First of all, I was really excited that IPC Media won ‘Most Engaged Management Team’ at the UK’s agile awards this week. I can certainly vouch for that – the people I worked so closely with at IPC over the last few years are a very talented bunch, who not only understand agile methods, they really do live by agile principles and values.
I’m also really pleased that ThoughtWorks was shortlisted for ‘Best Agile Consultancy’. I’ve been at ThoughtWorks in Australia now for just 4 weeks and I can honestly say they feel like a truly unique organisation. So many talented and smart people, and with a really interesting culture!
For starters, there is no real hierarchy at ThoughtWorks. Noone has an official boss. It’s certainly not a democracy, but it’s not far off and it’s very far along the spectrum of self-organising.
I also love the fact that ThoughtWorks values place such a big emphasis on ethics and doing the right thing. ThoughtWorks’ 3 pillars are Sustainable Business, Software Excellence, and Social Justice. We all know ThoughtWorks for their expertise in agile, their approach to hiring the best people, their thought leadership in a variety of aspects of software development; but in my first few weeks, I think there’s been more talk about social justice than there has about software excellence and sustainable business! I don’t think you’ll find many companies like that in the current economic climate – social responsibility is running deep in the company’s veins.
Much of that, of course, is down to ThoughtWorks’ founder, Roy Singham, who really is committed to making the world a better place. As a result, ThoughtWorks not only focus on doing the right thing, they also work voluntarily on various Social Impact Projects (SIP) in their spare time – working for charities to put their expertise to good use for people who couldn’t ordinarily afford it.
There are quite a few inspirational examples where the efforts of ThoughtWorkers on SIP projects has made a real, disproportionate difference to people around the world. Just one of those examples is RapidFTR, which helps aid workers collect, sort and share photographs and information about children in emergency situations so they can be registered for care services and reunited with their families.
It’s great to work for a company that not only says that they care, that really puts their words into action and puts their money where their mouth is!