Culture starts with YOU


How is the culture of your team? Do you want to improve it or transform it all together? What would you do?

Let’s start with definition of “culture”. What is a definition of culture?

One definition that I like is ” A culture is a way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.
Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person’s learned, accumulated experience which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.”

If you are not happy with the culture around you and want to re-define it, start with defining your own culture and transforming yourself. Each thing that you do and perform should be a reflection of that culture. Culture both good and bad are infectious. Create a culture that infectious that it propagates at the pace of fire without you having to tell people in your organisation that you are trying to change it! Be passionate about it. Immerse, live and breathe the culture you want to spread in your house, your team or your whole organisation.

Culture is a very personal thing and should not be copied from other teams or organisations just for the sake of it. Like many things copy and paste strategy will not work. Things that work well elsewhere will not necessarily work at your organisation because the people and the story is different.

Stories and actions stick. Long agendas and meetings don’t neither do empty promises. Also “You” define the culture not just fancy Power Point decks or beautifully decorated posters.

Perfecting one thing at a time

One thing that I have learnt over the years working on various projects is the need and the importance to ship  on or before time. Want to dot all “i” and cross the  “t’s” and there may be slippages or a “no-go” in project lingo. Shipping things just to get it out of the door [or to look good on project tracker] and it might be ineffective or virtually useless.

Trying to make yourself a perfect candidate before you apply for that role or ask that girl out? Well while you wait and work on that, the bar may keep rising and you or your product might never be completely perfect.

How about finding a problem or an opportunity, identifying what’s most important to get going, setting or identifying timelines, picking the most top priority thing to perfect and work on it till you get it and then ship it out.

Be Agile! Update, re-iterate and ship again.

Shipping often would not only boost your [your teams, your customers] confidence but also allow you to learn quickly from your mistakes and act accordingly. God did not make humans as we are in one day, He took millions if not billions of years to perfect us. He just kept on shipping better iterations.

Pleasure/Achievement Principle #IYW

Happiness comes down to doing things that are fulfilling and to have a happy life, you need to have a fulfilling life. I read about an interesting principle leading into this theory called Pleasure/Achievement Principle by Chris Skellet.

In order to live a fulfilling life, we must strike a considered balance between pleasure and achievement.

So just filling your life with small and big pleasure is not going to make you happy and fulfilled neither will a life of being the richest person on the planet. One needs to strike a good balance.