“We’ll figure it out.”
This is a phrase that has oft been uttered in the conference rooms and offices at Strasasan. Healthcare as an industry may have an image of being old and staid, but as we have discovered, there are new opportunities every day for creative solutions to shine. We have relied heavily on our team’s creativity and innovation (well described in another blog post by Morgan Atkins) to develop new tools and products to serve our customers.
Hence, in the last quarter of 2017, we recognized that this phrase is an important part of our company culture, making it one of our core values.
The can-do attitude that this value embodies doesn’t magically appear ex nihilo. There must be an underlying structure to support it. Here are three ways that we do that at Stratasan.
First, we work hard to maintain a high-trust environment that helps us to learn from our failures, not fear them. In The Upside of Down, journalist Megan McArdle writes about how important it is that we leverage our failures as learning opportunities. Doing this requires effort and intentionality.
In lieu of seven effective habits, she recommends failing “early and often,” teaching failure in schools, making it easy to recover, shedding biases that keep us from perceiving our mistakes, distinguishing between novice errors and criminal ones, resisting the instinct to blame, and erring on the side of forgiveness. (Source)
Those last two points, “resisting on the instinct to blame and erring on the side of forgiveness,” ensure a level of trust that encourages creativity and risk taking. Product companies must be courageous enough to try new things, fail fast and early, and then learn from the failures to build successful products.
Second, our team has a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset assumes that highly productive team members are somehow innately better at things than others. A growth mindset acknowledges that talent is not genetically predetermined, but gained by study and hard work.
And third, we recognize that our best work is done as a team, not alone. Our engineering team explicitly calls out Hero Culture as an anti-pattern. If we are relying on a single team member to swoop in and save the day, we’re not leveraging the collective creativity and intelligence of the team. Again, this is we’ll figure it out, not I’ll figure it out!
Until next time,