values 2017.06 Process & First Draft
  2. 2. Why Values & Why Now? ● Intentionality. Every company has values and culture, whether you try to articulate them or not. If you articulate them you can measure yourselves against them and guide / be guided by them. ● We’ve learned a lot about who we are as a business, product, and team. We have scars, we have successes. Actual experience drives our articulation of our values. ● The team is growing.
  3. 3. Values Methodology ● Now: Articulate ○ Audit - How do we behave? ○ Introspect - What do we think of ourselves? ■ Team ■ M&M ○ Synthesize - Distill into values. ○ Discuss & Refine ● Next: Integrate, Live, then Assess
  4. 4. What are Values? A person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important. Behaviors we already exhibit and want to encourage more intentionally.
  5. 5. What are our Values Criterion? ● Values are always a work in progress, hence versioning. ● Must be easy to ‘grok’. ● Must be memorable. ● Must be actionable. ● Must be distinct to Clara. ● Must reflect reality (no cognitive dissonance).
  6. 6. Discussion Points as we Review each Value ● Examples of this behavior at Clara ● Trade-offs
  7. 7. The Synthesized Values: First Draft
  8. 8. Take Initiative ● Just do it. If you don’t do it, it might not get done. ● If you See Something, Do Something; we don’t prescribe clear directives.
  9. 9. Respect Constraint ● The best solutions are the ones that well respect their constraints - time and resource. ● You can only Respect Constraint by Focusing on the things that really matter. Prioritize your work according to your constraints; execute solutions that meet them. ● Be pragmatic, don't over-engineer.
  10. 10. Develop Testable Hypotheses ● Come forward with a way to say whether your work succeeds or fails; “you must not fool yourself”. ● Building New Things requires skepticism of trends, generic thinking.
  11. 11. Design for Peer Review ● Spend the time to make sure it's easy for someone else to understand what you did and why. ● Set up a framework that others can reason about, give them the information they need, create a process they can follow: you want the benefit of our collective understanding.
  12. 12. Solicit Feedback ● Systemically Listen to our customer, our CRA, our team. ● “Plead For; Try To Sell”
  13. 13. Focus on Learning ● If we Learn More, we Win. Most Startups Fail because they don't build good learning feedback loops. ● Building the processes that get to right answers > having the right answer one-off. ● Strong Opinions Weakly Held. Finding out you were Wrong is a success of its own.
  14. 14. Be Persistent ● What we’re doing is hard. If you’re not thinking long term it’s not worth it. ● Things worth having are often scary and difficult. Lean in to it; build it like a muscle.
  15. 15. Values - Discuss & Refine ● Take Initiative ● Respect Constraints ● Develop Testable Hypotheses ● Design for Peer Review ● Solicit Feedback ● Focus on Learning ● Be Persistent Potential missing Follow through Consistency Speed
  16. 16. Next Steps ● Finalize this Version ● More Intentionally Integrate (next year or so) ○ Interviews, New Hire Onboarding ○ Live the values, integrate into performance feedback (individually, group wise, company wise) ○ We already insist on and exhibit many of these values constantly, but we will do so even more intentionally now. ● Reassess (~ a year from now)