M:7 has transformed happy hour into culture hour.

We  were  established on the mandate to change the game while advancing the values  of respect and diversity. With our 1-OAK — one-of-a-kind —  talent, we decided to restore the broken foundation of happy hour into a vibrant, new culture hour. 

We choose to look at the workplace tradition differently because, for one, not everyone in our office drinks. And two, happy hour can be one-dimensional and cliche — two things we are not! Turns out, others have recognized what we have too — a winning culture isn’t achieved just through happy hours alone. 


So, instead of having an hour focused on just drinking, we established an hour of comradery and now massive amounts of productivity too. In fact, some of our most impactful collaboration comes during these “off-duty hours.” 

‘Steel Sharpens Steel’  

Our culture hour consists of getting the whole team together — including some who work remotely — to have a time of relaxed collaboration. Our favorite strategy-building game currently is Connect 4, and we very much enjoy competing for supremacy. 

They say ‘steel sharpens steel,’ and that’s what happens when our team gathers around our giant Connect 4 board. The game encourages us to think two steps ahead on strategy and anticipate what our opponent’s next move will be.   

How to Build Culture

We schedule culture hours randomly, impulsively and around birthdays, holidays and achievements to take a moment to breathe, laugh and be grateful. 

Although some of us pour a drink, we use this time to talk about work, brainstorm ideas and to  throw creativity all over the conference room glass board This time helps us recognize that work can — and should — be enjoyable.

After all, it’s not just about what you do, it’s about who you do it with too.  

How Can You Create Culture? 

Let’s face it, culture is a naturally occurring phenomenon and your company will develop a culture, whether you set out to initiate one or not. But, culture can be substantially influenced too, and that’s why workplace culture needs to be deliberately influenced  from both the “top-down” and the “bottom-up.” Everyone in the company should have their opinions heard, considered, and appreciated when it comes to culture setting.   

I have the benefit of watching M:7’s Managing Partner, Jim Christiana, implement our dynamic culture every day. It’s been a top priority since day 1. 

“By dedicating specific time, and consistently allocating time to the people who make your company such a  special place, that’s the way to intentionally implement a positive culture” he explained. 

Hiring to Perpetuate Culture 

So how do you find employees that advance  your culture? Check back next week, to read how Jim has driven an awesome culture and massive company growth by utilizing his “intangible test.” 

You see, we can help hone the skills that accompany a job, but there are some things that can’t be taught. You can’t teach traits such as work ethic, loyalty, faith, consistency or grit; these attributes are intangible assets to a company’s culture. 

When your company starts with a team that embodies the culture you’ve intentionally set, you can easily create an enjoyable culture hour by creating a fun environment where your teammates feel they can be their unique selves. Build a team that lives and breathes your core values. 

Then, you won’t just have culture hour, but instead, a desirable culture