On July 10, 2015, I became 1Strategy—a one-person AWS consulting firm. In the past four years, many people have been added to this start-up and they are also 1Strategy.
When I am asked to describe 1Strategy’s culture I describe us as a family. While thinking about that, I began to reflect on a sign that hangs in my kitchen at home. I wondered what we would put on the sign hanging on the “1Strategy kitchen wall” for all to see. I asked the team to contribute and here are some of the answers they had.
We celebrate our people
Our team has a Slack channel called “Shout-outs.” We use it to recognize each person’s contributions. We can all give and receive a “shout-out” on contributions to our success. We highlight the meaningful—yet often overlooked and subtle—contributions that would otherwise remain unnoticed.
We learn from failure
We share our failures in a safe place. In addition to our “Shout-out” channel, we have a Slack channel called “Oops.” Some share simple lessons like, “Oops, when you schedule a demo meeting but forget to invite the client and spend 5 minutes wondering why they aren’t showing up.” Some of my favorites have nothing to do with work: “For the last 3 months I couldn’t figure out why my dish washer was bubbling out onto the floor, and smelling like laundry. Welp, it’s because I was using laundry detergent pods, not dishwasher pods. #Oops.”
We are capable
Recently I needed help building something for a customer. I asked for a volunteer and immediately the newest team member volunteered by saying “I have the bandwidth but not necessarily the knowledge. I am happy to help if I can!” This attitude is 1Strategy. If someone on our team doesn’t have the necessary experience, he or she is equipped with the ability to learn and solve problems. What sets our team apart is an attitude of willingness and ability to learn. I didn’t have the knowledge to start 1Strategy, but I was willing to research, ask people who did know, and put in the work to get it off the ground. We don’t confuse experience and aptitude. 1Strategy places confidence in individuals’ abilities while providing support and guidance when needed.
We are diverse
1Strategy is the most diverse team I have ever worked in. I will not label anyone’s diversity. I will say we are diverse in background, beliefs, experience, culture, and ideology. We are deliberate in seeking and recruiting individuals who raise the bar of our team diversity.
We love our customers
We value relationships above all else. We are committed to building relationships while providing excellent solutions.
Learning is our job. Everyone is expected to step outside—sometimes WAY outside—of their comfort zone. Each person is encouraged and supported to learn and grow. We are mentors. We assign and encourage active growth activities.
I am humbled by the 1Strategy Team. We wouldn’t be able to achieve so much in such a short time without these incredible individuals coming together as a family.