Cultural what?

Cultural Specialist, that's my role's name since March 2017, at Round Pegs. I was contacted by Tatá, an old friend that remembered a conversation we had long time ago, about valuing work. At that time I was working with business intelligence, focused on solutions for HR departments inside companies. Since then I finished two Masters of Science, Recebi um contato especial da Tatá, grande amiga de muitos outros carnavais, que lembrava de um papo que tivemos há séculos, no qual questionávamos como é possível valorar o trabalho de alguém. Naquela época eu estava envolvida com inteligência estratégica, focada em soluções para as áreas de Gestão de Pessoas das empresas clientes. Since then, I have passed two academic masters, opened a research company, gave lectures, workshops and consultancies. And here came the gift: the world of technology.

OMG: remote work!!

Round Pegs had, and has, a genuine and admirable concern, from my point of view: we are a Brazilian company, which deals with different mind sets between the startup and big company extremes, and we have a remote and global team, which makes our official language English.

Pedro Donati, Taíse Hacker, and Paulo Suzart knew about the great challenge of making all this happen in an organic and fluid internal structure. They began the questions of organizational culture, mainly due to the intemperies that involve the remote work. Before looking for me, they sought to understand the profile of the remote worker, the advantages and disadvantages for those who work in this format. As a research advocate, finding out that a company cared to do a research in order to prepare themselves for the team was an incredible first impression.

Cultural psychoanalysis

We started a series of meetings (remote, of course!) to understand who Round Pegs was in the context of the people and companies in which it is. We had answers from the markets, but we had to find out the essence of Round Pegs, and how we could bring together the internal and external elements.

We called this process of cultural psychoanalysis, because we dealt with such fundamental questions as “who are we?”, “what do we seek?” and “what do we do?”. In this process we defined general guidelines, using facilitators such as the Golden Circle, the notion of flags and cultural values, and organizational and individual competencies. We summarized everything in a Canvas, which we adapted to the Round Pegs People area.

My experience with research, philosophy and strategic HR helped in this process, but I still had not experienced common practices in the world of technology, especially recruiting. It was then that we called an expert in tech recruit to build technical guidelines along with us, having Employment Branding as our overall guiding.

We saw ourselves with great materials to guide us, and we felt that we were already aligned on those primary issues. It had already been a few weeks of work, in which Round Pegs continued to grow. New projects, more people. At the same time, I finished writing my thesis and I was able to devote more time to this project.

In June 2017 I joined the team, full time and remotely. My 100% remote position was not by chance: we wanted someone caring for culture, living the remote experience, and at the same time maintaining a certain distance, which is necessary to analyze the internal context analytically.

Tatá, what’s the name of my role?

This question was crucial to putting into practice what we had defined in the ideal world: we want to form a community, not a hierarchy; we want to share goals, not worked hours ; we want to relate to entrepreneurs of all kinds.

Names like “recruiter” or “peopleops” did not seem to represent the purpose of the role.

An in-house technical recruiter works to source candidates for open positions at technology companies and lends their tech background and understanding to the process.
Jessica Miller-Merrell

Was not it. I joined Round Pegs with the mission of caring for the culture that we identified and wished to maintain. Recruitment, selection, hiring, onboarding … all fundamental practices that, for us, were means for cultural alignment.

The Cultural Specialist was born.

As a Round Pegs Cultural Specialist, my mission is to unfold and act in the media that can disseminate it. We have seen the birth of a cultural garage that works with and for Round Pegs and acts on points that intersect an array of cultural values and key processes.

Any action that articulates these issues may involve (or be engaged by) the cultural garage. The design is instigating and the path we have already begun to tread challenging. So much is, that I decided to register and share these ideas over here.

This is the first of a sequence of posts that I intend to write, explaining better what culture I'm talking about, what flags define it, what the key processes are, and especially what answers we don't have... yet.

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