It’s hard to thrive working 9 to 5.
gDiapers is a company, and like other modern companies striving to leave this world a little better than we found it, it can be tempting to climb on top a pedestal and say “Look at us! Don’t you want to be like us?! Don’t you wish YOU could work here, too?!” We don’t have a pedestal. A pedestal is a tiny space with not much room to stand. We prefer a notion of expansiveness, open to possibilities.
But the “how” we work can be a tricky conversation. Not every organization’s business philosophy is going to resonate across the globe. What’s true for Portland might not be true for London, or Sydney, or Hong Kong. Which is why we’re not going to tell you that our way is the one right way to do business. Because – and here’s the secret other companies might be hesitant to share – we’re still figuring it out. And in fact, the one thing that we can rely on, the only thing, is change. So at gDiapers, we’ve embraced that fact. Things will change. Our business will evolve. And by no means are we going to proselytize that our way is the only way. But since the first day that Jason and Kim Graham-Nye decided to take this nugget of an idea about revolutionizing the diaper industry, they knew that at the very least there needed to be a central philosophy, the nucleus, if you will, around which every component of their changing company could be tied. We call that philosophy Fair Dinkum.
Fair Dinkum means being real and genuine with everyone you encounter. It isn’t a set of rules printed in the lobby of our Portland headquarters. It isn’t a manifesto about business hours and adhering to “best” office practices. It simply means that gDiapers is a company made up of real, breathing, thinking, creating, feeling people, people whose lives don’t begin or end with the punch of a time card. Life happens around the clock, and life doesn’t give a wink about deadlines or office politics. So with a Fair Dinkum approach we put people first, and trust that the course of our business will shake out in the direction it needs to go, directed and driven by ourselves and our teammates in whom we trust.
Here’s what we’ve noticed when a company, our company specifically, puts people first. Pardon the bullets, they don’t mean this is a finite or easily replicable list. But bullets do make concepts easier to read. (Just ask BuzzFeed, right?)
- Our team brings their whole self to the g table. Ideas, fears, limitations, goals, the whole shebang. A bigger well of experience as people and parents makes expansiveness possible.
- Individuals at g have room to grow. To grow professionally, to grow their families, or to step away and breathe. When we grow individually, we grow collectively.
- We work efficiently because individuals can focus their energy when they are at their most effective, not confined by business hours. You can’t schedule motivation.
- We conserve energy. When employees work from home they drive less. If no one needs to be in the office, the lights stay off. We lean on technology to communicate with our team members who are working from home, or a coffee shop, or a cruising altitude of 30,000’.
- If you know that returning 300 emails after vacation isn’t doable, don’t do it, and let people know you won’t. Check out Jason’s out of office email, as an example:
I am out of email range from Monday December 22 until Friday January 2. During that time I will not be checking email. I may well not work my way back through emails sent during this period so your best bet will be to resend it after January 2.
Our very first employee at g was a Chief Cultural Officer, someone who helped us make sure that Fair Dinkum was at the heart of building our early team and became the standard for how we grew. Our interview process is exhaustive and thorough. Because Fair Dinkum also means being sure that we’re right for each other. If someone really really wants to work here, and we really really want them to be on the team, then it’s easy math to see that what adds up is a team with a shared passion to make awesome stuff happen.
So that’s it. People first. Fair Dinkum. That’s our philosophy. But we don’t own it. Please take it, make it your own. Infuse it into your workplace or home or volunteer activities. Be real. Be genuine. And to quote the heroes of our youth, “Be excellent to each other.”