Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Risk & Business Magazine Fall 2017 | Page 14

TEAM CULTURE BY: ARI MEISEL, SPEAKER, BESTSELLING AUTHOR & ENTREPRENEUR Team Culture There’s An App For That O n a Tuesday night in August of 2015, we sat down to have dinner at a restaurant in lower Manhattan. When we got up from the table that night, the wheels were already set in motion for us to create a new company called Leverage. Today our company, which provides the world’s most capable on demand staff, relies on a team of nearly 100 independent contractors in 16 time zones. The majority of them have never met but our team culture is so strong that they band together to do nearly 1000 hours of collective work each week and describe the experience as the best job they’ve ever had. This didn’t happen by accident since we knew how important sharing the right 14 attitudes and behaviors would be the thing that would lead us to succeed as a team. The current state of technology and the economy allow for infinite freedom. Most freelancers can work just as well from a hammock on a beach in Thailand as they can at a coffee shop in Austin, TX. The problem with that kind of freedom is an all too common sense of disconnect. The lone wolf worker begins to lack the motivation that inherently comes from surrounding yourself with people undergoing the same struggles and triumphs as you. It becomes difficult to feel or even recognize the impact your work might have. Compound remote work with the asynchronous nature your communication tends to take when working across time zones and you’ve got a clear and present danger to the efficacy of your team. We have valued transparency since the beginning. We have no corporate structure nor do we have titles. People might own a process, such as hiring, or content, but that just designates them as point person rather than a boss. We provide complete access to new and old members alike to contact us whenever they need help or could use some guidance. If someone has a question or needs something from us, they can send us a direct message in Slack or post a to do item in our public Trello list. We also want people to have autonomy to solve their own problems and encourage an attitude of constant improvement. The Kaizen system of continual improvement pioneered by Toyota makes it so that everyone is aske