My eureka moment
Is company culture as important as people make out? Does it really affect the morale and motivation of your people? And can it really be the thing you love most about your job?
To all these questions, I’d say an overwhelmingly big YES! (Sorry about the exclamation mark and shouty caps.)
I believe this so strongly not because I’ve been consuming masses of business books on the subject of people and culture. It’s because I experienced it first-hand, last year, when I was living in New York and setting up The Writer’s US HQ.
You see, the London office, our gang and our blackboards are kinda special to me. (Pop in when you’re in town and you’ll see what I mean.) The people, from all walks of life and cultures. The hubbub of noise filled with linguistic opinions. The different accents. The quirks – like Neil’s obsession with clocks. All these things, in their small, unique ways, add to our culture. And make The Writer, The Writer.
So when you put a gal in a megapolis like New York, working solo (even if you’re a salsa-dancing extrovert like me), it’s tough. And it gets tougher the longer you’re away. At the end of last year I had a eureka moment when I realised the root of this. I also understood what all the talk about cultivating a company’s culture is about, and why finding people that fit is so crucial to a successful business.
It’s why I’m now listening even more closely to the likes of Zappos and their CEO, Tony Hsieh (his book Delivering Happiness is well worth a read). I mean who else decides to offer all new recruits $3,000 to leave right there and then after a month’s training (testing in the process how much they really want to work for you)?
It’s why it’s ace being back in with the culture of The Writer in London.