To inform and inspire the digital generation and become the most influential and loved journalism brand in the world.
To do this, we delight our audience, clients, and colleagues and we get better every day.
Getting better every day is our mantra; you’ll see it on our walls and hear it in meetings. Our obsession with getting better every day drives everything we do. Every story we tell informs, amuses, entertains, or otherwise helps our audience. Every product and tech improvement we make helps our audience, clients, and colleagues. Every solution we provide to our clients and colleagues helps them achieve specific goals. But our main focus is our audience: if there is a conflict between our audience and our clients, we put our audience first. Without our audience, we have nothing to offer our clients.
Why “get better every day”?
Because our industry is intensely competitive and rapidly evolving.
Because our audience is smart, impatient, demanding, busy, and easily bored.
Because our clients have dozens of partners they can work with.
Because our competitors are rich, talented, and getting better as well.
We know that no one needs us. We must work as if our jobs depend on our delighting our audience, clients, and colleagues—because they do.
In the summer of 2018, our senior management team set out to identify and articulate our "company values." We embarked on a standard management-101 exercise: we identified members of our teams who are particularly key to our success, wrote down the characteristics that make them so valuable and effective, and refined the list down to what really makes us us. The outcome was our five core values:
We are effective
- We produce lots of great work that our audience, clients, and colleagues love.
- We judge our work by its impact—by how much it helps our audience, clients, and colleagues.
- We judge our performance by how much valuable work we we get done, not by “face time” or “politics.” Some of our responsibilities do require us to be present at particular times, at least digitally. But even in these jobs, effectiveness matters—it’s not just about “being there.”
- We have a bias to action and we avoid “analysis paralysis.”
- We “iterate to greatness”—we start with good and then make it better.
We are “SHAFFFF” (started as an acronym to describe our editorial voice but has morphed into a full-on value of its own)
Smart—We serve our audience, clients, and colleagues. We analyze and prioritize. We do more of what our audience, clients, and colleagues value and less of what they don’t.
Helpful—We inform, entertain, and help our audience, clients, and colleagues—we improve their lives.
Accurate—We tell the truth, even when it’s difficult or unpopular.
Fast—We move at the speed of digital.
Fair—We try to understand all sides.
Fearless—We are not afraid to do the harder or less popular thing. We do not fear criticism.
Fun—We take our work seriously but not ourselves (fun is also the number one way our employees describe our culture).
We are “good eggs” (definition: a friendly, old-fashioned way to describe a good person)
- We are positive, humble, and trustworthy.
- We are inclusive and we value diversity.
- We do not tolerate “brilliant jerks.”
- We assume good intent.
We communicate well
- We learn what our audience, clients, and colleagues want by asking, watching, listening, and analyzing.
- We are straightforward and clear.
- We explain what our expectations are.
- We have “hard conversations” when necessary.
- We persuade and “ask for the order.”
We “get better every day”
- We know that if we just keep doing the same thing the same way, we will eventually be toast.
- We question everything we do and look for ways to do it better.
- We continually improve our processes, teams, and services.
- We are lifelong learners.
- We seek mentors who can help us improve both internally and externally.
- We know that if we get a little better every day, we will eventually become great.
The driving force behind our culture is effectiveness. It's the measure by which we work, make decisions, and grow. Everything we do should be effective and should bring us closer to our mission: to inform and inspire the digital generation and become the most influential and loved journalism brand in the world. To be as effective as possible, we take ownership of our words, work, and ideas and we have accountability to our audience, clients, and colleagues. We are self motivating, self aware, self disciplined, self improving, and are "emergent leaders."
We keep rules to a minimum but love a good guideline
Our global team includes folks with many different working and learning styles, and we do everything we can to create a culture of effective work. Guidelines help some people make decisions more effectively and are part of our communication strategy. Every process or procedure we have exists not to hold us back, but to help us work faster and better—to be more effective.
We take risks and embrace rapid recovery
Our market is creative-inventive, not safety-critical like medicine or nuclear power. Our only rules exist to prevent disaster and cover moral, ethical, and legal issues. A poorly edited, researched, or unfair story causes harm and creates liability. Plagiarism, sloppy reporting, or making stuff up hurts people and ends careers. Our financial statements need to be correct. We need secure, reliable systems and back-ups. Dishonesty, discrimination, and harassment are intolerable. In all other instances, we take risks and fix problems and mistakes quickly.
We are a team
Insider Inc. is a three-legged stool: Editorial, Product and Tech, and Business. If one of these legs fails, we topple over. We have strong, effective players in every position and we play in an incredibly competitive league. We bring our best selves to work. We learn from one another. We work hard. We have fun.
One example of “ownership and accountability”: Our vacation policy
Instead of an inflexible vacation policy, we focus on how much excellent work people get done—on how effective they are. Our leaders set good examples by taking big vacations and coming back inspired to be even more effective. We don’t just disappear or leave our team in the lurch—we communicate clearly, delegate, and make sure our responsibilities are covered.
Another: Our expense guidelines
Most companies have complex policies around what you can expense, how you travel, what gifts you can accept, etc., plus they have whole departments to verify compliance with these policies. We have guidelines and resources to help you make quick and effective decisions, but in general, we ask that you “Act in Insider Inc.’s best interest.”
One more: Career growth
We think you should be the CEO of your own career. From taking advantage of mentor opportunities and training to attending networking events and jumping in on new projects, we like folks who take “better every day” to heart—for themselves as well as for the company. We give you the tools you need to succeed but there is no limit to what you can achieve with us.
Our mission is to inform and inspire the digital generation and become the most influential and loved journalism brand in the world. We do this by delighting our audience, clients, and colleagues and getting better every day.
Our values: We are effective. We are “SHAFFFF.” We are “good eggs.” We communicate well. We get better every day.
Our culture is based on effectiveness. It's the measure by which we work, make decisions, and grow. To be as effective as possible, we take ownership of our words, work, and ideas and we have accountability to our audience, clients, and colleagues.