5 RULES FOR A CREATIVE CULTURE

I recently signed up for an account with MailChimp, the e-mail newsletter provider. Up until this month I’ve been sending out here-and-there newsletters via gmail and spending waaay too much time selecting portions of my contacts list, copying and pasting text and images, and waiting for gmail to allow me to send more messages. It’s been clunky, exhausting, and time-consuming. I’ve been building my e-newsletter list for a few years now and have been looking for a smoother, faster way to get my monthly messages out. Long story short: MailChimp is the answer!

…At least it is so far. I came across this post from Ben Chestnut, the founder of MailChimp, who gives his employees permission to be creative with his:

5 Rules for a Creative Culture 
By Ben Chestnut

1. Avoid rules. Avoid order. Don’t just embrace chaos, but create a little bit of it. Constant change, from the top-down, keeps people nimble and flexible (and shows that you want constant change).

2. Give yourself and your team permission to be creative. Permission to try something new, permission to fail, permission to embarrass yourself, permission to have crazy ideas.

3. Hire weird people. Not just the tattoo’d and pierced-in-strange-places kind, but people from outside your industry who would approach problems in different ways than you and your normal competitors.

4. Meetings are a necessary evil, but you can avoid the conference room and meet people in the halls, the water cooler, or their desks. Make meetings less about delegation and task management and more about cross-pollination of ideas (especially the weird ideas). This is a lot harder than centralized, top-down meetings. But this is your job — deal with it.

5. Structure your company to be flexible. Creativity is often spontaneous, so the whole company needs to be able to pivot quickly and execute on them (see #1).

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