Scaling culture at a hyper-growth organization
In a hyper-growth organization like Gojek, technology plays a vital role. However, as an organization matures, the hard part is not scaling the technology, but paying heed to culture.
For us at Gojek, culture is a collective philosophy about how to build products that change lives. We all do our bit to make sure it‘s transparent and open to innovation.
A great way to understand an organization is to ask, “Why should someone work there?”
For me, it’s the people. And it’s not just me, most of us at Gojek will have a similar answer. We are here because of each other.
This isn’t to say that we don’t disagree — like any group of passionate, opinionated people, we disagree often. And that’s the essence of working in a dynamic engineering org like Gojek. Trust is everything.
From my personal experience, a lot of companies talk about being “people first,” but most don’t practice the mindset of what it takes to be truly people first.
For us, it is about distributing ownership to everyone on the team. This ownership gives everyone the responsibility to put their best and gives meaning to daily work.
Everyone talks about empathizing with the customer, but we rarely empathize with the next team. They’re often reduced to a binary absolute: The Magical Team, or the Useless team.
Either way, it makes engagement and collaboration difficult, because nobody empathizes with an ideal. At Gojek, to overcome this, we encourage regular, short-term movements from one team to another. It’s not unusual for a person to move teams to pick up a technology they’re interested i,n or pair on solving a common problem.
People without egos are a luxury in the current times. Having the patience to listen to someone else’s ideas with an open mind, especially ones you disagree with is rare.
We do our utmost to get this right. As our Group CTO, Ajey, says in his post on our engineering principles, every decision is the right one at the time it’s made.
As individuals and as a team, we never let ourselves get too comfortable — whether it’s about knowing a piece of technology, scaling for hyper-growth, or achieving new milestones every day.
We know for a fact that there is no finish line and it’s a continuous journey to achieve amazing things and change millions of lives for the better. We grew 900x in 18 months and still rapidly doubling. Being part of this journey is nothing short of exhilarating.
It’s not like we have the answers
We don’t claim to know what it takes to build a culture that can scale. What makes a difference, though, is that each of us is willing to try. Making that extra effort to learn, listen and grow together.
You can see this happening in our everyday conversations. Every piece of code we ship and our efforts to make sure our customers have a better experience.