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How to Hack the Culture Stack
The title of my talk this year is How to Hack the Culture Stack. You can follow #CultureStack on Twitter for updates.
This talk is grounded in the idea that culture is the fundamental base from which we change behaviours in our organisations. By focusing on psychological safety as leaders, we can create teams that outperform their competition. Psychological safety is something well discussed and yet, few leaders know how to cultivate this vital factor of team success.
The Culture Stack
One of the big ideas I shared At BoS Conference 2022 was the idea of the culture stack. The Culture Stack is a model of understanding the relationship between actions and beliefs in product cultures. Building on and inspired by Martin Eriksson's talk on The Decision Stack, I wanted to show a model of thinking through the design of team cultures on purpose.
In the model, I show that culture is built from our beliefs and carried through to our systems and ends in behaviours.
Using Hiring as a Culture Engine
I also shared some key details of how we built the hiring practice at Cazoo. One of the initial things to do was clarify our values and what mattered. We don't look for traditional markers like education as indicators of success for our team. Instead, we prioritise using behavioural science and an intentionally inclusive playing field to inform our decisions.
The Hiring Scorecard
Each company's scorecard is going to depend on roles, values and culture to shape the best things for your team. The most important thing to keep in mind when designing a hiring scorecard is to clearly define the technical and people skills you need and leave little room for bias. Focus on culture add not culture fit when you define your scorecard.
Presentation and communication shows this person makes research informed design decisions. Their prior work relies on a variety of techniques like interviews, diary studies, jobs to be done, journey maps, and quantitative data with confidence.
Each of these is about a 3/5 on the scale of maturity
Considers content needs in work before interactions. Can break down work into content, objects, and events as needed. Organises interactions around mental models and content needs.
Defines and articulates a problem and aligns with others on it before exploring solutions. Comfortable and confident in challenging decisions and asking questions. Work demonstrates an understanding of how to balance user needs and business needs.
Demonstrates examples of involving team in decision making and collaboration throughout product lifecycle. Can illustrate examples of when input from others meant a change of direction. Works to keep pace with the needs of others in the business.
Attentive, empathetic. Focuses on gathering contributions from others. Organizes information to align teams and stakeholders. Has a well developed toolkit of techniques to align diverging opinions.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Each and every candidate we see gets a team debrief. The main responsibility of the team is to ensure they give feedback about a person's ability to do the work as we've agreed we need done as a team.
Culture Add at Cazoo is clearly defined and when we debrief, the most important thing is making sure we judge feedback against both the role's job description and our scorecard.
Bibliography and Further Reading
Every time I give a talk, I believe it's important to share the sources and inputs that shaped my thinking. Here's the Bibliography and further reading for this talk.
Thanks very much,