In the event you were not fully aware, culture is important. But as much as someone might try to convince you, your culture isn’t defined by ping pong tables, beer Friday, or cool swag. While those things can be fun and may help set a certain tone, your culture is more accurately a reflection of what you believe as an organization and how those beliefs are manifested.
Here are the Rare Bird Beliefs, the things we feel are central to who we are as an organization and how we feel about each other and the work we do for you.

Do your best.

People come to us for help with things they can’t do on their own. They trust us to think through the situation with them, to help devise a strategy and an execution that positively impacts their organizations and their lives (as well as the lives of everyone they serve.) We owe it to them to give our best, all the time, every time. And we owe it to ourselves and each other as well.

Champion excellence.

How can we be better? How can that — whatever it is — be improved? What creative solution can we provide to solve this problem? It can be tempting to find the first thing that works, but people trust us to find the best thing. Even marginal improvements can provide dramatic results. Dig deeper. Think harder. Reach further. Excellence, not expedience, is the goal. 

Do what’s right.

Any time you’re facing a moral or ethical choice, always do what’s right. Whatever the short term pain may be, the long term payoff will always be better. Without exception, without compromise, do what’s right.

Keep learning.

We live and work in a world where change is constant. We need to stay abreast of those changes and ahead of the curve to remain valuable and relevant. There is only one way to future-proof yourself and Rare Bird, and that’s through continual improvement and constant education. Always keep learning.

No complaining. 

If we see ourselves and our organization as always growing, then the current state – no matter how it might seem – is just a point on a continuum. The goal is for the continuum to be one of continual improvement. If you have ideas, share them. But do it from a positive perspective. No one grows by complaining.

Be empathetic.

Everything we do, from our work to our interactions with each other, will be dramatically improved through empathy. Let’s go beyond merely considering others’ feelings and work to fully understand how it feels to be them. Everyone grows through empathy.

Own mistakes.

Success is a lousy teacher. Failure, on the other hand, if it’s met with honesty and acceptance, can be the best. We will all, eventually, screw up. Own it. Figure out what happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Then share your insights with humility and sincerity so we can all learn faster and with less dramatic flair.

Stand together.

We are a boat crew, rowing in sync, together. We are a rugby team, shoulder to shoulder, leaning into the scrum. We’re birds on a wire, all facing into the blowing winds of difficulty and challenge. Whatever we are, we’re in it together, so we stand with (and up for) each other. We support, we lift, we encourage. We treat each other with dignity and respect, even when — especially when — we disagree.

Show up & speak up.

There are no passengers here, only drivers. We’re all quarterbacks, captains, and leaders. Your job is to play an active role in everything we do. Be present whenever necessary and speak your mind. You’re here to provide something that only you have: your spirit, your perspective, your voice. Speak up.

Have fun!

What we do is not (always) frivolous*. It’s not (always) jovial** or (always) awesome***. But it should always be fun. Fun as defined by thinking differently; creating something new, strategic, and amazing; solving difficult problems with elegant solutions; seeing your teammates thrive. What we do should always be fun.

(*e.g., Nerf gun battles, spirit walks, and beer Fridays.)
(**e.g., Bike rides to lunch, paper airplane contests, movie outings)
(*** Actually, it’s always awesome.)