I’ve heard a lot of people promoting the ‘hybrid office’ as ‘the answer’ recently, with research by companies like Hubble finding it to be a vote winner amongst employees and CEO’s alike. People are drawn to the idea of being able to choose to work flexibly between the office, their home, or a coworking space near their home.

Simultaneously, some people I really respect like Gitlab CEO Sid Sijbrandij (who has led a fully remote company for years) argue that hybrid is the worst of both worlds. And Sid makes a valid point:

“While the office-based model has historically proven…


As Warren Buffet said, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”

The majority of CEOs who ran office-based businesses before the pandemic are currently butt naked. That’s because they relied on their office space to develop their company’s culture, and now they’re finding it’s all falling apart remotely.

The human proximity, camaraderie, ‘water cooler moments’ (or beer on tap moments if they’d drunk the WeWork kool aid) and Friday drinks were enough for them to assume they’d built something resembling a culture.

But with global lock down/quarantine forcing the transition to remote work, these…


How long will the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis last? What will ‘business as usual’ look like when the pandemic is over? Nobody knows — so we surveyed 165 startup CEOs to find out — and the results were surprising.

If company culture is defined as “the way we work around here” then the one thing we do know for certain, is that the culture of every previous office-based business has changed irrevocably.

If leaders don’t adapt to this reality and start to develop a new culture for their company that fits remote working, it will have a direct impact on their…


Who gets it?

The world of venture capital is strange. A few thousand individuals invest hundreds of billions of dollars into ventures large and small (Hampleton Partners report that in 2018, $185bn was invested worldwide). These dollars provide entrepreneurs with the resources and runway they need to create companies that have the potential to change the world. Venture Capital (VC) firms are powerful catalysts for the development, growth and scalability of new companies. They are increasingly an essential part of the economic infrastructure around the world. Getting investment, alongside sound business sense, can make the difference between becoming a household…


THE CRITICAL FACTOR THAT DETERMINES THE EXTENT TO WHICH A TEAM WILL BE HIGH PERFORMERS: PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY

‍Google’s multi-year study to understand how to build the perfect team yielded some surprising results. An elite group of statisticians, psychologists, sociologists and data scientists came together to review half a century’s worth of academic studies of groups and teams and then attempted to map the composition of the teams at Google to find out which configuration of people produced the highest performing teams. Despite the glut of data, no consistent patterns emerged as to what comprised a high performing team.

They studied various configurations of people to see under what conditions a high performing team emerged and were surprised…


Deciding to start a business is a momentous decision. Any entrepreneur will tell you that in the early years — with no guarantee of long-term success — you will pour more blood, sweat and tears into your venture than you even knew possible. There’s a reason why so many founders talk about their business as their “baby”: it takes just as much work as raising a family, you become just as depleted, and you are just as invested.

It is no wonder then that some people decide to cofound a business: after all, a good cofounder relationship can transform the…


Your company’s culture is either a strategic asset or a potential liability. Canny leaders invest in defining, embedding and reinforcing their culture. They do so because they understand that it is the only sustainable competitive advantage in their business that they could have complete control over. Companies like Netflix, Asana, Hubspot, LinkedIn and Valve use a well-crafted culture deck to turn their culture into a more visible, conscious and tangible business asset.

You can’t copy Netflix, LinkedIn, Valve, Hubspot or Etsy’s culture decks because every company culture is different, but we can learn from them. My new book Culture Decks…


Not many people know where the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid” originates from. On November 18, 1978 Jim Jones, the founder and leader of the People’s Temple cult, convinced his followers that the end of the world was upon them and 909 men, women and children committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide mixed with Kool Aid. Over the years there have been other evil cults like the Branch Davidians, The Manson Family, Twelve Tribes and Heaven’s Gate that have made the news for all the wrong reasons, and a lot of people are understandably uncomfortable with the word cult.

It’s pretty…


In 2016, a team of Harvard professors published An Everyone Culture citing Next Jump as 1 of 3 companies globally that represent the future of work — what they call: Deliberately Developmental Organizations (or DDOs for short).

The Usain Bolt of Organisations: Behind the Scenes at Next Jump, a Deliberately Developmental Organisation

Key Highlights:

• Next Jump employees spend 50% of their time on culture and 50% of their time on revenues

• Next Jump are so confident of their hiring process that they have a No Fire Policy.

• Everyone who joins Next Jump must pass through the PLB…


In this final instalment of our three-part series on W.L Gore Associates, we’ll look at how management and leadership work in a company known and lauded globally for its culture. Gore’s counter-intuitive culture was first acknowledged as being incredibly powerful in 1982 when Inc Magazine put Bill Gore on the cover, calling him the ‘Un-Manager’, and in 1998, the company appeared in Fortune Magazine’s first ever list of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work for in America’.

So what’s actually going on behind the scenes in the leadership to create such an innovative, entrepreneurial company that truly puts its culture…

Bretton Putter

Founder @ CultureGene & Author of Culture Decks Decoded www.culturegene.ai/books

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