The counter-intuitive ideas that (probably) make FourthCanvas an exemplary workplace culture

As the conversation heats up today on Nigerian Twitter about startup leadership and whether or not companies should allow their employees work multiple jobs and side gigs, I thought I could share a few points on what I have learnt from my experience leading what currently appears to be a rare great company culture around. I say so because people who work at FourthCanvas have always found it hard to relate to conversations like this while it seems like a huge struggle everywhere else. We must be doing something right. Here are a few observations, and the things I think make it easier.

There is space for honesty

We are ruthlessly equal

We know we can’t fully ENSURE excellence

We advise more than instruct

We embrace unprecedented perspectives

We genuinely want our people to be happy

We don’t buy people with the salary

We actually don’t expect 100%

We simply need to ask people to do better and let us know how we can help them do so per time. If we find that some surely aren’t ready to try, we need to let them know they would be better off elsewhere, while helping keep to their dignity as they will always be fully human, as equal as we are. There is never a need to dress people down or make them feel stupid. Failure at that role in your office doesn't equate to failure in their lives. Stop acting like God. You are one human being, and there are quite a few others, around 7 billion.

PS. We just launched the Africa Challenger Brands report, something that was only possible because our people chose to give their very best, not because we ENSURED it. You can check it out for yourself 👉



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Victor A. Fatanmi

‘Finding my writing’, under the blanket of the known image of a Designer and Agency Founder.