Recently, we celebrated Mighty Block’s First Anniversary. This is a major milestone in the culture of a startup. That was the perfect time to share the final version of our core values to the team, and to remember how we got to this place. In this period, the company developed a healthy and strong culture that engages talented people and we want to share it with you through an interview with Franco Breciano, Mighty Block’s founder and CEO.
How could you describe the philosophy behind Mighty Block Culture?
FB: After going through the exercise of identifying the core values of the company, it became clear to me that the team values people who are a combination of talent, humbleness and serving other team members.
Another important pillar that was present throughout the exercise was the education piece. All the team members are hungry for knowledge and learning, because we are immersed in a very innovative and nascent space, which is Web3. Nobody has experience, regulators are still learning, the active user base is still small and the infrastructure is being built, just like in 1998.
I’m glad that the eight core values really reflect situations we’ve lived through. With our set of core values, we can now refer to them with words and quickly align our thinking. For example, when recruiting, it’s now easy to say “This candidate does not have a white belt attitude” and know exactly what the other person is talking about.
Why is launching the company’s core values such a milestone?
FB: Being happy at work is important for all of us. And when everything is ok with your job, but you are working with other members that don’t share your core values and views of the world, that can make your work miserable.
We have this clear since day one, so we waited for the right moment to gather the team and reflect on what makes us want to show up and build web3 products as a team. It’s such an important milestone because it means there is a critical mass of happy people at the company and there is a shared set of values that for us are important.
I personally think that companies with a high percentage of knowledge workers (nowadays more remote than ever) will have to come up with ways of staying united and having a strong culture, or otherwise they will lose talent to other companies that do have a well defined culture.
Here are some additional benefits of having the core values crystal clear:
- Define your culture. Your core values will set the tone of your organization. They will be the underlying foundation and character of your business and the people in it.
- Change the way you do business. When you have a solid foundation, everything else falls in to place. It gives you a standard to hold to, and helps you operate more efficiently.
- Attract like-minded people to your organization. When you have a clear set of values, potential employees and customers who have the same values will recognize them and seek you out.
- Weed out employees who are not a fit. Adhering to your core values will quickly identify who in your organization is not on board. Whether they leave on their own or are helped out the door, you will have an opportunity to fill the position with someone who shares in and believes in your values.
- Dictate how you review, reward and recognize your employees. Your employees will know what is required and have a clearer understanding of your expectations. Core Values give you a measurable standard, and make it easier for you to show appreciation and recognition to your support team.
Could you describe the process behind the core values definition?
FB: We are using the EOS methodology. Having a clear set of Core Values is the first step in establishing your organization’s Vision. Core Values identify who you are as a company, and offer guidelines and principles that help you run your business.
Establishing your business’s Core Values is not just a matter of sitting down with a piece of paper for a 15 minute brainstorming session. Defining your company’s core values is not a staff team project.
EOS recommends a more systematic approach, which involves a series of four steps taken during an offsite meeting with your key management team. Core Values steer the direction of your company, so they should not be complicated or overwhelming:
- Introduction to Core Values: we selected the group which had more than six months in the company because we needed to capture the attributes that they thought were very important from their teammates. We did a brief intro to EOS and explained why the Core Values were important for the company and to preserve the culture
- Identify attributes: we asked each participant to think of the 3 team members that they would like to clone. Those people that they love to work and interact with.
- Keep, Kill, Combine: once every participant submits his/her list of people and the attributes that makes them great, the Integrator must kill the ones that are not “Core Value material”, or are just attributes of the person that are not common in other people. Also the Integrator must combine duplicate or similar attributes and keep the ones that have the most potential. The result is a short list of up to 10 core values.
- Polish the Core Values & Communicate: finally, the short list of attributes must be polished with a clear and descriptive language. And they must be presented to all the team. We presented the core values at the office. I highly recommend this approach, maybe in the town hall or on a special occasion with many members gathered in the same space.
How do the core values work in practice?
FB: Once the core values are identified, it’s crucial to embed them into the day to day of the company. It just can’t be a list in a poster at the office that nobody notices.
Core Values are at the heart of all our processes. Some initiatives that are based on them:
Hiring: Our recruiting process was designed to identify if the candidate fit with our culture. Is not just a Hr responsability, all the team when interview someone, are looking for how they are aligned with our core value.
Recognition: A month ago we launched our core value-based recognition program to develop an appreciation culture and to reinforce particular behaviors, practices, or activities that result in cultural engagement.
If we have a people issue, we look for the core value behind the problem, to fix it.
To evaluate ourselves and to decide if somebody must leave the team.
What is the best part of working at Mighty block?
FB: Working with super smart people that have many years of experience and yet accept the fact that in web3 we are all amateurs. Also, transparency and being direct without taking things personally makes life easier for everybody and helps us recalibrate quickly when things go in the wrong direction.
Last but not least, we introduce our core values:
If you have any questions, comments you could contact us and we could share our experience deeply.