Last month we discussed how Mytech was taking some time to reflect on how our organization was doing with respect to culture. One of our values at Mytech is “Set the next person up for success.” Perhaps your organization is struggling with its culture or you are just starting on the journey to define or redefine your organization’s culture. The following exercise which we just went through, might set you up for success for that journey.
We felt the best way to really understand what is culturally important to people is to just ask them. A few weeks ago we held some culture brainstorming lunches. Three was our magic number based on the size of our Minnesota locations and two was the magic number for our Colorado location. We wanted to ensure that everyone had an opportunity to make it to at least one of these lunches to ensure their voices were heard. The goal of the brainstorming lunch was to facilitate an opportunity for people to identify from their perspective the good and bad about the current culture and identify future initiatives. The important key for effective brainstorming is to not inhibit it. The only rule was no personal attacks. We utilized the Post-It brainstorming method (much like the GE workout). If you haven’t experienced this just YouTube or Google it. This is a highly engaging method that provides enough anonymity to give people the courage to write down what they are really feeling or experiencing. After each brainstorming session each person received six stickers to vote on what was really important to them. This helped prioritize and break it down to simpler categories. After each session the top ten topics were then identified and highlighted at the next lunch. This is where people were able to provide input on how to either correct any issues or ideas on how to drive future initiatives forward.
It is sometimes difficult to set expectations on something that you have never done before. That is how we felt as we started this exercise, but the results were overwhelming and wonderful. We had over 95% participation organization-wide, which equaled to over three-hundred and sixty ideas that were provided from the team. This was extremely exciting and a huge step forward on our journey to reframe the culture at Mytech.