NEWS

Firesnap's Culture Code (and the Art of Being Excellent to Each Other)

by Dustin J. Hall | 10 MIN READ

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Don't worry, this isn't the beginning of an infomercial-like tirade of self-righteousness. I just felt like writing this myself because, well, I love this company and the people in this company.

(Plus, if the President of any company can't accurately articulate their culture, what use is it anyway?)

If you're considering working at Firesnap, this contains the most important things we require of all Firesnap employees.

If you're a company considering hiring Firesnap as your digital marketing agency, this provides great insight into who we are and what we're about.

So, here's the deal...

I'll promise to spare you the cheesy acronyms and heart-shaped flow charts if you promise to actually read this thing and not just skim it over, I mean seriously read it.

It's glorious - triumphant even.

Deal?

How our culture code was born

Our culture code is more than just our set of company beliefs and values...it's a reflection of our entire worldview. As you go through the list below, you'll see what I mean by this.

Our culture code is also the primary fuel behind our agency's growth. That's because we actually give a shit about how we grow as an agency, not just that we grow (and there's a big difference between the two).

Here's what I mean...

Back in early 2014, long before we went live with our website or published our first blog, Thaddeus Gerber (Co-Founder) and I wanted more than anything to create a company that transcended corporate BS and accepted the complexity and beauty of the human element (that's my poetic attempt at saying we wanted to be 'cool and not stuffy'). We shared a common vision even though we came from very different professional backgrounds.

In addition to his entrepreneurial experience, Thad had worked for uber-corporate, global companies like Yahoo!, Johnson & Johnson and a few others. He didn't like it.

I also had a history of entrepreneurship but had worked in uber-pretentious, niche companies within the music and entertainment industry. I didn't like it.

So, our goal was to combine our powers like Voltron into a company that spread goodness while thwarting bad vibes throughout the universe. A company that was transparent, inclusive and void of unnecessary filler that might suffocate the clarity of our vision.

Most importantly, a company that people would want to work at for reasons beyond money.

And this, my friend, is how Firesnap's Culture Code was born.

(This is where you're supposed to envision Thaddeus and I lifting our majestic Firesnap baby up into the air, golden rays of light shimmering off of its divine little forehead.)

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Okay, enough of that.

Let's dive into the Firesnap Culture Code.

The Firesnap Culture Code

Our culture code consists of 4 basic values and practices: humility, effectiveness, autonomy & transparency.

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Humility

There are no egos at Firesnap and nor are they welcome. Firesnap believes that in order for positive energy and ideas to flourish, they must flow from person to person without being stifled by defensiveness, insecurities or arrogance.

Striving to maintain a child-like mindset is the key to all personal and professional growth, as long as the difference between being child-like and child-ish are understood!

Firesnap team members that display humility are...

  • Inclusive
  • Empathetic
  • Collaborative
  • Not easily offended

Effectiveness

"Value" is a relative term, perceived differently by different people. However, one thing that remains constant is our belief that "value" is not tied to the number of hours worked, but with results achieved. Employees are never be asked to work excessive hours at Firesnap and we do not gauge their performance on total hours worked.

We gauge performance on effectiveness because its in everyone's best interest - granting Firesnap more capacity while granting themselves more opportunity and life balance.

Firesnap team members that display effectiveness are...

  • Resourceful and problem solving
  • Action-oriented
  • Responsible for their actions

Autonomy

Firesnap also believes that autonomy is another key factor to personal and professional growth. We feel that maintaining "hardwired initiative" is a critical component of efficiency and reliability, especially considering that Firesnap doesn't require employees to report to an office.

Firesnap team members that display autonomy are...

  • Self-directing
  • Confident
  • Adaptable

Transparency

Finally, we're huge believers in the value of transparency in all relationships - clients, co-workers, family, etc. Being forthright and transparent delivers countless benefits, such as increased trust and reduced anxiety. It's also what allows the other 3 Firesnap values and practices to become possible.

Firesnap team members who display transparency are...

  • Open and honest
  • Generous
  • Trustworthy

You'll see I still managed to sneak in a cheesy acronym, "HEAT," (which naturally parlays into a nice little fire theme) but the deal was that I'd spare you of this and I have not forgotten that.

So, I digress...the general message here is simple: be excellent to each other!

Learn More About Working with Firesnap

Originally published February 16, 2017. Updated November 21, 2017.