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Mission. Vision. Values. Culture.

Mission. Vision. Values. Culture.

I have heard how these ideas define organizations once and for all. How nothing is more important and how you can get everything right, but if you get this wrong you will certainly fail.

I was faced with these thoughts for the first time when I co-founded Forte alongside Vineet Rajan.

And now, nine months in, I can confidently say that the time we spent on our Culture Code deck was the best time we have ever spent. Does it still need work? Yes. Will it evolve? Yes.  Do we need to integrate it more into our day-to-day? Yes. But, the existence of it alongside a weekly review has built a culture where I feel confident we are all moving somewhat in sync together as we attempt the impossible - building a company that has value and changes lives.

We borrowed thoughts from so many amazing organizations and of course had some original ones, but I am proud of where things stand today. In this blog, I wanted to highlight our Core Values and Behaviors as they drive much of our day-to-day interactions with each other.

Core values and behaviors are the most important aspect of our work here at Forte. Teammates are evaluated based on how they live into these values and exhibit these behaviors. This will hopefully create a culture we are all proud of and want to invite other people to join.

We define culture as a group of people repeating behaviors derived from a set of common values. When people say they like our culture, they are saying they like the way we treat each other, treat our customers and generally go about trying to complete our mission.

At Forte, we have six core values and behaviors:

1. Take Meaningful Risk

  • Always prioritize doing something over doing nothing.
  • We are in a creative-inventive industry not a life-threatening industry such as medicine.
  • Forgiveness is freely given, so don’t be afraid to ask for  it.
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good — aim for speed of thoughtful execution.
  • Be brave enough to be bad at something new.

2. Be Curious, Not Judgmental

  • Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
  • Our team is our greatest asset, seek to understand it more each day.
  • We are champions, not critics. Give the benefit of the doubt.
  • Have meaningful, direct, and transparent conversations.

3. Humbly Pursue Excellence

  • We seek to give credit, not receive it.
  • We seek to get it right, not be right.
  • We measure excellence by inputs, not outcomes.

4. Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry

  • Hurry is a form of violence on the soul.
  • We seek urgency, not anxiety.
  • We seek more conviction and less hustle.
  • Ruthlessly prioritize, focus, and 80/20.

5. This is a Get to Job, not a Got to Job

  • We hope our culture allows people to feel that it is a privilege to work here.
  • We constantly remember those less fortunate who have to work to live .
  • We honor our privilege through a joyful approach to our work.

6. Infinite Mindset

  • Remember that we are building this company for this and future generations.
  • We seek constant improvement, not a future state of done. Always be iterating, improving, and improvising.
  • There is no winning, only an opportunity to keep playing. We will never “arrive”.

Will our company “succeed”? Honestly in a worldly sense, I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone knows. However, I do know that I will be proud of our organization if we can truly say at the end of our race that we faithfully pursued our Culture Code in an attempt to influence lives for the better. That’s all we can truly control.

Inputs we have mastery over, outcomes we do not.