Freedom and Responsibility

Culture: Freedom and Responsibility

I’m taken aback by how often tech companies talk about their culture, write memos, and have retreats to discuss. From what I’ve seen, a small business culture starts with the leader, carries through in hiring decisions, and becomes interwoven in how a firm conducts itself daily. I firmly believe in taking full personal responsibility for each task I’m working on and its clear that our culture expects the same from each of our team members. That’s not to say we don’t collaborate with each other, but we each know who the responsible team member is and they take the lead on whatever the specific task may be.

Looking back, Floodlight was lucky enough to already have a strong culture of individual responsibility when we went fully remote in 2020. While many companies were in chaos our team transitioned seamlessly to a fully remote work process. I fully believe that this smooth transition was due to the culture that has intentionally developed at Floodlight. We now have team members in different locations across the country and continue to invest in connecting as a team. Our team member’s personal responsibility and freedom to do what they believe is in the best interest of the agency has continued to develop since this fully remote transition.

At Floodlight, we don’t have robust culture documents, but do value these two somewhat opposing values of freedom and responsibility. We fully believe that our team members will come through in their project commitments amidst raising kids, going to appointments, doing laundry, and living a full life outside of work. Take an extended trip? Need a short day for your kids PTO? We encourage it. The other side of that coin is when we have aggressive deadlines for clients we occasionally start a bit early and really crank out code for a few weeks.

I fully believe that treating employees as responsible individuals that will act in the best interest of the company is the most effective way to run a company. While this approach may have its difficulties at scale (aka Netflix), I do believe culture starts with leadership constantly demonstrating, extends to hiring decisions, and should never be relegated to an outdated manual with “corporate values”.