Culture at Atomi
Culture is too subtle to be noticed until it becomes too prominent to ignore.
This starts (as these things often do) with a story…
In NYC in the 1970s it was found that towns with more broken windows had higher rates of crime, drugs and violence. This is a seemingly random connection, right? What’s even more intriguing is fixing the broken windows in any given city dropped the crime rate by 60%.
The point: Subtleties in the environment dictated how people thought and acted. No broken windows created a greater appreciation of the city and therefore less crime.
This study’s conclusion was later refuted by a prominent economist, but I think we can still take a valuable lesson from its charred remains.
The point is that how we act matters. Whether in the office or on the website, it is the subtleties of the environment we create that will dictate how people think and interact with us.
Create environments that encourage great interactions. Rely on culture to guide those creations. Fix the broken windows.
“People relate to people, and if your brand feels like ‘people,’ they’ll relate to you too.”
In a space where good brands have NEVER existed we have a great opportunity to create a culture and a brand that students actually relate too.
Culture is present in EVERY interaction people have with us and our product. Everything from our videos (the obvious one), to how we speak in emails, what our office looks like and how we recruit.
Culture happens, whether planned or not:
- Culture is the thing that makes you backspace the words ‘thus’ and ‘hence’ in video scripts.
- It’s the thing that tells you not to wear a suit to work.
- It’s the thing that makes you strip back a page design because it complicates the point.
Every time a decision gets made, no matter how small, there is a thought process involved. That process is informed by an underlying mindset.
Culture is that mindset. Therefore, culture must inform every decision.
Ok so we get that culture is important and needs to be carefully curated, like a fine wine.
In this space creating an awesome culture and brand is a competitive advantage. Without doubt.
We have a great opportunity to create that culture. But that also means we have a great responsibility to do it well.
It should be simple enough, if we think deeply and care about shit.