There’s no “good” time to start talking about this kind of stuff in a business context. What’s worked well for us is to send someone this site before we start any recruitment process, or as part of an orientation for a new business partner, consultant etc. The additional context helps people understand some of the things we do which are different, and of course those who want to avoid anything challenging have the opportunity to run before they are too involved.
However, most of this site is quite abstract, and doesn’t tell you a lot about practically what it is like to work with me; this might all sound good but what does it mean in practice?
Firstly, how influential and visible is all the intuitive stuff, day-to-day?
- It isn’t a big thing. We don’t run around holding seances for every major decision or sacrificing chickens in the car park. We’re all pretty normal.
- It is a big thing. We have some deeply held values and beliefs about work, how we treat each other, and how we might make our way in the world. The great thing about talking about this stuff is I can “show my working” rather than looking completely random.
- I’m not the only one. I don’t know if I’m just allowing people to discover/speak their truth, or attracting the right kind of people. But a few of my colleagues have their own things. Not everyone does, and there’s no expectation that people do, but it is interesting how people turn out. To butcher a phrase, “You don’t have to be psychic to work here, but you might find you are”.
We ended up where we are because we are curious and thoughtful:
- We think about things. A lot. About everything. We expect and encourage thoughtful discussion. We have a real problem with shallowness, arrogance and closed minds.
- We are open minded, about everything. This is a core skill for us, a great source of competitive advantage. Curiosity good, Contempt unacceptable.
- We expect you to bring your whole person to work. We’re not all that interested in robots.
- When we say “open minded”, “think”, “curious” we mean about everything, not just work things. The way you think and talk about politics, childcare, family, cooking, or current events is the same way you think and talk about work-related issues. So we expect both. If you want to be a simple-minded bigot it’s going to be quite the learning experience.
We also care a lot about how we treat each other:
- Mutual respect is a requirement. Everyone here deserves to be here, and as well as your job performance we expect you to be worthy of a desk in the office.
- Politics is something we can’t tolerate. By that I mean that we expect issues to be dealt with quickly and openly. You can ask for help and facilitation, but the pattern of saying one thing to one person, and something different to someone else – is fatal.
- It’s really difficult being political around a bunch of emotional intuitives. We might not notice it straight away (it is exhausting being “on” all the time) but we will.
- Clean Language is hugely important for us. The technique is easy to learn (we’ll teach you), the mindset is more subtle but crucial.
- We do the right thing. So much of being “professional” means doing things that wouldn’t be acceptable in any other sphere of life. So much of “conventional wisdom” is stupidity. This applies to our employees, our customers, and our suppliers.
- We have high standards, and we raise them as time goes by. Expect to be stretched, both personally and professionally.
- We will reluctantly disengage with customers, suppliers and employees who aren’t willing to meet those standards. It is never worth compromising. Respect has to be mutual in all relationships.
- We like to think we treat our people well, in all sorts of small ways. We are all human beings.
- We have an office dog. Wasn’t intentional but she’s a huge asset.
About working with me specifically:
- Sometimes I can make a decision immediately. Sometimes I need time. That’s just how the machine works.
- I am intuitive. It doesn’t mean I run around reading everyone all the time but I do sense if things aren’t ok. This means most people find it easier to talk about stuff in an upfront way rather than playing cat & mouse.
- I have an awesome PA who I trust completely to manage me. That’s not to say you can’t talk to me directly, ask me to do things, but I’m quite able to ignore you.
- I’m interested in lots of things. There’s learning opportunities everywhere.
- I don’t hold on to things. Literally once it is over, I forget it.
- If it looks random it probably isn’t. By all means ask. I’m more than happy to talk about stuff.
- My job is partly to make sure I have nothing to do, and partly to disrupt the normal order of things. I like being questioned in a thoughtful manner if what I’m doing doesn’t look sensible. This often leads to more insight for everyone.
- I respond well to Clean Questions. You can Clean Question me about anything and I’m not going to take it badly.