Matt Linderman on Outculturing the Competition

You can try to outspend the competition. Or you can try to outculture them. Create a place that makes employees feel special. A place that makes them feel like they’re part of a bigger whole. A place where they continually get to learn and evolve. A place where everyone actually likes each other.

If you create a culture like that, who would want to leave? Plus, you’ll get the best minds out there knocking on your door to get in.
— Matt Linderman, excerpted from Pixar’s tightknit culture is its edge

I think Matt hits on something important here. I know for us at NewSpring, it’s essentially impossible to outspend the competition, especially when it comes to skilled professional jobs like designers. We joke about “negotiating your paycut” when you come on staff here. For better or worse, it is what it is — a constraint we work within. We’re a church, and we simply don’t have the resources to “compete” with a company that sells products and makes profits. 

But we can outculture them every day of the week. We can offer creative staff permission to fail (big) and have freedom, we can ditch as much bureaucracy as possible and we can push boundaries. Plenty of people work in “dream jobs” that don’t have any of these values. 

Besides, after the initial courting process, I don’t worry too much about salary. I mainly think “do I want to go to my job today?” I answer “yes” 99% of the time these days, and I assure you that has nothing to do with my paycheck and everything to do with the culture I walk into everyday.