Build Culture. Grow Impact.
At Catchafire, building the right culture is a priority. It’s central to maintaining a happy and productive team. It’s key to retaining and recruiting amazing and dynamic talent. The right culture spurs creative problem solving and pushes innovation – key elements that are especially important to a growing a social good organization. Here are top 5 tips for building your social good organization’s culture:
- Hire people better than you: Hire people that will compliment your team’s strengths and address areas of weakness. The goal is to hire new talent that will encourage others to be better and push themselves harder, personally and professionally, as a result of the new person’s presence.
- Hire People Invested in your Social Mission: There are many do-gooders and changemakers in the world. Hiring people interested in doing good is not enough. Hire people that are invested in your specific social mission. They will likely have more ownership of your social mission and be thoughtful and driven to achieve it.
- Build a Culture of Shipping: In launching a new product, service, or project, do not shoot for perfection. Aspire to ship quickly, and iterate, iterate, and iterate. We have standing meetings to limit lengthy meetings. While ideation is incredibly important, focus on execution – this is key to an agile team looking to scale social impact quickly.
- Build a Culture of Best Mistakes: Mistakes and failures are inevitable. Every Monday, we have an all-hands meeting to discuss priorities for the coming week and each person’s best mistake from the past week. Provide a forum where team members can openly talk about failures, mistakes and areas for improvement. This is the best way for the team to capture all the valuable learnings that come from it.
- Build a Culture of 1%: In addition to celebrating best mistakes, we also celebrate successes at our Monday morning all-hands meeting. We borrowed the idea of 1% from our friends at Skillshare. It’s simple – celebrate individual or team initiatives that push your organization forward 1% or more. Everyone pushing the organization for 1% in aggregate equates to significant improvement and growth, and, importantly, 1% improvements are achievable on a daily basis. Making the time and space to celebrate your teammates successes is inspiring and encourages a culture where anyone can be a leader and make significant impact.
Read more about Catchafire’s culture and values here. Interested in building your nonprofits or social enterprises’ culture? Check out this Catchafire Project:
Work with a Catchafire Pro Bono Professional to help manage and build a culture tailored for your organization’s needs here.
Ryan Letada is a Senior Account Manager at Catchafire. He is a Fulbright Fellow and co-founder of eKindling. He writes on impact investing and capacity building for social good organizations. You can follow him at @rletada