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Our leadership principles are built around a Healthy Business culture
At Alan we want to build a culture which encourages performance, excellence and benevolence, and ensure all Alaners have a sense of belonging.
We believe that sustainable cultures are based on action, not words, which is why these five values are far from being inspirational wall hangings. Alaners use them every day, whether they're discussing ideas for new projects, deciding on the best solution for a member's problem, or interviewing candidates.
You can read about Alan's culture in more details on HealthyBusiness.org - where we're building a community to change the way we approach work.
We call “members” all of our final users, as well as HRs, account administrators, and accountants - everyone we interact with as health partners.
When making a decision, whether big or small, we always ask ourselves: “what’s the best thing we can do for our members?”. We make sure to be entirely transparent about this with our stakeholders, in order to build and maintain a relationship based on trust.
Delight is something that delivers great emotions: satisfaction, pleasure, happiness. When thinking about the products we’re building, we always try to surprise people by exceeding their expectations.
Data privacy is one of our main challenges, and we take it into account in every decision we make. We don’t collect personal data that’s not needed to do our mission.
We decide on what the best possible outcome would be in the long term, and then think of the various steps needed to get there.
We consider our mission as a tool to help us solve problems and take decisions on strategic directions, internal organization or our product. We are on the lookout for the success of the mission, first and foremost.
When we consider hiring a new person, we look for someone we’ll admire, who will bring something new to the team, and we wonder: how would this person be a superstar?
Each week, every Alaner defines their weekly objectives, amongst which one top priority that they want to tackle: the one that will have the biggest impact for the company.
Then we spend a lot of our time working on this problem until it’s solved, no matter how hard it is to address.
We avoid making decisions based on consensus. We believe a revolutionary idea won’t please everyone - and we’re ok with it. We support people taking risks and failing. Regardless of whether an initiative ends up being a success or a failure, we share publicly what we could have done differently or better, and learn from it - and then we move on.
To fight biases when making decisions, we think from first principles: it forces us to go back to things we are sure we know. Building from this, we challenge arguments (backed with data if possible) until we get a clear demonstration.
We are all enlightened despots: the person facing a situation is the one making the corresponding decision, no matter their seniority. They make a proposal and open it for debate, then make the final decision (no vote, no approval, no consensus is required).
Everybody is a shareholder: all employees own actions.
We keep a high tempo and try to deliver on everything we do as fast as possible.
We make tentative decisions guided by our guts, and 70% of the data.
We aim at making our processes leaner, our documents more succinct and easier to read.
We favor “smartly frugal” solutions: we strive for efficiency, and always try to achieve more with less.
We all share continuous feedback, making sure that performance reviews do not come as a surprise (🇬🇧 How we do employee reviews at Alan).
We encourage everyone to challenge ideas and tell hard truths, no matter their scope or seniority.
We make sure feedback is always shared thoughtfully and in a benevolent manner.
Everything that can be made public is. That means salaries and performance reviews are public for instance. We also make public the problems we run into.
Some information (about 1%) is kept private however, such as members and employees personal data.
All our decisions are taken in writing, not orally. We like to say “If it’s not written, it didn’t happen.”
We reduce meetings to a minimum. We use them for training, to brainstorm or to discuss with external stakeholders but we don’t make decisions in meetings.
We have a large knowledge base on Notion where we document everything (about our processes, culture, teams, etc).
If there is a problem, whether on a personal, team or company level, we don’t avoid it but we state it, as early and clearly as possible. We discuss the situation honestly and find the best solution for the company, even when it is hard (for instance: parting ways with employees).
When doing performance reviews we always start with what is going well and then focus on what could be improved.
Every Alaner has a Coach (an Alaner who has been trained to coach others) whom they meet every two weeks to discuss career growth and personal development.
We don’t have set career plans: every 6 months we have performance reviews (🇬🇧 How we do employee reviews at Alan) which can lead to a promotion, or a job scope redefinition.
We promote internal mobility.
We value ideas, and the quality of the reasoning and arguments, not the person they are coming from.
Our performance is reviewed by our peers, people who have closely witnessed our daily work.
Our salary grid is the same for everyone, and we base the level on the person’s experience and their impact on Alan. Compensation is not negotiated, and if the compensation system changes it applies to everyone.