So you may have noticed that we at Marketing In Color are writing a lot about company culture lately. Partly because we’re not ready to announce our new worldwide Coca-Cola account yet. And … well, admittedly, we’re not really getting the Coca-Cola account, but it doesn’t make my statement about not being ready to announce the win any less true. I should have been a lawyer.
The real reason I’m writing about our company culture is Lindsey told me to.
You see, Lindsey is our lead project manager and makes sure the trains run on time around here. I needed her to remind me about our next newsletter’s theme. Lo and behold, it’s about company culture. A few months ago, our team had an idea (we listen to our team) to bundle up our blog posts thematically – so when we send out our periodic newsletter (that you can sign up for here) we make sure to send stories to you that are related to each other. Kind of like the Kardashians. Only with meaning. Next month’s theme: Why do our Tampa Bay Buccaneers suck so bad!*
* Proposed theme.
See also: An Egg-cellent Company Culture at MIC
Our company culture is defined by how we interact with our clients, our contractors, and each other.
Here’s the deal. We’re very much interested in growing our business, and if I ever hope to become a figurehead (a goal inspired by a former boss of mine), we’ve got to put trust in our team. Our own Mary Kay Scott pointed out the importance of trust in a recent blog post. How do we build trust? Start by hiring good people. Sounds obvious – and I get not all companies will be built at a scale that makes it easy to be choosy – but, nonetheless, it’s something to strive for. And if you’re lucky enough to get good people like we have, you can stand back and let company culture take root all on its own.
See also: There Really Is An “I” in Team
Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp (formerly 37Signals) – a project collaboration tool we use daily – says it best.
You don’t create a culture. Culture happens. It’s the by-product of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, and you give them the freedom to share, then sharing will be built into your culture. If you reward trust then trust will be built into your culture. You can read the full text here.
I hope how we handle things is motivating. You’ll have to ask our team. The goal here is to create a culture where people feel safe to speak up and help us define who we are, even when we disagree. We provide the direction. But our team has as much say in our destination as we do. That’s where company culture takes on a life of its own. Kind of like the culture you may have growing in forgotten food containers in your fridge. (Not a bad analogy. Kind of gross. But you get the point.)