Nothing about cultural code

Attention, the question: what kind of affairs and at what moment did the cultural code become more important than the present?

On the one hand, developers are now looking for in the afternoon with fire: they send friendly messages to mail and carts, do not network on meetings and konfs, they will start coming home soon. I will save no from these proposals to talk about a new interesting vacancy. On the other hand, they are increasingly often first checked for compliance with corporate values ​​of the company, before being admitted to a technical interview.

About this, as well as about hiring, onboarding and motivation of developers talked with Artyom Susekov – development manager from the company Miro.

About the company: Miro (ex-RealtimeBoard) – a platform for collaboration of cross-functional teams. 3 million users, including teams from Cisco, Autodesk, Airbnb, Twitter, Spotify, Lego, and Dodo Pizza Engineering. Now the guys have offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Amsterdam and (suddenly) Perm. In development 70+ people.

Cultural Code = Corporate Bullshit

Every time I see an article on Habré about corporate values ​​and their significance, I’m primarily looking at comments. Only then I return to the article. And here I come to what conclusion: it doesn’t matter on which side and how the values ​​are described, what evidence base is given, what references are highlighted in the text, most of the comments will be similar to each other.

“You go with your corporate bulshit to hell, let it work quietly and increase your RFP. The fundamental beliefs on which a business is based are profit. Everything else is chasing. ”

Eight years ago, I would also write such a comment. At that time, I worked for a company that ceased to be a startup, grew to a certain scale, and suddenly decided to introduce corporate values. According to these values, it was supposed not only to hire new people, but also send old ones for re-melting so that they would not stand out in the clip.

It burned out at me then notably. And there were reasons external and internal.

External: the proclaimed values ​​were written on every corner, but were not carried out by top management, becoming corporate bullshit in its purest form.

Internal: the whole story began to remind me of a conveyor belt of people who are trying to stamp identical parts from obviously different materials. Consider that direct identity theft is a human being. As for the people who were supposed to go for a re-melting, it just seemed to me to be raped in broad daylight on a crowded street.

Cultural Code ≠ Corporate Bullshit

In eight years, the corporate world has undergone major transformations, the drivers of which are ordinary employees. For example, they actively ignored and sabotaged values ​​and missions written on paper, just to be written. They refused to change at the prompt, so in the end everyone had to change: the companies themselves, their approaches to work, and the values ​​that now really help to keep a single focus.

Now the value approach goes beyond the boundaries of enterprises: many post their cultural code and principles in the public domain. Of course, the mere fact that there is some text on the basement page of the site does not guarantee anything, but it is already a step towards a public offer of the “company-employee” relationship. By making a public commit, the company takes on more responsibility, to which it can then be attracted (if something goes wrong).

The second most popular commentary on articles on corporate values ​​will help me get closer to some specifics: “What can be the ideology and values ​​of a company besides: work well, think well, make good money?”.

Well, in general, yes, all the values ​​of all companies, and indeed all the values ​​and principles of the world come down to one thing: do it well – it will be good. The task of the corporate value approach is a bit wider: not just to say what needs to be done well, but to formulate the answer to the question: “How exactly, damn it, is it good to do this?”

The most common corporate values ​​now are: people, professionalism, customer care, honesty and fairness, responsibility. Pretty banal and completely immeasurable.

But there are companies that go further and articulate their values ​​through meanings and principles.


  1. Our products change the life and work of people.
  2. We do not compromise ethics for profit.
  3. We look forward to the dedication and achievements of everyone.
  4. Rewards must be moral and monetary at the same time.
  5. Workers must have reason to trust the motives and honesty of superiors.


  1. Take care of our customers, consumers and the world.
  2. Only sell products that we can be proud of.
  3. Speak openly and honestly.
  4. Balance short-term and long-term plans.
  5. Maximize the benefits of each individual difference and contribution.
  6. Respect others and succeed together.


  1. Feel free to dream more and work hard on it.
  2. We play as one team to conquer the whole world.
  3. We create the best version of ourselves every day.
  4. We initiate changes and are open to new.
  5. We choose trust, we help to turn mistakes into victories.
  6. We welcome passion and dedication, reject conventions.

Here, skeptics can clatter their tongues and say that slogans a la slogans of children’s camp units cannot manage companies. And yet, if the values ​​are formulated without bulletproof, and in a truthful way in a homestep, people will understand what is expected of them to be related to the product, customer, internal process, each other and decision-making. And this greatly simplifies life for everyone. About this and how the culture works in Miro Artyom Susekov told at a conference in St. Petersburg.

When the cultural code will cease to enrage

In Russia, a negative connotation to “corporate values” is still often found. It is believed that this echo of war echoes of the 90s obsolete, when there was no time to swing and this whole corporate hat. The basic instinct told me to earn money without being distracted by culturalism.

But almost 30 years have passed, and soon the main part of the working people will be the zoomers. And they are so flown away and intoxicated by freedom that when choosing a job they are guided not only by the white RFP, VHI, but also by real coincidence with the values ​​of the company.

For those companies that have cut through this chip, “corporate values” are not zilch, but EVPwhich they offer to the employee and at the same time demand from them in return.

Cultural compatibility

It is necessary to check a person and a company for cultural compatibility on the shore, that is, even at the interview stage. You need to mutually probe each other, what kind of person and what kind of company it is, how comfortable it will be for you to work together, how compatible the person is with the team in which they are interviewed. If everyone starts to bother with this at the starting point, the teams will be balanced and aligned in values. And this will help to save a lot of time that unbalanced teams spend on empty disputes.

When people in a team are matched by values, they think in a similar way.
When they face new goals, they simply have nothing to argue about, they take and do.

The separation of values ​​and mission of the company largely determines why people themselves come and join the team. For example, it is important for employees to make an interesting cool product. Such a product that other cool guys will use to create their cool projects. Such a division of culture may even outweigh the financial component.

Being interviewed for cultural compatibility is important, but that’s not the end. Further it is necessary to preserve this cultural identity. To do this, it would be nice to have at least some guidelines.

The first may be a certain document (let’s call it a cultural code), which describes how these values ​​can manifest themselves, behavioral indicators and markers, and real work cases. This will help align and line up with each other.

The second reference should be feedback. When the time comes for a trial review, the newcomer should be evaluated not only by the number of closed tacos or fails, but also by the manifestation of the culture (through actions and approach to business) that is expected from a person.

About mistakes in the real world

So far, everything seems too ideal and completely divorced from life: to hire only culturally compatible ones, not to scold for mistakes, to give feedback again only for culture. But in real life, people can make mistakes (at the hiring stage), change over time, develop in such a way that they cease to race with the company. And that is the norm.

It’s good when you have the opportunity (or even the right) to make a mistake. It is important how companies deal with these errors, whether an environment is created there that allows them to learn and grow due to errors. If an employee is sure that they will not be punished for a mistake, he will not fly from the manager or someone else, he uses this moment to grow and pump himself.

This story fits well with the Maslow pyramid: first of all, security, respect, salary, and then self-esteem and self-realization. If the basic levels are satisfied, people themselves will want to take responsibility. And here it is important that the culture of the company does not force it to do, but encourages. But the story does not end there, the values ​​in the company should be good and inspiring. Only in this situation does working magic arise.

Happy end.

Disclaimer. Dear reader, this article was written under the influence of the pilot release of the podcast. “Nothing”.

In it, we talked about Miro in terms of engineering, hiring and annual salary increase, feedback strength and developer growth.

P.S. Throughout the season, we will be inviting cool dudes from cool companies like Miro, Yandex Amazon, Microsoft, Food and chatting with them about culture, building teams and processes in different technology companies. Another podcast and nothing like that.

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