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November 1st, 2013

What makes a great culture

Since being named Ad Age Small Agency of the Year for our culture a few months ago, we’ve gotten a ton of people (READ: our Aunt Faith) asking, “How’d you build such a great culture?” Great question, Aunt Faith. The answer? We didn’t. Our people did. Fact is, our most valuable assets don’t just go down the elevator every night. They go down a super shaky, 16-foot, steel, spiral staircase. (Wait, maybe we should rethink that.)

So, instead of trying to manufacture a unique culture, why not just hire brilliantly talented, nice people who value what you value (e.g., great work, the golden rule, free pop, tortured artists Christmas Ale, Folgers, jorts, affordable cost of living, etc.), and then set them free?

Instead of trying to motivate your employees with blah blah corporate values and motivational acronyms (time for a H.U.G.—Hearts Understand Goodness?), why not just hire self-motivated people who happen to be nice?

Yes, we’re oversimplifying things to prove a very simple point: stop making it so difficult and stop taking yourself so dang seriously. Seriously. If you hire them, they will build it. (Yep, even Field of Dreams got it wrong.)

Trust us. Actually, trust them. Or as Byrd might say, find your S.T.A.T.E. (Wait, what?!)