Jessmina Archbold

Most folks aren’t honest with their feelings because they get unsolicited advice or intrusive questions — you can try to stop that cycle on your team with the culture you create and the micro-actions you take.

Rituals at Work: Teams That Play Together Stay Together

Rituals—even seemingly silly ones—help employees bond and add meaning to their work.

Chris Gagnon

If I were to lay out the requirements for a great leader, having a clear cultural aspiration and a plan to drive it through the organization would be really near the top of my list.

Chris Gagnon

The success of hallmark cultures is that they read one of these groups of [business] books that hung together with a consistent philosophy, and they really, really stuck with it. A little bit of best practice here, a little bit of best practice there will get you killed.

Run This Diagnostic to Thoughtfully Build (and Evaluate) Your Startup’s Culture

Most founders tend to remain high-level when the topic of culture comes up. For starters, there are tons of reads on why culture matters, but strikingly few on how to actually architect it. We all understand what it means to some extent, but it’s rarely defined or broken down. There are frameworks for product/market fit or founder-led sales, but when it comes to culture, the … [ Read more ]

Marco Zappacosta

The cultural attributes and values of an organization are really a reflection of who joins early on — the shared values that bring the early team together. Building the culture starts with who you hire, and it’s nothing more than that. It’s a mistake to be too explicit about the culture and values upfront in the earliest days of a startup. You don’t know yet … [ Read more ]

The HubSpot Culture Code

This is a slide deck created by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah to sketch out the company’s culture. For background information, read the related First Round Review article.

Jake Herway

Organizational culture is created through both institutional moments—the experiences that employees have with the corporation—and interpersonal moments—the everyday interactions employees have with each other.

Culture Wins by Attracting the Top 20% of Candidates

A culture that doesn’t just exist but that wins for your organization is one you must intentionally create. Strong organizations understand their unique culture, use multiple methods to continuously monitor the state of their culture and align the culture they want with business performance priorities — like attracting top talent.

Culture Wins When You Listen to Your Top Performers

Retention is challenging for many organizations. Retention can also be complicated. Pay and promotions alone can’t keep your best people. And your top performers likely come from different generations and demographic backgrounds. If your employees can’t define your organization’s identity — and what’s distinctive about it — they are likely to head for the exit. This means culture needs to be a part of any … [ Read more ]

Liz Fosslien

I love Adam Grant’s tactic for interviewees to learn about an organization’s culture: A job candidate can ask, “Tell me a story about something that would only happen here.” It’s a neat trick for candidates, but when you’re a manager, and by consequence an arbiter of the company’s culture, you should be asking yourself that, too. What’s that story for your company? Does it involve … [ Read more ]

Kristi Hedges

Culture determines how work gets done, but values show how companies prioritize, make decisions, and reconcile conflict. A culture may celebrate innovation, but values determine what gets sacrificed in the pursuit of it.

James Allen, Scott Leibs

As companies move from insurgent to incumbent the original culture is often lost. A variety of factors contribute, but one in particular concerns talent management: As you implement more systems, you tend to hire the kinds of people who are comfortable working within, or running, systems. You jump from a “time of heroes” to a culture reshaped by hastily implemented systems that may drive away … [ Read more ]

William E. Schneider

Culture means how we hire, structure, deploy, compensate, and develop our employees to deliver on our customer promise. It establishes and underpins a company’s: structure, membership criteria, conditions for judging effective performance, communication patterns, expectations and priorities, the nature of reward and compensation, the nature and use of power, decision-making practices, and teaming practices (among others). It is about our community of employees. It is … [ Read more ]

Bethanye McKinney Blount

Compensation is culture, period. It’s how you pay your people and it’s where the rubber hits the road. It’s the metric you can’t cheat. It’s naive to think that you’re just going to give people money and they’re not going to feel everything that’s attached to it. Pay is incredibly personal and emotionally charged. It directly affects how we live our lives and how we … [ Read more ]

Melissa Daimler

There are three elements to a culture: behaviors, systems, and practices, all guided by an overarching set of values. A great culture is what you get when all three of these are aligned, and line up with the organization’s espoused values. When gaps start to appear, that’s when you start to see problems — and see great employees leave.

Tony Schwartz

A culture is simply the collection of beliefs on which people build their behavior. Learning organizations – Peter Senge’s term — classically focus on intellectually oriented issues such as knowledge and expertise. That’s plainly critical, but a true growth culture also focuses on deeper issues connected to how people feel, and how they behave as a result. In a growth culture, people build their … [ Read more ]

10 Hiring Hacks For Nailing Culture Fit From New York’s Top Tech Recruiters

Each month General Catalyst brings together leading technologists from New York’s top startups for a brainstorming session on an industry challenge or theme. Through an exchange of best practices, our goal is to move the collective tech ecosystem forward. This month, we focus on company culture. We hosted Chief People Officers and recruiting leads from New York’s pioneering startups and here are some of the … [ Read more ]

Juan Luis Suárez

According to Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd, authors of Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, culture is “information that affects individuals’ behaviors and that they learn from other members of their species through imitation, learning, and other social practices.” […] And if we accept that culture is information that affects individuals’ behavior, then understanding it requires us to figure out what … [ Read more ]