• Everything in the culture is designed to support our teams, which we call "X-teams." An x-team is made up of XPLANE consultants and designers, as well as our clients, working together towards a common goal.
  • Transparent communication is critical to get clarity throughout the company.

    We believe in open communication (feelings along with the facts), including an open-books management approach.

    XPLANE people are encouraged to publish their development focus areas for the year for others to see.
  • Visualizing goals makes them explicit and clear to all. For example, trend lines are easier to understand than spreadsheets.

    This culture map is an example of this principle in action.

    A napkin sketch will often suffice.
  • We hire and support learners and when hiring, we look for "the learning skill" -- people who are curious, natural learners.
  • Flat management means trusting people's judgment and empowering them to make decisions -- and to empower decisions, we need to tolerate occasional mistakes, as long as they are learning mistakes!

    Visual goals and transparent communication are important supports.
  • Module builders means we think about re-use when we design for customers. Some of us call it "object-oriented design."

    Over time, we have built a modular archive of re-usable components, which can be used for discovery, design and deployment of visual communications.
  • Teams need support; in fact you might say teams ARE support. When an XPLANE team needs assistance, we all are there for them to the best of our ability, 24/7/365.
  • Transparent communication helps ensure that everyone in the company is aware of opportunities as well as threats to our doing great work.
  • Visual goals are more clear and explicit than written ones. If it can be drawn, it can be done.
  • Hiring learners keeps us adaptive to an ever-changing world. It keeps our people on the leading edge of our field.
  • Modular design allows us to deliver faster results and find more flexible ways to meet customer needs.
  • Flat management requires trust. It's a two-way street and we only get there by hiring the best people we can find.

    In performance reviews, XPLANE employees are reviewed by their peers and direct reports as well as their bosses.
  • The modular approach applies to our job descriptions as well. We use a "merit badge" system to define skills, allowing people to grow more flexibly and giving them opportunities to offer different skills to different projects and teams.
  • Another example of transparency is this culture map -- we're making our culture explicit to the world.

XPLANE Culture Map

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Every company has a culture, but it can take time to learn, and the stated culture can often differ significantly from what people actually experience.

At XPLANE we have created a visual map of our culture, to guide our teams in daily decision making and help them make choices that are consistent with what we stand for and who we want to be.

Roll over the photo for notes.

brownorama, lau_merritt, and 323 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. j l t 107 months ago | reply

    I don't suppose there's a larger version of this available? I'd love to put it up on the office wall!

  2. dgray_xplane 107 months ago | reply

    baconista: i made you a contact, try again

  3. j l t 107 months ago | reply

    thanks much.

    am a big fan of the xplane blog & information design in general. always like your work.

  4. dgray_xplane 107 months ago | reply

    Thank you baconista!

  5. doctor health 107 months ago | reply

    wonderfull a photo.thanx you dgray

  6. l.traube 105 months ago | reply

    Ciao, sono amministratore di un gruppo chiamato Write me!. Ci farebbe piacere aggiungere le tuo foto al gruppo.

  7. melcir.meri 97 months ago | reply

    I usually hate these, but this is an awesome flow-chart!! But where do you transform the nay-sayers, sloths, say "yes" [but mean no!], drifters, escape-artists, trolls, etc.? -- And yes, it IS reminiscent of the "Tree of Life" of Kaballistic spheres - well applied to organization and planning! -- Do you have an interest in advancing non-profit earthheal groups?
    As Fall cools Northern activities, it's time to plan!! -- You are awarded the "***Earthcare ACTIONS!! ~ 'FIRST-THE EARTH!' Photo-ART AWD+FV2quot; group.
    http://www.funscrape.com/" |

    Help Earthcare ACTIONS!! group to launch EARTH-HOUR & EARTH-DAY '09 events. ~ Volunteer!

  8. a5400410 97 months ago | reply

    I just want to say this is so cute : )

  9. ocf035 94 months ago | reply

    this one is interesting.. ^^

  10. psh46 90 months ago | reply

    this is great and just what I was looking for. thanks

  11. scaryredhair 77 months ago | reply

    nice work xplane.

  12. katmeresin 76 months ago | reply

    This makes me so happy.

  13. breandán 45 months ago | reply

    Hi, Dave – thanks for such a great diagram! Would you consider licensing the image under some form of cc license, perhaps BY-SA-NC? It would be wonderful to be able to use this image (with attribution) as an example within our non-profit.


  14. dgray_xplane 45 months ago | reply

    Sure thing. Just changed the license.

  15. snappyath 40 months ago | reply

    This is brilliant - thanks for sharing

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