March 11, 2017


One quick Google search of “the definition of culture” will produce words such as cultivation, developing, expert care and an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends on the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.

So basically, it’s just some meaningless words.


Just kidding, culture is far more than a word or definition; culture is seen and not heard.


When I started Happy Medium, I wanted to do really great, honest and transparent work for clients, even and especially when they didn’t know what to ask for. After adding our first few team members, I realized quickly the way I run Happy Medium has a very significant impact on their lives and their happiness.

When the company turned three, we made our company values official.


We decided Curiosity, Happiness, Integrity and Teamwork are what we as a team are going to strive to attain every day.


Not only because it makes us different, but because it fulfills us. Now that we established values, we had to build a culture around them. As we started to grow, it became clear how important it was to invest in culture. So, we established a culture team at Happy Medium that oversees and wears their culture hats daily to bring cultural viewpoints to decisions for the company. We have very intentionally made the culture team independent. They are not on our senior leadership team because they make decisions based on culture, not on the business. They are not our HR department because they make decisions based on culture, not HR. Culture is its own thing.


Culture at Happy Medium means the difference between being a person and being a number or a position.


It means we commit every day with our words and our dollars to be the team we promised each other we would be. We’ve built a culture where it’s not only encouraged, but expected that we will push each other to be our best and call our teammates out when we aren’t, and you know what? Our clients win because of it. Our product is better. We do not do work we’re “just pushing through.” Everyone gives a shit. Better product is of course better for a business and our quality level speaks for itself. It keeps clients coming back, and also has them telling others about us.


We decided to build products at Happy Medium a few years ago.


Now we have a full product team overseeing this process, as well as team members who only work on our products. This was all built from curiosity. Our original goal was to give team members an obvious space to try things they are curious about. And as usual, out of curiosity comes really great ideas. Now we’re a team that has officially launched and sells products!


While our top priority is our best work for our clients, an equally important priority is a highly functioning team. That, and truly caring about each person here and their lives. Culture at Happy Medium means you get to be you. Culture at Happy Medium means you’re not going to miss your son’s tee-ball game, or even your own tee-ball game, for that matter! Culture at Happy Medium means we want you to “work” by making yourself stronger at your craft, take time to learn and be curious. Culture at Happy Medium means on your birthday, you’re going to wear the birthday sombrero. Culture at Happy Medium means multiple times a year, you’re going to sit down with our CEO for a 1:1 and we’re going to talk about what you want for your career and life, what’s working, what’s not and how I can help. Culture at Happy Medium means failing is often viewed as winning.


Investing in culture on a team makes sense from a business bottom line, but even if it didn’t, we would still do it. There is no better investment than people. Especially the people you call your work family—and family means looking out for each other.