Thoughts from a learning leader
We hear all about corporate culture in business. It truly is one of the things that sets businesses apart from their competition. It runs deeper than ping-pong tables, and beer Fridays though. While these are things that bring us together as a group, there are other ties that bind us, and help our business succeed.
Tungsten’s culture starts with our core principles.
“Do the right thing”
“Always do more”
“Listen, and collaborate”
“Share your vision”
These principles flow into everything that Tungsten does. The way that our team collaborates is probably not a secret or new. We pride ourselves on each team member knowing what is going on around them. We hold a weekly team meeting where we try to avoid the technical aspects of our projects. Instead we treat it very much as a high level review of what projects are ongoing, what the status of each one is – and most importantly – do you need help. All team members learn what others are doing.
This helps develop cross-pollination of ideas, and encourages communication about ideas, and project progress. What often happens, is that this team meeting results in resources being shared from project to project. Every member of Tungsten holding a bit of stake in the success of the project. What happens next is camaraderie that sees the whole team working together to push to the end. We have a history of “all-hands-on-deck” prototype builds, and all night design sessions, where the creative energy and drive to succeed is palpable. Everyone does their part.
We have created a trusting environment where everyone wants to do better. This has helped us foster communication that overcomes the fear of sharing a “bad” idea, or asking for help on a design problem. It has created a working culture filled with productive conversations, that lead to project successes that are much bigger than the individual designer. Watching small teams develop on their own, and designers asking each other for feedback and advice is a very rewarding experience.
Tungsten is not all about work though. We have weekly team lunches that are sacred, where we share stories and laugh about everything under the sun. In the winter we play lunchtime hockey at the local rink, and have team ski days. We have even been know to shut down early on a Friday to enjoy some old school LAN party action – Unreal Tournament ’99 anyone?
These things make us who we are.