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Diversity may seem like the new buzz word in today’s global landscape, however in a world where talent is becoming harder to retain diversity is in fact a word for all business leaders and entrepreneurs to pay attention to. Many people consider diversity to be about equality in gender and race, however it spreads further than that. To be diverse and stay ahead of the game today requires an understanding of culture on a broader level, this includes recognising what makes both your team and your customers unique, their background, their interests and their needs.

Of course on the point of gender diversity, I personally support it, we need more women in startups. Today at Pollenizer we have a 30:70 female:male ratio across our broader team, in the coming year we have a goal to improve this to 40:60. We’d like to get to 50:50 by the close of 2016. In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) talks about the need for women to ‘sit at the table’, a principal I totally agree with and continually try to improve on a personal level, however leaning in shouldn’t just be about supporting females to have a voice in business or in life for that matter, quite often males too struggle to be heard. Closing the gender gap is in Pollenizers’ ‘Do’ column, our focus however, is to get the balance right and turn our attention to maintaining a healthy culture in general.

It’s all too easy to get overly busy running a startup, let’s face it we tend to channel all our energy on the next product launch, the burning platform, the need to raise money, the next iteration, making a sale, the list goes on and on but often we fail to include all important culture checkins. This can be a very real reason for a startup to fail and a big reason for the loss of great talent from your team.

Articulating company culture requires some deep thinking. How do we capture multi-cultural needs as we work across borders? What are the company values? Does the whole team believe in the companies mission? Do they all have the same vision of what the company is trying to do and what it aspires to be? I know there’s lot to cover isn’t there? If you haven’t mapped out your company’s culture yet now might be the time to grab this by the horns and #JDFI

You might now be wondering what is #JFDI – Just F****** Do It, this is one of the three values that align us to work together as a team at Pollenizer. We recently revisited our company values and decided we had a few too many, here’s what we condensed them to:

JFDI – Don’t wait, you are on fire

Our platform is burning. We cannot wait. We must act while there is still time. We like the challenge of that. No job is beneath us. Stop dreaming. Start doing.

Flearn – Don’t be afraid

We believe that speed of learning is the most important tactic for survival and, eventually, success. We seek to turn hypothesis into fact. We will take risks to do so because a failure is a small price to pay for a learning. We are addicted to learning.

Clarity – Be understood

Our world moves so fast, we communicate with crystal clarity.

A healthy company culture is one that motivates your team, satisfies your customers and generally drives revenue through positive engagement. Think about what tools you and your team might benefit from using to provide a central hub for your business communications, if you’re like Pollenizer and you have distributed global team I can recommend:

Wooboard – An employee recognition platform for a happy, motivated and productive workplace.

Slack – Brings all your communications together in one place.

As the world becomes more and more globalised there is a greater need to better understand and respect cultural differences. Embrace diversity, start making regular culture health checks in your business.


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