Mastery, Autonomy, & Purpose: Making a successful company even better

Tiempo 2.0: How we are making a successful company even better with mastery, autonomy, and purpose

In a blog post from January, 2015, Maria Gotes, our VP of Talent and Organizational Development, mentioned Tiempo 2.0, a transformational initiative we rolled out toward the end of last year. Tiempo 2.0, now well underway, focuses on the three key themes of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. For our employees, Tiempo 2.0 creates a workplace where they are more empowered, focused, and fulfilled. For our clients and partners, the initiative translates into greater velocity and higher quality in software development. In our industry, Tiempo 2.0 is unique—we know of no other outsource company that dedicates this much attention and energy to the success and happiness of its employees.

Author Daniel H. Pink in his 2009 book, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, introduces autonomy, mastery, and purpose as the three main elements of true motivation in companies and organizations, and presents ways to bring them into day-to-day business practices. Companies adopted this approach, generally known by the acronym MAP. It found strong advocates in the agile software community—including Tiempo Development. Autonomy, mastery, and purpose, as Pink discusses them, are intrinsic, sustainable motivating factors that are meaningful and important to almost everybody in a work environment. In contrast, extrinsic motivators—such as money, status, or threats—require constant management activity and are limitedly effective only in low-end, repetitive situations in factories or whenever people must perform basic tasks.

Even though Tiempo 2.0 is only a few months old, we can already see how our organization is changing. We were a successful, growing, and comparatively traditional company of enthusiastic, highly qualified software engineers and tech leaders who used a proven, agile methodology, the Tiempo Quality System or TQS. What we are becoming is a successful, growing company of enthusiastic, highly qualified software engineers and tech leaders who are empowered to create powerful, world-class software for our clients, with uncompromising focus on results, and without needless restrictions and prescriptions. The principles of the agile TQS approach will be pervasive not just in the way we create software, but also in every other aspect of how we take care of the company and our working lives.

Putting Tiempo on the MAP


Let’s take a closer look at what mastery, autonomy, and purpose in Tiempo 2.0 mean.

• Mastery, says Pink, is our drive to become better at what we do. In Tiempo 2.0, we encourage mastery by giving every employee even better access than before to all the professional development and skill-building resources than before. That includes the tools for the soft skills that are so important when we collaborate with clients and each other—such as communications, setting priorities, reconciling goals and stakeholder interests, and empathy with different work styles and company cultures. Individual professional development plans will become more flexible and align more closely with people’s interests and abilities. All of us at Tiempo will know which abilities and skills we should develop with priority, and which steps we need to take to grow professionally. Everybody here appreciates opportunities to learn and advance; in Tiempo 2.0, we have a more effective framework to make that possible.

• Autonomy prompts us to take charge of the circumstances of our working lives. This MAP pillar is particularly valued by agile practitioners, knowledge leaders, and thought leaders. Within the framework of TQS and delivering repeatable success to our clients within our commitments, Tiempo software engineers—to use an example—enjoy far more freedom than they would have in comparable companies. They know their skills and development strengths, so they can decide effectively which user story or client requirement they best work on. Other roles at Tiempo will have a similar experience of autonomy.

• Purpose is the vital sense of being connected to a larger, worthwhile set of goals and values. In most companies, few people tend to understand how their work impacts the success of the business and its clients, or even the people involved in the same business processes. At Tiempo, we have long considered this as essential for individual and organizational success, but now we are making it easier for each employee to see the connection between personal and organizational success. The purpose theme of Tiempo 2.0 also touches on our involvement in the larger community. For example, at all of our development centers, the employees and company give back by supporting causes employees find important, such as foster houses, breast cancer awareness, or disaster assistance to other cities. We are growing to create much stronger connections between our thriving business and the society we live in.

What Tiempo 2.0 means for our clients

If you are a Tiempo client, you might enjoy Tiempo 2.0 and MAP almost as much as we do! You may perceive some differences with MAP, although none of them is likely to be a dramatic contrast to how you experience team Tiempo today. Within MAP, we will continue to live and practice the six values that are at the heart of the company: Delighting the Customer, People, Resilience, Collaboration, Integrity, and Discipline. But, in the context of Tiempo 2.0, each of us will have more effective resources and greater ownership in practicing them.

As Tiempo 2.0 unfolds, you might notice changes that may not be directly tangible. Maybe it looks like your software engineers and tech leads are more flexible, more creative and resourceful, or faster. They come to work happy, rested, and ready, having taken care of their families and personal interests. They are motivated to do their best, because they receive promotions based on what they accomplish for you, not because they have put in a certain amount of time. If they were pleasant to work with before, they will be delightful now.

We also expect that the MAP approach will make a difference in our recruiting, hiring, and retention of the best people to create the powerful software you need. Other outsource development workplaces can be extremely stressful, with high burnout rates and lots of turnover. From what we see, people in many of these companies may have a certain degree of mastery, but next to no autonomy, and only a limited sense of purpose. Tiempo Development is already an excellent place to work and will become a more competitive, highly regarded employer with Tiempo 2.0. That can directly benefit the development we perform for you.

I’d love to hear from you, especially if have any questions or feedback regarding Tiempo 2.0 and MAP, or if you have an interest in using the MAP approach in your own organization. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or send a note to You might also find our case studies and other services interesting.

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