Crafting Culture: Protecting and Supporting Creativity
When was the last time that you felt truly heard? Not the kind of heard where a person is able to recite the information that you just gave them, but a deeper kind of heard, where someone steps into your shoes and truly understands the feelings you’ve experienced about a subject. This type of understanding is an extreme rarity and something that's even harder to cultivate within a group of people.
Over the past year at Drive we’ve been digging into what we want our culture to be defined by. We’ve been trying to find out the qualities that we want clients, friends and team members to identify us with when they think of what Drive is. While this process has required a lot of thinking outside the box, I’ve been able to observe a few critically important things.
1) Embrace Failure - At first glance, this may sound like the opposite of good culture, but we’ve actually observed it to be quite the opposite. One of the best things that we’ve been able to offer to our creative team is the ability to fail. This has freed them to take risks and not be afraid of the ramifications of their creative risks. In the words of food critic Anton Ego in Disney’s Ratatouille, “The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, The New needs friends”
2) Give everyone a voice - There tends to be this belief that you have to insert “director” in front of or behind your title in order to have a voice in decision making. Because we have a small team, putting in a little extra effort to include everyone in the discussion ensures that everyone is engaged in what's going on, and helps bring insightful ideas to the table that the “directors” might not have thought of.
3) Let people know they’re cared for - The truth is that a human heart is a human heart and we should intentionally treat each other with this in mind. One thing we try to do with one another is care for each other in ways that don’t relate to work, whether it's celebrating birthdays or letting people have a more flexible schedule to take time for personal matters. The result is a group of people that feel that their needs are met at a deeper level, and not just in a superficial way.
Creating a healthy defined culture is a constant challenge, but ultimately, this process creates a stronger group of individuals that can more effectively come together to make things that leave an impact. While we’ve certainly not mastered the process of creating a more healthy culture at Drive, it's been a fun adventure to work together towards getting better everyday.