5 Building Blocks for a Thriving Culture

Are you looking for the keys to unlocking a successful work environment? Adam Witty, CEO of Advantage Media Group, gives his ideas for creating a positive atmosphere.

What makes a successful business thrive? That’s what eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs would like to know, because their businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg.
You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders, that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together, and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry – that’s the question.
Of course, you need folks with the right qualifications who are willing to bring their A-game every day – that’s crucial. But there are also character traits to look for: a positive, can-do attitude, for instance. If a person doesn’t fit in the mix, not only will he or she be less likely to bring their best, they can also compromise everyone else’s game.
Every CEO wants to get that “hum” going, both in the office and in one’s respective industry. Here are some tips.
•  Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait. An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table – perhaps more than you were expecting – and that “something extra” as a human being. Of course, that isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time to see the true colors of a talented individual to come through.
This speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager, which may be the CEO, in the case of a small business. Also, it’s important to have A-players who put the team first. Egomaniacs who can’t collaborate can grind productivity to a screeching halt.
• The importance of having fun … Having fun not only helps your team to do well, it’s a sign that you’re doing things right. Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do. Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm, while tending to the tasks at hand.
•  Make employees and clients your extended family. A family environment significantly facilitates a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers and other crucial relationships of the business. Without these folks, your business couldn’t survive.
• Direction: understanding the “why;” encourage difference-makers. Team members should be driven by the ‘why’ of what they do. In the case of my company, Advantage Media Group, the right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.
• Commit to lifelong learning. Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every member of your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences and skills, people lead a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.
Adam Witty is founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, in Charleston, S.C., an international publisher of business, self-improvement, and professional development books and online learning. He was selected for Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30 list of America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” in 2011 and Advantage Media Group is among the fastest-growing private companies in America.