One of the things I noticed when I started at Angie’s list was the number of people who wore Angie’s list t-shirts. It was typically the most engaged employees to boot. In fact, employees could buy a t-shirt for $5. I realized that, if I ever got a chance to run my own company, I wanted to replicate what I learned at Angie’s list.
When Tana and I originally formed beLithe, we were primarily partnering with great organizations like CEWit, Eleven Fifty, and TechPoint to work with college students . One of the things we started giving away to our students was T-shirts. Our original T-shirt from 2016 had a quote on the back was a Winston Churchill quote “To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.”
I thought it was time to change the quote, so I found a new one (check it out here). I couldn’t write one. As I searched for ideas, I stumbled across Apple’s diversity statement off there website. I couldn’t resist. It reflects the approach that I have always felt was right for am company, but never heard anyone at my past employers be so direct. With all due respect to Apple, I used this one on our shirt.
In my Scrum training, we discuss one of the values of Scrum, openness, as one of the things that makes Scrum work. We talk about openness in terms of one’s day to day status, opinions on how work is done, and what can be improved. Diversity is generally accepted as a requirement for high performing teams. Including other points of view provides better decision making across the board. After conducting Scrum training for a number of years, I have had a revelation. In Scrum, we should be open not just in what we share, but in what we take in. We should be open to other’s ideas as well, whether we agree with them or not. We shouldn’t let all the crap that doesn’t really matter cloud our opinions about teammates.
My goal for beLithe is that we are a high performing team, and this is one small way of embracing our future. We are just starting the journey, and I hope it will be a fun ride.
Thanks for coming in today.