Our team is unique. I hear you saying; "but which team isn't?" But from a very subjective point of view, we really are. We’re a bunch of colleagues who, rain or shine, and through hope or despair, will walk into the office with a big smile and a cornyjoke every morning (ok, not every morning, long live working from home). Even during the tougher moments of our start-up life. Especially during moments like these.
For everyone from the youngest, Felix, 25, to Paul, 52, the journey we are on is quite unbelievable. None of us have ever experienced something like this before. Yes, the road to success is still a long one, but what’s already set in stone is that our team’s spirit has proven itself everyday. In a big way.
Why are we here again ?
For most of us, better pay cheques and even better work conditions await us in mainstream companies. And yet, each of us consciously chooses to stick with the impak project. And all this despite having to go through the troubles of working at a start-up company that still does not make any money (actually, as of today we do, but this is fresh news) and hasn’t accomplished approximately one THIRD of its massively ambitious idea.
So, are we masochistic or what?
Nope, we simply terribly-impatiently-urgently want to contribute to change the world. In a positive way. I guess you could say that my colleagues and I are addicted to the impak project.
Our project: building an ecosystem using money as a force for good for humans and the planet, made up of hundreds of thousand of citizens, investors and businesses that have a positive impact in the world. Made possible thanks to innovative, responsible and reliable technological tools.
That’s the breadth of our ambition and of our craziness, this healthy ‘’drug’’ that helps us wake up every morning. Need proof? Let’s see what my colleagues have to say...
If Felix is able to crawl out of bed every morning it’s mainly because: "even if the whole concept is crazy ambitious, I feel like our work contributes to solving the most urgent problems our society is facing right now." Felix moved all the way from Québec city to relentlessly chase our CEO, Paul, down for 5 weeks, every morning, in order to get an interview. Although considered too junior for the job, Paul decided to give him a chance after a clever white lie: (“ Paul, I’ll be in Montreal tomorrow. What an odd coincidence, could we meet up? “). And it was love at first sight. Felix, 6’1’’, is our not-so-mini Paul. 💛
As for Velina, our Chief of impact, she had to emigrate from a lot further than Quebec city, from London! (Not London Ontario, we mean England's London mate). After several months of long-distance work for our team, she decided to join us in Montreal :
“ This is the most ambitious project and the most aligned with my values that I have ever been invited to work on. I didn’t have to think twice before jumping on the plane.”
And Clara, our community builder, says "It can be overwhelming at times, simply because of the sheer size of the project's ambitions. Because of our start-up realities, we constantly need to adjust our work. But I’ve never been happier to see my colleagues everyday and feeling that my work helps supporting a project with a positive outcome for society is the best."
Our obsession? COHERENCE..
Of course, we are all crazy committed to the fight against climate change. Going to the climate marches with colleagues has become a tradition, pointing out the one who still eats meat has become a running joke (Shame, Shame, Shame. Ok, shaming is not cool, but when done with compassion, it can be useful) and exchanging organic baskets tips and tricks has become almost too much! And we're not doing this just to feel good about ourselves and pretend we’re perfect. We’re doing it because of our team’s most cherished common value: COHERENCE.
Being coherent with what we say and what we do, both individually, and collectively. This has been possible thanks to a team who are pulling each other to the top and are not afraid to challenge each other, making sure our actions reflect our intentions.
The more we feel consistent, the more we feel aligned, and motivated!
Of course, our concerns with coherence do not end with environmental issues.
The best example?
Our concern for gender equality and our feminist commitment. Weather it’s Estelle, our chief financial officer, Agnes, the tech project leader or Velina, our Chief of Impact, our team challenges the status quo in terms of parity and social ideals. No later than yesterday, we were at the book launch of our colleague Stephanie’s feminist collective. By the way, Stephanie is the one who introduced us to the currents of feminism in a dedicated Lunch & Learn with the whole team.
A workshop during which our male colleagues asked their female ones rather unexpected (but welcomed) questions, very seriously and with a sincere interest for the topic:
« Ladies, have you ever felt sexism in our own team? Could you please let us know, if any of our behavior seems sexist? »
Questions that none of us, girls, had been asked in the workplace before.
A passionate hour and half where each one of us could participate in a safe space, challenging their own beliefs and leaving with new ideas to fight against everyday sexism.
And it’s only one example among many others. Velina teaches us about vegetarianism, Tima initiates us to NVC (Non Violent Communication), and Paul, patiently explains the negative aspects of capitalism over and over (and over) again to us, always with the same passion.
Frankly, it’s hard not to fall in love with a bunch of colleagues with whom we share jokes, big laughs and meaningful discussions on the world we live in and how we can make it a better place.
Ok, we also have big flaws.
When it comes to team-playing, we rock. But we suck at coworking in an open space. We constantly neglect our housework chores schedule, we tend to be on the loud side when chattingin the open space, and are seemingly unable of doing the dishes in a decent timeframe.
We are far from being perfect. But we are well aware that imperfection is part of our learning progress and success. We constantly challenge things together, we make sure to give enough room for everyone to express themselves. This process allowed us to make many life-saving strategic moves for the start-up.
The ultimate goal: to become a ‘’liberated company’’
We currently are learning how to become a ‘’liberated company’’, progressively breaking the hierarchies among us to rely more on cooperation, autonomy and trust. Which creates great opportunities and allows us to highlight our respective talents. But it also comes with challenges, like having a top-notch organisation, a need for an uncommon flexibility, and especially, an efficient and excellent communication between all of us. The good news is, we’re pretty good at it already. But we’ll tell you more about our liberation process soon.
Eventually, despite the ups and downs, if our team is still standing up, it is in great part due to our exceptional motivation to see this dream project come true and the unique feeling of happiness we get when working together. Not to mention the resilience and adaptability we are developing everyday allowing us to be more reactive and smarter.
Much to the pleasure of our CEO, Paul 😉.
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