Implementing Values in Practical Ways

Cynthia Ng
November 28, 2019

praying squirrel DeLoach, V. (2015). have a blessed Good Friday. Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

My Background

My Work



  • Hiring and keeping talent
  • Job satisfaction
  • Productivity
  • Team work
  • Reputation
  • and more
Example: Shobe K (2018) Productivity Driven by Job Satisfaction, Physical Work Environment, Management Support and Job Autonomy. Bus Eco J 9: 351. DOI: 10.4172/2151-6219.1000351

The Values

  • Collaboration
  • Results
  • Efficiency
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Iteration
  • Transparency
GitLab Values


group of 3 owls Source:


  • not consensus
  • recognize when others are needed
  • working well with others
  • be kind, assume positive intent, blameless problem solving
  • letting others take the lead / having short toes

Decision Making

  • Make an initial open proposal. Smallest change possible.
  • Ask and receive feedback.
  • Address feedback as needed.
  • Make a revised proposal.
  • Responsible individual makes a decision.
  • Proposal is implemented.
  • Cycle as needed, revert if necessary.


owl behind camera Source:


  • Taking responsibility
  • Use numbers responsibly
  • Bias for action
  • Accept uncertainty, and the possibility of failure


puffin with lots of fish in its beak Victor. (2013). Puffin fishing. Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


  • Global optimization
  • Make the smallest change you can
  • Write things down

Diversity & Inclusion

capybara with gropu of ducks and turtles Source:

Diversity & Inclusion

  • Assign a buddy/mentor
  • Build a safe environment
  • Unconscious bias


capybara with a smaller capybara Source:


  • Don’t wait
  • About improvement


glasswinged butterfly Alias 0591. (2014). Greta Oto (wings open). Flickr. CC BY 2.0


  • Directness
  • Single source of truth
  • Public by default

Take Aways

Positive Reinforcement

  • Lead by example
  • Reward significant contributions
  • Say thank you


Example: Matzler, Kurt & Renzl, Birgit. (2006). The Relationship between Interpersonal Trust, Employee Satisfaction, and Employee Loyalty. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence. 17. 1261-1271. 10.1080/14783360600753653.
We trust you to contribute.
contribution graph with a week in September highlighted

Do what you can