“In our early years, we didn’t talk about culture much. We hadn’t documented it all. We just built a business that we wanted to work in. And, that was great. But the real return on culture happened when we started getting more deliberate about it. By writing it down. By debating it. By taking it apart, polishing the pieces and putting it back together. Iterating. Again. And again.”  

Dharmesh Shah, Co-founder, Hubspot

Solution:  Ask yourself these key questions

To find out how good your culture really is, ask yourself these questions. Brutal honesty is needed; do you really know your specific mission statement, or just generally what it is?  Can you not only say what your values are, but explain them and how they are lived? What do you tolerate for an easy life?


  1. Do you know, and can you articulate, what your company purpose is, beyond making money?
  2. Do you know your company vision and mission statement?
  3. Do you know your company values?
  4. Are they clearly displayed for your everyone to see (your team, clients, customers and suppliers)?
  5. Can your team tell you what your company purpose, vision, and mission statement is?
  6. Can your team tell you where they can be found?
  7. Can your team articulate what the values mean, and how to live them?
  8. Do you set the example for others by living the values?  Do you walk your talk? How?
  9. Are you uncompromising when it comes to your values or do you sometimes let things slide, for ease?
  10. Do you hire, fire and performance manage on your values?
  11. Do you have conversations focused on what your team did or didn’t do, or is the focus on how they do it and what values they displayed?
  12. How would you rate your culture on a scale of 1 – 10?
  13. What evidence do you have of that – how do you know that number is accurate?
  14. What are examples of the values in action?
  15. What are examples of the value not in action?
  16. When the values are not there, what is there instead?
  17. What’s the gap?
  18. Are you comfortable and quick to say ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, or ‘I don’t know’
  19. Do you communicate clearly and often the success that your team has achieved?
  20. Do you catch your team doing the right thing, and let them know?
  21. How well do people get on with each other?
  22. How productive are they really, in good times and in bad times?
  23. How many “drama queens” do you have?
  24. Who are your supporters, and who are your negators?
  25. How many of your team are ‘culturally neutral’ – neither actively for nor against the culture?
  26. Who are your “devil’s advocates”?
  27. Who is a great example of your culture? What values do they display?
  28. How often do you have difficult conversations?
  29. Which companies do you admire for their culture – what specific aspects of that culture do you admire?
  30. What is more important to you – profit or people?


#leadership #companyculture #culturechange #performance #employeeengagement

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