commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
I'm always a fan of Rand's posts, but I especially liked this one. A lot of misconceptions about perks/environment and culture are giving culture a bad name.
I think that the better term is 'chemistry' - its not about a set of defined roles/rules/personalities. It's how the diverse personalities, weirdness and habits fit together into a great team that accomodates and welcomes change.
YES! It's all about the chemistry. That's at the heart of all these BS "culture" initiatives that give the concept a bad name. Corporate Chemistry should be the buzzword. That more accurately describes the group dynamic that every company is searching for.
but I think what Rand is arguing is that it's NOT chemistry - it's finding people who share the same tenets and values and who will always work to uphold them. Chemistry implies you want to drink beer with the person, it doesn't imply that they will be someone to trust when there's no one there to supervise them.
I see what you are saying Jen but I don't think it's realistic to scale a company with only people that hold your same exact values and/or tenets. It's not about wanting to have a beer with everyone on your team, it's about getting everyone on the team to TRUST each other, be VULNERABLE with each other, and most importantly hold each other ACCOUNTABLE.
IMO the team chemistry is what determines whether you can get to that stage as a team. I'm reading this book right now - http://www.amazon.com/Tribal-Leadership-Leveraging-Thriving-Organization/dp/0061251321 and it deals with a lot of these concepts. I highly recommend it for anyone who is actively trying to build or change company "culture".
I don't think we disagree - I just think that the term 'chemistry' too easily fits in with the last part of what Rand warns against in his post, though:
"I hope, in the future, fewer media outlets write about company culture like this:
Northwestern professor Lauren Rivera concludes that companies are making hiring decisions “in a manner more closely resembling the choice of friends or romantic partners.”
“Whether someone rock climbs, plays the cello, or enjoys film noir may seem trivial,” she wrote, “but these leisure pursuits were crucial for assessing someone as a cultural fit.”
“Especially in this slow economy, more employers are asking “Star Trek or Star Wars?” (as a programmer was recently asked by an employer) because fit is believed to be a strong predictor of employee retention.”
The last thing businesses or job seekers need is that sort of wrong-headed misinformation creating false ideas and overtaking the positive aspects company culture and culture fit can bring."I do agree that how someone's abilities fit in within a team is crucial. I'd like to read more about how to define and structure a team 'culture' for maximum benefit.Anyway, this got way too long. Good talk?