The A to Z Guide to Culture Decks
New technologies spread faster than ever before. Consumer expectations leap from one category to another at ever-quicker speeds. And as more industries become digitized, the barrier to entry for competition falls. In this era, culture is your company's only truly sustainable competitive advantage. No one can steal it or copy it, because culture is the sum total of your individual behaviors, values, attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions. Moreover, employees consistently cite culture as one of their prime reasons to join and stay with a company. In short, culture is the most effective and defensible tool to win with both customers and employees.
As more organizations understand culture as the competitive tool it is, they're openly sharing "culture decks" or employee handbooks to attract like-minded employees and customers. Internally, these documents act as powerful on-boarding tools, helping new employees quickly prepare for the environment they are entering, and encoding behavioral norms into an organization without imposing draconian rules and dogmatic processes.
What's in a culture deck?
Just like companies, no two handbooks or culture decks are alike; they look different, use different formats, and cover different topics. Some are only two pages, others are 120+ slides; some are updated regularly; others are one-time deals. But common features include:
- A history of the company and its plans for growth
- A description of their products and/or business model
- A look into how the company works, especially what sets it apart
- A set of shared values and what those values demand from employees
In 2017, NOBL will be hosting Team Design Bootcamps in Austin, London, Berlin, DC, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, Melbourne, Chicago, and Boston to train leaders in the emerging practices of high performing teams. As an output of these sessions, attendees will leave with a Team Handbook (think of it as a mini-culture deck for your team). In preparation for our sessions, our team has compiled and analyzed more than two dozen culture decks, presented in alphabetical order below. We've highlighted our favorite aspects of each deck, but we encourage you to explore on your own. Of course, if you want to learn from the practices in these books and in dozens of organizations beyond these, join us at a Bootcamp.
Wait, where's my culture deck?
Does your team or organization have a culture deck that we haven't included here? Do let us know!