Mind Candy – How They’re Creating A Monster UBER Culture!


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Moshi MonstersMind Candy is an incredibly successful innovative fast growth business founded 9 years ago by Michael Smith and has seen amazing growth over the last few years. The major reason for that huge growth came in 2007 with the creation of Moshi Monsters, a virtual world and online game aimed at children aged between 6-12 which allows them to adopt their own pet monster, socialise and play educational puzzles!

The last figures available shows the scale of this growth: sales almost quadrupled in 2011 to £28.9 million and profit jumped fivefold to £7.4 million as the game caught has on. Registered users have grown from 32 million in 2010 to 55 million in 2011 and more than 80 million today and the momentum is continuous growing at a rate of one new user per second!

This growth has come both online and offline with a range of physical products including toys, books, membership cards, trading cards, Top Trumps and Plush Toys. Moshi Magazine launched last year now has the highest circulation of any UK children’s magazine!

Under Michael’s leadership the business seems to be well on track to achieve an ambitious ‘vision‘ to be “the largest entertainment brand in the world for this new digital generation of kids” He now has a team of 200 at their ‘trendy’ offices in London and a key ingredient of their success appears to be the focus on establishing and maintaining their culture.

In a recent article on racounteur.net he explained why:

“When I left university I did some temping jobs and worked in a lot of different companies. But they were all so boring, no one seemed to be enjoying themselves. Everywhere had the same blue carpet and strip lighting. I thought then that, if I ever had my own business, I would create an environment that people actually liked working in”

Mind Candy appear to be a great example of a business that has established a real UBER Culture which is Characteristic #5 of The 7 Characteristics of 3D Businesses! Winning businesses work hard to establish a clear set of ‘behaviours’ that people understand and live… consistently. The key ingredients of an UBER Culture are:

  • Everyone Understands what’s expected of them and behaves accordingly and consistently as a result
  • Systems and processes are Built to reinforce and support those values and behaviours
  • People are Engaged, Empowered and Encouraged to deliver them
  • People are Rewarded and Recognised for doing it!

Some of the things that Mind Candy do very well to help make this happen include…


Michael believes that one of the most important things are that people want more than just a job. In a fast moving company in a very, very competitive space, he says he wants people who really care about their careers and who are specialists in their field. “They have to be able to do the job, that’s a given. But beyond that we look for various traits – people who are passionate, playful, respectful and have the ability to think commercially.”

How does he find them? Well they have…

Built Some Simple Recruitment Systems And Processes…

As part of the recruitment process, interviewees have to do a presentation and tell their story: who they are, what they’re passionate about. They look for evidence that they go beyond their jobs to sharpen their skills – do they attend conferences or read books, or are there particular blogs that they like? Michael believes Mind Candy Officesthat this allows them to see whether someone is really passionate about their role.

However, he recognises that you can only learn so much about somebody in the interview process. “During the probation period we try to figure out whether new employees are right for us and vice versa. We’re a bit of an unusual place, so it doesn’t work for everyone. We certainly don’t have a 100 % record when it comes to hiring, but we get it right a lot more often than not!”

Engage, Empower and Encourage People…

They work hard on this one! Their highly acclaimed studio looks like a Moshified playground, complete with tree-house and astro-turf, and it’s designed to be a fun and inspiring place to work! Michael explains their approach:

“You arrive at Mind Candy and you smile, you’re inspired by stuff on the wall, there’s bizarre furniture. I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money doing that, but it creates a wonderful environment. But culture is more than aesthetics. It’s the events the company puts on for its staff, the way they’re treated – with respect and transparent communication. We spend a lot of time trying to get that right.”

Reward and Recognise…

Here’s a video of their staff awards conference…

So, 3 questions for you…….

  1. Are you happy with your company culture and your people’s behaviours?
  2. Have you established the preferred behaviours you want from your people?
  3. Crucially, do you have processes that reinforce those behaviours?

If the answer is ‘no’ to these questions, then there’s a fair chance that you’ve got some work to do! A starting point might be to download our Free eBook Creating An UBER Culture which expands on the key elements of UBER Culture, and crucially helps you see how you measure up – The answers you get might not be pleasant, but at least you could start doing something about establishing and reinforcing your culture you want!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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