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What makes a company successful?

By Stéphane Doutriaux

From the onset, Poken has been driven by passion. The utility that we’ve built into our products derives from a passionate desire to make things simpler, more colorful, more social, and more fun.

Making things simple, fun and social can only be done by people who have those traits within them. The energy that flows between all members of our team is what is delivered into our products and our business.

But how do we keep this positive energy flowing? How do we communicate it throughout our organization, so that it can be replicated by all those joining us?

I’ve been asked many times to show an organization chart, but it just didn’t feel right to show it in a traditional, pyramid form. I couldn’t figure out how to effectively communicate how ideas flow, how process flow, and how information circulates to make things happen.

I searched online and found caricatures of the structure of organizations that we hate, that we love, and that we love to hate (you can guess which one). And it got me thinking about how Poken could be characterized.

Click on the image to see it in a larger size.

I took our old org chart, which already had people’s faces, names, and position, and also included many of our partners. I cut it all up with a pair of scissors, and started placing people back onto a large white poster, in a way that showed how they relate to each other in our everyday interactions. I used colorful markers to show how projects flow, how ideas bounce from one person to the next, how they get validated and then turn into awesome new features and products that ultimately get delivered to our customers. And that is how the FlorgChart(TM) was born.

The FlorgChart shows the organization in a way that highlights information flow and processes (hence the Flow-orgChart). The inputs are customer needs as expressed by our sales partners, and strategy as defined by a number of people involved in making sure we’re all aligned on a big objective, providing general direction. On the chart at left, these look like a stem and water flowing alongside.

Click here to download a large PDF of the FlorgChart.

The core teams are illustrated as colorful ovals. What we create flows outward: tools for our partners to deliver customers (B-to-B) campaigns, a consumer-focused user hub, mobile apps, and an informative website. All of these are offshoots of the collaborative effort. They grow out from the core, nourished by new ideas, by customers and by new people joining at the stem, providing our lifeblood (sales!) through the roots of this growing organism.

While it may look complicated at first, I encourage you to take a good, detailed look at it. What makes Poken special, and attracts such awesome people, is the collaborative nature of our organization – within the core, and beyond as we live in symbiosis with our partners.

This gets us back to how our organization can be characterized. You’ve all noticed it by now the FlorgChart happens to be in the shape of a flower. In all its symbolism, Poken is a flower that is growing thanks to many nourishing elements, and some powerful forces.

Positive energy cannot be artificially created. We need to feel it. And that comes from living by a set of values that we respect and that we aspire to share with others. Values drive culture, culture drives employee fulfillment, fulfillment drives satisfaction, and satisfaction drives creativity and productivity.

And that’s what makes a company successful.

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