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  • Writer's pictureDan Berger

Building Your Company’s Culture from the Ground Up.

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Team Social Tables at our annual holiday party (2014)

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed with making Social Tables an employer of choice for the right people. That’s my #1 operating principle and, for me, a big part of that is having a really awesome culture. A really awesome culture means an almost religious-like community or tribe. [1]

To put more simply, it means having cool people around you doing cool shit. Here is a step-by-step guide on the things we’ve done at Social Tables to get us to this magical place:

  1. Develop your company’s Cultural Pillars to set the foundational principles for your company culture.

  2. Come up with your company’s Core Values to define what you believe in and define who you are.

  3. Devise your organization’s Mission Statement to help measure success along your journey.

  4. Establish a Culture Club that empowers your Culture Carriers — the employees who make your culture infectious by living, breathing, and scaling it — to bolster and scale the culture.

  5. Share your Vision Statement to articulate the future state you envision.

  6. Have each teach come up with its own Purpose so that it can explain how it relates to the company’s vision.

  7. Have each team come up with its own Values Definition because the core values may mean different things for different functions.

  8. Write your Vivid Vision to share with all of your organization’s stakeholders where you will be in the next few years. [2]

At each step of the way, follow this framework to ensure you’re successful:

  1. Collaborate. Come up with the deliverable through a collaborative process that includes as many people in the company as possible. Gamestorming can help.

  2. Post. Once you have a deliverable bring it to life as vividly as possible throughout your office. For example, create a shrine that celebrates each core value in your space.

  3. Lead. As the organization’s leader you must lead by example and live by these deliverables. For example, if learning is a core value, share how you are constantly developing.

  4. Measure. Find ways to measure and reward people along these deliverables. For example, if one of your core values is honesty, regularly run 360 surveys on every person at the company.

I hope this helps you build up and scale your organization’s culture. This is by no means an exhaustive list because of my unknown unknowns. I simply don’t know what we will do next.

I’d love to hear from you what other activities/deliverables you’ve found helpful to building and scaling company culture.

[1] I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from the ideals of the kibbutz, an idealistic collective community built on shared values.

[2] Having everyone on the same page as it relates to your vision will increase the probability of bringing it to life.

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