When and why did it become so trendy to sneer at trendy offices? To make fun of the beer fridges, bean bag chairs and ping pong tables? Talk about how it’s such a waste of time, how having trendy offices aren’t going to sell product, how it’s a joke?

Because of COURSE those things are not going to create innovative, collaborative, motivated workplaces… but why are you assuming that’s what they were ever meant to do?

You’re missing the point my friend.

The bean bags were NEVER about the bean bags. They were about a key ingredient that is so subtle it’s often overlooked.

Congruence.

Do you do the things you say matter in your team? Do you create the environment so that what you SAY is a key aspect of your values or culture can actually happen?

When you say ‘Here at my company we value innovation’... and yet your staff have outdated tech, you frown on failure and punish anyone who tries anything new… you don’t value innovation. You’re just saying that because you think it sounds good on a recruitment poster.

Employees can smell bullshit a mile away (as can clients, investors and partners).  You have to DO the things you SAY you care about. You have to put your money where your mouth is.

Here’s the bottom line. Be absolutely clear about your values and your culture. Stop trying to bullshit the latest college grads about valuing transparency, innovation and collaboration… and then having a rigid hierarchy, secretive politics and a paranoid fear of failure. Bullshit my friend. Nothing will scare a new hire away quicker than a whiff of bullshit.

Be honest. Do the things you say are important to you and your company.

You say honesty is key to your success - what are you actually doing to implement and measure that? How do you treat people who give YOU tough feedback?

You say your culture is all about teamwork - how do you invest in your team dynamics? How do you give people the tools and resources they need to build a strong team?

You say saving client’s money is key, ok great, have ugly offices and outdated tech AND explain on a very regular basis WHY you have ugly offices and outdated tech (because trust me they’re going to assume it’s because you’re lining up a sweet bonus for yourself).

Forget about sneering at the bean bag chairs - they’re doing the things they need to do to be congruent with what their culture and values are all about, leave them to it.

...What are you doing?

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