Culture & Community

Namasté Solar Culture

A set of attitudes, customs, beliefs, and knowledge shared and cultivated by a group of people known as Namastaliens.

We believe a healthy company culture includes:

• Holistic Thinking
• Earned Leadership (or Meritocracy)
• Strong Team Work
• Consensus Building
• Transparency
• Accountability
• A Unique Work Environment

The Namasté Way

Our culture and business practices are like poetry – creative expressions of who we are and who we aspire to be.

 

Why culture is important: rowing the boat together

It creates a cohesive community in which individuals may thrive
It fosters an environment of collaboration, productivity, and potential among peers
Culture promotes a shared set of goals and vision for who we are as a company
It strengthens our commitment to creating strong, harmonious teams while promoting individual autonomy and responsibility

 

We enjoy each other’s company, share aligned values, and appreciate working in a respectful, positive, and rewarding environment.

 

We recognize that one size doesn’t fit all

• Work days and hours are determined by each individual and their work team
• Tele-commuting: people may work from home or remotely
• We encourage work/life balance and use of vacation time – go have fun!

 

We’re all about being open

• Open office space: we seek to maximize interaction, creative flow, and team support
• Transparency: company books, meetings, and even salaries are completely open to candidates and co-owners (except for protected info)
• Frank, Open and Honest (FOH™): a commitment to making things work, sticking through the tough & uncomfortable times, helping ourselves and each other grow, and resolving conflicts in a healthy, respectful manner

 

We believe in meritocracy with non-hierarchy: what does that mean?

• Employees earn others’ trust and confidence through performance and contribution – not from a job title
• We promote leadership at every level
• We value the saying: “No one of us is as smart as all of us.” The ideas, policies, and proposals with the most merit get implemented via our democratic decision-making process
• Consensus Building: grow your idea and gain support for it. Anyone can do this! Every voice counts

 

It’s not just about us

• We share a vision and commitment to the long-term for ourselves and all of our stakeholders
• We use holistic profit measurement which includes work/life balance, customer satisfaction, employee morale, community involvement, and impact on the environment
• We believe in the cooperative model
• We work to build strong relationships with our customers, suppliers, and community partners

 

In walking our talk, we strive to:

• Provide the best products, services, and overall customer experience we can
• Make concerted efforts to reduce our environmental footprint through energy and water use, waste generation, and transportation choices
• Cultivate a collaborative, equitable, and fun company culture
• Be a good neighbor and actively engage with our communities
• Make meaningful business decisions that aren’t just about a bottom line

 

Namastalien Communication

•Openly communicating with FOH to decrease small talk and misunderstandings
• Unique phrasing is commonly used to request permission to check-in, interrupt a co-worker to discuss something, and agree with something being said without repeating it verbatim
• Nonverbal cues that show agreement or disagreement

 

We’re not all perfect at all of these things, but we collectively work to support one another, both individually and as a company. As our company grows, so does our culture – ever evolving.

Book Recommendations

For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America, by John Curl

 

A Stake in the Outcome: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business, by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham

 

America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy, by Gar Alperovitz

 

Bread and Butter, What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness, by Tom McMakin

 

The Company We Keep: Reinventing Small Business for People, Community, And Place, by John Abrams

 

The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy, by Marjorie Kelly

 

Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success, by Chip Conley

 

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, by Peter M. Senge

 

For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America, by John Curl

 

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap….and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins

 

The Great Game of Business: Unlocking the Power and Profitability of Open-Book Management, by Jack Stack

 

Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh

 

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America, by Thomas L. Friedman

 

Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, by Dave Logan, John King, & Helee Fischer-Wright Delivering

 

Making Mondragon: The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex, by William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte

 

Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace, by Ricardo Semler

 

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Hunter Lovins, and Amory Lovins

 

No Man’s Land: What to Do When Your Company Is Too Big to Be Small but Too Small to Be Big, by Doug Tatum

 

Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar & Co., by Gary Erickson

 

Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham

 

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom

 

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

 

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, by Dave Logan, John King, & Helee Fischer-Wright

 

What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness, by Tom McMakin

Article Recommendations

Article from the Warren Company Resources
“Building a System of Trust: Ten Hidden Secrets of Success in Employee Owned Companies”
By Martin Staubus and Robert Porter Lynch

 

Article from the Oregon Historical Quarterly
“The Rise and Fall of the Burley Design Cooperative”
By Joel Schoening