October 26, 2017 – It’s been roughly a year since my first day here at Twill. I like to look at it as a journey of 365 individual days; opportunities to make today, and every day, more valuable than yesterday.
At the beginning of this journey back in November 2016, my mind and my heart were fully occupied by one big question: how do you develop a culture? Is that even possible? How do you twill that unique binding fabric that shapes how we talk and walk as Twillers?
Culture lives and shifts and changes in response to the actions we take and the decisions we make each day. Well, by now I have the answer to those questions, but you’ll have to wait until my next blog post to find out!
In her book Daring Greatly, Dr. Brené Brown says: “If we want to reignite innovation and passion, we have to rehumanize work. When shame becomes management style, engagement dies. When failure is not an option we can forget about learning, creativity and innovation.”
I would add that an essential component to ‘rehumanize’ work is trust. Trust is the foundation for an organization to grow, where an organization is understood as a network of people rather than a conglomerate of layers and operational models. We build trust by showing vulnerability, Dr. Brown says. By sharing and being open about our wants and desires, as well as our inevitable stumbles and failures, and by getting into the practice of doing this regularly, we can build trust over time.
At Twill, we understand that feedback is a mechanism of trust building. We make a point to share feedback consistently, and follow a model to enable us to do this effectively. We also make sure we celebrate what we’ve learnt when we l review the week during our Thursday ‘Nomination’ sessions.
Failing fast is another way of building trust. Quite the dichotomy, I know, but the key word here is ‘fast’. There is safety in risk-taking when it’s done in incremental steps and fast loops. This should happen with the right structures in place – firstly to ensure we learn from our failures, and secondly to ensure that we limit the possibility of any such failure having an impact on our customers. This creates a psychologically safe space where learning, rather than blame, is the focus.
And finally, in my view, the ultimate proof of trust is having the courage to enter the ‘arena’ every day, focused on your purpose. In my case, that is to lead from the heart and create the organization I want to work for. And while I’m aware that, in Dr. Brown’s words “there really is no effort without error and shortcoming”, I feel fortunate to live my dream and learn every day.
So, accept the challenge to make every day matter. With every new day you are granted a chance to do better, to take new risks, and to learn from failure. After all, this is how we at Twill make shipping simple, every single day.
– Ramona Sandu, Head of People.