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Organizational Culture: Living Without Filters – But With Values

Creating and maintaining our culture becomes even more important, as does having something that acts as a guide to drive decision-making processes

Ricardo Guerrero
April 6, 2019
Organizational Culture: Living Without Filters

Financial crises. Bad investments. Fights among partners. These are just a few of the many fuck ups we’ve head throughout the years.  And while there is a wide range of reasons for failure, one of the most common (and harmful) we’ve seen is a poor, toxic, or even nonexistent organizational culture.

That’s why we’ve tried to constantly build up our own. From simple things like a team-lunch once a week, and FUN Fridays, a meeting every Friday where we share and discuss interesting topics that don’t necessarily have anything to do with work, to larger initiatives like a retreat at the end of year on the beaches of Belize (side-note: click here to read about that time we were almost kicked out of Belize at the border.) – we’re always trying to improve and strengthen the culture at Fuckup Nights.

And as our HQ staff grows along with the global movement, creating and maintaining that culture becomes even more important, as does having something that acts as a guide to drive decision-making and initiatives.

During our fledgling years, the Fuckup Manifesto acted as this guide. It was the first stone of the movement, and guided the initial Global Team.  But as anyone who has grown and scaled up a business knows – what worked when you were 2-5 people, doesn’t necessarily work when you become 10-15 people, or 50-75 people, and so on.

The Fuckup Nights Process to Define Organizational Values

First, we took a look at what some of the biggest and most successful companies are doing: Netflix, Google, Facebook. But we wondered if their organizational culture was strong just by virtue of being big and successful – so we scrapped any pre-conceived notions we got from them and designed a process where all the voices on our teams could be heard at small work sessions. We arranged four sessions with four team members in each one, creating a space to merge opinions and visions from founders and coworkers, spread across Mallorca, Ottawa and Mexico City. Different roles and perspectives were key to achieving a culture that represented and spoke to all of us.

We then asked each member some questions, including:

  • Walk me through a meaningful moment you experienced while working here. What happened? Why was that moment meaningful?
  • If you could choose 3 words to describe the team at Fuckup, what would they be?
  • At the end of the day, what is one thing the team at Fuckup will be remembered for?
Fuckuppín holding our Disruptor Foundation Fellow Award

It was then we realized the importance of sharing with authenticity. Take our FUN Fridays, for instance, where trust is nurtured and vulnerability is encouraged by the team. This weekly meeting lets members feel comfortable and safe enough to open up and share deeply personal experiences, decisions, and moments where they’ve had difficult conversations.

There are also several inside jokes, like the arrival of our bizarre mascot -Fuckuppín- after being purchased rescued at a church fundraising sale; or the conspiracy theory about Jason (our dearest Ottawa member) about how he only exists in our collective imagination, since no one has ever met him in person.

With all of this in their hands, the facilitators (shout out to Ile and Pepe) created 5 categories to encompass everything they heard over the course of this process, and then, developed short phrases to describe the Fuckupper way (that is to say, funny and deep), the soul in the way we do things.

Fuckup Nights organizational values

Living Without Filters - We can’t avoid being authentic and open.
Have The Difficult Conversation - We take a stand because we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
Be 1% Better Every Day - We believe that fulfillment comes from growing our capacities for impact.
Defeat Your Ego - We strive to be vulnerable and self-aware to build a connection.

We keep growing, hiring and looking for ways to keep this movement as human as possible, vulnerable, and authentic.

We know, thanks to many fuck ups, that organizational culture is everything.

Bring the Failure Culture to your company, learn more about The Failure Program here.

Editado por

Raquel Rojas

Organizational Culture: Living Without Filters – But With Values


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