Stride's Principles

At Stride, we live by a code of principles.  It is how we engage with each other as colleagues and how we interact with our clients and partners.  Everything maps back to principles.  It is the framework upon which we have committed to building an organization driven by a purpose to help those with a thirst for continuous improvement achieve their highest and best use.  Curious about our principles?  You can see them here:

1.  Harness the Wisdom of the Group

This principle is the premise that in many types of decisions, a group of people working together will make a superior decision than any single individual acting alone.

2.  Make and Honor Commitments

Commitments are a declaration made for a specific individual to take a specified action by a specified date.  Making and Honoring Commitments is a foundation for trust.  Great ways to build trust include letting people know, “I got this.”, backing up your commitments with documentation, and renegotiating your commitments as soon as you realize you won’t honor it.

3.  Invest in Ourselves and Each Other

Invest in Ourselves and Each Other means that Stride is a platform for both personal and professional growth.  We aim to create an environment where individuals can express their intentions or goals and there is a culture of both accountability and encouragement to succeed.

4.  Empowerment Works

At its most basic level, empowerment comes from understanding and trusting the Principles. If you are following the Principles, everything will work out.  If you don’t, there will be massive variation in outcome.  The idea of empowerment is to create an environment where employees are more engaged because they have autonomy to do their job.  Generally, employees that feel empowered have a higher likelihood of thriving, of enjoying their work, and staying around.

5.  Have and Practice Empathy

Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions. That makes it different from kindness or pity.  And don’t confuse it with the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you—they might have different tastes.” Empathy is about discovering those tastes.

6.  Embrace Reality and Deal With It

The only way to learn how things truly are is to push yourself to action. Once we have acted in the world you can start to see how it acts back. Does it conform to our assumptions? No? Then we’ve just learned by embracing reality.

7.  Use the 6-Step Process

There is a standard formulaic process that increases the probability of success of achieving what you want in life.  The 6 Step Process applies in virtually every situation.   It is as follows:

  1. Locate yourself (are you open and curious or defensive and righteous?)
  2. Create a clear goal
  3. Identify and diagnose the problems and root causes to achieving that goal
  4. Design a plan
  5. Push through to completion
  6. Learn and iterate

8.  It’s Okay to Make Mistakes and Unacceptable Not to Learn From Them

High performing cultures have an environment where mistakes are not only allowed but encouraged, on one condition — that there is learning from that mistake in order to avoid it happening in the future.

9.  Get and Stay in Sync

How do we do that?  By making sure we are communicating with each other and our clients with integrity (how we feel is aligned with what we say). Here is how we do that:

  • Assume good intentions
  • Work on context before content
  • 100% of drama in life is due to a lack of an impeccable shared agreement
  • Differentiate between facts, stories and feelings
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a question that may sound stupid because 99% of the time everyone else is thinking of the same question and is too embarrassed to ask it.
  • Being able to listen well is a superpower. While listening to someone you love keep asking them “Is there more?”, until there is no more.

10.  Hire Well and Continually Train

Hiring right is a combination of hiring for fit and hiring for culture. We don’t just bring people on the team but we continue to train them (in both their area of responsibility as well as their cultural contribution) because a machine with a broken element begins to tear down the infrastructure.

11.  Be Relentless About Creating the Impossibly Perfect Machine

People driven businesses are inherently variable and it is the primary reason why many are not able to growth and maintain quality. Our opportunity is to think of our business as a machine and continue to improve it and fortify the structure so that it is not (i) susceptible to catastrophic failure and (ii) can support rapid growth.

12.  Optimize for Goals and Not for Tasks

It’s easy to focus on the urgent at the expense of the important. By focusing on outcomes not tasks, we lessen the likelihood of doing this.