The dominant, but tacit, influencer that has the capacity to both limit and liberate a business: are the shared organisational beliefs. They are a silent power within every organisation that’s quietly moulding the patterns of behaviour that will determine the culture and organizational performance.
Today, we live in a time of rapid change, when products and services often become obsolete overnight, and competition includes startups and companies in adjacent industries – the traditional leadership archetypes of a singular vision and strong command need not apply. To accommodate and achieve effectiveness in highly dynamic environments an entirely new value system is beginning to emerge for the leaders of the future, one that will continue to grow with the rise of new tools like artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation.
Written by Jared Lindzon, published on Fast Company
When an organization is brand new, very little is assumed about how everyone interacts or works together. It’s in this period when you have the greatest control to set the tone for the culture. The team of Median, a New York based organizational design consultancy, put together a checklist of steps to take to help founders and execs to build the culture they desire, from Day 1.
Written by the Median
John Doerr, chair of the venture capital firm KPCB, has been a board member of Google (now Alphabet) and mentor to Google’s founders since the company’s beginning. Doerr sat down with Prasad Setty, Google’s VP of People Analytics & Compensation, to discuss the importance of People Operations and why companies should try to get clear on what the company’s culture is, because, Doerr says, “culture will allow your team, your people, yourself to make the right decisions more often and faster.”
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A growing number of companies are starting to recognize, if you don’t get people and culture right, your efforts in every other area will ultimately result to nought. But building a Culture First organization is not about perks, or about being perfect, a perfect culture isn’t a culture, it’s a cult. Putting culture first means focussing first on employees, as the driver of company performance instead of concentrating first on the end result (profits to shareholders).
Article by Didier Elzinga, CEO of Culture Amp, on the Culture Amp blog
Building culture begins with the behavior of the leaders in organizations. To say that another way, if you are interested in changing the culture of your organization, your first step should be to look in the mirror and make sure you are setting the kind of behavioral examples you want everyone else to follow.
Article by Jim Whitehorse, CEO of Red Hat for HBR
Like many startups, HubSpot in the early days turned its nose up at human resources. Compared to business priorities like product-market fit, it just wasn’t that important. HR is often viewed as the very bureaucracy that growing companies are trying so hard to resist. In time, the team at HubSpot changed their minds. Over the years, HubSpot has steadily increased its investment in people and culture. And as Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot, watched other companies do the same, she has started to observe some common milestones on the path to making people a priority.
Article by Katie Burke, Chief People Officer @ HubSpot
Alexander Grosse, Director of Engineering for BCG Digital Ventures, and David Loftesness, the Head of Platform at eero, have both lived through the brilliant and bleak moments of scaling teams. In this interview, they look at five areas where startups can either take action to deactivate destructive factionalism or even prevent them from forming in the first place. They share concrete processes for regaining the efficiency that leaders might not even realize they’re losing to competing mindsets and poor communication. Through these tactics, they show through specific scenarios why empathy is just as vital to a startup’s success as innovation.
Article by First Round
Netflix and Patty McCord are famous for what Sheryl Sandberg called “the most important document ever to come out of the Valley”. It’s is a 124-page presentation about company culture that’s been shared almost 16 million times on Slideshare, called the “Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility”. The document is an essential read for everyone interested in building high-performance organizational cultures. Read the slides as well as this article, which outlines the essence and mindsets that build the DNA for Netflix’s way of running their organization.
How should founders building companies (or leaders trying to turn their company around, address disruption, beat competition, and so on) go about creating a true winning culture? Horowitz shares key takeaways from the only successful slave revolution in the history of humanity — the Haitian revolution led by Toussaint L’Ouverture in 1791 — in this keynote at Startup Grind.