Rule Breaking Culture Tips


Did you know that our co-founder David Gardner hosts a weekly (free!) podcast called Rule Breaker Investing? If you need some background, David is one of the most trusted sources on investing, a best-selling author, and overall wonderfully friendly – and very Foolish – guy. We all have a lot to learn from David and, in this week’s podcast, he chats company culture with Lee Burbage – Chief People Fool – and Kara Chambers – our Engagement, Feedback, and Compensation Fool.

Fools focus on long-term investing, and David admits to researching company culture in many of his investing decisions. Think about it: if a company values employees and treats them well, productivity will increase. In an ideal long-term scenario, high performance mixed with hard work will build a profitable business. When you look at it this way, considering organizational culture in investment decisions seems pretty valid.

But back to David’s podcast – which you can read and/or listen to here. David asked Lee and Kara to share 10 tips (not in perfect rank order!) that we practice at The Motley Fool. So what’s in it for you? Well, we think this advice is helpful – and easily adaptable to your organization or professional life.

Without further ado, here are their 10 tips:

1. It’s all about Purpose. We believe Fools come to work for a purpose they believe in, plus they’re able to collaborate with people they love. Fools are excited about their jobs and that’s extremely important.

2. Restlessness is a good thing. You should want an employee to be eager to take on more.

3. Communication is Leadership. Strive to communicate everything all the time because, with information, people have the power to make decisions on their own.

4. Lead with Trust. Honesty is a Foolish core value, and our unique policies (like the no vacation one) are successful because Fools work in an environment that’s deeply-rooted in trust.

5. Lee’s favorite: We try to make nothing mandatory. Some stuff has to be (or we probably wouldn’t be in business), but consider making a policy or practice compelling instead.

6. Be Original. Try to do things no one else is doing. David suggests, “Think about how you can be original and improve your office life.”

7. Make Memories Together. When you get to know someone on a personal level, the relationship can help make tough decisions easier to handle down the road.

8. Show the Love. Fools enjoy sharing recognition among coworkers through a tool called YouEarnedIt. Kara brings up an important point: gratitude is very good for your morale.

9. Let Employees Tell You the Tools They Need. We can’t mind-read what a Fool requires to do their best work. One benefit we offer is PYOD (Pick Your Own Device), which allows Fools to choose whatever technology they need to be productive.

10. Embrace Healthy Living. You don’t have to build a formal program, and exercising or eating well is certainly not mandatory at the Fool. However, over time it’s grown into a company-wide passion. We’re currently sitting at 90% wellness participation!

This post doesn’t even cover the whole podcast! There’s plenty more to learn from David, Lee, and Kara on best culture practices here. Be sure to tweet feedback (and follow!) Rule Breaker’s Podcast, plus @FoolCulture for updates on what’s going on at The Motley Fool!

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