corporate culture

This is Us.

This is Us.

From Dunder Mifflin to Confucius to ClearTrust.

…our own Mission, Vision and Values has had a tall order to fill. They must be true to us, endure the seasons, and set the direction of our work. They must be custom-fit to us, such that they cannot be collectively worn by another company but can only be worn by us. And they must be brief, cutting straight to the point with no extra weight or empty words.

Then one day it nonchalantly came into focus, appearing in my mind as something that had been there all along but never given sufficient attention…

Capitalism Underground in Cuba

Capitalism Underground in Cuba

Cleartrust founder, Kara, reflects on glimpses of capitalism caught during a recent trip to communist Cuba.

Forty-five short minutes and our plane touches down in a world ostensibly trapped in time: La Havana. But this isn't the final destination for the team I am leading on a humanitarian trip. A six-hour layover stretches before us as we wait for our next flight. The airport of this nation's capital has a humble café serving beverages in a hot, humid waiting room…

These black market enterprises are everywhere, hidden in plain sight and just beyond the detection of the informants stationed on every block of every town by the Department of the Defense of the Revolution. For the consumers, these small entrepreneurial ventures keep families fed when shelves are empty and children clothed when prices are too high, offering an affordable alternative to state-run stores. For the merchant, these ventures offer a lifeline of hope that one day enough money can be saved to afford better nutrition, a car or even a home.

A Space that Speaks

A Space that Speaks

A good friend of mine is a corporate attorney in pristine, photo-ready, no-gum-on-the-sidewalks Singapore. The country sometimes feels more like a picturesque Orlando theme park than it does an Asian nation. It is unthinkable that a candy wrapper might fall to the street, and one can hardly find a flower drooping in a public park. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where it’s probably safe to eat off the ground. Singapore’s high-strung adherence to beauty and civil order is matched only by its stringent emphasis on work.

The importance and prominence of a disciplined work ethic is so deeply ingrained in this culture that it is expected families will employ at least one helper to care for family and home while both parents work full time jobs. A strong work force is critical to sustain this small-but-mighty country’s economy, and every worker matters. The life of a Singaporean is to be educated well, and then to work.

My Singaporean friend recently lamented to me, “I honestly don’t think work can be fulfilling.”

Bearing in mind that we both have relatively uninspiring jobs (let’s be honest that corporate legal work is about as thrilling as stock transfer work), it struck me how very different my outlook on work is. …