Why does this matter to me? I’ve had the privilege of working at some of the most innovative and inspiring organizations—from managing Google’s Employment Brand globally, to spending time as Organizational Designer at IDEO. And yet, even at these companies that are resource- and talent-rich, people constantly get in each others’ way.
What makes the difference?
Often, we blame individuals when it is their context, the internal culture, that facilitates—or gets in the way of—success.
Borrowing a metaphor from dance:
You can’t do a pirouette on water, you’ll find it painful on asphalt, and yet, you could learn to execute one flawlessly on hardwood floor.
That’s how important the context around us is (and how much we underestimate it).
In the case of startups, the dance floor is beyond the physical office space—it’s the dynamic that exists and plays out, over-and-over, between each person. These dynamics start at Day 1 and get cemented over time and with each new hire.
Eventually, these dynamics accidentally become the norms which make up the ‘culture’ of the company.
We have to manage people dynamics before they solidify.
HereWe_ was born out of a recognition that designing company cultures intentionally requires a melding of the fields of People Operations, Strategy, Branding, and Organizational Design.
Today, I am based in the Bay Area, lecture at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), coach founders, and work with teams to align their people, and operationalize their cultures.