Delivering Happiness Shares Tips for Building a Startup Culture

Delivering Happiness is hosting a Culture Builder Bootcamp at Work In Progress in downtown Las Vegas on September 28-29, 2015. The bootcamp is an interactive experience designed to lead participants through the first steps of building or scaling a values-based culture that will sustainably embed in their organization over time.

Christine Lai“We’ve hosted several culture bootcamps. One of our BFF clients, 360incentives (who attended a previous bootcamp), reached out because they are on-boarding their latest team members. They wanted to ensure they have the same core understanding about culture, purpose, and values,” explained Christine Lai, Chief of Staff at Delivering Happiness.

Lai says The Culture Builder Bootcamp is an experience the team at Delivering Happiness has designed to align and integrate individual and organizational purpose, as well as provide a strong foundation around values and tangible takeaways on implementing the science of happiness into everyday work. The bootcamps are full of business leaders, culture changemakers, and entrepreneurs who are committed to putting culture first.

Delivering Happiness is Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s first book, which launched in 2010 and has since sold over 600,000 copies worldwide, hit #1 on bestsellers lists like the New York Times and USA Today. It has been voted one of the best business books by NPR, Inc. Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

“Delivering Happiness started as a book on his business philosophy and lessons learned in focusing and prioritizing company culture and employee happiness,” said Lai. “Today, DH is a coach-sultancy, a combination of coaching and consulting. We work with organizations on creating sustainable cultures to drive business objectives and profits.”

The team works with companies of all sizes, and Lai shares that some of her favorite engagements with early-stage companies involve aligning and identifying the founding team’s higher purpose and values. She says that’s fundamental to creating a strong culture.

The team at Delivering Happiness has hosted and participated in a number of startup-focused events, including Collision Conference.

“We’ve also hosted events with General Assembly and WeWork where we dive into defining purpose, both at an individual and organizational level, as well as introduce culture and the science behind using happiness as a business model,” said Lai.

Lai says the Delivering Happiness team often shares 3 culture tips with startup founders who are just starting out:

  1. Define values. Be clear and intentional in defining your values. These values need to be aligned and lived by everyone on the team, especially from you as the founder.
  2. Be mindful of hires. Cultivate culture as your company grows. Hire and fire fast on culture and how people uphold your values. This can make or break the success of your company’s growth by making a bad hire.
  3. Culture is a journey, not a destination. Culture is constantly evolving as your business and team evolve. Build in co-ownership and transparency from the beginning with your team to engage and involve them. When things are not working, evolve to ensure your culture continues to be authentic to you and your team.

“Something we commonly see missing, and is also sometimes a mistake folks are making, in early-stage startups is relying on a culture by default versus a culture by design,” she explains. “Especially in the early days of a growing company, it’s important to articulate an intentional purpose and set of values to guide the growth of a company, what we call Culture by Design. On the flip side, if “stuff just happens” and your team is not sure how you ended up where you are, whether it’s a good place or not, then you have a culture by default. Making that transition may seem daunting… it’s not, it’s being true to who you are, identifying it, and living and owning it. We’re always happy and here to help too!”

For those who cannot attend the Culture Builder Workshop, the Delivering Happiness team has been working with Branded Entrepreneurs Network to create an online course designed for entrepreneurs. Those interested can learn more and sign up for insights and tips here.

In addition, Lai suggests taking a look at the Delivering Happiness blog.

“A couple of our favorite, freshest blog posts are The Complexity of Culture and The Culture Muscle: Core Strength for Your Business,” she said.

The team chose Work In Progress as the venue for the bootcamp after a great experience last year.

“Work In Progress has been a wonderful partner and we hosted our last bootcamp there, so it was an easy decision to host it with them again this time around,” Lai said.

Interesting in attending the Culture Builder Workshop? Get all the details here!  Attendees will be inspired to design sustainable culture in their organization; develop specific, actionable takeaways and tools to apply immediately in their culture; and learn the Delivering Happiness frameworks and how they create better aligned, more productive workplaces.

Registration closes September 21, 2015 and those interested can contact [email protected] for a special Work In Progress members registration price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.