Find Your Five Minute Culture

If I spent five minutes alone with a random person in your company, would I get the right impression?

If I spent five minutes alone with a random person in your company, would I get the right impression?

Earlier this week I spoke on a panel about company culture. Culture is a whale of a topic, but this panel’s common thread was how to grow something that works. Once you hit your stride, how do you actually explain it to others? More importantly, how do you know when the culture works?

Good culture shows up in results instead of manifestos. At One Mighty Roar we use a five minute culture metric. If I leave you alone with anyone on the team for five minutes, three things will happen by the time I return.

  1. You laugh at least once.
  2. You learn something.
  3. You have something to look up later.

Do you know what kind of people would fit?

The three items above have little to do with personality, and more how you approach the world. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and extend the same courtesy to others. We also spend a lot of time experimenting with new things. I could explain our culture like that, but the five minute impression is a showcase to how we live those beliefs.

Plenty of folks spend time writing down lists of things they believe. They’ll have culture manifestos with nebulous statements like “We’re always learning” and “We challenge the status quo”. What do those look like in action? Manifestos have their place, but knowing what it looks like in the wild is different. We like our approach because it’s a simple way to introduce how our team works. Your list will almost definitely be different. For example, a customer focused organization might have “You shared something you’re interested in.” This is just what makes sense for us right now.

What would happen in your team’s five minutes?

Posted Friday, February 21st, 2014 · Back to Top

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65 Comments 2 Mentions

  1. Kalpesh Panchal Author Editor

    Totally liked your five minute culture system Zach, Work culture directly affects the productivity in any organization. Our work is done so much mentally then physically. I’ve learnt that many restrictions in companies leads to restriction on one’s creativity.

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    • Ishmam Tahaseen Author Editor

      I am Hardly Agree with you. Thanks for your Nice Feedback.

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  2. طراحی لوگو Author Editor

    Great post ! I will share it

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  3. Abbas Akhtar Author Editor

    Very interesting! Thanks for the great post.
    I’ve always had a theory that company culture is easy to manage in a startup with fewer employees. As a company scales, degrees of separation emerge between the founder and later hires, and hire quality and company culture starts to suffer a bit. I’m still not sure if this is a definite inevitability or it can be mitigated in some way.

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  7. Fasulye Tohumu Author Editor

    Hi Zach,
    Your article brought a point to my attention. I think the leaders shapes also company culture.

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  8. Sam Dunn Author Editor

    nice post will share it please keep it up good job. Find Your Five Minute Culture artical is so nice i like it.Good culture shows up in results instead of manifestos. At One Mighty Roar we use a five minute culture metric. More Find Your Five Minute Culture

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  9. Kiraz Fidanı Author Editor

    We need to remember three things as you said, laugh, learn and look up.

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  23. TheAromas Author Editor

    can’t really say what will happen in my team but that was a good read :)

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    hehe…alright, i will try to laugh at least once. Shouldn’t be that difficult.

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  56. One Piece Author Editor

    Well for me, it has been hardest since my child hood, to talk to a person or spending with an unknown person on a table :P

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  59. Corbin Author Editor

    Seeing as there’s only two of us in our little venture, I think you’d walk away smiling. We like to live by the philosophy of “Don’t be a dickhead” – so far it’s working well for us. We haven’t had to look for work yet. Referrals are our #1 source of new cliental. I think there’s something to be said about just being an honest Abe and doing good work.

    Great post btw!

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