When it comes to running a business, the best thing you can do is make education your top priority.
In saying that, we get that sometimes that just isn’t an option as you are always being pulled in a thousand different directions at any given moment. We get it. That’s why we love Queensland State Library’s Lunch Box Forums.
The forums they run are quick and to-the-point at just 45 minutes long, meaning they don’t steal a huge chunk of your day. Plus they are free which is good for your wallet’s peace of mind if a situation does arise and you cannot make the event.
We went to their latest forum titled ‘Creating Culture Within Your Business’, which was presented by Shainiel Deo. Shainiel Deo is the co-founder and CEO of Halfbrick, a gaming company that has Fruit Ninja amongst their impressive resume. Shainiel’s success and capacity to run a successful business is nothing to be sniffed at. Halfbrick currently has offices in Brisbane (HQ), Sydney, Spain and the USA with close to 300 employees. On top of that, Shainiel was named one of Australia Financial Review’s Young Rich in 2014 with a net worth of $79 million. Safe to say we were willing to soak up whatever wisdom he wanted to impart to us.
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Here are some key takeaway points we learned from Shainiel Deo’s talk about workplace culture:
Build relationships with people that inspire you and motivate you TODAY – you will learn a lot along the way and you never know when you might need to call on those relationships.
Overhauling your business’ culture takes time – for HalfBrick, it took close to six months (the first time).
Workplace culture is always a working progress – ensure you are constantly behaving in a way that aligns with your culture and put your messaging out there in the form of posters/murals so your employees see it every single day. You will be surprised at how they subconsciously soak up the company’s values.
Once you nail down your culture, disseminate it among your teams – do not put it in the filing cabinet or let it gather dust!
Times of struggle lay the bricks for your pathway to success – don’t let failures deter you, instead take them as lessons.
Don’t overcomplicate your culture – whittle it down to 3-5 key behaviours and treat that as gospel.
Hire employees based on compatibility with cultural values – an employee that does not align with your workplace culture’s values can undo the entire culture and will not represent your business effectively. Hiring according to cultural fit is just as important as technical skills.
Don’t let the fear of failure stifle your team – after Halfbrick had so much success their developers were scared to release anything new which put the brakes on their success for some time.
“70% is a near perfect” – don’t let perfectionism control your business. Get your product out there, see if it is viable, see what the consumer wants and tweak as you go.
Autonomy without accountability leads to heartbreak – allow your employees freedom but ensure checks and balances are in place.
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We hope this helps business owners and managers out there that are wanting to improve their company culture. And remember…
“Culture is an extension of you, the founder.” – Shainiel Deo