Lahore School of Economics

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Managing Culture in a Digital Company

Mr. Badar Khushnood, Cofounder and Vice President of Growth at Bramerz and Fishry, delivered an online  session on “Managing Culture in a Digital Company” to the MBA cohort in their course on Organizational Behavior on May 5, 2020.

Badar summarized the culture at Bramerz as follows. First, it was an open culture. No one was boss for what was “normal”: power was exercised only when there was violation of some well-understood norms. If employees brought lunch with them and ate it in the office-space, that was fine but then they had to take the utensils themselves to the kitchen to be washed by office boys. Second, rules were applied to all. When Bramerz’ office space was declared as a non-smoking arena, any founding member who was a smoker had to respect that rule immediately.

Third, there was a healthy debate on all work-related issues but colleagues treated one another with respect, and if someone broke the rules there were consequences. Mistakes were made and punishment was not a foregone conclusion. Mostly, the norm was to give someone who committed a serious error of judgment at least one chance to redeem himself or herself. Employees were expected to abide by some basic rules of business. An employee was asked to move to a different account and he refused. This was a business decision and he had to part company.

Badar emphasized that employees must be able to talk to their bosses and their bosses’ bosses. If this happened, then it was difficult for the middle-man to exploit them. However, this did not mean that one should bypass one’s boss. Equally, it was important to be able to present one’s ideas appropriately. One’s ideas should be presented based on logic and on competitive analysis. It was also very important to manage tough bosses. He advised the MBAs to adhere to three rules: One had to work hard; Two, one had to be humble – everyone had a strength and one must recognize this; and Three, one must learn but also be ready to unlearn – what one learnt could be made obsolete very soon. The Digital world of business was proving this point repeatedly.

Regarding the current epidemic, he advised MBA candidates to a) start thinking of taking on entrepreneurial jobs and leverage digital technologies b) complete courses in Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Facebook BluePrint and HubSpot Inbound Marketing. YouTube was full of good videos including Udemy. Harvard and Stanford were offering free on-line courses c) join and learn from networks of like-minded professionals such as groups on women entrepreneurs and startups d) learn ORM – online reputation management.

Badar is an alumus of the Lahore School of Economics, and it is always a pleasure and an honor to receive him as a Guest in our MBA program.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 5/06/2020 12:33:00 PM,

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