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Culture Compass

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“Culture.”

It’s definitely the buzzword of the last decade. Companies hire for culture fit, coworking communities strive every day to create it. But what defines a culture, let alone a good culture, and how do you build a great culture?

At GCUC in Los Angeles this week, CO+HOOTS Community Manager, Kay Transtrum, and I led one of the unconference sessions. The title of the session was Happy Team, Happy Culture. We talked about how to build a happy team and how your team affects the culture of your community. The discussion was lively and hopefully useful.

Kay and I spent a lot of time talking about culture throughout the week. One thing became clear to me during the session and our conversations: the ways in which cultures are created may vary, but the indicators of a good culture are the same.

Conversation: are your members talking to one another or are they mostly silent, keeping to themselves?

Respect: do your members speak to staff and about each other with respect or are they arrogant and entitled?

Responsibility: when problems arise (whether conflicts with another member or a clogged toilet), do members try to resolve them on their own or do they rely on staff to arbitrate or fix problems?

Generosity: are member relationships transactional or do members willingly volunteer some of their time and energy to help one another?

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