by Mohamad Ballout, CEO and Cofounder and Legion Richardson, Chief People Officer
“Don’t f*ck up the Culture”
Wise words said by Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal to the Airbnb founders in 2012. Peter Thiel was also an early investor in Airbnb.
What was a billionaire entrepreneur and famous Silicon Valley investor doing worrying about culture?
Hitting the nail right on the head to help Airbnb succeed.
For something so critical to the success of the organization, most companies spend very little time looking at it, let alone investing in the time, resources and finances on improving it.
At Kitopi, culture is not an HR problem, it’s a business objective.
And to prove it, a few months ago, we reidentified our purpose in the world.
We knew what we were: the world’s leading managed cloud kitchen platform.
But we didn’t know where we wanted to go from there so we spent some time imagining a world with Kitopi and one without, we asked tough questions like why do we exist and what problem were we really trying to solve and would we ever be able to?
This journey and self-reflection gave birth to what we now call our company mission:
To satisfy the world’s appetite.
Challenging, ambitious, possibly impossible but purposeful and empowering.
With this, came the time to reassess our core values to create a culture where people felt empowered to live their purpose every day.
So a small decision-making team of thinkers, creators, and realists at Kitopi got together for a simple assignment: what were our current values, which ones did we want to keep, which ones did we want to introduce - all in line with our new purpose.
Our refreshed core values are:
If you look at any company, you don’t hear ‘this company doesn’t have culture’, you only hear that the company has a good culture or bad culture. Every company has a culture, the only difference is either you define the culture, or the culture defines itself.
With Kitopi being at its hyper-growth trajectory, we knew from the getgo and from others before us, that it was critical we didn’t lose the essence of having the Startup mindset - being agile, and not being afraid to try new things. This is what has defined our culture today, and we don’t want to lose it. We have tried to make a conscious effort to bottle up the amazing culture that we’ve created, define it and make sure it lives within the organization as we continue to grow.
Introducing values or refreshing them within the organization is just one piece of the puzzle.
Values are not posters on the wall of your office or kitchens so that people passing by can assume you’re woke as an organization.
We’re trying really hard to ensure it resonates with all our people and then incorporating it into every touchpoint of the organization. When we can get Kitopian’s calling each other out for living or not living the values, then we know we’ve done something right.
And it will not only define the culture we want to build, the future we want to create for many years to come.
To check out Kitopi’s full values deck, click here.