There’s a famous line in The Blues Brothers movie when they ask the bartender at the Texas honky-tonk what kind of music they play: “Why we play both kinds; Country AND Western!”
We were reminded of the line when we saw this article, “The Dangers of Hiring for Cultural Fit”.
The dangers are easy enough to guess: If you just hire the people you like the most, you’ll end up like the Facebook algorithm, just churning up the same ol’, turning everything into a hermetically sealed echo chamber. Country AND Western, indeed.
Another idea that we come across a lot is because everyone is working longer hours and work has an ever more important grip on our lives, we’re more and more looking for traits in our colleagues that have more to do with our socializing needs (“Would you want to have a beer with this person”), rather than just getting the actual job done. When you share a foxhole with somebody, you don’t care if you want to share a beer with them, you just care how many enemy soldiers they kill. But the blurring of the lines between one’s work and social life confuses the issue.
A final point: we have learned firsthand that the word, “Culture”, is a loaded one. Like the word, “Love”, it embarrasses the grownups. This is because, like the word, “Love”, “Culture” for some is a platitude, they don’t understand that when designed, it is a management system and that it has the potential to connect the deepest parts of ourselves, to our work, which is a beautiful and highly effective thing.