When you’re beginning a new engagement, a new job, a new partnership, it might be worth agreeing on a list in advance. You don’t have to include all of these, and you don’t have to agree with them (because you can always take the other side) but here are some to start with:

We always answer emails to each other within a day, even if it’s just to say ‘got it’.

You’re invited as a guest into a purpose-built room in our Slack.

We’ll pay your invoices before they’re due.

We agree that all of our interactions are off the record, unless we agree otherwise.

We’ll never use legalese or intentionally trick you with loopholes in our agreements. Instead, we’ll be as clear as we can and honor what we said, and expect that you’ll do the same.

If we’re not sure, we’ll ask each other.

We don’t miss deadlines.

We don’t sprint at the end, we sprint at the beginning.

We don’t make compromises simply because bad planning means that we’re running out of time.

We eagerly highlight the potholes ahead, but spend no time casting blame after something fails.

We are intentional and specific about the work. “Who is it for” and “what is it for?” are the two key design questions.

We don’t use semi-colons or animated emojis.

If it’s not working, we’ll say so, and do it with specificity and kindness.

We’ll pay a lot but expect to get more than we paid for.

No cilantro. Of course.



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