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How We Failed At Company Culture (And How We Fixed It)

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In September 2016, our CEO Danny Ashton attended the Gathering of Games, the world's largest open-book management conference. NeoMam Studios is one of the businesses that practices the teachings from The Great Game of Business and was selected as one of the Rookies of the Year 2016.

Danny talked about company culture and our experience at NeoMam Studios with building a healthy team. In this presentation you'll learn about mistakes we made and how we fixed them.

What are YOUR experiences at building a culture that works for your business?

Published in: Leadership & Management
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How We Failed At Company Culture (And How We Fixed It)

  1. 1. How We Failed At Company Culture (And How We Fixed It) #boldmoves16
  2. 2. Hello everyone...
  3. 3. We are NeoMam
  4. 4. We create content that people want to share around the web
  5. 5. We are a creative agency with only one goal in mind.
  6. 6. We provide in-house SEO teams with media features that help increase their search visibility.
  7. 7. We l❤ve our clients
  8. 8. Today we are here to talk about the not so shiny side of business - our mistakes.
  9. 9. Our business was easy…
  10. 10. Until it wasn’t.
  11. 11. I read a book that changed me
  12. 12. We met this guy
  13. 13. Together we started on a journey.
  14. 14. Scorecards
  15. 15. February 2015
  16. 16. Open book
  17. 17. April 2016
  18. 18. MiniGames
  19. 19. March 2015 July 2016August 2015
  20. 20. Happy ever after...?
  21. 21. Financially things got a lot better
  22. 22. We survived and were starting to thrive.
  23. 23. But something was wrong. And it was getting worse.
  24. 24. Arguments over scorecards.
  25. 25. Growing disinterest over company financials.
  26. 26. Negative change in office atmosphere.
  27. 27. Cliques started to form.
  28. 28. Back channel communication.
  29. 29. And then came the anonymous reviews...
  30. 30. We started to realise we had forgotten a thing called “culture”
  31. 31. didn’t cause our problems.
  32. 32. helped us to see them clearly, and fix them.
  33. 33. Mistake 1: We just let culture happen
  34. 34. We got stuck with a culture that didn’t align with what we wanted.
  35. 35. Fix: We spent time to identify our values and the type of company we wanted to be.
  36. 36. NeoMam’s Core Values 1. We just say it 2. We are one team 3. We don’t stop when things get hard
  37. 37. We now use these values for hiring and rewarding the team. And continue to educate them in the same way we do with financials.
  38. 38. Mistake 2: We hired on skills not values
  39. 39. Bootstrapped and a naive view of business. “If you can do the job - you're hired.”
  40. 40. We ended up with too many different values and ideas of what NeoMam was.
  41. 41. Fix 1: All job applicants now fill in a core value questionnaire.
  42. 42. NeoMam Questionnaire
  43. 43. Fix 2: All in-person interview questions are about cultural fit.
  44. 44. An in-person job interview with NeoMam today
  45. 45. Mistake 3: We hired too many people too quickly
  46. 46. Growing 137% in one year didn’t help.
  47. 47. With so many new people, culture changed every week as new faces appeared.
  48. 48. Fix: Currently we only have the resources to make one hire every quarter.
  49. 49. Mistake 4: Not spending time together as a full team
  50. 50. Groups of “work friends” stuck to each other. = Many people felt left out.
  51. 51. Fix: We now allocate time during work for group activities.
  52. 52. D&D Fridays Brazilian jiu-jitsu Hiking Lunch
  53. 53. Mistake 5: Not clear on what is not working
  54. 54. Without numbers, problems can be hard to pinpoint.
  55. 55. We want to move away from emotion and see how the business is doing.
  56. 56. Fix: We continually improve our scorecard so we have an accurate picture of team and individual effort.
  57. 57. February 2015
  58. 58. September 2015
  59. 59. April 2016
  60. 60. August 2016
  61. 61. Today things are a lot better.
  62. 62. We’re sustaining our net profit
  63. 63. Our cash reserves keep growing
  64. 64. Not only financially but also culturally.
  65. 65. What our team has to say
  66. 66. One thing to remember: Don’t leave culture to chance or you will end up with one you might not like.
  67. 67. Questions? ☞ neomam.com ✍ @dannyashton #boldmoves16

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