Fostering a Culture First Environment

Updated on
May 22, 2024

by Tim McMullen

Caring for our culture is in everyone’s job description​

When I am focused on evolving myself and the people around me through an emphasis on our company culture, it makes me LOVE LOVE LOVE waking up and getting to work. A culture-first mentality works to motivate my purpose and behaviors here at redpepper.

One person that really helps me keep this mindset top-of-mind is Simon Sinek. He gave a powerful talk at Live2Lead in 2016 that I’ve embedded below — I highly encourage you to go watch his presentation with notebook in hand. I thought I’d share a few of his points about leadership and company focus to help me drive home that fostering a culture-first environment is a universal responsibility.

Focus on Development

As Sinek emphasizes, great leaders don’t just focus on the results of the business, they focus on the well being of the people producing the results. He calls it, “caring for those in our charge.”

“Development” is another word we might use here — the development of people in our charge. There is so much meaning that can be built into this, and I want to keep getter better at instilling that meaning and putting action behind it.

Actively supporting personal growth — it’s one of our core values at redpepper. The more we help people develop and peak perform, the more we will all be inspired to achieve things together.

Strive for Longevity

Using game theory, Sinek encourages us to change our perspective on what we’re trying to achieve. He tells us that we can either think of our company as a game we’re trying to win, or we can think of it as a game we want to keep going for as long as possible.

I recently gave a presentation to redpepper on the definition of intelligence. It stemmed from Alex Wissner-Gross’s TED Talk on the subject in which he defined intelligence as the maximization of future options.

Which of the above game theories more closely mirrors this definition of intelligence? The longer we strive to exist, learn and grow, the more we’ll be able to contribute to our culture, ourselves, and our clients.

Care for the Cloud

redpepper’s purpose, and the purpose of any growth-oriented company, is to foster an environment where each person’s creativity thrives and benefits others.

This may seem a tad odd, but I picture our culture as this cloud floating about 10 ft above us. And we can all see it, care for it, tap into it, and give to it.

Fostering environment, living the common values, engaging with the floating cloud — it’s in each of our job descriptions.

Our goal is not to perfect our culture. Our goal is to never stop caring for it.

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