How to Build a Kick-Ass Culture

by Mohamed ElDib | May 8, 2017

In every organisation, the management wants to create a solid culture where people want to go to the office every day and actually enjoy their work.

Apart from the occasional frustrations (which are a normal part of life!), we love our jobs. Off the top of my head, below are some broad guidelines that would make your workplace a lot more interesting for everyone involved.

1. Have a Higher Purpose

Everyone likes doing something that has a purpose. We all want to matter in this world, and not just go to work and make some money (don’t get me wrong- money is good!).

What are you adding to the world by being here? Why do you matter? What makes what you do special?

2. Give a Sense of Ownership

People like responsibility. A management that micromanages everything creates a culture where no one has the freedom to create awesomeness. It is important to feel trusted with things that are bigger than you are. Owning a project and celebrating success feels amazing and creates a culture where others motivate others to innovate and push each other further.

We are a task based/ project based organisation. Everyone manages some things and is managed in other projects. Our organisational structure is relatively flat. So while I may lead a team in one project, I will be led in another project. So we all get to celebrate personal and group successes, and we all get to feel the bitterness of underachievement when it happens.

3. Be Genuinely Interested

When managing a company, you are managing people. People – and not robots or machines. There is a very big personal aspect within any professional environment. It is paramount to genuinely care for every person. We all have our ups and our downs. We are all moody sometimes, and we all have personal issues to deal with outside the workplace.

Add to that, we all have personal and career objectives that we want to meet, and these may differ from the organisation’s objectives. we always need to create a culture where people are interested in others, what they like and dislike, and what they want to become in the future. Genuinely.

4. Create a Community

We all want to belong. The next point is about individuality, I know, but we all want to be part of a community nonetheless. A community of like-minded individuals who are able to gather up around a certain topic or a certain cause and move forward together.

It goes back to the oldest, most tribal forms of communities. People felt safe together and were able to protect the whole clan from danger, also together.

5. Value Individuality

While we all want to belong to the team, we all also want to be unique in our own ways. Each one of us has certain talents that we are proud of and we want to grow. If someone likes to sing, support them to get the best out of them. If someone likes writing or needs to be pushed in a certain area, be sure to support them as well. We are all different, we are all unique, and we are all individuals, even if we’re in a group.

6. Allow People to Make Mistakes

Mistakes are always the best things we ever do. Mistakes show us our limits (or their lack thereof!). When we push ourselves to try something different, we see endless possibilities.

The best things we’ll ever do will probably be mistakes. I once wrote on the notes on my phone that I want to make a mistake that is so breakthrough to the extent that no one will ever forget it (a good mistake, and not a catastrophe!)

Don’t make people afraid to fail. Don’t make others afraid of trying anything new. Allow everyone to make their own mistakes.

7. Invest in People

People are your ONLY assets. Successful organisations are made of people. Not assets, not the work itself, but people.

Invest money, invest time, invest ideas in people. People are always our only asset.

And when you hire, hire people who are better than you are!

8. Be Quirky

Be quirky, be stupid. Create things that are so bizarre to the extent that no one thinks twice before making a fool out of themselves. Only then, will the people in your organisation feel comfortable enough to be quirky and funny and to let their creative juices run loose. But most of all, a great culture is one in which people are not afraid to be themselves.