Creating a company so great that you’d be happy for your children to work there

Arif Harbott
Arif Harbott

We all have our own reasons for building a start-up: fame, fortune, adventure, excitement. Understanding your personal reason and nurturing it is at the heart of creating a company that you’re proud of and people want to work for.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

For me, the driving force behind building companies is to design a company culture so incredible that I would be happy for my children to work there.

I have worked in both good and bad organisations. I’ve had some incredible leaders and learnt from many inspirational line managers over my career. All of these experiences have given me the ingredients to craft my dream company culture.

Most people tolerate a lot of dysfunction in the workplace. Going to work should not be something that you dread. At Manacola we want to raise the bar, to the point that our kids would excel, grow and be happy working here.

Each startup founder has a different reason for building a company. Knowing and fuelling your reason is essential to shaping a successful company.

Why company culture matters

Culture is the glue that keeps the company together, especially through the difficult times. A well-designed culture creates happy employees, with lower staff turnover and better company performance. It’s a win-win.

But culture has to be consciously designed, and then fiercely guarded. It can be fragile so you have to consistently exhibit the behaviours everyday regardless of the situation.
When building a company culture, you need guiding principles that your company will live by. You need to document what good looks like and hold each other accountable, especially if the team is distributed like ours.

The following excerpt is from a document we wrote when we started hiring our team…

Our mission and values (culture)

Our mission is to change the world of delivery, to help companies transform.

We will do this in line with our values. Values that will guide us and help us grow as human beings.

  • Trust —We trust each other to do what we say we will do and to take responsibility for what we each need to deliver.
  • Courage — The courage to try, to fail and try again. The courage to build something that has never been built before. The courage to hold each other accountable. The courage to speak about our limitations, the courage to give each other feedback, to help us develop. The courage to challenge each other.
  • Vulnerability — To really show up as all of who we are: a brother, son, father, sister, mother, teacher, developer, painter, photographer, creator. There is no work you and real life you, just you. All of you is valued here.
  • Simplicity — To speak simply, to build simply.
  • Connection — We value connection with each other, to know each other, to support each other, in good times and challenges.
  • Love — To lead with our hearts, for us, our families and for our clients.
  • Learning — We don’t know it all. We should never believe we do. There are lessons available every day.

These are the values that get us out of the bed in the morning and keep us plugging away when the chips are down.

If we succeed, we will have built a company to be proud of.

A place where people thrive and become the best version of themselves.

Creating a company so great that you’d be happy for your children to work there
Scroll to top