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When building a team and company culture, Brett Kelly suggests that you ask: ‘What does your business have to be like for people to want to come in and work for free, even though you’re paying them?’
Building company culture is reflective of the deepset values of your business. In the same way that people buy WHY you’re selling, not what you’re selling, you need a strong company culture that is transparent with your WHY, both for your staff and your clients. Everyone needs to be aware of your vision, mission, manifesto, goals. People love being able to buy into a vision of a company, as well as the product itself. Look at Thank You water. Look at Who Gives a Crap? toilet paper. Why do we buy those products over more generic brands? Because we know it’s making a difference to the wider world, not just putting money in someone’s pocket.
The same goes for company culture on a smaller scale; your employees and colleagues need to be constantly excited and motivated to strive for the good of the company. Invest in your staff, nurture them, believe in them, and they will return the favour by being key advocates for your brand.
By the same token, it’s important to know when someone isn’t right for the team and act on it promptly. At the recent Plan to Win conference hosted by Kelly + Partners, iconic Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan shared her biggest mistake as ‘not letting people go when I should have’. She said that when you’re running a business, particularly in the early stages, you don’t have time to micromanage and your teams needs a sense of ownership.
“You need to be available to talk and to listen. I want to be everyone’s friend, but I’m really not. I’m there to lead the company” – Collette Dinnigan.
We recently held a Dream & Do strategy day, where Tara shared her ‘blue sky’ vision for the business and asked all the employees to do the same, filling out a ‘dreamcatcher’ and gallivanting around Sydney with coloured pens and paper while talking and thinking about the future of Dream & Do. It boosted company morale, bonded us as a team, and made everyone enthusiastic for what’s to come.
“Culture is the key that drives performance. Know your why, your high purpose. Focus on the inside out and make your family and team feel like they’re important. Keep the values alive, share stories and, most importantly, live the values.” – Angus Kennard.
Here’s a great Business Chicks article about the 6 Things Great Bosses Do.
Our two favourite TED talks on this matter are: Simon Senik ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ and Ricardo Semler ‘How to Run a Company With (Almost) No Rules’. Highly recommended!
Dream and Do is a creative agency for startups,business visionaries and dreamers everywhere.