By Shiek Shah | CEO
People – Our people are our strength. We will hire only the best and work with them to ensure they continue to improve.
In a professional services organization like Akili, people are our assets, differentiators, and strength. Our business does not scale without people and our reputation depends entirely on the quality of our people. So, at Akili, we pay special attention to our people – who we hire, how we work with them to be the best they can be, and how we ensure that their professional aspirations and goals are being fulfilled.
It starts with our hiring process. We understand that Akili is not everyone’s cup of tea. We are a flat, informal organization that thrives on individuality, freedom, and irreverence. We are casual about everything except our work. Some people thrive in an environment like that, others detest it. We get that. The people we hire do not need external motivation, look to better themselves every day, challenge the status quo, aren’t afraid to get out of their comfort zone, and truly believe in our guiding principles both in and out of the office.
We always say, “Hire character, teach skills.” Just like the Special Forces, we do not need a lot of people to accomplish a mission or complete a project. Small, skilled teams that work well together can accomplish a lot and typically in a much shorter time frame with a lot less risk. We are constantly training, learning, and visioning. We have a diverse group of people that come from various backgrounds: College football players, musicians, mountain climbers, cyclists, ultra-marathoners, crossfitters, grandparents, single, married, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Athiests, Americans, Foreigners, etc. Hell, if we found a Yeti with the character that we are looking for, we’d hire it! But we ALL have at least one thing in common – we believe in the mission of Akili to help our clients move their KPI’s in the right direction, and have fun while doing it.
We also believe that people are better focused on our mission when we don’t burden them with unnecessary rules that govern most companies. We don’t really care what you wear at the office as long as it is decent, we don’t have a vacation policy that limits the amount of time you can take off, we have Wine and Whiskey Wednesdays, Office Olympics, Ping Pong Tournaments, burpee contests – all to get to know each other better, have fun, and gel as a team. Our guiding principles are our governing structure.
Our people are our culture. Our culture is our brand and we are damn proud of our brand!