Our culture isn't just a reflection of us - it's our DNA

18 Apr 2016

Laurence Cruse | Talent head & HR, Gyana Limited

Our culture isn't just a reflection of us - it's our DNA!

Fantastical creature themed slippers are not typical manifestations of a company culture, but we took it upon ourselves to make it so. Our team has a ‘no shoes, slippers only’ policy in the office, which we've used as an opportunity to laugh at ourselves, inject some colour into our daily goings on, and occasionally make visitors wonder if coming to see us was actually a good idea (suits and owl slippers make for a fabulous combo…).

Our team has a ‘no shoes, slippers only’ policy in the office.

We’re very much at the start of our own cultural journey and it’s an endeavour that we’ll not be taking lightly. We have five core principles that guide everything we do, known amongst the team as the Gyana DNA, and I’ll be sharing insights into this DNA in a number of articles over the coming weeks. I hope that by sharing this it will encourage others to think not only about what defines their teams/startups, but how they turn those ideologies into practical day-to-day actions.

Startups are intensely stressful environments that blend exceptionally high expectations, masses of change and perennial self doubt. We make a big effort to combat the negative effects of these pressures by creating an atmosphere of openness and mutual emotional support where, as you might now be able to guess, we can talk about anything.

Over the past few months this has resulted in a number of difficult but massively rewarding conversations where our team have been able to comfortably express whatever is on their minds (both professionally AND personally), be that in a group or 1-1. We approach this communicative openness with energetic (team dinners/outings) and calm (mindfulness and spirituality) activities.

When we joined CEO Joyeeta Das on her journey to drive Gyana (which translates as ‘True Knowledge’ in Sanskrit) forward, it became clear that the goals of the company were pretty ambitious. Startups by definition chase big goals and our version of that is be a 'full stack startup' where we're working on the hardware, software, research, supply chain and content components of our product in its entirety.

These lofty ambitions will not come easily and certainly not without a great deal of sacrifice, however with a strong, supportive and open team around us, we’ll be putting ourselves into the best position to succeed (and if it all goes horribly wrong then at least we have the slippers to console us!)

So the question remains - what would your slipper be?

If this resonated with you - hit the like/share button below to help more people see this, and if you'd like to see a pair of your own slippers included in the next picture, drop us an email at laurence.cruse@gyana.space (we're always on the lookout for the next fantastical creature to join us).

Sign up for our newsletter if you would like to know what other cool things Gyana does ! Subscribe