November 4, 2016
I walked into PointSource on my start date as a new Associate Project Manager, nervously shook some hands, and then began onboarding shortly thereafter. Our People Programs Manager, Jordan Resendes, was going through slides and highlighting key points about the company. As she hit each bullet, I sat nodding my head with understanding; benefits – check, collaborative culture – check, office events – check… She continued through the slides at a relatively progressive pace until we got to the one on PointSource’s six core values. I figured my brain would just automatically tune out the typical corporate lecture, but surprisingly, the words she said were not in any way typical…
Core Value #1: Remember to Laugh
In her normal tone, Jordan said, “Remember to laugh… We strongly encourage you to let your freak flag fly.” I chuckled in that awkward way you do when you aren’t sure if someone’s joking or not. Without hesitation, she said, “Oh no… I’m very serious.” I wasn’t entirely sure what she meant, but since then, I’ve had ample opportunity to find out.
Whether office desks are being replaced with foosball tables, as was the case when our Director of Marketing, Ryan O’Connor, went on vacation, or “mysteriously” items from your personal garage sale end up as fixtures in the PointSource office, as was the experience of UX designer, Brian Hall, laughter is never absent. Working here, it’s impossible not to smile, chuckle or outright belly laugh several times a day. When you are surrounded by a group that understands the value of levity, you don’t have to try so hard to find humor in things. The laughs find you. It’s one of our most effortlessly adhered to core values.
Core Value #2: Strive for Balance
After that first core value, Jordan had my attention, which is hard to do, because my attention span rivals that of a goldfish. Anyway… When she got to the second core value – Strive for Balance – I instantly thought of Matthew Broderick. And I think it’s fairly safe to assume that when someone thinks of Matthew Broderick, they are really thinking of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ferris sagely advises, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
During my time at PointSource, I have seen how much the company embraces that message. In fact, they PAY us to go on vacation. Let me restate that a slightly different way. THEY pay US to go on vacation. Why? Because life does move pretty fast. PointSource knows that, and more importantly, respects the value in stopping to look around once in awhile.
Maybe that’s why twice a week, PointSource offers free instructed yoga in the office. Or maybe it’s why there’s an arcade machine and two foosball tables in the cafe. Or maybe, just maybe, that’s why every Friday at 3 pm is designated Beer O’Clock and we all gather for a drink and banter to cap the work week.
Core Value #3: Partnering with Clients and Each Other
I think Jordan must have seen how different these values were from what I had expected by the look on my face (maybe a cross between confusion and happiness? Maybe throw in a little hunger? I don’t know; you’ll have to ask her.). She proceeded to take me on a tour of the office, highlighting all of the designated collaboration areas, of which there are many. Jordan showed me where we can go to just quietly braindump ideas on huge whiteboards or giant rolls of sketching paper. Where we can shut the door and put post-its on every blank wall space until our brains are properly purged of their neon self-adhesive ideas.
It’s nothing to see 3 or 4 people huddled around a cafe table going over wireframes or looking at code. Likewise, conference calls with our clients, sharing screens and talking through progress and possibilities is just part of our daily jobs. And we love it. We love the close collaboration, the convergence of so many intelligent and creative minds and the satisfaction of knowing clients value our services and the integral part they play in the end product.
Core Value #4: Do the Hard Work
After Jordan gave my little PointSource wings flight, I started living the values in my day-to-day job. It became easy to see how one value facilitates the next. Partnering and collaborating keeps us accountable to, “do the hard work.” I have been pushed and motivated by the amazingly talented people that I work with and I truly feel that I am more knowledgeable when I leave the office each day than when I walk in.
At PointSource, when you do the hard work, the satisfaction comes through, not only to the customer but internally as well. Feedback from one employee to another or from an employee to manager is part of our goals. As a project manager, it’s a priority of mine to make sure each team member is getting the recognition they deserve for their tireless efforts to make a product or project that exceeds all client AND internal expectations.
Core Value #5: Live Outside the Box
This is a company that wants to hear from you. They want the collective thoughts, as well as the individual ones. Thinking outside of the box is a common ask from companies of their employees but “LIVING outside the box” goes back to that atypical culture that I so eagerly embraced on my first day.
What’s it mean to live outside the box? For me, this value is one I was very comfortable with. Inside parameters feels claustrophobic to me. Outside of those boxed walls is a place of exploration and growth, learning and yes, sometimes even failing. But that’s the kind of place I want to be, where limits are less rigid and fences have wide gaps. Where you can embody the wildfire of thoughts and feed them oxygen rather than stifle the flame.
Core Value #6: Be Authentic
At my last job, I can’t count the number of times I felt like a fraud; like I was playing the part of an employee that acted a certain way and felt a certain way and did her job a certain way. Since joining PointSource, I haven’t felt like anything or anyone other than myself – not for one minute of one day. To “be authentic” is a natural progression of adopting the other core values.
I am me (insert horrible joke about thank goodness there’s only one of ya or mold got broken… ba dump bump). Being a professional doesn’t change that; it enhances it. At PointSource, there are no masks to wear, no blankets to hide under. There is a group of people that are brave enough to put themselves out there, as they are, freak flags and all, for clients and for coworkers. To me, that level of authenticity should be applauded in all aspects of life, but given a standing ovation in a professional setting.
The essence of who we are as a company and how we offer our services lie in these six core values and we consistently rely on them to support our mission statement, “having fun making real change with great people”. Every day at PointSource: we joke/tease/laugh, we walk the tightrope unafraid, we collaborate and partner, we work hard, very hard, we live outside confines and we do it all authentically. And more importantly, it happens organically because it truly is the core of what PointSource values the most.