In order to be excellent we believe we need to operate in a very different manner than the standard company that operates with traditional manager-subordinate hierarchies.
For us what is most important is getting the right answer, the best answer: the truth. In our view it is impossible to be excellent without exposing everyone and everything to the uncompromising gaze of truth. It is only if one understands how things really are that one can effectively work out how to make them better.
At Connex we are constantly looking to identify and surface problems. Constructive criticism is central to our ability to identify all problems and mistakes. Mistakes for us are a key part of the natural process of learning how to do things better. Typically, people do not deal well with facing their own weaknesses and often let ego and emotion get in the way of reason and logic. Criticism at Connex is viewed as a positive thing. What is important is not whether a mistake was made, but rather how we respond to that error to make sure it does not occur again. What is unacceptable is repetition of a mistake or failure to identify the causes, especially the root causes, of the error.
Connex is an absolute meritocracy: all that matters is your performance in relation to your task and responsibility. Over time you will develop a track record and based on that track record your responsibilities and compensation can change quickly. For this reason, people with less relevant experience but who have the right mix of skills, abilities and values can advance at a fast pace. Seniority and experience only matter if they contribute to superior performance. The founders of Connex have all been in management and entrepreneurial positions from a young age so we believe in people of any age or experience level who above all want to "make things happen."
Equally, because we believe that performance and compensation are linked a significant portion of compensation is performance-based .
The creation of a strong team and a very real "esprit de corp" is in our view critical to our long-term success. This involves a realization that Connex is a community in which our fates are intertwined. For the company to be successful every area of our company must work well; if one area breaks down, the system breaks down. We are only as strong as our weakest link, and this is why the individual must recognize his or her importance and obligation to the whole organization. Conversely, substandard behavior cannot be allowed in any area of the organization because it hurts everyone and undermines the team.
In summary Connex is an extremely challenging place in which to work. We do not filter and we do not compromise our values. In large part what makes this work is the dedication and commitment of the people that work at Connex to open themselves up to constant scrutiny from their fellow employees (including their subordinates). They do this because they are dedicated to being the best that they can be and recognize this can only be achieved on both a personal and a corporate level if they are truly open and honest about their strengths and weaknesses.