Innovation doesn’t happen out of thin air; it happens when smart people are given the freedom to experiment and be creative. But in order to get that freedom—and the innovation that is borne from it—you need leaders that trust you. That’s why one of the hallmarks of our company here at Celero is trust, and specifically trust with verification.
Trust with verification means that we trust our employees to do their best work on their own, so we give them plenty of room to be creative, innovative, and experimental. The only thing we ask in return is that they verify their work. That doesn’t mean micromanaging, but rather giving people the opportunity to justify their reasoning and decisions. While innovation comes about through freedom, it must still have a direction—a method to the madness, so to speak. At Celero, if you can provide that verification and sense of direction, you’re given all the space you need to experiment.
Positive Feedback Loops
In creating a workplace built on trust and freedom, our goal is to create positive and productive feedback loops: we want our employees asking questions like, where did this idea work and where did it fail? How can we refine and improve upon it for next time?
This kind of creative process is important in any organization, and particularly in smaller companies and startups. With so many possibilities and so much to be done, focusing everyone on one strict path can be detrimental to innovation. When everyone is swimming in the same small lane, there’s so much that can be missed. We want our employees to instead have a highly open perspective on what can be done. We want them to collaborate, to leverage the experience of others in the organization, and to repurpose knowledge across multiple areas. It’s that central aspect of trust that creates so many important byproducts: openness, honesty, collaboration, constructive criticism, and teamwork.
Trust and Accountability
As I’ve gone about building my team, I’ve made it a point to lead with trust. I can’t always be there for my employees, especially with COVID-19 keeping us from working together in person, so I’ve had no choice but to rely on trust. Since I assembled my team during the pandemic, they’ve never even met each other in person—and yet, we work together effectively. If someone says they’re working on a task, you can trust that person to get it done when they say they’ll get it done. If someone says they’ll get back to you with whatever you need, you know they will.
That trust helps to create a culture of accountability that everyone wants to buy into. It’s a more open and transparent way of working, where people have the space they need to do their best work without feeling like they have to conform to one linear path. The key component of our success as a team? Trust with verification.