-Establishing Effective Culture-

The immediate reaction we hear from most GLS Studios visitors is “What a great place to work!”. And they’re right. GLS Studios is a fun place to be, and we’ve worked hard to foster a skunkworks style culture. By design, our space is a place where educators are encouraged to ask what is possible for the future of learning rather than get too bogged down in the system that is.

Creating and maintaining such a culture isn’t easy and we’re working on it all the time. Our collective experiences in academics, industry, rock bands, even the military have taught us a number of things about creating and fostering a creative culture that gets things done.

1. Default to open as much as possible. Good games require that everyone share a sense of project priorities in terms of learning goals, aesthetic vision, and technical and use requirements. We strive to be as transparent as is useful and try to facilitate communication at every turn. It’s better that we regularly share knowledge peer-to-peer rather than a top down communication of vision.

Little habits that help are:
- Creating open areas for meetings to be public. Any meeting that doesn’t need to be private should be public. We encourage people to drop in on meetings. Spontaneous sharing can happen before and after.

- Leadership should strive, when possible to work in open areas (particularly while doing interruptible tasks like email).

- Take care of your own problems, and avoid getting in others. A simple one that works in life is that problems should be communicated directly to people or up the food chain, but repeating someone’s problems “so and so is frustrated with you” is verboten.

In our next post, we’ll discuss why cliques can be good and why it’s good to set up a music room in your work place.