This week’s curator, Laura-Jane Parker, reflects on an initiative started with the Post*Shift team recently, to examine and shape our internal culture and ways of working as we grow as a team. Here she shares progress so far, some insight into some of the techniques used to facilitate the process, available as guides from Shift*Base and picks 5 links for further reading on the topic.
One of the techniques we have been using for this is Working Out Loud, and also this week, Lee Bryant shares some thoughts on using WOL for teams and leaders.
Practicing what we preach
A few weeks ago, I kicked off a new piece of work at Post*Shift HQ, notable because it is not a client engagement but instead something internally-focussed. As our small team has doubled in size over the past year, we feel the time is right for us to articulate and document the Post*Shift culture, values and overarching mission.
Lee and Livio started Post*Shift a couple of years ago with a vision to build organisations fit for the 21st Century. As a team, we are all engaged and passionate about that over-arching aim, not only because we find it interesting work, but because we believe business and society will be better off because of it. However, until now, we have not tried to pin down what that aim translates into, in terms of what we collectively value and prioritise, or what attributes and capabilities we need to have as a team to support that. Some of these things exist as unwritten rules or as perceptions in people’s heads, but as we are now at a stage where these things need to become clearer, sooner to new hires, so it is a good time to discuss these evolving elements and craft something we can all stand behind.
Company culture is my not-so-secret specialist subject, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to lead the team through this process, and I am drawing on a few different techniques we have collectively used with clients over the years (many of which you can find in our Shift*Base Guides). It’s early days, as we are only two weeks in – but I think it is fair to say that it has already been one of the most enlightening and galvanising things I have done since joining the company. Already, we have each faced up to truths about ourselves and learned a lot about each other, and we are excited to see what we can create as an output.
Therefore, inspired by our progress, I am sharing links this week relating to company culture, and how others are attempting to shape or change theirs. Keep watching this space, as we will share more on our culture work as we continue the process.
Scaling Working Out Loud Beyond Circles
>> see “Working Out Loud for Teams and Leaders”
Last week, we joined in a co-creation effort with an amazing bunch of colleagues at Bosch and John Stepper, author of Working Out Loud, to adapt the basic idea of WOL (Working Out Loud) circles to the challenge of team development and leadership communication, and we shared the results of this work at Bosch’s first WOL Convention in the lovely Wagenhallen in Stuttgart. It was a lot of fun.
To enable our team to set aside time in the busy life of a Post*Shift employee to focus on developing our culture, I have set up a Working Out Loud circle. For 10 weeks, we will sit down together every Friday afternoon for an hour to progress our goal of articulating our culture. At this early stage we think it will likely end up taking a form similar to a Culture Code Deck, or at least achieve the same outcome of building an aligned narrative for us around our values and ways of working.
In between our meetings, we are using a Project Logbook on our internal wiki to share progress, research and thoughts transparently, and as specific tasks arise that need to be completed we will use a CLOU type agreement to ensure we stay accountable.
And finally, one of the first tasks we undertook this week was interviewing each other to understand our individual User Manuals. This led to some fascinating insights and conversation and it will be interesting to see this develop as we consider how to acknowledge what this means for us as a collective group.
- Zenefits’s new severance package asks employees to get on board with the new mission or get out. Why Zenefits Took A Tip From Zappos To Try To Turn The Company Around | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
- Five tactics to keep company culture healthy. How Facebook Tries to Prevent Office Politics
- Some tough news: Buffer has made 10 layoffs, 11% of the team. We want to share openly how we got here, the financial details and how we’re moving forward. Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details and How We’re Moving Forward – Open
- Maintaining a positive culture when everything is changing requires real work. Growing your company culture without chaos — Several People Are Typing — The Official Slack Blog
- As Netflix targets global expansion, it is quickly learning what about their famed company culture translates abroad — and what doesn’t. Netflix is on a path to dominate the world, but will its culture survive?
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