The purpose of this research is to discover how to co-design work culture from the bottom-up in small-medium creative and innovative organisations. A number of significant studies and companies have recently surfaced trying to address global employee disengagement. But culture is described as something that has to be designed top-down, not co-created. Advice and research on how employees can co-design a great work culture is scarce. To solve this I've done a literature review on culture and leadership, run Culture Design tests and ask the industry for feedback.
I conducted qualitative research through workshops, interviews and surveys to better understand the issues around culture. I prototyped the Culture Design effort in four workshops (including two of my own startup teams) and documented behaviours and thoughts of the participants. Findings showed culture can be designed by anyone who develops qualities that create connections between people. Engaging in activities that focus on culture and not on work was also very beneficial. Culture can be designed bottom-up but there needs to be a mutual commitment from the individual and organisation.
This research suggests employees can take Culture Design in their own hands if they learn how to communicate better with others. The number of teams evaluated is not vast and this limits my capability to generalise