If you’re reading this, well done you! Welcome to the mädness, Hätter! We’re glad to have you with us.
Having gotten through the uniquely-engineered hiring process, you probably noticed that we do things a little differently around here compared to most companies – and that’s by design.
You’re all about great work, but the traditional model of doing business isn’t always conducive to that. We’ve heard people call it “soul-crushing” and other less-than-polite adjectives. So we created a space where we can do things in our best possible way.
Mäd is all about disruption; blazing a trail; finding new ways of seeing, doing and thinking. You’ll be in the thick of things before you know it. But to help you navigate our ever-fluid culture from Day 1, we’re laying down in the next few pages the general principles we abide by and how we operate.
Think of these principles as ‘street signs’ or ‘lighthouses’ to help guide your way around here. It will take a bit of getting used to but once you find your feet, we trust that you’ll have a fun, productive, empowering and meaningful time here at Mäd.
Expect it to get crazy at times – it’s part of the territory.
The business flywheel is an established concept that breaks down an organization into its important parts and establishes a cycle that helps the business reach its goals each time it is completed. You’re expected to know and understand the Mäd Flywheel, as it’s key to everything that we do.
Our flywheel is deconstructed into 6 parts:
- Great Customer Experience – quality tangible results from Mäd that help our Clients move up. This is absolutely the most important thing to focus on at Mäd.
- Proof – Potential customers can see real proof of point #1. Comes in the form of WOM, case studies to name a few.
- Traffic – More and more potential customers inquire about Mäd’s services as our brand is known.
- Growth – continuous progress. Agility and adaptability to change.
- Brand Investment – Investing in making Mäd better (equipment, office, web, social media, culture, etc..). This helps drive new talent by making Mäd desirable.
- Talent Development – Investing in our people, and also finding awesome new people! Making Mäd the best place to work and grow.
Think about that for a second; internalize where and how you and your role fit into that this cycle, and what your contribution to Mäd means.
All day, any day, every damn day.
We care more about what you come up with rather than how you arrived at it. Creativity, innovation, and discovery are borne out of trial and error and setting processes in stone may blindside us from stumbling across these Eureka! moments.
So you have free reign on how you’ll deliver. (Of course, with respect to deadlines and teammates and output quality.)
At the same time, while we strive for the highest quality performance from everyone, it’s key that we all play well with each other and show respect to everyone – inside and outside Mäd. It pays to be nice. Karma can be a bitch, you know.
Also, we don’t put much emphasis on rank or hierarchy but in the ability to lead teams, empower members and get things done.
Apart from being a ROWE (Results-Oriented Work Environment), it’s important that you enjoy working at Mäd. Don’t you tend to stay longer at places you feel good in? The happier you are, the better you feel… imagine the kind of work you’ll come up with when you’re having fun!
Not many companies will pay you to do awesome shit.
But at Mad, you can’t choose two out of three.
Our clients expect results, and they are ones that ultimately pay and fund everything that we do. They’re the reason why we get up in the morning.
Think about how much you get paid, multiply it by three, and that’s how much value you need to deliver to our clients.
Take what you need, come back ready to kick ass. The only mandate is to give ample notice to all your teams – agency, client, external partners – especially for longer leaves. And don’t forget a proper handover, or it’s a holiday you won’t be coming back from.
Once you’ve passed probation, you get paid your regular salary on the days you are away.
Work when you’re most productive – whether you’re an early bird or a night owl or somewhere in between. But when meetings and deadlines are set, you’re expected to turn up
on time early.
You’re also welcome to work wherever you find suitable – at home, at a coffee shop, rooftop bar, poolside. It also means that you’re expected to be responsive to all modes of communication during the traditional work hours (Monday to Friday, 9AM to 6PM), unless you’ve already set expectations with the rest of your team.
If you are logging in consistently long hours, there is an error in planning and time management. Raise your hand, let your team know so you can get the help you need to sort it out.
Please wear clothes.
You get 2 Mäd shirts when you start – it’s one way to help you reduce decision fatigue.
Who hasn’t made them! No one has the answers to everything all the time so it’s understandable that we’ll slip up every now and then. This is not frowned upon because it means having the courage to try something new or different, an attempt at stepping away from the comfort zone.
And that’s awesome.
As long as we learn from where the ball was dropped and figure out how to do it better next time, then, onwards and upwards we go. We want Mad to be the best place in the world to fail at.
However, we also have an infamous hashtag by a Danish shareholder, in reference to preventable systematic failures.
At Mäd, it’s safe to say that your job description is loosely defined so expect to be roped in for things you probably haven’t done before but for which you possess the necessary skills (you might not be aware of it…but we see your potential. Plus, we’re confident that you have the ability to learn on the fly). Explore and get involved with other disciplines you’re interested in.
You’re also very much encouraged to take up any further learning relevant to what you do or what Mäd does. Online courses, workshops, seminars/webinars, books, publications and other such modes of learning are welcome investments, and we’re happy to pay for them.
Ever get the urge to share with other Hätters what you’re doing or what you’re really into? No sweat: set a time and invite everyone to a Friday morning workshop or session.
Floor’s all yours.
Fridays are generally for catching up on your reading, or with other Hätters, or self-development or learning something new. It’s also the default timeslot for those who want to hold a workshop or session (see “Continuous Learning” above).
You should set expectations with clients and outside partners that Fridays you will generally not be available. If they ask, explain why.
Keep all lines open at all times! Especially if the news is bad, it’s ALWAYS better to keep your team informed. Everyone reaches out to anyone else from any other team, regardless of rank or title – in person, most especially.
- Face to Face – nothing beats good ol’ eye contact, tone and body language to get to the root of the matter and resolve things quickly.
- Narrative – long-form writing, printed out!
- Phone Call – there is no one that you can’t reach quickly these days.
- Asana – A project management software we use for 2 simple things: One truth on all projects’ progress and Daily Updates.
- Project Progress – All facets of projects, both internal and external, live here: active files, discussions, references, etc. giving you a view of what’s going on even without having to chase people around (though you may still need to do that on occasion).
- Daily Updates – Found under the Progress tab in the Mäd HQ Project Page, this is one of the few mandates that we expect from everyone on a regular basis (at least 4 days out of 5). Every day, you’ll give us a rundown of all the things you’ve done with an optional color code. It’s a simple way for everyone else to get a feel of what’s going on. This is also tracked to spot any potential workload issues (i.e. more reds vs greens) and address them before they get out of hand.
- Telegram – the default medium for most of the Hätters: a quick and easy way to reach out and get things started. Or done.
- Email (yuck!) – our least favorite medium but still a necessary evil at times. Best used for (most) brief communications, formalizing agreements, and communicating with the outside world. If your email looks like a novel, pick up that phone or set a meeting – you’ll get things done faster. Do not email people in the same room as yourself – go up to them and speak.
Rather than a fixed set of hard and fast rules, Mäd operate based on a handful of principles to guide and empower Hätters in making decisions on their own and help things run with as little hiccups as possible.
What we rely on chiefly. Hätters are expected to be able to perceive, understand and judge certain matters as being reasonable, sensible or the right thing to do. If you’re unsure about something, ask. Nobody bites around here.
We are keen on people who have a broad range of experience or ability (the horizontal roof of the T) and a deep expertise in one field (the vertical leg of the T).
An expert who is too narrow has difficulty collaborating. A generalist who doesn’t go deep enough in a single area ends up on the margins, not really contributing as an individual.
At Mäd, Love your own, as they say. The more invested you are, the more involved you get, the more you are committed to making it happen. There are two types of ownership that we expect Hätters to have at Mäd:
- Results. Each individual should fully own what they, and the results that they achieve.
- Shares. We make committed Hätters into shareholders, making you truly an owner of Mäd. The idea is simple: to truly own your work, you should own your workplace.
Bias for Action
We prefer completed vs perfect. Analysis paralysis tends to happen when overthinking gets in the way. The rule of thumb is to take the most sensible course of action (preferably low to moderate risk) rather than wait for the stars to align perfectly in your favor before springing into action.
It’s possible that the course of action you took diiiiiidn’t exactly work out – and that’s fine, we get that things go wrong and people make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, brush ourselves down, and get back to it.
Mäd is see-through! Yes, we even publish everyone’s salary internally. We keep track of high performers and reward them accordingly. This sparks a discussion at times of what someone should be getting, but this dialogue is healthy and pushes everyone to where they want to be.
At Mäd, we’re trying to think in terms of five to seven years ahead. There is a huge competitive advantage in doing this, because everyone else is thinking about the next few months, or perhaps a year or two out, and so they make certain types of decisions. We think differently (i.e. long-term), and so we end up making decisions that don’t make sense in the short term – but make a whole lot of sense in the long term.
People will misunderstand you when you’re trying to build something different. And we’re completely fine with that.
Let’s face it, we’re all going to spend a lot of time working together, and so it makes sense to build an environment where you wake up in the morning and actually want to come to work.
We can only achieve that if we collectively work towards building a company that intentionally creates this environment.
So smile, do great work, make friends, and keep it fun.