Early on working for my first start-up company, we figured out that our company culture permeated everything. Every choice we made, from the way we organised the company structure (partnership) to the kind of office space we chose to work in (moderately private offices with lots of open collaboration spaces), to the way we interacted amongst ourselves (informal and very collaborative) and of course the way we dealt with our clients (very transparent with high ethical standards and honesty, even if it wasn't what our clients wanted to hear) reflected and demonstrated our values, brand and culture.
In each company I've started up since, that same goal of identifying our values from the beginning has helped us implement a consistent culture and has been a wonderful way to make decisions easier. In this post, I've compiled a few articles and links to information that can help you think a bit more about your own company culture. Let me know what you think!
Picnic Table Wisdom
Like many startups, an earlier company I worked with began in a living room. Our first proper office had a large south-facing deck with a picnic table, and except when it was raining, it was where we all gathered to eat lunch, have after-work parties, conduct small meetings, and just pause during the day to catch our breath and rethink a problem.
That deck space represented a place where everyone was included and sat together; there was no place for ‘cool kids’ to separate themselves, or for introverts to hide. If you went to the deck, you were included in the community. Conversations flowed easily and creatively. Everyone was valued. It was a serendipitous discovery of one of the many things that made our workplace an amazingly creative and positive place.
You can read the rest of this article here: http://www.brilliantworking.com/blog/picnic-table-wisdom
A few articles on Culture
Culture eats strategy every time
One of my favourite explanations of why culture is so important to guide your company, and how some of the simplest actions reverberate so thoroughly. Here is the link to the article:
It is not what you make, it is what you stand for
Jim Collins on how to describe what you stand for so it actually does some good. He describes five important characteristics of a good expression of a company's core purpose. Here is a link to the article: http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/its-not-what-you-make.html
The value of your brand from the beginning
Five useful tips for small businesses to help get their brand (which derives from the culture) right from the beginning. Here is a link to the article:
Fun Friday Workplaces
It's Fun Friday workplaces! If you are lucky enough to have a large space, here is a great way to create flexible spaces within it. This way you can provide special event spaces, training rooms, small group work areas that only need a short term use, and so on, without permanently taking up space that can be used for other purposes and in other configurations at other times. (photo from gallery.australianinteriordesignawards.com).
I love to hear from you: what you think about any of these articles, a suggestion or link to one of your favourites, and if you just want to say hi.
And as always, I hope you have a brilliant weekend!
PS. I am in the process of switching over my social media accounts that have to do with workplaces and better working practices from Plymouth Cowork to Brilliant Working. For now, most of my past content is on the Plymouth Cowork sites; eventually it will be transitioned to names with Brilliant Working.