What is Ubuntu?

Have you ever heard the African term Ubuntu (oo-BUUN-too)? If you’re like me, it wasn’t a word that was in my vocabulary until a little over a year ago. Even though the term was new, the meaning behind it is something that I know very well, and I’m sure you do too.

Ubuntu is translated as, “I am because we are.” It means that we are all working together and working for each other. It represents the value of community and how we form bonds and work for each other to achieve our goals. Ubuntu is about togetherness, caring, and sharing.

If you take a look around, I bet you can find real-life examples of Ubuntu: Have you gone to see a live performance? It’s many individuals working together and working for each other to create a great experience for the audience. Do you watch football, basketball, or baseball games? The players are all working with each other to win the game for the team. Do you have kids in school that have been assigned a group project? The teacher has given them a task to complete, and they must work together to get the project done on time. Each of these examples represents the value of caring for each other and working together to achieve a goal.

My nine-year-old son plays hockey, we were heading to one of his hockey games, so I was telling him to skate fast and score a lot of goals. He told me that he didn’t care if he was the one that scored the goals, as long as he could assist his teammates and they could score. He was more concerned about the performance of the team and working for the team than himself! I asked my son if he knew what Ubuntu was and he said no, but he clearly understood the concept.

So, what does Ubuntu have to do with Stenograph? Everything! It’s the values and principles that represent our humanness and the value of community. We’re focused on our culture and incorporating Ubuntu into our work. We want our employees to value our humanness and community as we focus on caring and sharing. We spend a lot of time at work and this is a second home to us. We want to share a sense of community and always be there for each other. It’s the type of culture that we’re proud to be a part of.

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