“Company culture” is one of the hottest topics in American business today. Many years before the first TedTalk came out on culture, there were business leaders in America that learned the importance of company culture through experience. In 1928, Napoleon Hill released a book called "The Law of Success.” He interviewed and observed the life work of over a hundred of the most successful people on earth at that time. The list includes Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Charles Schwab, to name a few. From these interviews, Hill crafted fifteen laws of success, but before getting into the course, he dedicated his entire introduction to making sure the reader understands what he called the “Master Mind." After studying Hill's Master Mind principle, I believe this is the absolute best way to describe company culture. Here’s what you need to know about Hill’s principle:
1) A Master Mind is formed when two or more people work together in perfect harmony towards the attainment of a definite purpose. Out of this harmonious blending of minds, the chemistry of the minds creates a third mind which may be appropriated and used by one or all of the individual minds.
Things that we are familiar with, such as mission, purpose, and core values, are required to create the harmonious connection. Therefore, a Master Mind could be described today as a company culture whose mission and values run harmoniously through the group creating a new shared mind that is infinitely more powerful than that of the individual.
2) We have all heard that you have to hire and fire by your core values. This was understood by Hill when he said, "The Master Mind will remain available as long as the friendly, harmoniously organized energy between the individual minds exists. It will disintegrate and all evidence of its former existence will disappear the moment the friendly alliance is broken." The reason you must fire for culture is because the elusive harmony can disappear as fast as it was created. If there is anyone or anything that could interrupt the harmony of the Master Mind, it has to go quickly.
3) As the organization grows, it is the leader’s responsibility to group his people such that those at the most strategic points are individuals whose minds CAN and WILL be blended in a spirit of friendliness and harmony. These are the connectors that make sure the Master Mind energy flows through all facets of the organization.
4) The brain of a human being may be compared to an electric battery in that it will become exhausted or run down. Great leaders understand the necessity of "re-charging" the Master Mind through group activities and off-sites. Anyone who has been to an effective company offsite leaves feeling recharged and more energized than before.
Napoleon Hill concludes that no one has or ever will be successful without the ability to harmoniously work with others towards the attainment of a definite purpose. He even goes so far as to claim that failure is actually impossible when a true Master Mind exists if what you attain is beneficial to everyone involved. On the flip side, he also makes the claim that failure is just as inevitable if no Master Mind exists. Next time you think about company culture, think about creating and maintaining a Master Mind. If history is any indication, failure doesn't have a chance.