Personal Lessons Learned
I have been meaning to write a lot of things in this blog, so I will just add a few kinds of stuff here. If I have to summary what happens to me within this one and a half years in 99.co helping out the integration process, I will just say it was like a personal MBA lecture. I learned a lot of valuable lessons compared to the years before. But among those lessons, here are a few takeaways that contribute the most to my personal growth.
Everyone Can Step Up
When Darius, the CEO, asked me to help with the organizational integration process in addition to technology integration, I was taken aback. You can ask me a lot of programming, project management, infrastructure, or those kind of stuffs, but I could not say much about the other. Nonetheless, it is something that needed to be done.
I stepped up to the challenge. I learned; I read; I asked here and there. But those would be useless without if it were only me stepping up. More people started to step up and helped me. Even my technology team helped to cover my usual tasks. We set up structures, lines of communications, cadences, OKRs, and other things or tools that were pretty alien before. We did not know if those would work, but we kept relentlessly learning and moving forward.
In the process, we found out a lot of opportunities and rooms for improvement. There should be nothing to hold passionate people back to recognize and rise to seize those. And that is just what happened.
Transparency, Trust, Teamwork
The culture of transparency introduced was unprecedented to me. Darius could find time amid his schedule to have town halls within the offices. Just about everyone will know what the company plan is, what is happening, what are wins and losses that we had. Trust goes both ways. When the company trusts the employees, with information in this example, the trust is returned.
We in Bandung practiced being more and more transparent and put trust in everyone. We shared our goals with each other, learned from others on their strategy to achieve the goals, and together monitored the progress. Some people who liked to keep things within themselves would soon find themselves not fit with the culture and give room to others to rise.
It then became so obvious to see. When people understand and respect what each other is doing, works will be much easier to align. Then all processes become more effective and efficient.
Mistakes Are Valuable
With a lot of things happening fast, people had to make decisions quickly. It is demanded to be resourceful, clearing all impediments and dependencies, in executing the decisions. But mistakes happened, especially to those who stepped up and tried new things.
We transparently shared our mistakes and lessons learned, respect each other decisions, collectively learn from all the experiences, and brainstormed on the next strategy. We kept building this feedback loop shorter and shorter. When mistakes are treated with a positive attitude, people will not be afraid to find new ways to keep pushing forward.