Values play a critical role in shaping the vision and identity of an organisation. They serve as behavioural guidance, conveying the principles and beliefs that provide a cohesive vision and help to define the organisation to contributors, stakeholders, and customers. They embody the collective culture and beliefs, resolving conflict and steering the execution process along with the overall strategy. Values are even more crucial for decentralised organisations, as they provide a common foundation for effective coordination and decision-making.
A self-managed culture can only thrive when reliability and adaptability coexist in equilibrium. These are two antagonistic forces: too much standardisation for the sake of reliability closes the door to experimentation, and too much emphasis on adapting can lead to fragmentation and the loss of the leverage that comes with focus and scale.
Clearly communicated values provide a meaningful way to gauge the right balance between these concepts. As karpatkey enters a new chapter, we deeply reflected on the traits that brought us here. We’ve debated about the distinguishing qualities of our team: the ones that have created such an exciting working environment, but at the same time, a general sense of purpose and belonging.
We know we can’t do this all by ourselves. This is a call for those who share the same beliefs—and most of all—the same principles:
Simplicity: We operate in highly complex and unpredictable environments, so we think first principles and execute at the right abstraction level to reach the shortest path to the solution.
Focus: We live by the Pareto Principle, so we pragmatically prioritise tasks for maximum short-term output. This means we mindfully choose continuous improvement over delayed perfection.
Altruism: We cultivate long-lasting and value-based relationships. This requires us to put in the effort without expecting any short-term ROI. It involves shifting the focus from diminished self to collective compounded returns.
Ownership: We trust each other to do and be more, encouraging and valuing personal initiative. We decentralise decision-making, equipping team members with the information, agency, and confidence to make good decisions for the organisation on their own.
Collaboration: We care for each other and explore new ways to continually grow our business through teamwork. We learn from and challenge one another, sharpening existing skills and learning new ones in the process. We believe cognitive diversity generates better decisions.
Curiosity: Status quo is not an acceptable argument—we question concepts and processes in order to improve. We understand that exploring the possibilities is the only path leading to progress.
Adaptability: We thrive in uncertain environments by avoiding overfitting and adjusting to short and iterative execution cycles. We assess and experiment rapidly, frequently, and economically, embracing every failure as a learning opportunity.
Selflessness: The community is above the individual, so when debating internally, we make sure we leave our egos outside and let the best idea win.
Rigour: We acknowledge that our job has greater consequences, so we perform at the highest level of quality, care, and professionalism.