Econsultancy had a post with eight different takes on company culture. One of them came from Buffer (worth checking out the Etsy one too) which I'd seen before, but it's worth a reminder of the nine values on which they base their culture:
- Always choose positivity and happiness
- Default to transparency
- Have a focus on self-improvement
- Be a 'no ego' doer
- Listen first, then listen more
- Have a bias towards clarity
- Make time to reflect
- Live smarter, not harder
- Show gratitude
Lots of good people-first stuff there. It's all very easy to have statements about what values you want to celebrate and the kind of culture you'd like to have, but living it is something else entirely. The pleasing thing about Buffer though is that they actually seem to be doing that. Last December, to support their 'default to transparency' mantra, they announced moves towards complete openness about revenues, user numbers and performance (publishing their investor update and monthly performance reports on their blog), and efforts focused on transparency in email and in personal development. More controversially they also initiated an 'open salary' concept based on a formula which made remuneration for employees completely transparent.
At the time, co-founder Joel talked about how when you default to transparency it breaks down barriers within the team drastically. 'Transparency', he said, 'breeds trust, and trust is the foundation of great teamwork'. It's also a supremely confident thing to do. And there's nothing like confidence, I think, for inspiring belief.