Sky Factory People
The people at Sky Factory love nature — how nature looks, operates, creates, and maintains itself. We are a diverse group of people hailing from many parts of the U.S. and around the world. We get along extremely well. Getting on the Sky Factory bus requires more than just a ticket, we’ve had to earn (and, in some cases, make) our seats—a multi-pronged interview process, trial periods, team reviews, and consistently good work with attention to the quality of our products, our service, and our culture.
At the Sky Factory, we look for people who are comfortable with our core values, which include accountability, flexibility, self-improvement, and teamwork.
As a group, we’re interested in sustainability, pure food, fitness, and the best image-making technologies. And as a company, we’re vested in the design of outstanding art and technology products, as well as providing superior service.
Community is important to us. We care for each other in our little Sky Factory community, and the result is that the group is more than just a number of individuals. We are actively engaged in a variety of other communities that intersect with aspects of our own multifaceted identity, and we like our town. We are engaged in sustainable farming activities and initiatives on a local and national level through our non-profit; we’re connected to the national Open Book Management community; and we’re networked with researchers and designers pursuing a greater understanding of our inherent love of nature — biophilia.
Sky Factory Culture
Culture is to the corporation what DNA/RNA is to the life of living organisms – the internal blueprint and communication system by which a cell and the entire organism is created, maintained and grows. A healthy organism results from functional DNA/RNA and its related systems. Disease results from corrupted DNA/RNA. Similarly, culture is the internal fabric that is both formative and expressive of the behavior of all individuals (cells) and the corporate body.
Recognizing the fundamental role of culture, Sky Factory is deliberately built around five cultural principles:
Transparency. With the exception of individual HR matters and compensation, all information throughout the company is open and displayed to all Sky Factory staff. Weekly all-company meetings include review of current company financials and performance metrics as well as discussion of all significant short and long-term business issues. There are no secrets.
Flat, hive-management. Sky Factory does not have a hierarchal system of management – no managers or supervisors. Sky Factory is a ‘bottom up’ organization of self-motivated individuals who participate in multiple job-teams and take periodic responsibility as the “facilitator” for one or more functional groups. The goal (recognized as unachievable, though worthwhile) is that everyone should know and be able to do everything. Individuals rotating through different jobs and teams as well as transparency support this goal.
Service. Service is the foundation that underlies our contractual relationship with each other, our customers, the corporation itself and our community (which extends to the world). However, as we extend our experience of service, it has become increasingly common that many find themselves engaging in service spontaneously – without consideration of return.
Consensus. All business decisions are made by a consensus within small teams or by the entire company. Complete transparency, alertness to the full range of the company’s goals and business activities combined with flat management ensures that gaining consensus is highly efficient. Consensus ensures maximum input of group intelligence and results in maximum buy-in as well as insightful decisions.
Performance. Sky Factory expects all employees to be self-motivated, responsible for their own actions, and maintain the standards of performance and behavior that promote the Company’s objectives and success. To be creative, nimble, and flexible means not everything will be written out. Therefore, never stake a back seat. If you don’t know and need to know—find out, inquire, get help; whatever it takes. This is the entrepreneurial mindset Sky Factory’s culture encourages.
Our team–oriented environment also demands individual transparency and active communication to create productive working relationships. This means accountability and ability to recognize mistakes, learn from them, and support each other are all fundamental aspects to build trust among teammates. Trust is needed to work well together and perform with excellence. Rather than looking for external approval, set your own bar and make sure that you are doing well by your teammates.
After all, only when everyone expects the best from themselves can the company work at the highest level of performance.