Values and Principles
Values form an integral part of the company at HornOK.
We at HornOK take our values very seriously. We believe that organizations evolve and grow very much like living beings. If we are to be a living being, we’d like to be one with a conscience.
At HornOK, all employees come together to embrace these values and make them their own in both word and spirit. No one will ever be fired from HornOK for making mistakes but any violations of our values and social code will not be tolerated.
As important as our values are, we don’t sit around enforcing them all day, these are meant to be self-directed and enforced. Like we said earlier, these become your values when you decide to join the company.
Our principles act as guiding directives for making decisions about your work and life here at HornOK.
Make a positive contribution to the communities we operate in.
We’re building this company to make a positive impact on the world. This can take many forms like making valuable services, creating opportunities and leading social improvements.
Customers > Employees > Everyone else.
For us at HornOK, our customers are paramount. We believe that a customer and her time is the best investment to the company. We put our utmost effort in listening to our customers and keeping them happy.
The employees are what make us who we are. If they grow, the company grows. We put our customers and employees above everyone else.
Hardwork and embracing schlep.
Schlep is a yiddish word that stands for hard, tedious work. We work hard and we play hard. You’re expected to embrace this philosophy. We are of the “janitorial CEO” school of thought and no work is too low or small for anyone at the company.
Responsibility and integrity.
No job at the company is someone else’s responsibility. You take responsibility for whatever needs to be done to take HornOK forward. We want everyone at the company to take initiative and be proactive in taking actions that help the company.
We demand the highest standards of integrity from everyone involved in the company. Our focus on values and principles is a reflection of this tenet.
Play to win but we play fair.
We are for winning against all odds. We try until we succeed.
However, at the same time, we believe in playing fair. No action at the company should ever be designed to benefit us using unfair tactics or by causing direct harm to any person or organization.
We are an open and transparent company.
We want to make sure all members of the organization are aware of and involved in all matters pertaining to the company. To that end, the founders issue regular bulletins and hold open meetings to keep everyone on the same page. Also, it goes without saying, you’re welcome to raise questions to the founders if you feel the need to. You’re a stakeholder in the future of the company and you’re entitled to all the information flowing throughout the organization.
We work in small holarchical groups.
We don’t believe in bloated hierarchies or micro management. All employees are expected to show a modicum of self-management.
Larger tasks are assigned to small groups of employees that are well suited to the task. Such groups are largely holarchical and self-governing. These groups are directly responsible to the founders and have complete control over the process through which they choose to carry out the task assigned. Nobody will ever be breathing down your neck.
We want an accepting environment for all members of the community.
All members of the organisation are to be treated as equals irrespective of position in the company, gender, race, religion or any other basis of discrimination. Activities detrimental to creating a safe, respectable working environment are strongly discouraged.
Do what you do best.
While all of us are expected to work on all sorts of task in the company, we strongly encourage picking tasks that suit your abilities the most. You should never feel inadequate or misplaced in the organization.
We act as one cohesive unit.
It's paramount to have consistency in thought and action. We may have disagreements on a particular topic but when it's time to carry out a decision there needs to be complete unanimity.
Be aware of cognitive biases and learn to avoid them.
Cognitive biases are natural tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from rationality and good judgment. They are responsible for a huge class of judgement errors. This blindness can be extremely harmful. Since you are an integral part of the company, your blindness is the company’s blindness.
The key thing to understand about them is that they’re completely invisible to the person falling prey to them. So, you have to put in a lot of extra effort in order to understand them and systematically avoid them. One of the best ways is to ask people around you for opinion before making a decision.
Optimize for the long term
We put a lot of emphasis on thinking about the long term effects of the decisions you make. Keep the future of the mission in mind while thinking about major decisions. Think about second- and third-order consequences of the decisions you make.
Be extremely open and transparent
Be radically transparent when it comes to your involvement and work at the company both within and outside our circles. Have integrity and demand it from others. Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to them directly.
Create a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes but unacceptable to not learn from them
We recognize that effective, innovative thinkers are going to make mistakes. Do not feel bad about your mistakes and those of others. Love them! Learn from them and share the lessons. When you make mistakes remember to reflect and never worry about looking good - worry about achieving the goals.
Be assertive and open minded
Recognize that you always have the right to have and ask questions. Have strong opinions, because we believe that having a wrong opinion is better than having no opinion.
Choosing your responsible parties are the most important decisions you make
The inevitable responsible party is the one who bears the consequences of the decision. Almost everything comes from having great people working in a healthy culture. So make such choices wisely. Hire well because the penalty for hiring poorly or hastily is very high.
Recognize that people are built very differently
Understand and empathize with each person who works with you so that you know what to expect from them. Think about their very different personal values, abilities and priorities. Don’t try to hide these differences. Explore them openly to figure out what work is the best fit for the person.
Logic, reason and common sense must trump everything else in decision-making
While logic drives our decisions, we recognize that feelings and emotions are very relevant as well and must be given room for expression in the process.
Know what the 20 is in the 80/20 rule
Efficiency is key. Distinguish what’s important from what’s not and deal with the important things first.
Know how to deal with not knowing
Not knowing can be uncomfortable. Embrace the discomfort and understand that the ability to deal with not knowing is more powerful than knowing. Your goal is to come up with the best answer, the probability of your having it immediately is very small and that even once you have it, you need to test it with other people to be confident about it.