Who we are and what we stand for

by Patrick Goffin
03 May 20223 min read

Airteam today is somewhat evolved from the original business idea. I think we’ve been quick to change tack when needed, and we’ve definitely weathered a few storms on our journey. As we grow, a recurring theme is to introspect; what is our identity and what do we stand for?

In reflecting on this, I revisited our company values and realised that we chose these values together, creating a shared view of what Airteam should be. These values are still very much relevant. They ground us, inspire us and help us make decisions every day:

  1. Do the right thing. We value good humans and relationships.
  2. Build a strong team. We value highly effective teams and recognise this is how we get best results.
  3. Focus on outcomes. We value doing meaningful work.
  4. Strive for better. We value the best approach to getting things done and continual learning.

So with our values still very much relevant I started to think about our future goal and vision, and then I came across this podcast in the Harvard Business Review - The Evolution of Teamwork (with Atlassian CEO Scott Farquhar). The podcast originally piqued my interest because at the time, we were looking at ways to improve remote teamwork and distributed teams. But as I got to the end of the recording, Scott made a comment that very much resonated with me:

“I used to think about building products and building a company was like building a bridge, you spend a lot of time designing it and being very prescriptive and know what you want to achieve at the end. What I’ve come to realise recently, is that it's actually more like tending a garden. Building a company or a product or anything in life, is much more organic, and though you may plant certain seeds in the garden and you fertilise and water them, you don’t actually know what’s going to grow, and it may surprise you that some things grow way better than you thought or they grow worse. So tending a garden is encouraging things to grow and giving them the right conditions and hoping and planning and trimming, but it’s very much more organic and you don’t know what the outcome will be...My job as a leader each year is to build a bigger garden and it’s almost impossible to predict what will grow there and we just have to make sure we have all the right conditions, the right culture and plant the right seeds, hire the right employees and give them the right opportunities. In terms of trying to control things and have a predictable outcome I’ve given up on that long ago and it’s now about making sure we have the right conditions to grow.”

Like Scott, I have been squarely focused on the end vision and always felt we needed to have that bolted down. In truth, our journey over the first five years has shown that if we had adopted a rigorous “build a bridge” mentality, then we may not even be here today.

So who are we today, and what do we stand for?

Right now, today, we see ourselves as…

  • An independent software development and design company with a real focus on people, process and outcomes.
  • Particularly known for our work in Healthcare, Education, Financial Services and Government.
  • With specific expertise in secure customer experiences and member facing apps and web applications

We’ve transformed from an office-centric company to a remote-first company with staff all over Australia. For perhaps the first time in our five year history, we have the soil, landscaping and shoots of a thriving garden.

We’ve made some wonderful new hires this year; we’ve matured in our business processes into a comprehensive management system; we’ve planted seeds for the future. I’m very excited to see what will grow from these seeds, and realise that I can now help the most by ensuring Airteam has the best conditions in which to flourish over the next 5 years.

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