Our work is ruled by complexity and unpredictability—our ability to adapt and respond to inevitable surprises is the difference between success and failure. So we seek multiple options to solve our most challenging problems as they arise, creating several possibilities for success. This not only reduces risks but opens up new opportunities. Option-based thinking isn’t for everyone, so we’re selective about the people we hire, partners we team with, and work we pursue. In order to effectively generate options, we promote autonomous teams and empower our people to be their best—which ultimately leads to better outcomes and value for our customers.
01. Embrace diversity.
We value diverse opinions, backgrounds, and experiences by providing a safe, inclusive environment where everyone can speak their minds—we not only encourage candor, but we owe it to each other.
02. Separate the what from the how.
We cleanly separate what needs to happen from how it will happen to ensure our options stay open. We take pains to make decisions easily reversible so that no decision is ever final, because circumstances always change.
Two (or three or four) heads are better than one. We solve our hardest problems by pairing or mobbing. Although we hit “heads down” mode when needed, we spend half our time Zooming with our webcams on.
04. Design as you go.
The devil’s in the details, and the details are in the doing. Analyzing and planning without digging into the “doing” doesn’t work—so we ensure that we can pivot as needed with minimal impact to timelines and cost.
05. Never compromise on quality.
We continuously seek and remove design and tech debt. We value and write automated tests because we know poor quality slows us down. We don’t take shortcuts to hit a date—it always makes things worse.
06. Minimize and simplify.
It’s easier to extend a simple system than to modify a complex one. For us, “simple” doesn’t mean the least amount of code or number of steps. It means the easiest to explain, use, and understand.
07. Listen with humility.
Every situation is unique. We listen and reflect before respectively voicing an opinion, and we admit when we’re wrong. We defer decisions to those closest to the problem because, in complex domains, context is key.
08. Empower customers.
Customers can pivot frequently because we deliver user-facing value every week or two, and we minimize lead-time. We watch and measure what works so we can seek better options based on authentic feedback.
09. Never stop learning.
We each have a few core skills, but we eagerly and quickly learn new ones to deliver innovative products. We have a growth mindset and never say, “That’s not my job.”
10. Own it!
We don’t wait to be told what to do. We take responsibility for our work and solve our own problems, but without becoming an island—we always ask for and offer help when it’s needed.
11. Be skeptical and curious.
We don’t take things at face value. We dig deeper, so the options we create address root causes, resulting in the greatest and most enduring impact.
12. Walk multiple paths.
When solving complex problems, it’s impossible to know which ideas will pan out. So we improve our chances of success by pursuing multiple options concurrently.