About Culture - overheard on HN

“But culture is not a set of specific abstract principles. It’s the set of mutual values, expectations, conventions, and methods of communication that define the way people within your organization interact with each other and work together to achieve the company’s goals.

You guide the development of your culture not by fiat and ideology, but by carefully structuring the organization in a way conducive to healthy growth, by selecting the people with the right mindset to put in positions of responsibility, and most importantly, by setting the example in the way that you act and make decisions.

If you proclaim your company officially vegetarian, here are the effects I see to culture, as understood in this way:

* Alienate members on your staff who are not vegetarian.

* Blur the distinction between personal preferences and business strategy.

* Establish a precedent that the founders’s personal opinions on issues wholly orthogonal to the business are still valid grounds for policy-making (imagine the consequences of future managers emulating this).

In the long term, you’re probably moving toward a culture with an unhealthy amount of internal contention, and a staff that may not feel fully invested in the company’s goals.”


About Culture - overheard on HN


April 19, 2013

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