Company Culture

At the best companies, "company culture" is more than just a buzzword. Here's how the most innovative companies make company culture real.

To get started, you may want to read articles about specific companies like Zappos, Amazon, Shopify, Wistia, and Buffer.

For a comprehensive look at company culture, read our guide Company Culture for Startups.

Google Didn’t Get It Wrong: The Open-Office Trend Just Isn’t Right For Your Workplace

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First we had hunting, then farms, then factories.

Then there were offices, with their doors and thick walls. Then cubicles, thinner and shorter walls and no doors.

Today, no more walls. No more doors. Want a picture of your kid on your desk? Better set it as your computer background. Because that chair is up for grabs tomorrow morning, pal. We all belong everywhere and nowhere in the cafeteria of modern work. We live in a strange new world. Your digital desktop is more permanent than your actual desktop.

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A scientific guide to creative juices [what they are and how to summon them]

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Does this happen to you?

It’s Friday and you’re sitting in an all-hands-on-deck staff meeting. The boss needs creative ideas for next quarter. “Concentrate!” You’re told. “Be creative!”

You concentrate with all your might, but you’ve got nothing.

The next day you’re outside cutting the grass. There’s the steady hum of the lawnmower engine, the rhythmic predictability of the mowing pattern. Your mind slows down, wanders. Drifts off. But suddenly.

Lightbulb.

Some creative idea nearly knocks you over. It’s brilliant. Where was that kind of thinking when you needed it in yesterday’s meeting?

The answer has to do with our creative juices. And the science behind them. And although “creative juices” isn’t exactly a scientific term, there’s plenty of science behind what we understand to be creative juices.

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Why Remote Companies Are Doing Employee Perks Better Than Google

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Employee perks. The idea rushed into our vocabulary sometime around the year 2000. The world feared Y2K, it got foosball and laundry service. Since then perks at tech companies have covered all positions on the field, from the practical (catered lunch) to the silly (birthday parties).

Some perks — casual dress, equity — are so common in Silicon Valley that they don’t even seem like perks anymore. We take them for granted.

In your parents’ or grandparents’ day, insurance and sick days were the only perks needed. Even weekends and holidays started out as a wacky and progressive idea. Those days are gone. Today’s employees expect ping pong, pizza Fridays and bring your dog to work policies. Or at least that’s what we’re told.

In reality, many companies are evolving their understanding of what a good employee perk really is. We’ve gone from the early perks of the dot-com bubble (ping pong tables to seem cool and attract press attention) to the perks designed to help keep you sitting on your squishy exercise ball writing code all night. Now, a new kind of perk is emerging, and remote companies are leading the way.

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How To Solve The 8 Causes Of Workplace Conflict

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The workplace is for work. You’re are here to get things done, grow the business, improve the world and get better at whatever it is that you do.

It’s not a place for squabbling with coworkers, managers and subordinates. But that’s what seems to happen. Workplace conflict is everywhere, eating up productivity and taking precious time away from the things that really matter.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The causes of workplace conflict are recognizable. In separate articles on workplace conflict, psychologists Art Bell and Brett Hart identified eight common causes of conflict in the workplace. Think about the conflicts you’ve had in the workplace. You’d be hard-pressed to find on you can’t trace back to one of these root causes.

It’s important to see workplace conflict this way, as a symptom of a great structural problem. That argument with the boss over coming in on Saturday isn’t really about coming in on Saturday. It’s about the misaligned expectations and poor communication that led you to have to come in on Saturday. In other words, the problem is bigger than the problem.

Thankfully, smart and innovative companies are changing the way we work — and eradicating the causes of workplace conflict at the source. Here’s a look at the eight causes and what great companies are doing about them.

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How To Obsess Over Customers Like Jeff Bezos

obsess over customers like Jeff Bezos
What external metric is your company most proud of? Facebook likes? SEO ranking?

For Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, it just might be this: each year, the company is ranked at the top of its category and often top overall on a national index measuring customer satisfaction among America’s largest companies.

Sounds a little dry, a little technical. But it reflects Amazon’s mission in the strongest way possible.

Bezos is famously customer-focused. “Obsess over customers,” he has said. While some companies chose to obsess over competition (or default to obsessing over competition because it feels right) Bezos has consistently chose to push Amazon to obsess over the customer.

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Asynchronous Communication Is The Future Of Work

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Synchronous communication. Add this to the long list of things about working that will puzzle your grandkids.

“Tell us about fax machines again, grandpa.”

“And what about synchronous communication?”

Well just have a seat, sonny. Let me tell you a story.

Synchronous communication meant when I exchanged information at the office, you had to send AND receive the information at the same time. So I would call someone on the phone, wait for them to pick up, say some information while at the exact same moment they received that information. It happened all the time. Even way back in 2015 when we had all sorts of tools to stop it, it happened all the time.

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Why I Ignored a Late-Night Email From My New Boss (And You Should Too)

 

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It came, like most terrible and dangerous things, in the night.

OK so like 9:30.

But late enough. It arrived through the buzz of my phone. A new message in my inbox. A message from my new boss. And on week two of my tenure here at iDoneThis. The subject matter was nothing time sensitive, he wanted to introduce me to Jimmy Daly, an excellent writer and content marketer (whom you can find here).

I immediately opened the email and started typing a reply. I was excited. I felt that rush of opportunity. That ah-ha here’s my chance moment. Then I stopped myself. I deleted the draft and put my phone in my pocket. This is dangerous, I realized.

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Company Culture for Startups

company culture for startups

The Practical Guide to Company Culture for Startups

Company culture can be an enigmatic idea to a first-time startup founder, but it’s an absolutely vital resource that can buoy your company in tough times, that’s like jet fuel when times are good, and that can mean the difference between survival and giving up.

In this guide, we want to make company culture a concrete concept to you that you can make real in your company today. We use practical examples from leading companies and entrepreneurs that are on the bleeding edge of innovating company culture into a competitive advantage.

Let us know on Twitter at @idonethis what you think about this guide and share with us how your company is developing and cultivating its culture.

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Transparency for Startups—A Practical Guide

Transparency for Startups

A Practical Guide to Transparency for Startups

Join the movement that’s changing how companies are grown and run

By law, a public company can’t be transparent about how it operates, but a startup can. The ability to be transparent is an advantage unique to startups and, done right, it can drive company culture, employee happiness & retention, marketing, community building, and all other aspects of your business.

Moreover, transparency is an essential movement that’s changing the way that companies are built because it has the potential to make work more human and fulfilling.

In this guide, we cover why transparency is so valuable and important, and we give you concrete advice on how to make transparency real in your company using examples from how the best startups are doing it today.  After you get a chance to read our guide, we’d love to hear what you think on Twitter at @idonethis.

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Don’t Just Build Product, Build the Machine that Builds the Product

First-time entrepreneurs often think building a product is the same as building a company, but experienced entrepreneurs know better.

To 3 seasoned entrepreneurs, building product is just the first step in a long journey, and it’s not even the hard part.  Building product is hard, but building the machine that builds the product is even harder.

Dennis Crowley, Foursquare, on how to build product

“The hard part is building the machine that builds the product.”

Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder/CEO of Foursquare

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