I’ve always taken a keen interest in companies who build a cult among their team. Companies like Zappos, The Container Store and 3M. Here’s the thing about cults: a cult can mean good. It can mean bad. In this context, it means PASSION. I found, through building The Foodery, that there are 2 secret ingredients that allow passion to take over a team and become a “cult”.
1. Create an environment where everyone agrees on what communication and respect actually mean. Sounds kind of like a family right? Well it is.
And once respect is established, what brings the team to “cult status” is secret ingredient #2: giving people freedom. That’s sounds scary to many business owners right? Relaxing processes can mean a lack of focus and productivity. But the fact is, you have to let go of rigorous processes to let the creative spirit in a person begin to manifest. Each teammate needs to feel they have the freedom and support to pursue their greatest work, in the direction of the company’s goal, with free reign. When a person feels trusted to do their greatest work – no matter how they need to pursue that work…that’s when a person wants to be their best. And someone wanting to do their best? Someone wanting to strive for greatness?
There is exponential power within that person that exceeds the efficiencies of keep all business processes efficiently restricted. Giving that freedom away to a team is the only way a company becomes great. The Foodery’s a tiny business in Malden, MA. But this tiny team is in pursuit of its greatest work. And our greatest work is nourishing, delicious food. Crafting a product where customers close their eyes and savor the first few bites? That’s the goal. That’s the thing that gets each Foodery teammate out of bed 5 days a week, game face loaded. Could we be considered a cult? If cult is a pseudonym for that level of passion, I’ll take it.