Sievo Culture

On Dancing Seals, Organizational Growth and Tribes

Sammeli Sammalkorpi Jul 4, 2017

Sievo has grown fast, from a 2 person start-up to a solid growth company with more than 70 employees and global client base. It’s been a great ride to take, even if we feel that we have just scratched the surface.

If there’s a downside, it’s the sometimes uneasy feeling that the dynamics of the company are changing. It cannot be taken for granted that everybody knows each other any more, not to mention what they actually do in their daily work.

We do a lot – I mean a LOT – to address this. We do job rotations short and long, we bring everybody together on a full day social gathering four times a year. We visualize career paths and promote horizontal career moves. We run an in-house training academy and insist on having everybody on same floor. We allow the placement of a coffee machine – Finnish equivalent for water cooler – only on a centralized lounge area, facilitating random meetings. We rotate seating positions to establish versatile connections. And it’s not unusual to see our co-founder and CEO assembling furniture for yet more office space. But, still, I’m sometimes worried that we’re losing the tribe feeling and are on our way to become a corporation.

This was until the appearance of dancing seal (named “Jaxuhalli”, Finns may figure out the joke here) in our latest office expansion housewarming party.

It started as a bad joke, but long story short, we ended up having a man-sized seal costume owned by Sievo and located at our offices. And, as we had our housewarming party, the seal did an appearance and was hugging all the party people. During the late hours of the party, the seal was spotted (and recorded) dancing to ad-hoc Karaoke performances. The following Monday the seal appeared on our Yammer group. For me, the dancing seal, and the way it evolved from a joke to a housewarming party attraction and to a known member of Sievo tribe in a matter of a couple of days is important. It’s a very concrete proof that you can have a tribe when you’re 70+ employees.

Sammeli

PS. Yes, you can see the seal dancing.
..
PS2. We’re massively hiring – software developers, DevOps people, quality engineers, presales, marketing, solution consultants, data management specialist – you name it. If you feel that you could add value to Sievo, please be in contact. You may even get a chance to hug the seal!

 

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