Be open

    At Insync, openness is one of our core values. It’s a driving force in our culture and it improves our product, our processes, and our relationships inside and outside of work.

    In this blog post, we’ll be sharing its value and impact on our company.

    What is openness?

    Openness is being honest with others and more importantly, with yourself. It’s to look inwards and acknowledge your mistakes because they’re just part of the learning process.

    Openness is also being receptive to new ideas and experiences because we can always be better if we’re curious enough to try, fail, and try again.

    In short, being open is to be curious, to continuously learn, and to not be afraid of failing.

    The value of openness

    The benefits of openness are manifested in the culture of the company. It improves key aspects in the work environment like communication, experimentation, and accountability.

    I personally experience the value of openness every day at work and after being part of the team for 2 years, I can say these are its biggest benefits:

    • Communication of ideas is easy and effective even across different teams because people are comfortable being themselves which allows them to share by default.

    • People are not afraid to experiment because they are not afraid to fail, which is a recipe for learning and innovation.

    • People don't judge other people who make mistakes because they hold themselves accountable and learn from it.

    The Insync founders didn’t build this culture of openness overnight but through years of example and trying, they were able to create a culture of openness that has lasted for more than 10 years.

    Finding and cultivating openness

    Finding openness begins at the start of everything -- the hiring process. There are many ways to find openness (e.g. a personality test) but for us, we determine how open a candidate is by first asking these questions:

    • Are they good listeners?
    • How do they express themselves?
    • What drives their curiosity?
    • Do they like to learn new things?
    • How do they handle failure?
    • Do they share stories and ideas freely?

    You can ask these questions explicitly but more often than not, candidates answer them through the stories they share. All you need to do is listen.

    Finding openness is one thing but how do you cultivate it and reap its benefits?

    In our experience, proper onboarding is a huge factor. You don’t just thrust someone into a culture of openness and expect them to thrive. Ease them into it and show them how being open provides benefits in work and in life.

    Only then will they have the confidence and eagerness to practice openness in their own lives.

    Openness in work and life

    Every facet of Insync has improved because of openness. It plays a key role in creating transparency between everyone in the company which keeps them involved, determined, and happy -- essential traits for every company that wants to successfully move forward!

    On a personal level, openness has made me a better listener and communicator -- something my teammates, friends, and family all thank me for. That’s enough for me to truly believe in its value.

    Hopefully others can use it too to excel at work and in their own personal life. Because if openness can positively affect a small remote-first company like ours (and a normie like me), imagine the impact it can make if every company adopted it.

    So be curious, be honest, and be open. The world will thank you for it.

    Have a good one!

    Gregory Reyes

    Gregory Reyes

    Father of one. Likes to create more than he consumes.

    Metro Manila, Philippines