When you think about designing the fabric of your company, there has to be some underlying concept or mission that people can really get behind, that they can believe in. And it has to be something bigger than themselves–and the company. For Box, that underlining concept is simple, just "Be on a mission that doesn't suck."
As Aaron Levie, CEO of Box puts it:
I personally feel more energized about what we’re doing than the very first day we came into existence. Now, it’s plausible that this can be attributed to lots of different factors: we’ve benefited from favorable market conditions surrounding our business (but not every year), we continue to compete effectively (though it’s not easy), and we’re in a space that people are finally starting to care about (this wasn’t always the case).
To be sure, these are all elements that keep the job exciting and refreshing. While those factors are critically important to keeping the day-to-day ups and downs in check, they weren’t the most important things propelling me forward. As I thought about it more, I realized it was the mission we were on that compelled me to keep at it.
As best as I can tell, this is the most important factor – in addition to the people that you work with every day – that separates going into the office and dreading your job or having the time of your life. Read Aaron's full post.
We agree with Aaron, and we've seen organizations across the board struggle with this. Because we work with organizations that are trying to improve their culture, or maintain the great culture they started with, we see how challenging the balancing act is between growing and evolving and "staying true to yourself" so to speak. In the end, there is no silver bullet for building a great culture.
"Being on a mission that doesn't suck" is a great rule to follow, but that means different things to different companies. What's really powerful I think is understanding what that mission is for your organization and what you will do (as a whole) to maintain that trajectory?