Motorcycles and Microcultures

08-14-14 Neil Renicker

Movements pick up quickly within small groups of people. Neil shares what ideas are rapidly spreading at Sparkbox.

Early this spring, Sparkbox had 21 employees. Of those 21 people, there was one avid motorcyclist (hi Marshall) and one avid bycyclist (hi Rob). Now, it’s August—just a few months later—and here are Sparkbox’s two-wheeled stats:

  • Motorcyclists: 4
  • Bicyclists: 5

We have two new channels in Slack, our internal messaging app: #motorcycle-club and a #fwbtwg (Four Wheels Bad Two Wheels Good). Three people bought a new bicycle. Two people bought a new motorcycle. Three people took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse. Two people had a minor motorcycle crash, too, but we’ll save that for another post!

How Ideas Spread

Contrary to the most convincing of appearances, Sparkbox isn’t turning into a two-wheeled mechanic shop. We’re still designing and building software. But isn’t it interesting how quickly ideas spread within an organization?

Here’s the thing: if ideas spread in cultures (they do!), they spread even faster in microcultures. It’s not hard to start a crusade: just start talking.

Every company is a microculture, no matter how big or small. Every movement an employee introduces will spread within the company if they talk about it enough. Once it spreads to the company, it can spread outside the company and impact others.

What’s Spreading at Sparkbox

I’ve been noticing a few movements spreading within the Sparkbox team. I’m excited about the way they’re affecting me and my work:

That’s what’s happening here. We’ll keep sharing as we keep learning.

What tiny crusade will you launch within your company next? You might have more of an impact than you think.