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Ultimate Guide to Reducing Churn

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Sustainable Business, Software Excellence, and Social Justice

The model was stolen from Ben & Jerry's - the ice cream company. It says that there are three pillars to a company: Sustainable Business, Software Excellence, and Social Justice[1] . Each pillar has its own definition of success and for the company to be successful it has to balance the aims of all three pillars. While the pillars are not fundamentally in conflict, they are often in tension - which is where the balancing comes in.


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The Sustainable Business

The Sustainable Business pillar is about ensuring we have a financially viable business. We've done pretty well on this one over the years, which is why we are still around. We've now weathered two recessions - and I've always considered that a company's performance in a recession is where you find out how strong it is commercially. We've also grown a lot over the last decade, from around 300 people in the US when I joined to about 1800 globally now. So kudos here to our operational management team.


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Software Excellence

The Software Excellence pillar is one that in broader terms I'd call a Professional Excellence pillar. It's about doing what you do really well. For Ben & Jerry's this was about making really good ice-cream, in our case it's about being really good at delivering valuable software. This pillar is the one that resonates so much with me. It's why we work very hard at continuously improving the way we do things.


82 reads

We take our Software Excellence pillar a step further in that not just do we want to be excellent in delivering software, we also want to improve the software industry as a whole. This is why so many ThoughtWorkers talk and write publicly about how we do things and what we've learned. [2]


14 reads

The Social Justice

pillar is about looking more broadly at our impact as a company - are we making the world a better place? There are those who think such a question is irrelevant for a company - a commercial enterprise is there to make money, full stop. By this test it's okay to sell whatever anyone will buy, even if it harms the customer and the broader society. I don't agree with this notion - I'm very happy to make money, but I believe that revenue should come from providing something valuable to customers and society.


14 reads

One area that we've put a lot of focus on is diversity, an area that has been a problem area for the software profession throughout my time in it. We've made good progress in this area, particularly with the role of women, but we still have a long way to go.


11 reads

2: Most consulting companies do not talk about their work publicly other than for marketing purposes. The commercial calculation runs that it costs significant money in lost billing for people to do public facing work such as articles and conferences. Also it's foolish to share key techniques with competitors or potential clients who could then use these techniques without the consultancy.


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