I read with great interest a short article in Fast Company about culture…one of probably a million articles written monthly on the topic.
And I decided to comment on this one, because I tend to agree with its premise.
Culture is not a set of words. It’s not a laminated card with slogans, or value statements derived from some contrived off-site rife with exercises to achieve consensus on what your company stands for.
It’s not T-Shirts, trust falls, or Thirsty Thursday pub crawls. It’s not free massages, free pizza, or nerf guns.
It is, instead, an operating model for how companies work.
For us, it’s what we do. This operating system shows up in all kinds of ways, on a daily basis.
How we develop our content strategies for clients.
How we share everything with our clients, total WIP and in the flow.
How we collaborate to ideate, curating ideas via google docs and other synchronous tools.
How we hire. How we reward and incent our team members.
How transparent we are, about everything. Our financial performance, our ambitions, our failures.
How focused we are in the development of each and every team member, setting specific personal and professional goals which we review monthly.
How ambitious we are, on our terms. How adamant we are about growing our way, in a controlled way, in the way that feels right to us.
In short, yes, I very much like the notion that culture is “what we do” not “the fun we have.” If we get it right, the fun is in the work, the pure exuberance of a job well done, and effort well made, and deliverable well constructed, and a client well-satisfied. That, in my view, is the ultimate expression of culture.