No-politics Work Zone
Leave your TPS reports behind
Knowledge workers thrive in a workplace where intellectual demands are high, where decisions aren’t made by committee and frictionless creation is the order of the day. Mercury’s leaders foster a “no-politics zone” where an employee’s merits are far more important than their ability to fit into the hierarchy.
Small teams leave no room for nonsense
A sure way to avoid the tyranny of large hierarchy is to take it out of the picture – form small teams that are empowered to follow their mission. At MercuryWorks, we pride ourselves on striving to create the best company culture. We keep work team-centered and bring it to small teams. Teams also largely handle hiring locally, so team members pick culturally appropriate candidates.
When we get a new mission (a new client, a new product for an existing client or company initiative) we bring the mission to a standing team – we don’t assemble a new team. The velocity and established culture of the team accrues value on Day 1 and we avoid continual forming-storming-norming-performing cycles.
There are no external drivers
In most organizations, commercial realities force managers to produce specific financial outcomes (outside investors, funding series support, debt payments). Unfortunately, this can lead to decisions that don’t serve the company’s clients, employees or work product.
MercuryWorks is entirely owned by its partners, carries no debt and is never in a mode of “window dressing” for funding events. It is a bit old fashioned, but we make our money building software that solves customer needs in a cashflow-positive manner.
Heavy processes don't serve customers
At Mercury, one of our key values is to Get Things Done. Our customers need their problems solved and having any more process than that required to produce quality software is waste. These are the kinds of heavy bureaucracy we avoid:
- Waiting weeks to decide to let a team build something
- Architectural review board waiting for weeks to OK the team’s approach
- Change Advisory Board waiting for weeks to allow the release of what the team has built
Please don’t take this to mean that we operate wildly – we do have controls and processes. However, we agree as a team on how things should be done (we even have a company Playbook) and empower teams to act independently while they adhere to those guidelines. Our answer is to not slow things down and funnel everything through a heavy process.
Spread some PB&J on it
Process, Bureaucracy and Jams. Inspired by Melissa Mayer when she took over Yahoo, we have an anonymous “PB&J” form available to all employees to call out areas where we can improve our corporate culture and work environment. PB&J encourages employees to point out a problem and brainstorm solutions with colleagues about what to fix it.
Ya, it’s a suggestion box.
We go through the submitted items in monthly All Hands meetings and come up with ways to address them.