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People Geekly #02

Issue No. 02, brought to you by Culture Amp

This is the second issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.   

Tweet of the week (Read: 2.5 seconds)
Strong company culture means your job is more than a job. - @Bitly

"Cultural Traction" (Read: 2 mins)
Added Value measures a brand’s “cultural vibrancy” based on how visionary, inspiring, bold and exciting the brand is perceived to be. It recently released its “Cultural Traction” report which assesses the change in these four attributes over time. Consumers this year evaluated a brand’s cultural vibrancy by considering how and to what extent the brand caused them to change. Tesla was named the top company with the most "cultural traction", inspiring consumers to think more green. 

Culture First (Read: 4.5 mins)
Companies with strong and supportive cultures are likely to be the ones leading the way in attracting and retaining top talent. So how do some of the leading "culture first" companies do it. At Pantagonia they focus on work-life balance with impromptu time spent in the outdoors, as well as flexitime office hours.  Google emphasises a flat management structure and implements a "Google-O-meter" to gauge the support for employee suggestions. At Zappos, employees are asked to define its culture, and places that first - above customer service. 

Avoiding toxic cultures (Read: 6 mins) OUR TOP READ
Taken from a Quora, these are actually some pretty well-thought out answers to avoiding toxic cultures specific to office politics, with some less-than-obvious advice. For example: "Corporate ladder-climbing is the source of most politics; that's the bulk of what provides the incentive for them. If you reduce the benefits of climbing, you're more likely to get real leadership instead of narcissistic game-playing." That's right, could reducing employee incentives motivate them more? Other great tips include: never cold-fire, hiring is the key to preserving culture (hire with trust) and take career growth seriously. 

B Players  (Read: 8 mins)
Phew, Daniel Tenner knows how to be honest, and we all know how refreshing it can be when someone shares something deeply vulnerable and human. Tenner admits to being a B player in his career, but he has a more important point to make: "The A/B player mentality comes out of a worldview where people are replaceable cogs in a machine that you’re building to make money." Tenner argues we're happy to admit that when we put ourselves in the right situation we excel, but we stop at extending that to others. "When it comes to hiring and firing, we suddenly conclude that some people are hopeless B players to be culled..." He argues for a better way of hiring. 

Startup Mistakes (Read: 25 mins - brevity, not one of them)
So how many mistakes can you make when running a startup? Apparently 54 is the answer, but most interestingly, the first (and we'd argue biggest) mistake a CEO can make is thinking culture is just going to happen. "Building the operating system of the company the way we want is something that must be actively worked on." 

In San Francisco on February 24?  Come join Matt Cohler, Lawrence Coburn, Molly Graham and Shannon Schiltz to discuss how to better design 'culture with intent’ drawing from their own personal experiences. With culture as the focus, how does HR function best for their organizations? Who are these companies seeking out to help to build, design and implement their company cultures? What are the most important aspects of culture for them? How can HR support that vision? Sign up here.