Maybe we got this Culture Fit thing all Wrong! #WorkHuman

Maybe we got this Culture Fit thing all Wrong! #WorkHuman

So, I’m sitting on a plane flying back from the WorkHuman conference and I’m going through my notes. Here’s one of the things I wrote down:

“Instead of culture fit, what if we focused on culture contribution…” 

I don’t even remember who said it that sparked me to write it down, but I loved it. I want to say it was Adam Grant, seemed like he was saying a bunch of stuff I liked during his session.

It struck me immediately when it was said. It’s one of those times when you go, “Holy crap, have we missed this all along and no one said anything!”

The problem is, hiring for culture fit is really hard. There are technologies and experts who will tell you they can do it, but it’s mostly smoke and mirrors. When you sit down and interview people, you mostly don’t get culture fit, you get ‘I’m comfortable with this person’ and that turns into you saying, “they’d be a great fit in our culture!”

Hiring for culture contribution actually is a bit easier and probably more effective! I can easily interview someone and ask for concrete examples of the cultural contributions they currently provide at their organization or have provided, and what they’ll provide when they come to my organization. Sure they could lie or exaggerate, but that happens already, so that’s nothing new.

What I like about culture contribution over cultural fit is I can measure cultural contribution! Don’t tell me you fit, show me you fit! There’s millions of ways employees can contribute to culture, so it’s not like we are limiting hires to only those who ‘want’ to be involved.

I don’t know. What do you think?

It was just a note on a scrap of paper, but man it seems really profound. Hit me in the comments if you’re doing anything with cultural contribution in your organization.