Here below, you may find all the ingredients of our story and more, a bit of detail on all these parts:
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Purpose, Values, and Principles:
We define Latro as a living organism with its own soul and priorities, more than just a company. Therefore, our purpose and values explain very clearly the "why" behind our existence and the principles set the tone for the way we work together. We spent several months exploring and defining our purpose, values, and principles. When the ecosystem started to think about who we are and our aspirations, we came up with the reality that we are constantly chasing new possibilities for our customers, stakeholders, and our ecosystem. Relentlessly exploring new ways with the power of experimentality of chemistry is the keystone in the core of Latro culture. Since the beginning, this was the main trademark of our way of working. The ecosystem came up with a simple purpose definition, creating new possibilities with unique chemical solutions.
Possibilities? We define it as; the possibilities can be creating a better product (about 25% of our product portfolio covers unique Latro owned solutions today) or supporting a customer with expertise (e.g. coach and mentor a customers’ laboratory), or even can be something disruptive to what Latro has already been doing (e.g. replacing chemicals with bio solutions for agriculture).
Are we done yet with our purpose, no way! We see this purpose definition, and even our values as a start, as a reflection of what we are now. For sure, it will evolve together with the Latro ecosystem on the way.
Dynamic Organization Structure:
As an autonomous company, Latro does not have an organization chart but we have dynamic teams (we call them “hubs”) structure to answer emerging market needs. Hubs are established around a specific market need, and members of the hub work together to make experimental initiatives that will produce a potential end-to-end value to the targeted customers.
Each hub works as a start-up. And they contain all the powers a company needs to grow. From product development to quality control, from strategic decision-making to financial management, they shape their journeys using the power of transparency. Decisions such as hiring a new explorer to join the ecosystem or firing a person who is thought to be unsuitable for the culture belongs to the hubs. You can read our article to learn more about how decisions are made in Latro and the effect of collective management here.
The hub which has expertise in finance, accounting, digital systems, warehouse and orders management, and sales support called themselves Habitat. It works in a solution-oriented way, in coordination with all the hubs. Considering that the system is being fed on transparency, we can say that it forms the heart of our ecosystem, where all data is meaningful.
We also have another specialized hub, called Gardening, which is a team of volunteer ambassadors of the culture. Membership of this special team changes with people who want to participate from the ecosystem in quarterly periods. Gardening focuses more on coaching, mentoring, chasing new opportunities for the explorers’ and creating inspiration inside the culture. It aims to serve the ecosystem, just like a gardener, and is responsible for the continuity of the appropriate environment and conditions.
Latro shows its existence by being free from titles and positions. It is fed with a mentality where it is independent of labels; “no boss, no manager and no hierarchy”. So there is actually only one role definition and that's being an explorer. In addition, each explorer can call himself as he likes; for example as a chemistry wizard or opportunity chaser according to his own interest areas. So, what do these explorers do? They do whatever is needed.
The heartbeat of the ecosystem is shaped by certain steps. The first of them is the “discovery” cycle, a brainstorming event to boost curiosity within hubs. With the discovery process, the fastest and simplest steps of possible hypotheses that will create value are shaped by the hubs themselves. Hubs review their experiments at the weekly progress meeting together with the business metrics they established. Metrics are basic charts that make all the data of the ecosystem transparent to everyone. These charts include information about innovation capacity, sales figures, financial state, etc. These data, which are examined with trend curves, are absolutely not a performance indicator. They show us how fast we are going and the path we are on so that the hubs have the chance to observe their strategic decisions by constantly following the data.
“Improve” meetings are organized by the team in monthly cycles, in case of need, where we improve ourselves and our team. It is useful to stop and check ourselves and our needs as a team. It is basically a self-reflection moment that helps us be a team together and a Kaizen opportunity that may trigger some improvement actions.
In addition, there is a gathering event that takes place quarterly, called “Share & Learn”, where the entire ecosystem comes together. This is actually a “come together and be one” kind of an activity where we make sense of our failures, learn from them and celebrate our success. It allows us to learn from each other and grow our joy. To get more detailed information about the way of working mechanism of the ecosystem, you can also read our blog.
We believe that autonomy can be enabled via enhanced level of transparency and with a competent yet constantly learning teams. Both pillars are critical and necessary to end up with an autonomous start up, like a growing and alive ecosystem.
Transparency is about the visibility of all the data, including decisions made and their results. Therefore, all income statements, balance sheets, cash flows, costs, and even salaries in a radical way, are transparent and visible to the entire ecosystem in Latro. In addition, we are developing an app called Huudle to make our decision process visible and invest in a fast-acting, experimenting culture.
Another pillar we already mentioned, competency, is an area that needs to be constantly nurtured and developed. Therefore, we help our explorers constantly improve themselves on issues such as financial literacy, coaching, and feedback culture. For this, every new explorer in Latro starts with a specially designed onboarding and training program that we call as “the explorer journey”. This journey offers effective learning and experience in many subjects, so the whole ecosystem uses a common language. This is followed by facilitation techniques, decision making, design thinking, and lean management systems. Also, hubs choose their own improvement areas and select their own programs to invest in (remember, they manage their own financials).
Radical transparency, decision-making power, freedom of initiative, high level of collaboration and autonomy are the drivers of innovation at Latro. The wealth of ideas that starts with the discovery process turns into possibilities with experiments and is shaped every day. Even though we have not experienced an example yet, we are sure that these creative ideas will pave the way for new entrepreneurs in the ecosystem. Stripped of titles and positions, each explorer brings their creativity to the fore with the comfort of being completely themselves. There is no room for performance anxiety and competition. Each explorer focuses on the value they can create, and teams attract new explorers accordingly.
Latro is a network that is in the process of continuous learning, development, and change, just like an ecosystem. It is a place where people who love to learn, make mistakes and start overcome together. That's why we keep changing every day!
Stay tuned to witness our journey, support it with your ideas and be a part of it!