See full version at our Startup Weekend blog…
In order to be a company with transcending qualities, your core missions and goals must be well known. If every single employee or team member cannot recite the collective goals, something is missing. I am not implying that every person on your team should recite the manifesto word for word but they should be able to summarize it. Test it out in your office sometime. Randomly ask people what their company does. Who do they do it with? And most importantly, why do they do it?
At Startup Weekend, we truly value our “why” and our culture. Among the dozens of current buzzwords in startup vocabulary, culture is at the top of the list. We are all becoming obsessed with what runs our companies and for good reason. What kind of people makes it work and what kind of practices make it crumble? The answer to most questions and especially this question is to look inward.
We try and keep our office culture fluid and relaxed. However, as anyone managing a group of 20+ relaxed workers may know, things can get messy. We are still a young organization but one that is incredibly ambitious. We’ve been running so fast for our entire lives at Startup Weekend that many tasks can get lost. When massive growth smacks you in the face, you tend to lose a few things.
Our space is filled with shades of green because that is the color of Startup Weekend. We also hang many personal touches such as childhood photos of team members and funny posters that keep us in check. To an outsider, our decor may seem random but 75% of our basic office decor serves a purpose. We are intentional about everything. For every cause there is a definite reaction. Our mission is a big, hairy, & extremely audacious goal and we use our culture to remind us of it.
Someone doesn’t make us spend x amount of time with each other on the weekends. We do it because we want to. While it would be easy to say we share the family dynamic, that would not be 100% correct. We do not have the typical matriarch and patriarch within our organization. We do have present leaders and those who have seniority but we also rely on problem solving as opposed to reprimanding.