August 2022

Read Things That Matter

Thoughts from a tech studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter.
TL;DR: We speak out. Madds writes about inclusivity, Erin starts as an FTE & Janna is our new Dir of UX. FlexFris (yay!) & Jeremy Messersmith was on OO8B.

Hey there,

As we try to come to grips with the many difficult issues facing our world – climate change, pandemics, threats to our basic rights, just to name a few – it can be tempting to put up blinders and simply go about our day-to-day business. That would be an easy path to choose! For TEN7, this would not be authentic to the company we are building and to the mission and values that drive us.

Our commitment to Make Things That Matter requires more. We speak out on controversial topics. We support important causes. We look for ways to help our team members grow and thrive. We do this because we know our actions are what define us. We do this to embrace hope and to find purpose in our work.

Spotlighting Our Values

I have been intentional about laying out the values that drive us. These values serve as guideposts in our work and also in the way we carry ourselves as an organization. They compel us to take a stand on issues including women’s rights, racist terms in technology, and the war in Ukraine.

But as much as I have worked to reinforce these values, I am most proud of the way the team has embraced these ideas and given them their own meaning.

Last month, we launched the first of a series of blog posts taking a deeper dive into these values, starting with “Be Inclusive.” I hope you’ll take a moment to read “Be Inclusive - Embracing and Valuing Our Differences” from our junior developer, Madeline Holland. It also includes other voices from our team, weighing in on what “Be Inclusive” means to them.

Adding New Voices and Perspectives to Leadership

As TEN7 has grown over the years, we have been lucky to add some amazing talent. We’ve also been intentional about bringing diverse voices and perspectives to the team.

Last month we officially hired Erin Cardinal full time as our new Chief of Staff! Erin had been working as a contract hire and immediately brought a great deal of creativity, energy, and organization to her role. (Not to mention, some delicious team-building activities!) I’m thrilled to welcome her to this new role.

In another exciting development, we will be adding Janna Netland Lover to our Leadership Team as our new Director of User Experience. I’ve been working with Janna since I started TEN7 fifteen years ago and now she will be joining us full-time! I know she will be a great addition as we build our UX capabilities going forward.

The addition of Janna means my leadership team is expanding to five people, and I’m proud to say more than half of those members are women!

Providing Tools to Foster Growth and Creativity

Our mission to Make Things That Matters relies on every team member bringing the best of themselves to their work. Unfortunately, that can sometimes be difficult when an endless stream of meetings interrupt focused work time.

In an effort to combat this, TEN7 launched a pilot project a few months ago called “Focus Wednesdays.” We effectively turned Wednesday’s into “meeting free zones” so the team could count on uninterrupted time to get work done. I have to say it’s been a refreshing and rousing success, so we’re continuing the policy going forward! (I encourage you to give it a try as well!)

In addition, we’re also going to experiment with a pilot program we’re calling “Flexible Fridays” for all employees. This will allow team members to take a short day on Friday to recoup, relax, and ease into the weekend if they’ve accomplished the things they’d set out to do. We’re excited to roll this program out to support the work and mental health of the team – I hope to be writing about the experience too!

Finding Inspiration in Away from the Noise

The idea that we sometimes need to escape the day-to-day grind in order to find inspiration was reinforced by a recent guest on ONE OF 8 BILLION. Singer/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith talked about the upside of “boredom” and how he often has to separate himself from the rest of the world to tap into creativity.

It’s a great reminder that sometimes we need to get away from the noise to remember the beauty and joy the world has to offer.

That’s a lesson that we take to heart as we continue to live our values, to stand up for what’s right, and to choose hope, especially as we push for peace and justice for all.

Until next time,

Feel Good Finisher: A seven year child old swam to the bottom of a swimming pool to save a toddler! That gives me hope!!
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This message was sent on 08/01/2022.

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