grey your company culture / live in the grey

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I’m still stuffed from dinner last Thursday night but glad to be back at the office after the holiday weekend! (By the way, did you see the photos on our Instagram feed from the MKG NotTurkey Potluck – amazing!)

Back to the business at hand – as I mentioned in my last post, it’s extremely important to me that my employees feel comfortable and thrive in their work environment. Part of what that means to me in the Live in the Grey philosophy, ‘Learn from others. (Everyone’s a teacher.)’

We bring that mantra to life here at MKG with one of my favorite company culture initiatives, TED Talks Tuesdays (try saying that 5 times fast). One Tuesday per month, we gather in our projection room at lunch time and watch a TED Talk together.

For me, the best part is that all videos we watch are selected by the MKG staff. It’s an awesome way for an MKGer to share his or her interest with the team at large and for us to better understand what is important to a member of our team. Moreover, it’s important to me that our cultural initiatives include everyone’s input – our culture is about reflecting the whole team, not just one person. Part of what we love about TED Talks are the diverse topics and unique perspectives of various speakers – so the more team members we get involved, the more variety we get and the more we learn.

How it works:

– We’ve created a Google Doc that everyone can access so anyone can add a video they’d like to watch.

– Each month we schedule a date and pick a topic, then ask the person who suggested that video to “host” the TED Talks, ie. they announce the talk, date and topic they have chosen in an email that is sent out to the company. (Note: all TED Talks Tuesdays are held during lunchtime so as not to interfere with the workday.)

– On TED Talks Tuesday, everyone brings their lunch to our projection area and we watch together. Usually, the staff lingers a bit after the video to discuss what they saw. This is the real goal for me – creating a shared experience between co-workers gives them common ground, the foundation of a friendship!

If you are interested in doing something similar in your office, check out these talks which were a big hit with my MKGers:

The Art of Stress Free Productivity, David Allen

Your Elusive Creative Genius, Liz Gilbert

I hope our TED Talks Tuesdays initiative inspires you to think of how you can grey your own company culture. And by the way, if you have any inspiring TED Talks you’d like to share with me and my MKG team, please give us a link in the comment section below!




Maneesh K. Goyal

Maneesh K. Goyal is founder of Live in the Grey and the award-winning, experience-focused marketing company, MKG.

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