Thoughts on technology and innovation
Sig VanDamme, Founder
Culture Upgrade In Progress at NimbleUser
At NimbleUser, we have always been a culture-forward organization. From our focus on Innovation to service to our great coffee, we have always prided ourselves on our “great culture".
We know that having a supportive and forward-thinking culture is key to being an innovative organization, but have we actually made the connections between our words, actions, thoughts and all the other “stuff” that goes into culture?
What exactly is our culture? Does anyone here really know what our culture is? And most importantly, does our culture drive success at NimbleUser? This post is the first of a multi-part series on what we are terming our "culture upgrade".
“Your culture is the collection of things that clarifies and reinforces what is really valued by the system.”
-Jamie Notter, Culture That Works
Cue WorkXO and the Culture Genome
After reading many of Jamie Notter’s books on work and culture and seeing him speak, we made the decision to engage his company, WorkXO, to help us:
Scan Phase - NimbleUser’s Culture Assessment
We are currently in the first phase of WorkXO’s culture Genome - a research-based, industry-tested culture assessment of the current culture at NimbleUser.
WorkXO sent each member of the NimbleUser team a culture survey to fill out. 91% of our staff took the 15 minutes to rate 64 statements. To generate buy-in for the survey, we shared our goals with everyone at a recent staff meeting, ahead of the survey distribution. We communicated to the staff that we want to better understand how our culture helps support our brand vision and business success drivers.
After the responses are compiled, WorkXO provides a cloud-based platform tool that empowers a deep analysis of your organization along a spectrum of traditionalist to futurist. There is no right or wrong result - it simply snapshots your organization as you are today. That is where the journey begins.
Your organization is assessed in the following areas:
1. 8 universally important Cultural Markers, like Transparency, Innovation, and Agility.
2. The Cultural Markers are made up of 64 distinct building blocks (8 per marker). For example, the Innovation Marker has building blocks like Permission to hack and Risk taking.
3. Demographic Breakdowns that reveal differences in culture amongst different groups within the organization. For NimbleUser, the breakdowns we selected were gender, location (in office vs. remote staff), tenure, and level.
4. Net Employee Promoter Score. WorkXO considers this score based on how the team answers the question “How likely are you to recommend a friend to your organization for employment?”, the single most important employee engagement metric.
5. A map of Building Blocks based on their intensity and which direction they are pulling the organization towards.
6. Dynamic comparisons can be made to see how different groups and sub-groups responded in order to pull out insights. For example, we will be able to compare how millennials score on a particular marker versus a baby boomer.
NimbleUser Culture Club
As part of this process, we created a special 10-person team to utilize the WorkXO platform, analyze, and interpret the results. We selected the team to include team members in every department and demographic. Our president, Joe Klimek, who is a huge fan of 80’s music, named this team the ‘Culture Club.’
Jamie walked the club through the platform tool and over the coming month, we are working individually to give our interpretation of the data as we work towards our Culture Playbook. As we do this analysis, we’ll be thinking about “offensive plays” (things we might want to prioritize and adjust), but also “defensive plays” (the things we want to preserve and protect, that are part of our origin story and history and brand personality). We will then meet to collectively agree on a future state and discuss what we can do to move forward.
Our goal is to share our progress and what we have learned through this series of blogs. We plan to have this completed by our Innovate 2017 user conference that is being held in Washington D.C. on September 27. Jamie Notter will be the keynote speaker and he will speak on innovation and culture. Let the journey begin!
Read more: The Decode Phase