Miles River/Working agreements

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Bring your whole self to the work

We all have specific roles, but we all also bring other strengths. Bring everything you can to the work, even if it’s not part of your job description.

Self-care is critical. We need everyone to be at their best, so that we can bring the best out of others.


We are all at our best when we trust and have faith in each other. We reinforce that trust by doing our work skillfully and by holding ourselves accountable. Assume good intentions, and approach each other with curiosity rather than judgement.

Slow down, do it right

Pause before you act. Take time to do the work well, whether it's reminding yourself of our priorities before acting, or taking the time to put things in the right place. Don't take unnecessary shortcuts, as you'll pay for them later.

Everybody works the line

Our individual flexibility and overlapping skills are strengths. We all have individual roles and responsibilities, but when there's a gap that needs to be filled, then fill it. Nobody is above doing any of the work that any of us has to do.

Each of us succeeds when each other succeeds. Celebrate each other’s success! Help each other when they need it. When things go wrong, don’t blame or pass the buck. Find a way to make the situation better.

Communicate clearly and proactively

If you need something, ask for it explicitly. When you hear a request, reflect it back to confirm that you understand. Be clear about when you’re available and when you’re not available.

Don’t let issues fester. Give each other constructive feedback at the appropriate time, and receive feedback in the spirit of learning. Be accountable, but forgive others and yourself easily.

Be bold!

Our work will require us to constantly wade through uncertainty. In order to do that effectively, we must be bold.

Take risks, be courageous, be willing to be vulnerable and fuck up, and support each other in doing that. It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. If you’re not sure, ask Eugene, but don’t be afraid to follow your instincts. You will never be scolded for following your instincts, even if the outcome doesn’t turn out to be positive.

We can support each other’s boldness by being flexible and by being as clear as possible, especially about the why.

Be real

Caring about ourselves and each other requires us to be real and forthright, both with ourselves and with each other. Don’t be afraid to challenge each other and to hold each other accountable, but do it graciously. Pushing back will lead to higher quality work and outcomes.

We expect everyone to be accountable for their own workload, and we trust that everyone on the team moves with this intent. When it doesn’t happen, it’s often symptomatic of a larger issue (e.g. load management). We want to be sure we identify and resolve those issues. When we can’t meet those expectations for legitimate reasons, we’ll be compassionate, but we’ll also seek to learn from that. We don’t want to establish a pattern of everyone having to be on call.

Be honest about your workload, both to yourself and others, and ask for help when you need it.

Have fun, and celebrate!

This work is important, and everyone involved is passionate and wonderful. We are privileged to be doing this work, and we can honour that privilege by doing our work with joy and passion. Plus, it’s just more productive and… well, fun this way.