How things work at Bene Meat Technologies
- We value time. Yours as well as ours. That’s why we put together the following principles, which we try to follow and which we think should be shared by all BMT employees. We all come from different places, have different habits, were brought up and educated in a different way… all of that influences our attitude towards work and towards our colleagues. And in order to avoid someone later realizing they don’t enjoy the style of work and the company atmosphere, it’s better to clear things up at the very beginning.
- We’re a start-up. That means a lot of concerns, gaining of experience, discovering work mechanisms… almost nothing is set. Change is a constant state. That’s why we discuss things. Over and over, to make sure we don’t end up in a ‘’tunnel vision’’, where bad decisions happen at the beginning (we make these too, though). If you don’t like something (including these principles), or if you have a suggestion on how to improve things, say it. Say it (in the right moment – when things are not on fire) and we will appreciate you. You will definitely not be misjudged as an all-the-time complainer. We prefer those who always look for improvements than those who only bring their hands to work and they don’t care if things around them are not functioning properly. There are many people around who are ‘’just doing their jobs’’ as well as companies that only want trained monkeys on board. We don’t want to be like that and we hope that those kinds of people will not feel good with us.
- There is no fixed hierarchy. Boss is the one who is right (there is a minimum amount of things that the company is ‘’in charge’’ of), and we hope that we are all smart enough to recognize what is right. You gain authority when you have results, ideas and a drive, not from being nominated into a certain function. If you need one (to put on your business card, for ex., for presentation reasons or your inner feeling) ask for it, and we can get the paperwork done. However, for us, your value and authority come from the trail of actions you leave behind.
- We’re a start-up in the field of research and development of the technology for cultivated meat (and all that comes with it and can be useful).There are tens of similar start-ups around the world, many of which are further along the way than us and have better financial background… and yet we want to beat them. That means we have to be better. We know only little about them (but try to learn as much as we can), we know we must have better people and a better work system than they do (presumably). Because we don’t more time and money than them. Be aware of that, all the time, the success is up to you. You have to be better than the Americans, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Turks, the Indians or the Chinese.
- We don’t have the time and the capacity to stand behind your back and check on you. Inner motivation is crucial to working at BMT. And no, it’s not just a phrase. We really do expect that you are an adult individual who knows what they are doing and why (and also a bit of ‘’how’’). That you don’t need hand-holding and motivation in the form of various rewards, treats or schemes. The reason we head out for a beer or a dinner together, once in a while, will be because we enjoy spending time together, not for the sake of forced teambuilding. We follow Baťa’s rule:
If you don’t know – we shall teach you
If you don’t understand – we shall explain
If you can’t – we shall help you
If you don’t want to – we shall part ways
- The truth is always the fastest. That’s why we play fair. If someone doesn’t like something, they say it. There is nothing personal about that – we all have a common goal.
- We assume that everyone is doing their best. That’s the basic assumption that everything is based on. We all make mistakes (but don’t repeat them!), it’s part of the process, because they move us forward towards understanding. We identify them, admit them and tell others (because we work as a team). If someone makes a mistake and doesn’t realize it and let others know, they might feel ashamed because someone else had to point it out to them. They can be grateful to the one who helped them out because they did their job for them and helped everything move forward. We suggest coming up with systematic measure to foresee and avoid mistakes.
- We strive to improve everything as we go and always keep effectiveness at mind. Remember the Pareto principle – 80% of the result is usually determined by 20% of the work effort (compare the effort needed on a 100-metre sprint to get from 20 seconds down to 12 seconds with the effort to get from 12 seconds to 10 seconds). It’s everyone’s task to search for the right level of effectiveness, to choose priorities and focus on them.
- The understanding of processes connected with cultivated meat is the means, not the end goal, to our efforts. The end goal is to be able to produce cultivated meat and handle everything connected to its production (and make what is sensible to make in-house). We want to do this cheaply, in good quality and on a large scale. And offer the know-how to our customers. We’re not doing the basic research with enough time for everything and no one caring about another result than the one on paper. Paper can handle everything. But, with us, if we don’t succeed, we failed. If we fail, you also failed. But if we’re successful we have a chance to be on the top – to be the leader in a newly forming field that can redefine humanity’s future. And it’s not just a phrase – ‘’to feed billions’’… doesn’t that seem epic compared to, for ex., finding the cure to cancer? Not many people in the world will ever have a chance to be part of something like this, here at BMT, we’re among those people.
- The educational system probably forced you to cram Ohm’s law, Mastigophorae, syntax, history dates and other ‘’important’’ stuff, but it most likely forgot to explain what is the principle of success. The principle of being successful is being USEFUL. The fact that you can be useful to someone else is what makes you valuable. As a company we want to be useful for billions of people, for the environment, for animals… it’s a big challenge and if we succeed, it will be grand. And if BMT grows to the top, you will grow with us; in all aspects.
- There exist only two types of things – yours and other people’s. It doesn’t matter whose the other things are. We treat other people’s things with greatest care and respect.
- There is a lot we need to discover and develop, only to catch up with the competition. That’s why we’re in a rush. We say ‘’what you can get done tomorrow, get done today’’. Following this increases your value to BMT.
- We are all constantly doing our best to balance the cost/yield ratio. We treat BMT as our own company. And even though, as a company, we prefer to make money rather than save up, we watch our expenditure carefully until we have a commercially interesting product. We assume that everyone who wants to make a purchase has made a logical analysis and concluded (possibly after talking to others) that it is a necessary and useful investment that will bring us closer to our goal. We don’t want to be checking everything and don’t have the capacity to do so. In this case it also applies that ‘’Quality means doing something well, even if no one is looking.’’ (H. Ford)
- We are kind and polite to one another. If someone is a being slower, it’s not their fault; they’re just not that good yet and might catch up later. If they are struggling long term, time will solve it. For now, turn your attention to those who are doing well and whom you get on well with.
- The work and the people connected to it must be fulfilling, otherwise, we won’t give it our best. And it’s not that much about the time but about the mental capacity. There will always be things to improve, since we want to be the best in the world. The evolutionary ‘’Red Queen Principle’’ (http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/REDQUEEN.html) still applies. You can always come up with a small suggestion to help make us best in the world. And remember that examples lead.
- One of the principles that our research and development must be based on is information awareness. Everyone knows about everything. If you don’t know something – ask around. If there’s a way to improve our systematic awareness, let’s look for it.
- Part of information awareness is also a bit of a necessary ‘’ bureaucracy’’. Let’s not let work turn into an office, on the other hand, the functioning of a larger than a small collective requires a certain amount of organization. Join forces with others to look how to minimize it, in order to maximize the effectiveness of carried tasks.
Values of Bene Meat:
- Being different (we are different): – we don’t care about people’s age, we focus on drive, effort and results; – being right makes you the boss, not your position; – attitude towards people, everyone does their best;
- Usefulness is a benefit – in the environmental area; in the ethics area (friendly attitude towards animals); in the medical/health area (you know what you’re eating); we will feed the planet (food source for everyone);
- Complexity of the field, which restricts entry to the ordinary and at the same time allows the smart to become superstars, with the vision of a huge business opportunity (the car industry will seem like small coin in comparison);
- The search for perfection (the field is high-tech, super science) and that’s why it’s important to constantly keep improving.
The work principles followed by all co-workers at Bene Meat:
- We know what and why we do what we do. And we want to do it
- Our value to Bene Meat is measured by our output
- We’re not afraid to tell the truth to others (both comfortable and uncomfortable)
- We understand that there are two types of things: ours and other peoples’
- What we can do tomorrow, we can usually still get done today
- We see a mistake as a useful and important matter. It helps us make advancements and is part of the learning process. We are not afraid of it, it allows us to move forward and when we find it we inform others
- We look for perfection and we learn
- We talk about everything, nothing is set, everything is subject to constant change
- We don’t await instructions, whatever we don’t come up with ourselves won’t happen
- We’re all part of one project and we aim for a common goal. Every one of us matters