What we’ve learnt from building the largest consolidated online toolkit for the people space.
In 2016, we started building mwah. Making Work Absolutely Human.
We started with a philosophy – that work is a fundamental human right. This is at the heart of mwah. and everything we do.
From this foundation, the very first thing we built was the mwah. Knowledge Base. It was then, and remains, the largest Knowledge Base in the people and culture space.
Our idea was then, as it is today, that to democratise the people space, you have to make information available to everyone. Not just the CEO or Executives, or even just the HR profession, but to every single employee or person who wants control of their working life.
Today our Knowledge base contains every practical resource, template, tool, tip and way of thinking you’ll need to navigate the people and culture questions we all face in business and our careers every day.
Who is the mwah. Knowledge Base for?
We always design for three groups – The CEO or Owner of the business, the Leader of the team, and for employees. And we have always intended that every person, in every one of those three groups, gets access to the information available to the other groups. This is because we fundamentally believe that work, works best when the CEO or owner, the leaders of teams, and the average employee, can all play a role.
We firmly believe everyone has, or should have the capacity and confidence to join conversations and work around people and culture. The truth and what we often see is that so many people are afraid to take a step into the space. Even leaders who are confident with the most technical engineering or financial lingo, feel a sense of trepidation when talking about gender, diversity and inclusion and even “the sealed section” of HR so many people fear – firing, redundancy and being part of those tough conversations.
Where did the idea come from?
I, like many in the mwah. team have personally had the luxury of working in big businesses all over the world where the budgets (if you fought hard for them) were equally big. We could outsource, build internal capacity and had the space for specialists at our fingertips.
And while we were doing that, we were learning…and challenging.
What does great in People & Culture look like? How could it be better?
Then, we set up mwah. We kept thinking it would be great to have the best possible information available for small businesses, and new businesses. Imagine if an entrepreneur could build their business culture and their people ethos into the heart of their business from day one. We thought of it as ‘building their business in the best possible way’ – for the business, for their team and for their customers, because People & Culture influence everything.
It would be even better if every leader in the organisation had access and could lead their team in a great way. We knew from our days in big companies and government, that really good people leaders are always looking for new ideas and better ways. What if we could give them that?
And finally, but most importantly, what if every employee had the same access? All the info they needed to participate and contribute properly to their own working life and to the culture of their workplace.
That was reinforced by research – empower your people from the ground up and you will create the foundations and groundswell for great culture.
Why is democratising your people and culture resources into one collective space the future?
We are well known for being geeky in the people and culture space, and are pretty obsessed at collecting and using data and facts. The more we looked at this, the more we knew this was the way of the future.
Firstly, working closely with one of our research partners in Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre, we saw that “people and culture’ was the #3 derailer of small to medium businesses, (after cashflow and the mental wellbeing of the owner/founder). Organisations needed better tools to get the people questions right.
Secondly, in working with clients, and seeing who was joining our community, we saw it was often leaders who were getting ready access to this information when needed. They wanted to lead well. They wanted to make a difference to their team. Often we also noticed that leadership development within their organisation was lagging behind their appetite. In other words, great leaders, or people who wanted to be great leaders, wanted better.
Thirdly, as organisations and their decision-making processes are rapidly devolving and democratising, every person is becoming more involved and wanting to be involved. Even away from corporates, employment contracts were changing, casualisation and gig was happening. Increasingly, people were needing to look after themselves.
And finally, as we opened the doos and started working directly with our clients, we noticed people were tired of relying on someone to tell them how things in the people space worked. Whether they were in a small business or a big business, a CEO or an employee, people wanted to tools to empower themselves.
EVERY forward-facing organisation and individual we were working with, wanted more info, better info, more confidence in People & Culture, and to lower the risk by making great decisions from the start.
Individuals wanted the steering wheel of their own working lives and careers.
What do people want in a Knowledge Base?
When we gather all of our data from downloads and feedback together, it’s clear. In this space people are looking for practical tools, clear no ‘BS’ support and a vision for what’s next, to create a better workplace.
On the practical side of things, organisations had and continue to have a huge appetite for:
- how to recruit in a great way
- how to run meetings
- how to develop a People Strategy
- how to tackle Diversity and Inclusion
- how to develop and grow a team
- how to plan a change or restructure and make people redundant in ways that weren’t leaving them devastated
- how to create a flexible workplace
- how to grab a handy template for talent management planning.
From a leader perspective, they wanted to know how to run a workshop, facilitate a strategy or a mini think tank, and resolve a conflict with a senior leader or amongst their team.
From the individual side, they wanted to know how to:
- get a great job
- pick a great boss
- grow their career and get the promotion
- resolve the conflict with a peer or their boss
- know how talent management works so they can be on the right side of decisions around opportunities
- how to get a great mentor;
- and even how to resign in a class way that didn’t blow up the bridge for the future
No one from any of the groups had the time and dollars needed to create all this from scratch, in a high-quality way.
So, we did.
670 topics. Over 25 expert authors.
Every needed template – from the really simple DIY, to the really complicated DIY, ready for you to add your flavour and ideas.
All written for the business, the leader and the individual.
And that’s the future.
The truth is that no one has got people and culture completely right. Even great workplaces and great teams and very successful individuals can get better. We see the foundation for a better future being more people – many more people joining the conversation. That starts with all the info, all the templates, ideas, research, processes and practices. And that’s exactly what we’ve built. Fully accessible to every employee within a client organisation, or for you the individual to make the choice to empower yourself.
Our Reality – the mwah. Knowledge Base
What started with over 500 topics, which is now 670.
The mwah. Knowledge Base is still the largest People & Culture digital toolkit, that inside its walls holds all the tools you need to run your People and Culture and even your own career brilliantly.
And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, call us. We add new content every month. Not from google search of keywords, but from diving deep and finding who’s doing people and culture in the most interesting way. At our heart is research, collating new data, and bringing it back to you in the simplest way possible. And if you’re a serious expert, we’re happy to have you either join the team or write as an expert on your topic of deep expertise.
What we’ve learnt about you
After four years of building this, we know a lot about how to use it well.
We know that while everything is intuitive, and you can wander around our website any which way you like- it can also be helpful to have a guide.
As a new member, you answer a few questions, and AI guides you to the right content for your question. On top of that, if you’re keen, we always offer to walk you through a 30-minute chat with one of the team around your business or your career, and what some of your People & Culture challenges are. We can suggest where you might start and how you might get into that driver’s seat you’ve been seeking.
Well, we remain proud of what we’ve achieved the right way. The most extensive People and Culture Knowledge Base of its kind. But we are by nature constantly striving to get better, do more, and take people and culture up a notch (or ten).
The Knowledge Base – or what we call the mwah. Knowledge Hub – is at the heart of what we do, but we have lots of things around that. If you’re up for the journey of getting inside the mystery of People and Culture, and want to make it one of your greatest strengths, then we’d love to help you get there.
Here’s how to get started.