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“You can’t install a culture. Like a fine scotch, you’ve got to give it time to develop”

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The title of this post is a quote from a book I recently finished reading, Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson, founders of 37signals, and I wanted to share the rest of that quote from them because it really made me sit back and think:

You don’t create a culture
Instant cultures are artificial cultures. They’re big bangs made of mission statements, declarations, and rules. They are obvious, ugly, and plastic. Artificial culture is paint. Real culture is patina.
You don’t create a culture. It happens. This is why new companies don’t have a culture. Culture is the byproduct of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, then sharing will be built into your culture. If you reward trust, then trust will be built in. If you treat customers right, then treating customers right becomes your culture.
Culture isn’t a foosball table or trust falls. It isn’t policy. It isn’t the Christmas party or the company picnic. Those are objects and events, not culture. And it’s not a slogan, either. Culture is action, not words.
So don’t worry too much about it. Don’t force it. You can’t install a culture. Like a fine scotch, you’ve got to give it time to develop.

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