Every day, our products & services empower people to make smart decisions about the ever-evolving landscape of digital assets. We're the trusted moderator and authoritative voice in digital assets.
That mantle comes with a lot of responsibility. The only way we can achieve our mission is to continue to develop world-class products, hire the best talent in the world, and work together through shared cultural norms that guide the way we operate & communicate - enabling us to flexibly respond to dynamic digital asset space. These norms help us spend less time figuring out how each of us would prefer to communicate and spend more time on the actual work that moves our products & business forward.
We think it's more rewarding to work alongside the best of the best. We constantly seek out A-players who want to get in the weeds with us to build the best crypto information services company in the world.
Two components are required to be an A-player:
A-Player = Positive Cultural Impact x High Performance
We want people who are humble, obsessed, and hyper-competent. People who will embody our Key Behaviors and inspire us with their work ethic, creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving.
At The Block, we don't tolerate assholes. We treat each other with respect, always.
Every employee is expected to find ways to make the team and the company better. An A-player consistently displays astute judgement on assessing and devising a path forward on action items through the lens of "wearing all three hats."
The other component of being an A-player at The Block is performing at a high level.
To us, high performance equates to executing above and beyond what is asked of them and committing to achieving their goals. Long hours are sometimes necessary, but we gauge performance on the quality & quantity of each person's OUTPUT:
Performance = Quality x Throughput
We expect you to complete a high amount of high-quality work, and you should expect the same thing of your peers and your manager. A-players can execute both alone and in a collaborative environment.
To achieve our lofty goals, we must have an A-player in every seat. That means we're always recruiting - combing our networks for people who would excel in our company. We aim to make it clear to candidates that we're engaged and deliberate with our process. Our differentiator is our focus on speed in the interview process while not sacrificing quality. We are fast but diligent.
Building a team of A-players requires us to address & coach mediocre performance and swiftly exit underperformance.
Our managers are expected to provide feedback "bumpers" in real time. Real-time feedback means you aren't asking yourself where you stand. That said, if you want a pulse check from your manager on your performance, our employees will often ask, "Knowing what you know now, would you enthusiastically rehire me?"
How to think about the response you may get to the question "Knowing what you know now, would you enthusiastically rehire me?"
When we determine an employee is not a good fit here, we move quickly to help that person exit the company. Moving quickly allows the person to find somewhere else they'll be happier while also helping our company focus on finding our next A-player.
It's important to note that we tolerate mistakes as an organization. We're moving fast and mistakes will happen. We expect all team members to take accountability, iterate on feedback, and exercise the humility & self-reflection to learn from their mistakes.
We evaluate talent in two ways: (1) new hire 60-day review and (2) semi-annual talent review.
At The Block, we want you to think of career development as more than just your next promotion. Career development is learning new skills, taking on increased responsibility, and expanding your knowledge of your function or the industry. Those things naturally lead to career advancement.
Your career growth here isn't only vertical, it's also lateral.
Yes, advancement often entails a promotion. We have career paths/levels for both management and non-management roles so everyone can grow in role, salary, etc. For others, advancement means the opportunity to make a lateral move to another team or take on a project with high impact. Both types of career development (upward and lateral) are praiseworthy.
We invest in our team members to help them build skills and experiences to grow every day. We're developing the future CEOs, founders, and technologists who will drive the industry forward. We encourage all employees to talk to their manager about where they ultimately want to be in their career, even if that's not at The Block.
We never want anyone to feel constrained by their title/level. We encourage team members to constantly find ways to take on more work and expand their responsibilities. The people who get fast-tracked here are the ones continuously asking for more.
Given our rapid growth, we don't have a formal policy on promotions. We're flexible on internal movement. No red tape. No scorecards for who's eligible for a promotion. However, we do want to provide clarity on what we take into consideration when managers suggest team members for promotions:
We believe most efforts can be delivered when it's 80% perfect. Once the first milestone is done, we quickly iterate to improve it. We expect initial versions of our work to be reasonably high quality and well thought-out. This reduces the total number of rotations/iterations and saves time in the long run. We deliver a reasonably high quality first version. Iterate quickly to reduce overall cycle time.
A-players will avoid "analysis paralysis" or overanalyzing a situation and task, particularly in a situation with a tight deadline. We are a team and feedback and the iteration process is works in tandem with delivering our best-in-class work.
We don't practice consensus decision making because consensus slows us down. Instead, we choose an "informed captain" as the single decision maker for a given project or task.
In this model, an informed captain is selected by a manager/department head/CEO for a project or decision that must be made for the company. The informed captain is responsible for three things:
The informed captain is never expected to make a decision in a vacuum. Decisions at The Block are made by hearing arguments from the relevant stakeholders, carefully weighing the pros and cons of any path, and considering which decision will result in the best outcome for our company, employees, and clients.
The department head or CEO reserves the right to selectively (and rarely) veto a decision.
Because we hire A-players, we're able to give our team members more freedom than most companies do.
We believe Performance = Quality x Throughput, not Performance = Hours Worked*. That said, the most successful employees here are the ones who love what they do and feel energized doing the work. They aren't phased by putting in extra effort, which sometimes correlates to extra hours based on role/function/ projects.There is a lot to do, and a 50-hour week isn't exactly considered a long week around here.
We're a fast-moving global company, and as a result, we're not a culture that's going to set boundaries for you. You'll need to do that for yourself. We expect you to take care of yourself so you can be the best version of yourself at work and in your personal life.
A key to success here is to talk to your manager about your boundaries to ensure that they align with the delivery of your role.
Example of how to have this conversation: "I do my best work in the mornings, so I'll be online by 8am every day. I pick up my kid at 5:15pm and put them to bed at 7:30pm, so I'm not available at that time. I ask that you call or text me if there's an emergency during that time. Does that work for you?"
*Some roles have specific hours or shifts they are required to work and as a result will have an impact on performance in the role.
The Block has an unlimited paid time off (PTO) policy, so employees can take the time needed to recharge and refresh. This unlimited PTO policy includes vacation, sick, and personal time.
We believe strongly that time off is necessary for our team to perform at optimal levels. We expect individuals to manage themselves, knowing what they need to perform at optimal levels, and act responsibly with a team-first mentality.
Frankly, we intermix work and personal time quite a bit. We don't have a prescribed number of hours worked in a day, so we don't have a prescribed time off policy either. Our reality is we have (1) team members who operate across the world with various local norms and (2) different departments that have custom requirements for coverage & response time. Varying workloads often means some people and teams may require more time to effectively recharge.
That said, attendance may be required at certain times and time-off approvals are still at the discretion of the Company and based on performance. Time off (of any kind) must be formally approved by your manager through our time-off tracking system.
We are all owners of The Block, so we look at financial decisions through that lens (ex: if we purchase X, it may come at the expense of purchasing Y). So when you're spending The Block's money, things are pretty simple: Act in the best interest of The Block.
We audit expense reports and will provide feedback to course correct if we feel someone is not acting in the best interest of the company. If we identify blatant abuse of this policy, there's a clear lack of trust and we won't hesitate to part ways.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about expenses:
Because we're moving fast, we expect timely responses on messages (especially Slack). Responsiveness is key because your colleague may be blocked on a task/project until they've heard back from you, and even a 2-hour delay could cost us a full business day with a customer/client in another time zone.
That said, we recognize that many of us could spend all day in a tool like Slack and not move the needle. Deep work (working on important projects in a distraction-free state of concentration) and productive time is both supported and expected. When you're doing deep work or it's outside of 8am - 6pm local time, know that we will call or message you on signal (download it) if there is an emergency and we're expecting a response. That said, the expectation set out in our communication standards is a baseline of responding to Slack messages three times a day: at the beginning, middle, and end of your day.
Note: This does NOT apply to the editorial team, who provides value to our readers via constant connection to the news cycle. The editorial team is expected to be monitoring Slack for potential breaking news and responding when tagged.
There are 86,400 seconds in every day, and our goal is to invest those seconds wisely. Because time is short, we're ruthlessly focused on both effectiveness and efficiency:
We work in one of the fastest-moving industries in the world. There's a massive opportunity in crypto info services and if we want to win it, we need to operate and compete at the frontier of the industry. Every day, we can win or lose ground, and we want to make sure that when we look back 3 years from now, we've won 80% of those days.
We move quickly and obsess over productivity: How can we get 5% better? How can we move faster? How can we do more?
We believe that tomorrow is better than next week, and NOW is better than tomorrow.
This orientation toward speed and productivity guides our interactions in countless ways:
We believe communication makes or breaks companies. Strong communicators keep everyone in the loop by thoughtfully considering who needs to know what, explaining appropriate context, sharing frequent updates, and erring on the side of over-communication.
We thoughtfully consider which communication method to use (Slack or email? Written update or meeting?) before sending any message. We rely heavily upon The Block Communication Standards to guide how we communicate with each other and strive to assume positive intent in all interactions.
Documentation is a core tenet of communication, and we invest the time to document processes, updates, decisions, and outcomes that will save time for other people and help them stay in the loop. Two years from now, an employee should be able to read and understand why and how a decision was made.
But we also recognize that documentation for its own sake is worthless—all information is only as useful as the amount of times people actually reference it.
Receiving (and acting upon) feedback is one of the best ways to improve our products, our teams, our company, and ourselves. It takes courage to share constructive feedback with a colleague, and it takes grace and humility to receive it. We expect feedback to be shared across all levels of the organization - not just from manager to direct report, but from direct report to manager, teammate to teammate, etc.
When we give feedback, we do so in a direct yet caring way. We don't hide behind candor as an excuse to be a jerk. We believe it's possible to be candid AND kind, assertive AND respectful.
When we receive feedback, we do so with an open hand and a curious spirit, eager to learn where we can improve. Feedback is a gift, so we accept it while assuming positive intent.
But in addition to sharing constructive criticism, we also believe in the power of praise. Great work deserves to be recognized, and it's all of our responsibility to "catch people doing things right."
The lowest bar of transparency is that you're able to access the information you need to do your job. We strive to share much more information than that because every full-time employee here is an owner of this business who deserves to know about our priorities, metrics, and performance.
Currently, we share information about a number of things, including the following:
But frankly, we're not as transparent right now as we'd like to be. These are a few things we're trying to overcome in order to become more transparent:
Ideally, we want to reach a state of radical transparency, sharing as much information as possible with everyone in the company. We commit that we'll continue working to improve in this area with the goal of sharing information with increasing transparency over time.
One final note on how and what we share with you: we are heavily focused on achieving our mission as a company and we use 100% of our mindshare on pushing towards our goals. Because of this, we do not make company statements or take stands on political or cultural events happening in the world.
Rather than articulating "core values," we've identified four "key behaviors" that we expect EVERY employee at The Block to live out in their daily work. You'll see key behaviors in every part of the employee journey - from the recruiting process to talent evaluation.