Probably my favourite part of coming to work at Global Kinetic every day, for the past 11 years, is the people.
Loud people, shy people, obnoxious people, BOSSY people, timid people, introverted people, needy people. People from entirely different backgrounds with vastly differently world views and experiences.
This in and of itself is not unique, but what I feel is unique, is our special blend.
Think of it like an artisanal coffee blend. Sure, sometimes we over-roast it, add too much sugar, forget the milk, heck, even drop the container occasionally. But overall, we are a great collective. Better as the whole and not just the parts.
The quick history lesson is that we started with 5 people (with others in the wings in the hope the contracts would get bigger).
We took a risk,
gave up the safe employment option,
and essentially worked month-to-month for quite some time.
Fast-forward 11 years, and we are a family of over 80 people, with a stable business. We have not finished, and in fact feels like we are just starting. It may not be Facebook, but we are fiercely proud of where we are, and what we have achieved.
Importantly, we are working really hard at getting to the next milestone(s).
For those who don’t know, each of us in the core team are Developers. It’s how we met, how we built the business.
Mark, Sean and Hendrik are still quite actively involved in the daily development space (architecture, development and DevOps).
Gunnar and myself finished our longest-standing development project at the end of March, and for the first time are not actively developing as our primary daily activity, but rather completely focussing on finance, payroll, and people.
Loren, Sergio and Martin moved off active project work over the previous couple of years to focus their attention on the running of the core business pieces as their primary focus.
Why the history?
I think, like each one of our personal backgrounds, the history of how we have done things as GK, what we learnt doing them (or not, in some cases) is
built into our DNA. But a step further back, is that the GK DNA is 8 people’s DNA,
which in turn is influenced and impacted by 70+ other people’s DNA.
We try really hard to have Global Kinetic be the best place for people to work, that create the best quality software for ourselves, and our clients.
Does it work all the time? Of course not. We are all people.
What does that mean, we are all people?
We mess up, we make the wrong call, we communicate differently/incorrectly/not enough, we assume, we get angry, we laugh, we cry, we make mistakes.
Most importantly though, is that we try. If we don’t try, we must try harder at trying.
There have been a lot of changes over the past year particularly. To grow, and expand we have had to change processes, take up positions that didn’t exist previously, and focus more on those that were neglected. This has meant core members moving out of active projects, putting different team structures in place, moving people around as projects change. Change is hard.
In trying things, through changing things, each of us need to remember that we are all People.
Not everyone speaks the same way, interprets the same sentence the same way, or achieves the same result through the same process. We are wired differently to each other. It is why we work as a collective.
However, it does mean that the onus is on each of us, as individuals, to make that conscious effort to communicate as best we can with each other.
To hear what the other person is ACTUALLY trying to say.
To speak, when something needs to be said.
It is important to remember that we are not all here for the same reason.
That is not only OK, it is good.
It creates the balance and tension required to question, to push back, to suggest, to grow. For some of us, Global Kinetic is our life, for others it is a long-term career, for others just a job, for some it will be a stepping-stone, and others it is an extended family. We appreciate everyone for what you are. For who you are.
We spend most of our lives with each other. We need to care for each other as best we can.
What’s my point?
Global Kinetic is a great place to be.
We do have challenging projects, communication gaps, people that don’t necessarily get along, processes that could improve.
But, we have great People who do great work!
We have so many exciting things on the cards, and I look forward to sharing those experiences with everyone here as we continue our growth, diversity, and maturity as a business of really, RAD people.
Challenges will always exist, and we would be fooling ourselves to think that every day could be perfect, and no mistake would ever be made.
It is in our collective power to improve things where needed,
and to do this we need to communicate with each other.
There is a reason we don’t have offices here: everyone is available to everyone (not all the time, every day, because, work), so please consider that an invitation.
My challenge to myself, when I started this post, was to remind myself what makes GK a great company. And it is great, something we can all be extremely proud of. At the core though, it is a collection of people. And THAT is what I love.
Ross Pickford – Global Kinetic