The ContraMind Code
Welcome to The ContraMind Code.
The ContraMind Code provides you with a system of principles, signals, and ideas to aid you in your pursuit of excellence.
The Newsletter shares the source code through quick snapshots for a systems thinking approach to be the best in what you do.
The Code helps you reboot and reimagine your thinking by learning from the best and enables you to draw a blueprint on what it takes to get extraordinary things done. Please share your valuable thoughts and comments and start a conversation.
Take a journey to www.contraminds.com. Listen and watch some great minds talking to us about their journey of discovery of what went into making them craftsmen of their profession to drive peak performance.
The HubSpot Culture Code
This is an excellent 128-slide deck on defining the core tenets of company culture.
It answers some critical questions:
What is Culture?
Why is it so important?
How has the expectation at work changed over the years?
What can lead to a transparent work culture?
Is it essential to place the customer above the company? And why?
Why are results as important as effort?
Why is it important to know if you will fit the work culture in a company?
It tells you why it is easy to talk about culture but needs each one who works for the company to build it. Not just the leaders or founders or owners.
Learning From The Life of the Founder of Rolls-Royce
This is another excellent episode from Acquired, where you can learn how the path to glory for founders and entrepreneurs is not for the faint-hearted.
In this episode, Henry Royce’s life is being looked at. It tells us the lesson that founders or owners, or entrepreneurs leave an indelible mark on their companies even after they are long gone.
Here are some interesting takeaways:
Hardship and poverty can significantly impact people's ambitions - Henry Royce had known poverty and hardship all his life. The only university he had graduated from was the one of hard knocks!
The love for building the product must be greater than building a company in its initial years. Loved Henry Royce's philosophy, ‘A great product has to be better than it has to be.’
It has a fantastic insight to think about - ‘You can always understand the son by the story of his father.’
Products need not be revolutionary - Royce’s thoroughness and attention to even the smallest detail than any revolutionary invention made a big difference.
How Technology Can Transform Rural Education
In this conversation, Prem Kumar Gokuldasan of Kalvi 40 articulates some of the incredible challenges that remain when education needs to be taken to rural parts of an emerging economy like India.
Here are some of the assumptions that one usually takes for granted needs to get reset:
It is about something other than affordable technology, and it needs to be frugally re-engineered to the ecosystem of constraints in these areas.
The Internet and Smart mobile phones are omnipresent in all parts of India, but there is a difference. Internet speeds are still too slow in the rural interior parts of India, and many of these households still use feature phones. So building Ed-tech for this market is an entirely different challenge.
How to reimagine funding for social enterprises as the math of multiplier and returns don’t work for PEs/VCs etc.
How a shared purpose can bring together volunteers who can help change how work can be done and distributed.
Click and listen to this conversation.
You can also listen to this podcast on:
Culture Cannot be Faked.
When you think of culture, it is ingrained in what you believe and do every day. It does not remain in company vision statements, posters or company collaterals but is something you deeply believe in and practice.
When you listen to the history of Henry Royce, what stuns you is his belief in building great products and his attention to detail. Also, you get to understand culture is not about this ‘ feel good’ sentiment that you need to spread with people around you as you listen to Henry Royce’s work ethic. It was not easy for people who worked with him. He relentlessly drove them to get things perfect, and he would not accept anything less. Also, you know a company's culture by its founder or owner or promoter and employees who have stayed there long enough. This is why only a handful of people get this alignment between work, pay, and culture fit very well. The most aware ones know their deep calling and settle to work in a company with an optimal match of these three factors, not the best one.
So, knowing your culture code is as essential as a company’s culture code.
If you don’t believe in a few things and you find the company's culture has them in what they do daily, you need to decide whether you want to take that job, irrespective of the pay. Remember, within a common ethical & integrity framework across companies, there is no right or wrong here on some things that one company believes versus the other. For example, Amazon may have a particular work culture that JP Morgan or Google may not want to practice, but you need to assess whether that fits your culture code. It may be the best company in that industry or one that pays you the best, but your culture fit decides whether you will enjoy doing the job there and connect with the people working there.
Also, this culture cannot be faked through offsites, conferences, awards and town halls, but these only help reinforce a company’s culture beliefs. The entire company employees are smart enough to know when a senior leader or team leader’s culture code is different from that of the company but talks about it in such forums. Because they constantly observe them not doing or believing in it or dismissing it, which can be felt in what they do every day. Also, your culture code can change if you start to believe in a few things you did not believe in earlier and develop conviction about them over time. The change will be slow but will be genuine.
Culture is like a DNA match. When there is no match between a Company’s Culture DNA and Employee’s Culture DNA, there is bound to be stress and unwanted volatility. It’s never worth, however brilliant the work you get to learn or do in the company and the pay you get if your culture DNA does not fit that of the company.
So, decide if you want to work with the best or the most admired company in your industry or the company that fits your culture code the best.
Some of the lessons we learnt from this week’s mission:
The importance of transparency, authenticity and values in company culture.
A founder’s work ethic and values remain embedded in the company long after they are gone. Henry Royce’s life is an excellent example of that.
Learning to work with constraints and limitations can trigger frugal innovations hitherto never seen by the world. It’s a hard path, but it can be a fulfilling one.