Little signs you’re getting the culture right

“Can I have half an hour on the agenda?”

Adam gets his half an hour, no questions asked.

We get the whole team together a couple of times a year for a ‘team day’ to review technology, R&D or processes. It’s always interactive. Time is precious.

Asking for a half hour slot with the whole company is a declaration of importance and relevance. Adam knows that.

Everyone knows that.

Surprises are precious. We find little surprises everywhere; in projects, new requirements, little bits of functionality people have created to improve the customer experience. Most companies don’t like surprises but we do. They keep us interested. Drive us on. They’re important. Adam knows that.

Everyone knows that.

It’s so easy to check with the boss. It’s safe. Reduces the chance of failure or embarrassment.

If your people are checking everything with the boss, it means they’re afraid of failure. It slows things up; you don’t get to see the riskier/more unlikely ideas; they’re going to play it safe.

Your customers will only ever see exactly what they ask for, rather than what you can do. It’s ok to take a risk. Everyone knows where it’s appropriate.

Everyone knows that.

These things aren’t stated in some company handbook. The day to day important things never are. They’re just things everyone knows, defined and reinforced every day with small affirmative actions.

That’s culture. Matt Busby knew all about building a culture:

“Do the small things, do them well, do them now.”

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