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People Geekly #24

Issue No. 24, brought to you by Culture Amp
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This is the twenty-fourth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around. This week we launched a new culture zine and also got a new look. 

"The right way to hire for culture fit: find people different from the people you have. Fill blind spots. ~ @searls"

Jessica kerr  (@jessitron)
Twitter for innovation (1 min 45 sec)

Diversity can drive great products (exposure to different ways of thinking cultivates new ideas), so it may be unsurprising then that a new study suggests that Twitter can result in more innovative employees by exposing them to a larger, diverse network. The full study needs access to read (there are a number of free articles available once you sign up) but two findings worth noting are: the ideas of Twitter users were rated significantly more positively by other employees and experts than the ideas of non-users. Second, in analyzing the structure of each employee’s Twitter network, there was a positive relationship between the amount of diversity in one’s Twitter network and the quality of ideas submitted. Also, it's worth disclaiming that "just exposing oneself to diverse fields, opinions and beliefs on Twitter by itself is not sufficient to enhance innovativeness."

Take a vacation, get a promotion (4 min) PICK OF THE WEEK 

We love it when data tells a story you don’t expect. Apparently "people who take all of their vacation time have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise”. Why? This article posits that well-rested people deliver better outcomes at work. Just make sure your travel is planned well in advance and isn’t a stressful one, or this theory will actually work against you. We’d also suspect that taking a break might also make it obvious how valuable you are? Whatever the effect, here's hoping you don’t need too many more excuses to take that break.

Deep interviewing (4 min 30 sec)

Standard interview questions are useless, writes Thomas Koulopoulos, adding that "if you wanted cookie cutter employees, you'd be running a cookie cutter business.” Koulopoulos believes that interview questions should be used to determine what drives people. "Conformance, standardized qualifications, and a general lack of disruptive personality tend to work best for large companies,“ he writes. "Not so for entrepreneurial ventures, where people need to grow with the organization, find opportunities on their own, and constantly question conventional wisdom.” Suggested questions include “Why are you successful?” and “When are you happiest?”, as well as "How is who you are now consistent or inconsistent with the person you were at 12 years old?”

Culture misfit (4 min 45 sec)

A lot of organizations now consider “culture fit” as part of recruiting. It’s meant as a step in connecting with people beyond just a list of skills. However, its application is tricky, especially in startups which risk becoming monocultures lacking in diversity. In this article, Mathias Meyer argues for dropping culture fit entirely. "The best way to avoid falling into the culture fit trap is to have an honest look at why someone doesn't match your expectations.” We think it’s a matter of being explicit about what is and isn’t important. Someone that gels with your core values, yes. Someone that likes the same movies and activities you do? Not so much.

Alternative management styles (7 min 15 sec) from our CULTURE ZINE

It’s long been our goal here at Culture Amp to not only share the best #peoplegeek news around, but to be producing it too - so welcome to our new culture zine. In our first article we take a look at some of the alternative management approaches being undertaken by companies like Medium, Buffer, Treehouse and Basecamp. With everything from holacracy to flat structures and ideas for team-led projects, there’s some food for thought here for everyone. The big take-away - don’t be scared to experiment.


In San Francisco on June 26Culture Summit is a one day conference that brings together successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and culture experts to share their experiences and insights on building strong cultures that lead to successful companies. Speakers come from companies such as LinkedIn, Infusionsoft, Culture Amp, Medium, and Nitro who are known for their extraordinary cultures and productive teams.  

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