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Our mission: We help people succeed in business
The mission applies to our customers AND our employees.
When our employees are successful, they can effectively help our customers.
The processes have and will evolve over time, but the core philosophy has
remained the same since we began in 1988.
People are the key to a successful business.
Processes, techniques and technology can be learned, tested, changed and
relearned, even automated.
People are unique and unpredictable. Managers provide personal attention,
positive support, and cultivate trust to help them thrive.
Managers are essential
Good managers are vital for our employees’ success
and for hiring people who are a good cultural ﬁt.
Therefore, our managers must be a good ﬁt with our philosophy.
That’s why we wrote this summary of our management methodology.
Our management methodology
2. Servant leadership
3. Hire to elevate
4. Build relationships on trust
5. Share knowledge
6. Work happy
7. Act like an entrepreneur
8. Drive continuous improvement
Our customers are the reason we do what we do,
and our employees are the reason we do it well.
We focus on our customers, our employees and our community.
“Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting
the right idea.” Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull.
People are #1
All of our employees are focused on our customers’ needs and understand what
our products do for them.
Everyone in our company has the opportunity to:
● Sit in with our Customer Advocacy team
● Get comprehensive training in using our software
● Help real local businesses & nonproﬁts use our software & methodologies
● Continuously grow expertise through personalized career development
A manager needs to make sure there is a perfect balance between their direct
reports’ needs and the needs of their team and the company.
"Look at employees as a whole. Care about them as real people, and understand
that there are needs outside of the oﬃce."
Sabrina Parsons, CEO
Caring about our employees includes caring about the community in which they
and their families live and work.
● Our employee-led Palo Alto Software Charitable Advised Fund administered
by the Oregon Community Foundation
● Four hours per month of paid volunteer time
● All-company volunteer days
● Gifts to families in need every December, purchased by PAS, selected,
wrapped and delivered by PAS employees
Our employees are smart, well-educated, experienced and empowered to take
proactive action as they see ﬁt. Managers give them the tools they need and get
out of the way.
“It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great.
It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.”
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Leaders are peers who encourage and empower success
Autonomy to be awesome
Autonomy is an important element of our company culture and the way we
It's eﬃcient and effective to empower employees. How comfortable people are
with that freedom, and how managers equip them to be successful, impacts their
This doesn’t mean that our teams are leaderless
Managers do make ﬁnal decisions, set goals, measure performance and hold
Mutual trust is central to the success of a team and their leader.
If we aren’t leaving an interview saying, “hell, yeah,” then it’s a “no”.
For the right ﬁt, we value:
● Team mindset
● Curiosity and Love of Learning
● Appreciation of Our Culture
It’s hard to get a job here
“There is quantitative evidence that innovation increases when managers don’t
devote constant attention to employees and allow them to act without getting
permission ﬁrst...Regardless of what managers do, innovation also increases
when employees don’t ask for permission before doing things, don’t bother to tell
managers what they are doing, and even defy their superiors’ orders.”
Weird Ideas That Work by Robert I. Sutton
Earn trust and encourage trust
Trust-building takes time
We treat each other with respect and supportiveness throughout the stages of
employment, from recruiting and hiring to exiting the company and maintaining a
relationship as a former employee.
“I believe that when you trust your employees or direct reports, they act in a way
that’s more trustworthy. If you treat someone with respect, they’re more likely to
feel obliged to honor that level of trust and act in a way that is honest and
Celeste Peterson, Director of People Development
Managers help ensure that clear and honest information is constantly ﬂowing
throughout the entire company.
“Remember: once you build Radically Candid relationships with the people who
report to you, you will eliminate a terrible source of misery in the world: the bad
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Share what you know, and what you don’t
"Remember, work has to be fun. We value employees who live rich and rounded
lives. We run a ﬂexible workplace, and we have ever since we were a blacksmith
shop that shut down whenever the waves were six feet, hot and glassy. Our policy
has always allowed employees to work ﬂexible hours, as long as the work gets
done with no negative impacts on others. A serious surfer doesn't plan to go
surﬁng next Tuesday at two o'clock. You go surﬁng when there are waves and the
tide and wind are right."
Let My People Go Surﬁng by Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia
Happy people do better work
Ingredients for happiness
● Flexible schedules and remote work options
● On-going training and mentorship
● Networking opportunities
● Volunteer opportunities
● The LiveWell Committee
● Team-building activities
● Company events
● Fair wages and bonuses
● Excellent beneﬁts and wellness support
Just like small business owners, managers are frugal, have a bias for action and
use the LivePlan method: plan, manage, check and adjust
"Not planning your business would be like taking off from an airport without a
destination in mind, a planned route, or knowledge of how much fuel you might
need to get where you want to go."
Noah Parsons, COO
CEO of your team
Courage to fail
Managers also must encourage bravery.
If we celebrate risk-taking and do not fear the failures, we will continue to take
risks and ﬁnd the most successful solutions.
“This is one of the most important lessons of the scientiﬁc method: if you cannot
fail, you cannot learn.”
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Continuous change underlies all the previous seven elements of our management
It affects the ways that we treat people, lead and hire. It helps us cultivate trust,
keep learning and stay happy.
It keeps our business thriving.
There are no sacred cows
Managers set goals, but don’t prescribe how to achieve them.
They communicate what our company goals are and ensure each team member’s
goals are aligned and on track.
Goal owners choose their methods.
Practicing what we preach
Managing change is also a core concept of our business planning and tracking
software, LivePlan, and lean business planning.
It’s what puts the “live” in LivePlan.
In any evolving company, change happens continuously.
Managers are stewards of the process and the impact it has on the people.
The methods will evolve
Because we are people-centric, every person we hire contributes new elements to
the big picture.
Throughout our evolution, our core philosophies stay the same.
We will always care deeply about the people who make and use our products.