Monthly Culture Inspiration: April 2017

Every month, I post three types of culture inspiration: a visual, a book, and an article to bookmark.

Visual: Why Every Weekend Should Be A 3 Day Weekend, According To Science

I'm a sucker for good data visualizations, especially ones that present information in a way that is new or surprising. Tiffany McAdam's data visualization shows the actual relationship between working hours and productivity, and the findings might surprise you. See the full visualization here.

Book: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

It is the rare business book that manages to have both wonderful narrative and helpful tips. Kim Malone Scott manages to do both in Radical Candor. I read the entire book in one sitting and dog-eared many pages. A lot has been written about the main concept of Radical Candor, so I'll skip the summary. But in addition to sharing the Radical Candor framework, Scott also shares many helpful tips.

  • How to think about career growth:
    • Who are your rock stars, and who are your super stars?
  • How to think about emotions when giving feedback:
    • "Telling other people how to feel will backfire"
    • "Keep some closed bottles of water at your desk" to have at hand if someone is getting upset
    • "Walk, don't sit: When planning a difficult conversation, try taking a walk instead of sitting"
  • Why companies should create regular management fix-it weeks:
    • Here's how these worked at Google: "A system was created where people could log annoying management issues" like taking too long for expense reports to be approved. "The management bug tracking system was public, so people could vote to set priorities. Somebody was assigned to reading through them all." Then during the fix-it weeks, managers got assigned bugs to fix and would cancel all regularly scheduled activities and focus on fixing the management issues that were most annoying to the organization.

Article to Bookmark: Five Lessons from Scaling Pinterest

Sarah Tavel is a partner at Greylock VC, and formerly worked on the product team at Pinterest. She was involved with Pinterest from 5 employees through 650. She shares five important lessons from scaling Pinterest, including two lessons that are culture related: 1) What you measure matters, and 2) org charts matter. Read the full post on the Greylock blog here.