Ready for some brainfood?
I’m putting together a weekly gaggle of snippets and links that relate to Culture Shock, its mission and the interests of its writer and readers.
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I’m calling it ammo, cos this is motherfricking revolution
Who’s the Boss? There isn’t one. – Wall Street Journal piece on companies operating in more empowered and democratic ways. Includes Gore (in Culture Shock) and Valve (who damn well woulda been had I come across them before I wrote the book).
What I love about this piece is the expression of some of the downsides of these ways of working – things that current and past NixonMcInnes team will know well, including:
The bossless structure can be chaotic at times, he says, but “you feel like there is total trust and an element of freedom and ownership. It makes you want to do more,” says Mr. Clem, who had previously worked at a large tech firm and smaller start-ups.
Valve Economics blog – Yanis Varoufakis. For those of you who wanna dig right into Valve in depth, check out this blog by their in house economist (how cool is that?!). Thanks to Dave Boyle for sharing this.
Culture inside and outside the corporation – Grant McCracken blog post via super-smart Antony Mayfield. What I love is the truth that when new employees join they get the freshest expression of the ‘culture’, but not the messy, layered, living reality of culture:
Good luck onboarding a new hire. A handbook may capture the most recent, the most explicit, and the most formal of the ideas and values that govern the culture, but that teeming mass of additional ideas it tends to leave out. It will take weeks, sometimes months for the new hire to glimpse all the ideas at work in the corporate culture and the rules that govern when and by whom they’re used. Time wasted. Value squandered. And sometimes a lost hire.
Commons: Alternatives to Markets and States. Piece by Derek Wall in Energy Bulletin. No idea how I came across this one – sorry, sharer of good content! And I haven’t read it beyond the fifth paragraph. BUT. Dan McQuillan, a guy who has consistently blown my mind with cerebral ideas over the last 6 or so years, did a great talk at Social Business Sessions about the Commons. And I know, just know, that there’s something huge in here, something so important that I’m not even ready to peek at it yet. So if you’re ready, start reading
37signals Earns Millions Each Year. Its CEO’s Model? His Cleaning Lady – Fast Company magazine. Yep, so we’ve all read glowing 37Signals articles and books before, right. But when you read what Jason is saying here, and think about their 35 employees and huge impact, revenues and profits, their sustained journey, and contrast with the ‘sickness’ he talks about that’s represented in TechCrunch, he’s really really REALLY onto something:
I won’t name names. I used to name names. But I think all you have to do is read TechCrunch. Look at what the top stories are, and they’re all about raising money, how many employees they have, and these are metrics that don’t matter. What matters is: Are you profitable? Are you building something great? Are you taking care of your people? Are you treating your customers well? In the coverage of our industry as a whole, you’ll rarely see stories about treating customers well, about people building a sustainable business. TechCrunch to me is the great place to look to see the sickness in our industry right now.
For me, all of these are so #cltrshck it hurts. I am genuinely uplifted by this rising tide of related ideas about how to make things better, seeing these practices gaining profile and momentum.
Let me know if you have any feedback on this format. And please keep sharing them links.