TaxiForSure Culture Code

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Confidential Culture at TaxiForSure April 2014

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At TaxiForSure, we have been able to attract terrific talent since our inception. Our Culture is the core of our DNA. We believe that our Culture is what will give our company, and our people, success in the long run. Just as the way we would like to revolutionize the way people commute, we would like to use our Culture to revolutionize the way our teams communicate and align. This is what will help us attract the right people and bind us as a team during our journey of explosive growth.

Transcript of TaxiForSure Culture Code

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Culture at TaxiForSureApril 2014

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PART-1

A Primer on Culture

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The term Culture, specifically organization culture, is widely used but hardly understood.

Have you ever tried this simple exercise?

Asking five senior executives and/or founders separately two questions:

• Can you explain to me what organization culture means to you in a simple and practical way?

• Can you describe to me the salient aspects of your organization culture?

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Very likely, in most Firms, you will find them providing unclear and

inconsistent responses.

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It is therefore very helpful to get a working knowledge of culture in

the same way as most of us have of, say, Strategy

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Research by IBM concludes that in any organization, or team, seventy percent of the culture (or organization

climate as they refer to it) is driven by the leader of the organization or team.

In addition, the right culture can swing business results by thirty percent.

Putting two and two together, the right leader creates the right culture, which in turn can swing business

results significantly

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A Good way to Start Understanding Culture is to Understand

what it is

and

what it is not

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• Culture is about who gets rewarded and promoted

• Culture is about what behaviors and values we expect from our colleagues – behaviors that are acceptable and behaviors that are not

• Culture is the way things are done here

• Culture is the way decisions are made – extent of Consultation, Buy-in needed, Consensus etc.

• Culture is about how goals are set - set unrealistic goals and aim to achieve them or set conservative goals and definitely achieve them

What IS Culture?

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Culture is therefore what successful teams or groups attribute their success to. Culture

therefore evolves

It is very much like evolution of life on this planet

It takes time, takes shape slowly, is often difficult to explain why it is what it is, and most important of all, it is very difficult to

make quick changes

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• There is no good culture or a bad culture just as there is no right or wrong personal style of leadership. It is not right to conclude that one culture is superior to the other or one works better most of the time.

• Culture is not defined by a Company’s espoused values or artifacts like office layouts.

• It is not easy to change culture because it evolves slowly

What Culture Is Not?

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One may, therefore, legitimately ask: “if organizations can’t change ‘who they are’, what’s the whole point of understanding culture?”

It is the same thing as asking: “if individuals can’t fundamentally change ‘who they are’, what’s the whole point of developing better self-awareness”?

Self-awareness helps an individual better understand herself in relation to the world around her, and hence, deal with situations more effectively

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The lesson in this is that you should know what your organization culture is even if you can’t

change it easily.

The concept of ‘change management’ which many of us may have heard of is actually a

structured way of gradually making changes to elements of a Firm’s Culture that have become

dysfunctional over time

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How can We as Leaders Drive the Right Culture?

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Let us use a Real Life Example and Apply Elementary Game Theory

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Assume you are staffed on to a Project Team comprising Members who all have a Day job in addition to the Project

You need to decide whether you are going to work hard on the Project or attempt a free ride and focus on your

day job

How do you decide?

Take a look at the matrix on the next slide and see the different consequences and outcomes

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Irrespective of what your colleagues on the Project choose to do, it is in your interest to ignore the Project

The project fails; nobody faulted; nobody rewarded; at least my line manager is happy that my day job was done well

The project fails I get into serious trouble with my line manager for being naïve and neglecting my day job

I do not work hard I work hard

My Colleagues do not work

hard

My Colleagues work hard

The project succeeds; everyone gets rewarded including a free rider like me. I havealso done my day jobwell

The project succeeds; everyone gets rewarded including a hard worker like me

If My Colleagues Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. The option of ‘Not Work Hard’ has better results as you can see

If My Colleagues do not Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. Again, the option of ‘Not Work Hard’ has better results as you can see

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Let us now Change the Matrix a bit and see how your Decision Changes

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Irrespective of what your colleagues on the Project choose to do, it is in your interest to NOW Work Hard

The project fails; there is a stigma attached to everyone in the team including me

The project fails; but I am recognized as an honest corporate citizen who tried her best. My line manager does not see me as a sucker who could have devoted more time to her day job instead of to a failing project.

I do not work hard I work hard

My Colleagues do not work

hard

My Colleagues work hard

The project succeeds; everyone who worked hard gets rewarded (and since I did not work hard I do not get rewarded. Instead there is a stigma attached for being a free rider)

The project succeeds; everyone who worked hard gets rewarded (and since I worked hard, I am rewarded)

If My Colleagues Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. The option of ‘Work Hard’ has better results as you can see

If My Colleagues do not Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. Again, the option of ‘Work Hard’ has better results as you can see

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Did You Figure Out What Changed Between the Two

Matrices?

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What Changed Was the Kind of Behaviors That Were Rewarded by

The Leaders and the Firm

Culture is, Therefore, All About the Behaviors that are Encouraged and

Rewarded

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If driving a Culture was just about changing a few things on the Matrix,

why is it so difficult in Real Life?

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The reason why it is so difficult to reward the right behaviors and

penalize the wrong ones is because very often the wrong behaviors

produce some short term gains for an organization and the right

behaviors could produce some short term pain

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Therefore, Firms need Clarity and Courage to bear the Short Term Pain in

exchange for the Long Term Gain.

This is a Very Difficult Trade-off

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Weak Leaders are often Reluctant to take ownership for bringing about changes in

these dysfunctional behaviors that harm the Organization Culture

They often rely on Peripheral and Distracting Fixes like Compensation

Plans and Organization Structures that they think would magically induce the

right behaviors

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PART-2

Culture at TaxiForSure

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Culture is what gives TaxiForSure the best chance of Long Term Success both for our People and Business

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we would ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In all Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Ten Behaviors and Talents We Value

Respect for

peopleIntegrity Transparency Fun at

Work

Entrepreneurial Clarity

of Thought

Team Building &

Team Working

Communication & Influencing

Customer Centricity

Self Awareness

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Respect for People

You are never disrespectful come what may and whatever the provocation

You do not belittle others however silly you think their idea may be

We can take feedback from the person who serves you tea or the janitor in the office and they will always say they are treated with respect

Your language is carefully chosen – even tough messages are communicated in a constructive tone

You never make oblique or sarcastic remarks

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Integrity

What you say is what you mean

People shouldn’t need much tact in dealing with you

You always communicate the other person’s side of the story even if she is not around

You are truthful and do not hesitate in saying things like “I don’t know”, or “I goofed up”

You will give credit to others where it is due

You tend to credit others when things go right and look in the mirror when things go wrong and ask “is there something I should have done differently?”

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Transparency

You don’t put on Masks. What people see is what they get

You genuinely get the affected parties involved in issues and their resolution even if you know they may ask you hard questions

You do not encourage and participate in too many side conversations. You prefer open discussion with all the parties involved

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Fun at Work

You genuinely try and make the work place a fun place for your team and colleagues

You make it fun in your own way – help others learn, help teams let down their hair and build camaraderie and trust

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Entrepreneurial

You make things happen. You demonstrate Risk Taking, Initiative and Self Leadership

You can handle Ambiguity and Thrive in Chaos

You can make the right Assumptions and Approximations. You can take decisions in the face of incomplete information

You demonstrate Execution Excellence

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Clarity of Thought

You think strategically, and can articulate what you are, and are not, trying to do

You Seek insights and ask insightful questions

You can cut through the noise and smoke to quickly reach the underlying truth or root cause

You always step back to take a big picture view, foster strategic thinking in the organization, and understand interdependencies

You can often find simple solutions to complex problems

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Team Building and Team Work

You Set high standards for Yourself and the Team

You would Proactively address and resolve conflict

You will hire great people. You will hire people who can push you and push the envelope. You won’t hesitate to hire people who are more competent than youhimself/herself

You understand when to delegate and when to micro-manage

You can give and receive feedback in a constructive way

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Communication and Influencing

You are an active listener

You Communicate with energy and passion and have the ability to articulate complex concepts in a way that is simple to understand

You can use analogies and stories to add clarity and meaning to communications

You treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you

You maintain calm poise in stressful situation

You can give and receive feedback in a constructive way

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Customer Centricity

You take personal responsibility for correcting  customer service problems

You recognize internal customers and treat them as if they were external customers

You will follow through on customer inquiries, requests, and complaints

You can set expectations with customers and don’t make promises that cannot be delivered

You are an active listener and ask a lot of questions for understanding a customer requirement

You can give and receive feedback in a constructive way

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Self Awareness

You sincerely seek feedback and act on it

Your assessment of yourself is aligned with others’ assessment of you. In other words you have an accurate assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. You can actually your weaknesses as effortlessly as you articulate your strengths

Your aspirations are in line with your capabilities

You do not put on masks while interacting with people

You always ask yourself in a self-appraisal, “What could I have done better”, “Have I really met this Goal”

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Dream Big and Aim High

Good is the Enemy of Great

Jim Collins, in Good to Great

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We want Everyone to

Think Big

Think Beyond What is Possible

Think Out of the Box

Think beyond Conventional Boundaries

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We are not a Public Company, catering to Market Watchers and Analysts,

Aiming for What is Possible and then Beating it

We are not looking for a predictable 20% per annum increase in share

Price

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Incremental Thinking Will Get Us Steady Growth

But, We have not Attracted the kind of People We Have with The Promise of

Steady Growth

There is no Fun Living on the Horizontal Sections of the “S” Curve

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Solving the Right Problems – Alice in Wonderland

Alice: Which Door Should I take?

Rabbit: That Depends Upon Where You Want to Go

Alice: I don’t know where I want to go

Rabbit: Then it doesn’t matter which door you take

If you are solving the wrong problems, it does not matter how well you solve them

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The Interesting thing is that Most People who are Busy

Solving the Wrong Problems Don’t Even Realize that

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People Solve the Wrong Problems for a Variety of Reasons:

1. They haven’t figured out the right problems

2. Solving the wrong problems is easy

3. Nobody has questioned them for solving the wrong problems – in fact they have been recognized as good problem solvers

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Solving the Wrong Problems Manifests itself Commonly in Three Different Ways:

1. Solving problems that someone in your team should be solving

2. Jumping to conclusions (wrong conclusions) – on what is the cause of something – and working hard to fix it

3. Working hard to improve something (may be a process) – when the right thing to do may have been to eliminate the process itself. The inherent assumption being that the process (in this case) is NECESSARY. The broader fault is about defining the boundaries incorrectly

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Therefore, Every Time You and/or Your Team Are Solving a Problem,

Ask Yourself (Yourselves)

“Are We Solving the Right Problem?”

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Taking Ownership

Most Outcomes or Goals in Organizations have Different Levers.

Each Lever is only Partially Controlled by any One Team (or Individual)

It is Very Difficult to Structure Work in Ways that result in all the Levers being in

the Hands of Only One Team (or one individual)

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Taking Ownership when things are Even Partially (Not Entirely) in Your

Control is an Attitude

We WANT our Teams and Team Members to demonstrate this

Attitude

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This Does Not Mean, we are Encouraging Collective

Responsibility or Asking You to Own up for Something You were Not

Responsible for

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It Just Means that We will Work as Real Teams and Collaborate

without Boundaries

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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People are our Most Important Pillar

Therefore Hiring is THE most important thing we do

Great People in the Wrong Structure can Make it Work. It may be a Little Sub

Optimal that’s all

Great People can make a Weak Process Work. Again, it may be a Little Sub Optimal

that’s all

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We will Differentiate based on Performance and Talent

We can try and keep Everyone Happy by a Socialist Approach, but a Socialist

Approach results in a Socialist Growth Rate and Results. As a result, Good

People will Leave and Average People would be Loyal.

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We Sincerely believe that the most important Job of Managers is to Hire, Manage and Motivate

their People

We expect them to spend a significant part of their time in Setting Goals, Clarifying Roles, Evaluating Performance, Providing Feedback and above all,

helping them Learn and Grow in their Career

We want everyone who works at TaxiForSure to be able to enhance the quality of their CV

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Speed is as important as Quality

We operate in Markets, and in Times, where Speed, as much as anything else, Decides Who Wins and Who Gets to be

the Leader

We don’t have the Luxury of Trading off Speed and Quality

Both Matter Equally

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Speed is often a Question of Clarity of Thought

It is in being able to Cut through the Clutter and Figure out the 2-3 Most Important Drivers, Levers or

Parameters in Any Given Situation and NOT get Distracted by the Noise and the Low Impact Levers

or Drivers

We therefore, expect all our People to be able to Make the Right Assumptions and Approximations.

Expect them never to get Stuck in an Analysis-Paralysis Situation

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Any Decision is Better than Indecision

We will never have All the Information to Make a Decision. If we had All the Information, We wouldn’t

be needed.

Therefore we Value Informed Judgment (this is part of being Entrepreneurial)

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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We Sincerely Believe that while Controls and Process prevent a Firm from Imploding, they

Never lead it to Greatness

Smart People join us for the Freedom we provide

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Creating Alignment Thru’

• Values, not Rules

• Culture, not Procedures

• Goals, not Paths

Great Execution Thru’

• Decentralization, not Centralization

• Empowerment, not Control

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Freedom to Execute

Decentralization • Low Center of Gravity of the Organization• Branches are our execution engines, and every one else

aligns to support them• Limited ‘Corporate Staff’ but of high quality• ‘Corporate Staff’ mind-set is one of creating value for

internal customers• Decisions made at the point where there is maximum

information

Empowerment • Process-Owners can seek inputs but will have to take decisions

• Frameworks, not Rigid Rules• Don’t make Commitments without thinking, but meet

Commitments Always• Always behave responsibly• Treat Company Expenses as if you would treat your

Personal Expenses

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Trust and Personal Responsibility applies to Everything We Do

We will Never Have the Time, and Do Not Intend, Checking and Monitoring Everything

Therefore, Spend Company Money like you would Spend your Own

Keep Commitments.

Stick to Company Policy. If you Disagree, ask for a Review, but Adhere to it as long as it is in place

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Eight Aspects of Our Culture

1. We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are

2. We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets

3. We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?”

4. We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control

5. People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People

6. Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do

7. Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships

8. We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at

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Facts and Data Orientation

In God we Trust; All Others Must Bring Data

Unknown

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Discussions become Meaningless without Data, and we are Never Sure if our

Decisions are Right

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However, there will be Situations when we may not have All the Data needed to reach

a conclusion

We expect Managers to Figure out and Differentiate between Situations where

we need to Look for more Data and Facts and when to Make an Informed

Judgment

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In Summary, Facts and Data based Analysis IS part of our DNA

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Culture takes Root Through our Collective Efforts

Encouraging the Right Behaviors and Discouraging the Wrong Behaviors

Demonstrating through Actions

Walking the Talk

We hope Each of you becomes a Torch Bearer of the TaxiForSure Culture

In Conclusion

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THANK YOUVisit us at www.taxiforsure.com