Creative, Creatives & Freelancers

Hack your culture, boost your business

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Hacking is everywhere.  The endless possibilities of combining blu-tac with Lego and a toilet roll have changed the way we see the world forever!

Hacking, which emanated from the world of start-ups, is seriously creative.  The very nature of it is to subversify, improve, and challenge perspectives.  The internet is abound with life hacks, and this approach can now be applied to business as culture hacking guru Robert Richman explains in his video.

“Hacking is finding a vulnerable point in a system, and exploiting that vulnerability to your advantage. The end result is very little investment with maximum gain.”


Core Values and Culture

At the heart of every business should be core values. Culture hacking is described as the systematic design and implementation of team practices, commitments, and viewpoints to help improve culture.  Online store Zappos define their core values from which they develop their culture, brand, and business strategies. These are their ten core values:

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More With Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble

Hack your corporate culture to uncover ways to streamline your business, reward your staff and improve communication.

So, what are business culture hacks?  Here are a few pinched from corporate culture giants such as Netflix, Google and Zappos among others:

  • Netflix’s unlimited holiday policy (empowerment)
  • Zappos’ termination bonus which offered new employees a $1,000 bonus to quit (getting rid of the non-committed)
  • Method get everyone in the business (including the CEO) to work on reception one day a year (no egos).
  • Email bans between 7pm and 8am (to combat stresses of modern life)
  • Only having meetings between 10am and 4pm (more family/parent friendly)
  • Offering new recruits the option of taking on the job on either a four or five-day working week (life work balance and flexibility)

This is the key; culture is not something that can be dictated down, it’s something that needs to be co-created by everyone, everyday. So the organisation as a whole creates an environment where everyone can be on the same page and where there are constant feedback strategies that enable ongoing change and culture building.

Hacking is the art of dismantling and reassembling to alter the intended purpose, it’s doing things you’re not supposed to.


I will leave you with this, ultimate, number 1, infallible culture hack from Robert Richman:

“I knew about this #1 hack for a long time, but didn’t realise how important it was until I was working with a major company that wanted to implement its core values and they were running into a problem.  Well, to diagnose a culture all we have to do is look at their meetings. Meetings are a subset of culture. And the first data within meetings we look at is people’s relationship to time.”  Are people on time?  Do meetings end on time?  Do leaders show up late?”

The #1 Culture Hack: Always be on time

  • Start meetings on time (even if not everyone is there)
  • End meetings on time (or 10 minutes early so they have time to walk to their next meeting)
  • Have the same standard for all people (no matter their rank)

“This is a very small hack, but it has a massive impact. If you feel resistance from yourself or anyone else, simply run a 2 week experiment where people have to be on time. Then let the results speak for themselves.”

There you are, its that simple!  Happy Hacking!


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