For better or worse, culture is a driving force in the workplace.
Whether you’re a small startup or a massive corporation, if you have employees, you have a culture.
Think 3D Solutions is a Sioux Falls-based consulting firm specializing in leadership development and organizational culture.
Vaney Hariri co-founded Think 3D four years ago with Tamien Dysart, after years in the finance world.
Hariri had experience working in call centers, an industry he says suffers from high rates of attrition.
“We noticed what can happen if you don’t have an optimized, ideal culture in the workplace,” Hariri said.
Hariri says the issues that typically occur in companies with problematic cultures are a lack of effective communication, leadership development, or coaching opportunities.
Hariri and Dysart work with companies to customize a solution based on their resources and willingness to put in the work.
“What we require is willingness,” Hariri said. “We may not be able to do everything we see in our minds that can be done, because time is always a commodity, but if you want to do the work, we can make it work.”
Who needs help with organizational culture?
According to Hariri, most people know they have an issue in their company’s culture, but they don’t know what to do about it.
“If your business has a poor culture, and then those people are going out into the world, they affect the lives of other people,” Hariri said. “A lot of people are overstressed and overworked, and that has an economic and an energy impact on the community.”
Hariri says culture issues aren’t solely about losing people, it’s about having trouble getting them as well.
“When you’re just trying to get a warm body in the door, you can’t be discerning, you aren’t taking your time, and you’re increasing your chances of getting culture misfits,” Hariri said. “It gets you on that hamster wheel of losing good people and bringing in the wrong people.”
A common issue Hariri says companies run into with hiring is the expectation that employees will immediately be the perfect fit.
“You have to be prepared to develop them, welcome them, and engage them,” he said. “The idea that you can put out this call to people, and you’ll find a ready-made person that sees the world the way you do is a ridiculous concept.”
Previously, pay used to be the primary differentiating factor between jobs. While pay remains an important factor, today’s workforce expects more, namely a positive culture.
“Most people have their positions on work informed by the effects it had on their parents,” Hariri said. “Now, as culture becomes an industry, it’s important that people understand the skills it takes to create a successful one.”
Getting companies engaged and invested in culture early is key.
“The general thought process is that it’s expensive, and they don’t have funds to invest, but as a startup there’s a lot of things you can do that don’t have to do with money at all,” Hariri said. “That could be developing effective communication, a process for developing and coaching that doesn’t cost any money”
Hariri stresses the importance of considering culture before it becomes a problem.
“Once there’s a problem, it can cost a bit,” he said. “A culture will emerge whether intended or not. If it’s not one you invest in, it’ll be one you pay for.”
Adding to their lineup of cultural and leadership development services, Think 3D launched CultureCon last year, as an opportunity to pull together professionals, students, and businesses that are involved and engaged in culture.
CultureCon is unique in its structure as a single track conference, meaning attendees remain in the same room the entire day, rather than dispersing to breakout sessions.
“We speak at a lot of different conferences, and the issue is that a lot of those conferences put too much pressure on the keynote and not enough energy on the learning process,” Hariri said. “We want people to have shared experiences, because then they’re more likely to do something about it. Most people only retain a small percentage of information, so it’s important that everyone’s getting the same messaging.”
The first annual CultureCon sold out last year, to around 300 attendees. Hariri says they were grateful for positive feedback, particularly how excited people were about the energy.
“A lot of the time, conferences aren’t meant to engage,” he said. “So we said, ‘How can we make this interesting for the attendee, how can we get the butterflies going?’, instead of just doing your canned thing.”
This year’s CultureCon will take place on October 29, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Tickets for the day-long event will go on sale in early August.
Early bird pricing will be $69.00 for an individual or $425.00 for a table, and regular pricing will be $89.00 for individuals and $525 for tables.
The second annual CultureCon is proud to feature an all-female speaker lineup, including Lisa Brouwer of Full Throttle Living, Kira Kimball of Howalt+McDowell, and Jennifer M. Reecy of First National Bank.
The conference schedule will be released on CultureCon’s website soon, and sponsorships are still available. Individuals or companies interested in sponsoring CultureCon can email Think 3D for more information.
For a recap of CultureCon 2018, check out the video below.
Two Things You Can Do This Week:
- Set a reminder to purchase early bird tickets for CultureCon 2019 when they go on sale in August.
- Follow Think 3D on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, and enjoy inspiring content from the team.