Calendar Icon - orbit
July 4, 2022
Clock Icon - orbit
 min read

Why Everyone Should Create a Central Operating System

You can't have a consistent customer experience without a consistent employee experience

Why Everyone Should Create a Central Operating System

When your people have a question about the business, where do they go to find the answer? Generally, we find one of these two responses fit:

  1. That depends on the type of question as to which tool or platform will have the answer on it, so best ask someone.
  2. There is nothing documented, so best ask someone.

Both of these are really inefficient, especially in a fully remote & asynchronous business where hours can be wasted just to get one simple answer. There’s also no guarantee that the answers will be consistent, or indeed correct, when they’re kept in people’s heads or many different locations.

Consistency is Key To a Great Business

It’s very well documented that a consistent customer experience is a central factor in a successful, scalable business. It’s the reason why Dominos, McDonalds and Subway are always rammed, their customers know exactly what they’re going to get. If we dig into this a bit more, logic would dictate that this level of consistent customer experience would not be possible without the same level of consistent employee experience.

Therefore, we need to put as much effort into ensuring a consistent employee experience as we would our customers. Obviously, this is easier said than done though, as the levels of budget and resource that go into internal communication are far lower than is given to external communication. I’m not saying make it 50/50 but what I am saying is that by improving the ratio then both employee and customer churn would likely go down.

The start of this journey to a consistent employee experience is access to the right information, if each employee gets a different answer to their question based on where they find the answer then how are they going to give the customer a consistent experience?

💡 Our Solution: A central operating system - a single source of truth ensuring consistent information to all who need it. 💡

Our ‘Orbit Brain’

At Orbit we have a central operating system the ‘Orbit Brain’. Built on Notion, it houses everything from knowledge, to processes, to brand assets, to policies, to meeting notes, day plans and so much more. The goal of the system is to be our own internal one-stop shop, a consistent source of truth for everyone.

Living in the post-information age means there is too much information out there to be productive. Before the internet information was power and the saying ‘no news was good news’ was true. Now there is too much information and the opposite of that saying is now true - ‘no news is now bad news’. Our Notion Brain was built with both of these in mind; it enables fast access to the right information and allows us to document what we’re doing to keep everyone in touch with what is going on.

Our Three Click Rule

One of the logical steps we went through when designing the ‘Orbit Brain’ was that if we were going to be putting as much effort as possible into creating a consistent employee experience as we would for a customer experience, then ease of use needed to be at the forefront. We wanted to create this central information hub with a path of least resistance to ensure people would be less likely to give up in their quest for information.

Our solution to this was the ‘three click rule’. Our people should never be more than three clicks away from the answer they’re looking for. When they get there the information needs to be laid out in a visually engaging way and be easy to understand. Finally, everyone has ownership of the ‘Orbit Brain’ so anyone in the business can add to, update and improve what’s on there.

What’s On The ‘Orbit Brain’?

Here are some examples of the types of things you can find out when tapped into the brain:

Who We Are

About Orbit: This is everything from things that start with P like our purpose, principles and policies to things that don’t, like our strategy and objectives. This area gives everyone at the company a real-time view on how we’re getting on with our objectives and the impact everyone’s work is having.

Who we are as people: Everyone at the company has their own area of the brain to showcase who they are as people, think of it as a digital way of decorating your workspace. How else would you know Ed Borrie's comprehensive zombie apocalypse plan, or his views on the Apple vs Android debate: ‘You’re not edgy if you have an Android, you’re difficult.’ 😂


Masterclasses: We’re all tasked with writing and delivering masterclasses to each other, as well as identifying external providers who can come in and deliver specialist knowledge that isn’t already in the business. Masterclasses in the brain currently range from on the job excellence to topics like personal branding and high performance.

The tech industry: As the company grows and more people join us we’re making sure that as much knowledge as possible on our target market is being stored in the brain. This means any new starter can very quickly and easily learn key knowledge and context in a short space of time from a standing start. This area of the brain includes things like:

  • Different languages, their use cases and which companies we work with use them
  • Team structures and leadership styles
  • Typical roles and what good looks like in them

Our learning list: This is a collection of all external content that we’ve consumed that we’ve found valuable and why it’s been helpful. The learning list includes everything from books, to podcasts, to videos, to newsletters and articles. We all add to this when we finish something good, the latest addition from me was ‘The E-Myth Revisited’ by Michael E. Gerber - a book I highly recommend.


Our clients: The better we know our clients, the better we can represent them in the talent market. The client area of the 'Orbit Brain' goes into as much detail as possible about the people we are working with, as well as houses all the employer brand content we’ve created with them. This helps us save time when taking on new talent briefs and also helps achieve buy-in from prospective candidates.

Great questions: Another way we ensure the brain aides preparation is with our question database, this is an area of the system where we’ve categories great questions to ask in all different situations in order to uncover the right information. This includes everything from role or seniority specific questions help qualify candidates, to good hypothetical questions to help close new business relationships and much more.


Interviews: There are plenty of times I’ve come out of an interview only to suddenly remember a question I forgot to ask. The ‘Orbit Brain’ houses highly visual and easy to follow interview flows that nudge us to prep the questions beforehand making sure this doesn’t happen anymore all thanks to a certain Daniel Butterfield. 🙌

Talent sourcing: There are so many different ways of finding talent it’s hard to keep them all in your head at one time. Our unique model scales the precision of executive search across all roles within a business meaning we need to cover off the whole market on every assignment using all of these different tools. The process flows in our ‘Orbit Brain’ ensure we never accidentally leave a stone unturned.


Applicant tracking: The applicant tracker brings all the information about the role, candidates and interview process together to make sure we always know exactly what’s happening, what the next step is, and who’s is responsible. It also helps us track timescales and ratios to help us both improve internally but also help our clients optimise their hiring processes.

Project management: As a startup we have so many projects going on at any one time. We like to keep these out in the open for everyone to see to ensure progress is continually made and the right task is always assignment to the person it is most suited for.


Standup notes: Everyone has complete freedom in their day on when they work with one exception - between 11:30 and midday (UK time) every day we have our stand up. Standup is a chance to share new ideas and innovation, new learns, any challenges or roadblocks that we need a 2nd opinion on, and also celebrate our success. We all take notes and keep them in the same place so even if you miss one you’ll always know what everyone is up to.

Article ideas: At Orbit we like everyone to write and share their thoughts with the world. This could be about their job, the market, ideas for the future or anything they’re passionate about. I’m writing this in the article ideas session of the ‘Orbit Brain’ right now, right next to Mr Borrie who is also in here writing his current article. 👀

The Hidden Benefit

There are so many benefits of having this ‘Orbit Brain’, with a key one being the consistency it delivers to our business. This single source of truth saves everyone time in getting quickly to the answer they need, it’s fundamental to delivering a consistent employee experience - which is the key to a great business. 😉

However, this isn’t the main benefit. There’s a hidden benefit that trumps even that and it comes from the simple act of relinquishing ownership of the ‘Orbit Brain’ to our people. Doing this has meant we’ll never really lose anyone from the business. Even if our people decide to move on, we can wish them well in their next venture in the knowledge that we’ve invested in them and in return, they’ve invested in us. Their knowledge will stay in the ‘Orbit Brain’ helping everyone in the business continue to grow after they’ve gone.

So when we get asked ‘When your people have a question about the business, where do they go to find the answer?’ The answer is very simple: they’ll be able to find an engaging, highly visual and easy to understand answer within 3 clicks of jumping onto our ‘Orbit Brain’. That’s why we encourage everyone to take the time to create something similar.

Latest articles

Browse all