If you ask Phocas people why the company is successful, most will say it's because of the culture. The Phocas culture has always been influential because it was fostered and prioritized from the inception of the company. Myles Glashier, co-Founder and co-CEO and Karen Hailwood, Chief People Officer are keynote speakers at the Human Synergistics' Asia Pacific Virtual Culture and Leadership conference. They'll share how the data analytics business has evolved the culture as it transformed from a bootstrapped start-up to an established global company.
The Phocas culture
Myles Glashier, the co-Founder and co-CEO, says Phocas is all about the people.From the outset, the goal was to make Phocas fun and the work fulfilling.
Phocas values culture, it's a consideration in every major decision. Glashier says “At the heart of the culture are the concepts of trust and autonomy – we see high performance when our people can take initiative, have freedom to experiment and continuously learn.” To reflect the culture, initiatives such as the ‘failure award’ have been instigated.
"The inaugural winner of the Phocas failure award was me. I wanted to highlight that it's okay to fail and encourage people to experiment with new ideas. Go out on a limb to improve and learn,”explains Glashier.
Culture transformation award
In 2016, Phocas set an ambitious five-year plan. Key elements of the strategy included investing in a new platform to migrate the data analytics solution and customers to the cloud, extending the American division, innovating the product and building the capability of the global team.
Glashier knew he had a unique environment but wanted to learn more about what his people loved about working at Phocas so he could keep the magic alive during the change ahead.
The company took part in the Human Synergistics 2016 culture survey to obtain a baseline measure.
The 2016 culture measure reminded Phocas management that its people appreciated the open and accessible leadership who listen and take-on new ideas. They also liked the freedom and autonomy at Phocas, as well as the flexibility of work hours. People like measurement on outcomes versus hours worked. Everyone also appreciated the rewards provided for success.
"However, as everyone also knew about the impending growth plans, they told us they worried about whether our systems and processes could cope with fast growth.They were also worried about the workload and resource challenges, and wanted more opportunity to grow personally and professionally," explains Glashier.
In four years, Phocas has recruited heavily and grown from 100 to 180 people. The business now has a dedicated 'people and culture' team who have introduced more professional growth and development opportunities, developed the leaders and simplified the organization design further. In 2019, Phocas participated in Human Synergistics re-measure survey and won a constructive culture award.
What's it like to work at Phocas?
Karen Hailwood consulted to Phocas to measure the culture in 2016 and then feel in love with the Phocas people and business, so joined the team as Chief People Officer.
Hailwood says it was a significant achievement for Phocas to win the 2019 Human Synergistics' Culture Transformation award for developing the culture to be even more constructive than it was in 2016, during three years of rapid growth and change.
"The re-measure of Phocas culture showed that our actions between measures had helped us to retain the essence of the culture that had made us successful to that point, and we had continued to evolve it as we scaled up," explains Hailwood.
"The people who enjoy working at Phocas find the work itself fun – they are self-starters and great learners who are curious about doing things better and are passionate about creating solutions to solve customer problems," says Hailwood.
Glashier and Hailwood are keynote speakers at the Human Synergistics' Asia-Pacific Virtual Culture and Leadership Conference on Thursday, August 27. The session is called innovation and adaptability. To register click here.
For more information about the Phocas culture transformation and innovation session at the leadership conference, click here.