Culture

Last updated 7 months ago

Culture is one of our key competitive advantages at Mad. By having an open culture that values personal freedom, an entrepreneurial spirit, and growth, we are able to attract the best possible talent who seek these things that we offer.

In turn, this allows us to offer an ever-increasing high-quality standard work to our clients.

Core Values

Transparency

Transparency is really important at Mad. It improves distributed decision making, turns everyone into an owner, and keeps everybody honest. Examples of the type of information that you have access to that is not normally shared in companies:

  • Full financial Data

  • What everyone is paid

  • Files and Data for all projects

  • Contracts

Ownership

  • Act like an owner

Management

You are not a boss

The purpose of management is to serve the team. You are there to ensure that your team can work at their best, and that obstacles to the best possible work are removed.

So, your main aim should be to help make the individuals that make up your team the best they can be.

Help to reduce meta work

Management should ensure that meta-work is reduced as much as possible, and should review processes regularly to ensure that we do not creep into a bureaucracy.

Absolutely No Status Symbols

Regardless of your position at Mad, there are no status symbols or special perks.

Quarterly Meetings

Three weeks prior to the start of a new quarter there is a management planning meeting. This includes:

  • Financial Review

  • Estimated P/L for the current quarter

  • Current Cash Flow analysis for next quarter

  • Discussion on main successes/failures of the current quarter.

  • Any changes that are required.

  • Review all team member scorecards and discuss any issues.

Peer Reviews

  • Make a clone of the Google Doc Mäd scorecard template

  • Edit as you see fit for that specific team member, adding categories and KPIs as it makes sense.

  • Complete and discuss with the team member, and have them sign it.

  • Send to @erika

Board Meetings

Mäd’s board is made up of the following members:

  • Emanuele Faja

  • Morten Bech

  • Dung Dinh

Shareholding

Currently, company shares are divided as follows:

Team Handbook

You can find this at www.workwithmad.com/handbook

Required & Recommended Reading

We’re quite the bookworms at Mäd, and for good reasons too! Reading is a great way to grow and learn. We have a dedicated Book Club Team Drive that contains some great reads and PDFs.

Quoting Mark Twain:

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Depending on your role, there are certain books that you are required to read because they contain ideas that are key to understanding our brand and way of doing things.

  • Everyone

    • Start With Why

    • Deep Work

  • Management

    • Great CEOs Are Lazy

    • Getting Real (Basecamp)

    • Zero to One

    • Good to Great

    • Work Rules – Laszlo Bock

  • Designers

    • Coca Cola Design Book

    • Getting Real (Basecamp)

  • Developers

    • Getting Real (Basecamp)

  • Business Dev

    • From Impossible to Inevitable

    • The Lost Art of Closing

This is a list of books that we like, and that leave you better for having read them. Feel free to add to this list!

  • Enchiridion of Epictetus

  • Living the Good life

  • The Lean Startup

  • Steve Jobs Biography

  • Negotiation – Brian Tracy

  • Black Box Thinking

  • Eat That Frog

@manny also keeps a reading list on his website.

Blogs & Websites Worth Reading

Mäd Fridays

Every other Friday is Mäd Friday, so don’t schedule client or team meetings on that Friday morning.

The idea is to spend some time on each Friday to look inwards at ourselves, instead of outwards to our clients. Finding ways to make Mäd better, working on interesting side projects, and learning something new.

The problem here is to avoid the “Cobbler’s children have no shoes” issue, where we don’t look after our own brand, which is what we do professionally.

This can be seen with many agencies that while offer website design as a service, either don’t have a website or have a poorly designed one, because they haven’t had the time to work on it.

Let’s not do that!

Mad Friday includes:

  • Full team meeting

  • Presentations by 3-4 team members

  • Team Lunch

  • Hackathon (where we all brainstorm on a particular topic)

Full Team Meeting

This is led by @manny or @erika. This is the time for general Q&A, and to highlight any new work that we’re doing, and any changes that we are making (and we love to make changes).

Team Presentations

Each Friday, we select a number of people who will present on a topic of their choice in two week’s time. We do these team presentations for two reasons:

  • It helps the person presenting solidify their ideas around their chosen topic, and also gives them great practice in public speaking. The best way to learn something is to teach it.

  • It gives the entire team exposure to a variety of subjects and helps them become T-Shaped people (see our Team Handbook).

Town Hall

The entire company gets to ask any questions they want to management – no holds barred. We highly encourage questions that challenge the current ways we do things, that dig deep into sensitive topics like finance, and that you normally wouldn’t have the guts to ask in a normal company. Some previous questions include

“Why do your shoes have no shoelaces” ~Internal brand team member to the CEO.

“Is our feedback system really anonymous? How do we know this? What information can you see from anyone who does send feedback through the feedback system?” ~Junior developer to the Chief Culture Officer.

“I’ve just joined, what’s a good way to describe Mäd to the outside world?” ~New Head of Department to the CEO.

Team Lunch

Currently, the budget is set at $10/head, but we might close our eyes if it goes a little higher on occasion.

Hackathon

Whenever we need to brainstorm new ideas or get something done real fast, we put everyone in the company on it. Can be social media posts for the next month, to better ways of working.