Our Manifesto.  Our Driving Force.  This is a bar napkin of who we are.  And who we want to be...

(Strunk and White were not consulted in the making of this Manifesto.)

 

Singletrack Trails was unintentionally created out of a passion.  The intent to create a company was never considered by the founder.  The company was created one day out of a realization that the founder was paid more as a contractor than a seasonal employee.  The path to a company was unconventional.  This path led to disorganized growth, containing and organizing growth has been difficult.  This document is to create a living document about the foundation of the company and the guiding light for how decisions and actions should be based to remain committed to the company culture that got us to this point.

 

Singletrack Trails is a conglomerate of nomads and misfits.  We are chasing the life of Never Never Land to live in the woods and create from our soul a product that some may never understand like a Jackson Pollack painting.  This company is an artistic medium that allows the souls that comprise its heart beat to exhibit their inspiration of what the Earth presents us for each build.

 

We, as a united group of company citizens, know that we have a common passion to create.  Singletrack Trails is our gateway to creating art for the masses.  As our art gains commissions, like Shakespeare, we are in need of more artists that take value in one for all and all for one.  We are all ghost writing the next critically acclaimed sonnet under one name, Singletrack Trails.  We all contribute to the final product.  We all assist in training the new hires.  It doesn’t matter the level of experience that you have when you join this team, or before you join this team.  Each of us has the position in the company to manage our culture and our product.

 

As we gain more artists that compose for our orchestra, we must develop a guiding light to make sure our souls are in sync toward the same collective crescendo.  This document is a manifesto of those beliefs.  It is a living document.  Just because Greg reluctantly became a business owner, the values of this company are not solely his.  James has been here since 2007, and the values are not his alone.  Aaron joined this band in 2012, but his thoughts are not the only drivers installed on this motherboard.  We all work together to keep the keel of this boat in the water during high winds.  Each of us contribute to the culture that makes us a great company.  The knowledge that we each bring from previous life experiences is vital to make us a group better.

 

You joined this team.  Maybe it was yesterday.  Maybe it will be tomorrow.  Grandma’s Thanksgiving stuffing recipe has been handed down over the years.  Each generation makes a small change for the better.  This document is a guide for you to know how you can add to the recipe.  How you can create an iconic piece of artwork.  This company depends on you to help create the next Louvre.  Each trail we create is a piece of our repertoire.  The company is a museum of the past, but to continue as a company we have to look to the future and find the next.

 

CORE BELIEFS OF SINGLETRACK TRAILS

 

Forthright—Our communications with staff, clients, the public are straight to the point, honest, and full of integrity.

Compassion—We are caring and loyal to our coworkers and our projects.

Adaptability—Our staff strives to continually improve ourselves, each other, our projects, and our implementation process.

Passionate—We are crazy committed to working hard to implement projects in the most pioneering manner.

Professional—We dependably implement our work to beyond the highest industry standard.  Our passions drive our motivation, professionalism drives our product.

Singletrack Trails Culture

Our product is shaped dirt or the plan to shape dirt.  We create ribbons of dirt for others to enjoy with boots, hoofs, and wheels.  We have to be passionate about our job, so that someone many years later, will be able to enjoy that well-weathered section of trail.  The end user is our final customer, that person’s enjoyment, reprieve from the real world is why we do what we do.

To create an environment that creates artwork, at a level of professionalism that we strive to achieve, in the company that we are creating, we must create a culture that is about the team.  We are conscientious of the personal pronouns that we use to describe the work that we do. Yes, you may have built that wall, but another team member did more finish raking so that you could appease your inner Michaelangelo.  We built the trail.  We pushed the industry forward.  Our passion is to create.

Like all great companies, we strive to hire the best and we value integrity, excellence, respect, inclusion, and collaboration. What is special about Singletrack Trails, though, is how much we:

  1. encourage independent decision-making by employees

  2. share information openly, broadly, and deliberately

  3. are extraordinarily candid with each other

  4. keep only our highly effective people

  5. avoid rules

 

Our core philosophy is that our people create our process. More specifically, we have great people working together as an A-Team. With this approach, we are a more flexible, fun, stimulating, creative, collaborative and successful organization.  Our A-Team needs to function together to achieve a very efficient State of Flow.  Our Flow State is the meditative progress of our work day.  Work is a series of repetitive tasks.  Mentally.  Physically.  Working to achieve one with your work and one with your teammates is a challenge.  Enjoying the challenge to achieve a deeper Flow State can be quite taxing.  

Each time we hire a new staff member our Flow State changes.  The goal is for that disruption to be as small as possible for the shortest time possible.  Inevitably it will always happen.  As a team, we must strive to make sure that the new force in our Flow State is positive, making us all a better team.

Enjoying our work means the end user will love our work.  A happy end user is a better world.  A deep, quality Flow State will mean that our work will be easier to create a better place.

Real Values

These values are being openly plagarized from Netflix Culture Deck.  They created a wheel that we agree with and do not want to rebuild.  

Live by these values as best you can.  Will we all screw up all the way?  You betcha.  But they are meant to be a guide.  If you fall, get up, brush yourself off, and go again.

Judgment

  • You make wise decisions despite ambiguity

  • You identify root causes, and get beyond treating symptoms

  • You think strategically, and can articulate what you are, and are not, trying to do

  • You are good at using data to inform your intuition

  • You make decisions based on the long term, not near term

 

Communication

  • You are concise and articulate in speech and writing

  • You listen well and seek to understand before reacting

  • You maintain calm poise in stressful situations to draw out the clearest thinking

  • You adapt your communication style to work well with people from around the world who may not share your native language

  • You provide candid, helpful, timely feedback to colleagues

 

Curiosity

  • You learn rapidly and eagerly

  • You contribute effectively outside of your specialty

  • You make connections that others miss

  • You seek to understand our members around the world, and how we entertain them

  • You seek alternate perspectives

 

Courage

  • You say what you think, when it’s in the best interest of Singletrack Trails, even if it is uncomfortable

  • You make tough decisions without agonizing

  • You take smart risks and are open to possible failure

  • You question actions inconsistent with our values

  • You are able to be vulnerable, in search of truth

 

Passion

  • You inspire others with your thirst for excellence

  • You care intensely about the success of Singletrack Trails

  • You are tenacious and optimistic

  • You are quietly confident and openly humble

 

Selflessness

  • You seek what is best for Singletrack Trails, rather than what is best for yourself or your group

  • You are open-minded in search of great ideas

  • You make time to help colleagues

  • You share information openly and proactively

 

Innovation

  • You create new ideas that prove useful

  • You re-conceptualize issues to discover solutions to hard problems

  • You challenge prevailing assumptions, and suggest better approaches

  • You keep us nimble by minimizing complexity and finding time to simplify

  • You thrive on change

 

Inclusion

  • You collaborate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures

  • You nurture and embrace differing perspectives to make better decisions

  • You are curious about how our different backgrounds affect us at work, rather than pretending they don’t affect us

  • You recognize we all have biases, and work to grow past them

  • You intervene if someone else is being marginalized

 

Integrity

  • You are known for candor, authenticity, transparency, and being non-political

  • You only say things about fellow employees that you say to their face

  • You admit mistakes freely and openly

  • You treat people with respect regardless of their status or disagreement with you

 

Impact

  • You accomplish amazing amounts of important work

  • You demonstrate consistently strong performance so colleagues can rely upon you

  • You make your colleagues better

  • You focus on results over process

 

It’s easy to write admirable values; it’s harder to live them. In describing courage we say, “You question actions inconsistent with our values.” We want everyone to help each other live the values and hold each other responsible for being role models. It is a continuous aspirational stretch.

A-Team, A State of Flow

There is historic lore in Singletrack Trails of the A-Team.  We were a small company at the time.  We all shared the passion of the project and completing it to a standard that we were not sure that we could even meet.  We all knew tasks that needed to be completed.  We functioned like a Magic Johnson no look pass to Kareem.  We just knew what needed to be done and where to do it.

As we have grown this company, our no look pass has struggled.  Each time we add a team member, we must practice to achieve flow.  We have been playing pick-up ball with a new team each game.  As we grow and stabilize, over and over, our core team becomes more versed with each other.  It is easier to add one new member than four.  It is our job to learn to play ball with each other efficiently.  Does the new guy know that the corner shot is where he should be on a fast break?

To achieve a proper no-look pass, our team must achieve a State of Flow.  This State of Flow is better know by our teams as Flow State.  Each team must work together with little communication between each other to know what needs to happen next.  Efficiencies are not found by asking the same question at the same time in the process each time.  Efficiencies are found by know to snip roots at the same time you are finish raking.

To have an entire company comprise the dream team (rather than just a few small groups) is challenging. Unquestionably, we have to hire well. We also have to foster collaboration, embrace a diversity of viewpoints, support information sharing, and discourage politics. If you think of a professional sports team, it is up to the coach to ensure that every player on the field is amazing at their position, and plays very effectively with the others. We model ourselves on being a team, not a family.  A dream team is about pushing yourself to be the best teammate you can be, to achieve a Flow State with our teammates, caring intensely about your teammates, and knowing that you may not be on the team forever, but want your impact to be positive and lasting.

© 2019 by Singletrack Trails​

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