Overhead view of conference table and people working on business plan

I learned from my mentor and "Inc. Magazine" columnist and genius, Norm Brodsky, that creating a business culture was foundational to any organization.

And as we come to celebrate a decade in business for our organization at Hosh in Brooklyn, I’d like to share with everyone the culture that we created. Culture is how things get done in a company. And we have been intentional and thoughtful about attitude, appeal, attraction, affection, and attention in how we’ve run Hosh.

Our principles have been simple: a self-directed work team, a team that answers to a mission and not a hierarchy, and an open book financial management practice.

Having the courage to speak to everyone about the culture in a business is time and energy well-spent by leadership. Encouraging teams to use their best judgment and ask themselves, "is this best for the mission?" requires no verification by management. As in politics, do now and ask later.

If you’re in the organism and in the ecosystem of the company, then trust has been already been allocated to you. Simply take action — always of course without embarrassing the mission, your ancestors, and yourself.

Another foundational principle for us at Hosh has been to always have fidelity to our why and our mission with high dosage and high frequency. Answering to a mission and not a hierarchy is sound management. The passion of the work is carried by the team doing the work and, in that moment, they are the company. They are the possibilitiani. Principle and mission of the staff member, along with our ideals as a company, create the common ground for all people in our organization to have a rhizome-attitude toward delivering service or product. That is, a horizontal and distributive sentiment for management not a hierarchal perspective on the living, breathing, and growing mission.

Lastly, every three months and every year, every single person in the organization receives a narrative on the flows and grows of the organization and its finances. Open Book Financial Management is a principle from the book The Great Game of Business. Everyone must understand how money flows through the organization.

In all, Hosh is not perfect in organization, leadership, financial, or service capacity. But we’ve grown, made errors, and learned to better manage this special being that is now a decade old. And I hope we can keep making improvement of our tremendous potential and possibility together for the well-being of all people, in all places!

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About The Author

Henry Cross's picture

Henry Cross grew up in sunny Miami, Florida. Upon graduating high school, he moved to the politicized Washington, D.C. and double majored in History and Politics at the Catholic University. He served as a social studies teacher in Prince George’s County Public School in 2008-2009. In the fall of 2009, he moved to New York City to continue and grow his work in education and service.

He joined Hosh Yoga in 2011 as a teacher and Program Director. And since 2013, he founded and expanded programming for the organization with Hosh Kids and Hosh Seniors. Henry's entrepreneurial spirit helped developed the organizational, program, and financial capacity of the nonprofit to deliver self-sustaining and self-supporting health and wellness services to over 3,000 children, adults, and seniors every month in a cost-effective and fairly-priced way. And from 2014 to 2016, he participated in a philanthropic role by expanding the programming, policy, and public advocacy efforts of the Sonima Foundation as Community Relations Director.

His work has been featured by the Huffington PostElephant JournalBlog Talk RadioThe NYC Social Innovation FestivalSocial Venture Institute, and multiple Brooklyn and Queens newspapers. He is an appointed New York City official of Community Board 5 in Queens, serves on a Department of Youth and Community Development Neighborhood Advisory Board, and on the board of directors of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association. And in 2015, Henry was selected as an etsy.org business fellow and awarded Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Rising Star. He finds joy in his community work service everyday and loves ballroom dancing!

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