Back in November I was lucky enough to visit our team in India and what an experience it was. The cultural differences, the food, the people and of course the warmer weather all made for an unforgettable trip. However, it was not the disparity between the east and west but rather the values of our team that stood out the most for me and this post is about giving you an insight into them.
If you’re looking for a warm embrace then look no further! Never before have I been met with such a kind welcome. From a ceremonial greeting on arrival through to a chorus of song on exit, it was a continual experience of positive encounters. I had worked with this team for two years and had spoken to some of them almost every day but it was still humbling to see the kindness they shared in welcoming me to their country. This kindness did not fade and offers of lunch outings, tea breaks and trips to try cuisine continued throughout my time in Chandigarh.
What then became apparent across my trip was the level of dedication that each team had towards the products they were working on. All their actions and efforts were towards the greater good of the product. Whether it was commitment to delivering output or challenging the product owners assumptions, the team would always put the product before themselves. What was most encouraging was that they were doing so because they genuinely wanted to. Never once did I hear sigh, moan or lack of interest towards their product and you could tell by the enthusiasm in their voice that it was genuine. How often do you hear that within a whole company?
“Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordan
Team work and cooperation were exceptional during my visit. The team had clearly been through Bruce Tuckman’s model and were performing well. There was continual respect between the team and individual points of view were always considered. They were comfortable in challenging each other but were fair in their approach. If an individual was confident they could deliver, you could see the team were as well. If an individual was facing a blocker, the team would rally behind them. If the team was performing well, it wasn’t individuals that took the credit, it was the team. Finding a close-knit and trusting culture like that is hard to find.
The final element I want to touch on is a genuine understanding. Like a set of morale principles, it was clear to see how the team were doing things for the right reasons. They understood the foundations of lean and agile and were applying them to great affect. If knowledge is power then these teams were very powerful. They weren’t just building software to make a living, they were building software to solve genuine user problems. It was inspiring to see and is something I can’t wait to share with our founders at ucreate.
So while we think the country has a lot to learn from us we also have a lot to learn from them. I see many items continuing to be shared between the global offices at ucreate and I can’t wait to see what the results yield in the future.