At Koan, we’re committed to building a diverse and inclusive environment and culture.
From its inception, the vision of Koan is to make a company’s objectives a tangible team effort, where small, positive behaviors done repeatedly lead to a big impact. We regularly preach the “Karate Kid principle,” -- in the movie Daniel asks Mr. Miyagi to teach him karate, and is promptly given a list of chores like waxing the car and painting the fence. A montage ensues, and then of course the epic moment where Daniel realizes he’s been learning karate and building mastery the whole time (“wax on, wax off”). We think software offers that same promise for positive team behaviors.
OKRs are a cultural change and require commitment, patience, and time to develop new habits. The same approach can be applied to building Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within an organization. We believe that companies can make lasting changes when it comes to managing goals through small actions every day, and the same principles can be applied to cultural change. Towards that end, we’ve created a sample set of example D&I OKRs in our OKR Examples document which is free to everyone, regardless of whether or not they are using Koan. While we are a small team, it's important to every single employee at Koan to create an inclusive culture.
Recently, we’ve done a lot of introspection and have had thoughtful discussions about what we can do to help support diversity and inclusion in our community (Portland, Oregon). Today we are taking our first public steps to move these efforts forward. Koan has joined Prosper Portland and 28 other Portland companies in taking the Tech Diversity Pledge, an initiative that brings together Portland companies to collectively advance workplace diversity and inclusion in order to grow the industry while broadening prosperity. Our hope is that many other Portland technology companies sign the pledge to proactively support inclusivity and diversity.
As a team, we are also identifying ways that we can have more impact, through educating ourselves and listening to others. We want social equity to be part of our business model. Some of the ways we are initiating this change include formalizing DE&I within Koan, incorporating racially relevant books in our monthly book club, and expanding our hiring process to be more inclusive. We are committed to creating a workplace that fosters diversity and a culture that attracts, develops, and retains the talents of all backgrounds. We believe in the power of diversity and recognize that world-class innovation stems from inclusion, equality, and transparency. As a small but rising tech company, it is important to bring these issues to the surface and remain committed to meaningful change.
Finally, Koan stands with our community as we share the grief and outrage so many feel about the victims of police violence. We are committed to meaningful change. We will be listening with compassion and working to acknowledge, understand, and work toward systemic change that eliminates racial and gender disparities so we can better serve our community.