How We Operate
The Possible Future state of mind
Our company culture gets defined a little more each day, and there are a few values that we feel strongly about. They define the “Possible Future way”:
We want to convey the positive energy that we have! We bring this enthusiasm to our clients and to the challenges we work on.
When giving each other feedback, we make it a point to say what we really think, in a kind and honest way: no detours and always with a great respect for the person.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We take a great deal of pride and pleasure in what we do and our lighthearted working atmosphere reflects that!
Flat and Open!
We don’t believe in hierarchy but instead value personal responsibility. That’s why we’ve implemented a self-staffing process. Each team member is in charge of managing their own time and of defining how much time they can allocate to ongoing projects. New projects, internal or external, are proposed by any team member and staffed autonomously – no higher power involved!
We want Possible Future to remain a transparent company! We value the passion and engagement that each of us has for the company and it’s inner workings.
Within Possible Future, all the internal information is accessible to everyone on the team. It applies to: the salaries & equity levels, the company’s commercial activity, financial indicators, etc…
Remote Work & Unlimited Holidays
The way we prefer to work is for all team members to be physically together. We value spontaneous communication over written feedback, and we’ve found that our best work happens when the team sits at the same table.
That being said, any team member can work remotely when needed or wanted. To keep things simple, our rule is to inform the team (if possible) in advance on slack and make sure that we’re not missing on something important at the office. And obviously, to stay connected and proactive on slack and by phone.
Same goes for holidays and sick days. If you’re not going to be around, you just need to:
– make sure it’s not detrimental to the projects you’re working on ;
– warn your team and make sure they are okay without you ;
– announce it on slack so that everybody can take this into account to run Possible Future smoothly.
There is no typical workday at Possible Future. However, considering the topic of working hours only, we get to the office between 8:30 and 9:45am and leave between 6pm and 8pm. Each team member is responsible for their own time and the idea is for everyone to freely organize their workday in the way that best suits them, and therefore possibly opt for different working hours. For example, within the Possible Future team, we have young parents or sport addicts, who might organize their day slightly differently. We simply use the 9am to 7pm workday standard to know when we can schedule our team meetings.
As a team, we try to maximize our productivity by seeking the smartest ways to exceed our client’s’ expectations, including occasional help from outside experts.
We’ve only been around for a year (at the time this V.2.0 of the Playbook was edited) but we’ve already managed to establish some lasting small routines:
- the Monday Coffee: the best way to start the week, every Monday at 9:30, come rain or shine. Each week, a different team member (in turns, based on volunteering) is in charge of organizing this 1h meeting (ie. agenda, coffee and croissants) to review ongoing business, upcoming deadlines and internal affairs
- the Smart Fridays: a 2h meeting every other Friday where a team member is in charge of passing on an expertise that he or she has, to the rest of the team. The scope of topics ranges from life at Google to managing a P&L to nano-medicine or improvisation theater.
- the Off Site Camps: during this first year we started a ritual which we hope to preserve in the future, where we all go somewhere twice a year, from 4 to 7 days, and work on the future of Possible Future, while having lots and lots of fun & quality time together.
Internal Tools we couldn’t live without
We put a lot of focus on keeping our processes and tools as lightweight as we can. So we focus on the ones that make our lives easier and help us save time. Here are the few tools we couldn’t live without:
Slack! We are huge fans of slack. “Default to slack” is our absolute unwritten rule, no exceptions. We love slack’s simplicity and playfulness, but most of all, we love how slack enables us to keep track of everyone’s work, and progress, even from a distance or in delayed time.
We’ve taken the habit of “slacking” everything we’re working on. And when working on a challenge, everyone on the challenge team commits to reading everything that is posted in the related channel and other Possible Future employees use this as a means of inputting on the ongoing work of a challenge team if they have something to contribute.
Apart from slack, here are the tools we are working with:
- Google Drive: all of our company documents are on google drive. Every project we work on has a dedicated google drive folder, where everything is stored.
- Shared Keynotes & Pages: we like being able to work simultaneously on google docs. So by default, whenever we find ourselves writing or formalizing anything, it will be in a shared Keynote & Pages document.
- Gmail: we use our Gmail mailboxes exclusively for our external communication, meaning mails with clients, external partners, or our personal network. Each one of us typically receives less than 1 email per day… We all love it! So refreshing compared to all of our previous lives.
We’ve also tried a bunch of project / task management tools: Trello, Asana… but, truth be told, none of them made the cut… Our challenges are moving fast, and at this speed, we’ve found that task management tools don’t bring enough value to outweigh the hassle that it is to use them. So instead, we simply keep track of our tasks either in a shared google doc, or with sticky notes on the wall at the office.
Performance & personal progress: OKRs
To follow our personal development, we use OKRs, which is the tool Google uses to set personal goals and targets. Each quarter, we all write down our personal targets for the next 3 months in areas we want to grow in our career. We’ll then try our best to hit these targets in the next months.
All individual OKRs are visible to the whole team, and we all try to coach each other and provide plenty of motivation to make sure everyone is spending time to focus on growing in areas that are important to them.
We believe that feedback is a gift, so we use self assessment and peer reviews to help people grow. This idea is not only to be kind, but to be honest!