Here at Radial, we work hard to maintain a strong company culture, focused on our core values. Culture is so important to us that we sometimes say we are a culture company, not a software company (more on that soon). We want everything that happens within our office to reflect our core values.

All this talk about about values and culture may set off your “BS meter.” And that’s understandable — most of these types of discussions tend to be a lot of hot air. We think we’re different.

We like to use this clip from Disney’s Mulan to illustrate our point. If you watch, you’ll notice when the character realizes that her weights can be used as a tool, she succeeds in climbing the tower.

Prior to that, she viewed the weights as an unnecessary burden, and they acted like one too. The point I want to make is, if you treat values as a weight, they will drag you down. But you can also treat values as tools. When you do that, they empower the people in your company to make decisions and get things done.  

Our values have led us to craft processes that allow us to deliver consistently while also maintaining what’s important to us, like a strong work-life balance. Our values-driven processes make Radial a great place to work. They also make it a place that creates great work for our clients.

I’ll outline Radial’s values below, with a couple keywords of explanation. Then I’ll explain how those values also support our customers.

Radial’s Five Core Values

  • Accountability: Code Reviews, follow process, consistent
  • Courage: Taking meaningful risks, having hard conversations early, owning our mistakes
  • Care: Taking time to do the right thing, minimalist approach
  • Collaboration: Work with others, cross-functional skills, patience
  • Empathy: Flexibility, listening, caring for employees

How do these values benefit our customers

When we took the time to translate our values into a set of outcomes that benefit our customers, here’s what we came up with.

Accountability Provides Consistent Quality

One of our goals is to develop projects in such a way that any developer — even one from outside our company — can get up and running on the codebase less than 30 minutes. We do this by following regular, consistent, documented processes. We expect all developers on our team to deliver strong code and be productive, regardless of skill level. To achieve this, we have a strong peer review process in place for code, meaning clients can depend on us delivering carefully written code that is of high quality.

Courage allows us to remain Delivery Focused

It’s often difficult to get to the core of what a client wants. Failing to get to this point can result in miscommunication and bad outcomes. Our value of courage means we are invested in having hard conversations with clients early on in the process and also throughout the development process. This helps us deeply understand their business needs. It also allows us to resolve issues early, before they balloon. We also are willing to own up to our mistakes, and fix them. This results in a client relationship with a strong trust component, and a focus on delivering features that solve real problems.

Care is why we deliver Meaningful Products

Care means we spend the time to truly understand client needs so we do not waste time in the future with unnecessary work. Taking care means having a high standard and taking the necessary time to fully complete a feature, even with the pressure of a looming deadline.

Collaboration is how we increase our Breadth of Experience

We are active in our community. Our developers present at talks and run local tech meetups, meaning they are always learning and growing, becoming better at what they do. The developers at Radial have a diverse set of skills, and the cross-functional work we do brings together strengths from different backgrounds and skill sets. A focus on breadth means we are excited to embrace talent from outside of our organization to improve the product. We have regular collaborators we often turn to for a variety of domains like design, marketing, and content.

Empathy frees our team to engage in Mindful Partnership

We practice empathy with our staff by trying to make sure they are well-rested and happy. Satisfied workers lead to better products. We practice empathy with our clients by listening to them deeply, which creates a mindful partnership. We take professional ownership over their product or business and share the dream that they are working towards. This means we do our best to deliver for customers as though the results affect us directly.

If you’ve struggled in the past to get what you wanted from a business partnership, that may be because that partner did not have a culture or values that empowered them to meet your business needs.

We’d love to talk with you about what our values can do for your business.

Stephanie Ogburn also contributed to this post.