Culture and Process: Making Change Happen

Knowledge / Inspiration

Culture and Process: Making Change Happen

Continuous Discovery
UXDX USA 2022

Why is process change so hard? Even when there is no outright resistance, sometimes a new process just doesn’t seem to take, or doesn’t deliver the expected value. In this session, John explores how cultural norms and beliefs can derail process improvements, even when everyone seems to be onboard, and talks about how to shift those norms.

As Catherine said, my most recent job was, I was leading the UX, all the UX team for the media and entertainment division of Autodesk. I'm an independent consultant. Now, I just retired from full time work but in the years of my career, I've been a developer for a decade. I've been designer for decades. I've been an Agile coach. I've had a lot of roles in that.

Today, what I want to talk to you about is, why it's so important to pay attention to your culture, to your corporate culture when you're trying to establish a good product process? Well, that's pretty much it. Right, 'm going to start with a story. 21 years ago, just after the Agile Manifesto came out, the company I was working for at the time decided to go Agile so they brought in a trainer and that trainer trained all of our developers and everyone on agile. Now unfortunately, the version of agile we were trained in 21 years ago did not in fact contain anything to do with UX or design. It was just developers write code, you show it to the clients, if they liked it, good, you're done.

That totally screwed our process at the time. I got together with my colleague, Desirée Sy and my boss, Lynn Miller and we worked to try and figure out a way to make our these standard processes, the UX processes of the time fit into an agile development framework and that we-- That was later called dual track agile. Some of you may have heard of that. It's evolved a lot since then. That's another story.

But dual track agile became really popular after we started to teach it at UX conferences and agile conferences and for about five years, my colleague Desirée and I were running sold out seminars at all different conferences and we taught hundreds of people from hundreds of companies, how we would do that kind of work and of course, over those years, we started to hear back from those people and what had worked perfectly for us, we found sometimes worked for people but sometimes it didn't. They'd come back and say, we tried this and it's not working out for us. What's going on? And I would ask them, how they were trying to use the process? And what I would hear is that the process they had implemented was not what we had taught them. There were distortions or additions or deletions. That meant, again, that the process that they were doing wasn't we taught.

My stupid response to this was to blame the user. Like I used to do as a developer. It's like, well, they're doing it wrong that's why they're not having the success they wanted but we came to realize over time that the problem wasn't that they were doing wrong. The problem was, they couldn't do it right. We had somebody actually cornered Desirée at an Agile conference and said, I wish you'd never published that paper in the Journal of usability studies because now our management expects us to work this way but they won't let us work this way. He started to realize the problem wasn't the process, it was the culture. It wasn't the seed, it was the soil.

I went on to my next job where I led two different Agile transformations. First, just for the little team I was working in and then I was asked to do it for the entire media and entertainment division for Autodesk. I got to do-- We had like nine products there and I had to transform all the teams to start working agile and dual track. I got to see how different teams reacted in different geographies and different kinds of backgrounds and in some teams it flourished and in other teams, it faltered and I came to understand more, it was about kind of the local cultural conditions in those teams. That-- Teams that were feature factories beforehand would just be feature factories after and that wasn't how it was supposed to be.

When I say, culture eats process for breakfast, what I mean is this. When you introduce a process into a culture, that process will warp itself to fit the culture that it's in and more specifically, it tends to preserve power structures, implicit and explicit power structures tend to be preserved. If you are in the-- You're trying right now to introduce a new process that you want and that process shifts the Locus of Power, you need to really pay attention because that's where you're going to run into problems.

Now, you may be saying, isn't this just about change management? Yes, I'll say change management is super important. All these kinds of things you'll get out of any good change management book, you still have to do all that stuff, to drive process change at scale but my claim is that if you have a process culture incompatibility, this will not be enough. You'll have to do more.

I want to talk about what I mean by culture. Many of you have probably heard of West Culture Dimensions or the hofst-- So it's Hofstede's Culture Dimensions. There's a lot of them out there and there's a book on culture mapping. You may have heard of all of those but I'm just going to stick to the basic Wikipedia definition that culture is the set of shared values, attitudes, goals and beliefs that characterize an institution or organization and note that all these things kind of go together. They all kind of fit together so when you want to pull one of them, it's going to pull on all the others and because value, sorry-- Values and beliefs are hard to change, what tends to happen is when there's a conflict, its practice that changes that adopts there.

Now, how do you know what your culture is or the culture of your business is? Now, it may be obvious to you or it may not be obvious to you and many businesses make statements about what their culture is. They will say, this is-- We are this kind of a company or we do this but those statements are largely performative as you all know. I put out in preparation for this talk, I put it on my social media, a question I asked. I asked my followers, what statements does your company make about their values which is just not true? And literally five minutes later, I was inundated with-- These are some of the ones I was inundated with.

Just so everyone seems to understand that what a company says about their culture is not necessarily the real culture. The real culture is what happens day to day. Individual actions, the little things, what goes on in meetings, what people are allowed to talk about, and not allowed to talk about, who gets promoted and how you do appreciation for that. These are these are all things that are that reflective of the actual culture.

Now, I just want to take a little moment to talk about toxic culture because of course, that's been in the news a lot lately and by toxic culture, what I mean is a workplace that enables or tolerates people being terrible human beings to one another, engaging in really psychologically damaging and harmful behaviors like gas lighting, bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia, fat shaming, all these other things that dehumanize other human beings. I'm not going to focus on that today, there are many people who have done a lot of work in this area, who know a lot more about it than I do. Today, I will touch on toxic culture but I'm not going to focus on it. It's a super important topic, though I don't-- I'm not saying it's not important, it's critical because of the impact it has on humans primarily and secondarily, because it actually ruins your bottom line as well but I'll leave it.

Today, I want to talk more on things that aren't necessarily toxic but that can cause incompatibilities or problems when you're trying to adopt a new process or adopt the process that you want and this is the next question, what is the process that you want? Well, I don't know. I think you probably all have your own answers to what would be your ideal product process but for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume that-- Or maybe you've come to USDX to figure out what the right process is for you but again, for the sake of having an example, I will assume that as a UXDX attendee, you probably think that the optimal product process involves having autonomous cross functional teams who are aligned on the outcomes they want to create in the world and not unlike a feature list that are continuously learning from the market and making changes and adapting to it and that are held accountable for the value that they're delivering. You want to get the full value out of your investment in design and product management and development. That's what I'm going to go with for today.

I wanted to do is go through this list and see what do we need, what kind of culture do we need to support a process that's found it in this. Let's start with autonomous. To have an autonomous team, you need the company to value empowerment. They had to say-- They have to trust the leaders of the team or the team itself to be able to take risks and to make changes and to make decisions that don't necessarily need to be approved at the highest leadership level already. This can be a real sticking point right away. This is one of the first sticking points you run into. If the culture of your company is very command and control, very run from the top, this is the first thing you'll run into and I've seen this thing happened before. The cultural value we want here is respect for expertise and research that the team does over like, just the seniority or the power of the highest paid person. I always love the hippo expression and I can tell you all kinds of stories where things go wrong because of this thing.

I've seen an agile team, as opposed to the agile team that was being managed off the feature list of fixed, featureless gear, this is what you're going to deliver. Of course, if they ever wanted to be agile and change course, this turned into a big fight with management with the upper leadership. They couldn't be agile either expect it to be agile but they were not being permitted to be agile.

Similarly, I was talking to another person I know in the field whose team spent three months building a feature that they didn't see a need for because their CEOs golf buddy asked for it during a golf game. It turned out they did analytics on the feature afterwards telemetry and found it was used less than 10 times by any of their customers. It was just the opportunity cost was enormous.

How do you know if your culture actually has respect for expertise in that? Well, there's you can look for cultural signals these day to day things that happen.

Number one, is your company's decision making routinely delegated or is it the same three people at the top we're making all the decisions for everyone? When people delegate decisions, do they does leadership summary, just override those decisions or do they support them? Does leadership support the decisions made by their staff? And does your team ever build Gulf based features?

Moving on, we have our autonomous covered there. I want to talk about cross functional. Now, why do we want cross functional teams? Well, it's pretty easy. The really basic reason is that when you have more perspectives brought to a problem, you get better decision making. More perspectives leads to better decision making. That's the fundamentals of it and I've seen problems happen when there's not the right voices in the room, like they'll make a mistake, they build, predict wrong about capacity or they'll make mistakes going to a foreign market or all kinds of things can go wrong. To allow cross functional, the cultural value you need, is respect for diversity because having different perspectives really is just another way of saying diversity and when I mean respect for diversity, it's not enough to have diversity, you have to respect it and what I mean by that is that everyone involved in decision making has to really understand, like really believe that other people involved have valuable things to contribute to the conversation.

Everyone else knows things that I don't know and there are times when that doesn't happen when some people or groups believe that their opinion is just sort of better or more valuable than others and sometimes that will work out in terms of because of their position like the hippo I talked about and sometimes because there can be role chauvinism in companies-- In some companies where the decisions or the opinions of developers are regarded more highly than anyone else’s or the decision, the opinion of sales staff and I've seen that happen. I've seen cases where one development manager who excluded the design team from any access to his project until the very end because he believed that design was there to make things pretty. He wasn't really out of malice. He was trying to save the developer, the design team time. The result at the end, of course, was a completely unusable but pretty feature. I saw the development teams contribution in one particular project, the development team had assessed some software that was being acquired and had a lot of warnings about it but we, the acquisition went ahead anyway because the sales target that needs to be met but the sales team wanted it. We did make a little bit of money in the short term but the long term cost of maintaining that terrible piece of software is far more damaging than what the short term goals.

How do you know if your culture respects diversity? Well, here's a few signals, you can look for. Number one, our key perspective solicited when you're making-- When decisions are being made, are people thoughtful about who needs to be in the room to make that decision or again, is it the same three guys? Is the facilitation of the meeting because that's really important, not just that the perspectives are there but you have a way to draw out those different perspectives and consider them? If you're at a place where facilitation is considered an important skill, that's a good sign. If you look at your company who's getting promoted, do promotions, add diversity to your leadership team. New ways of thinking are-- Is the people getting promoted? The frat buddy of the guy who's already at the top when you're hiring is diversity explicitly considered and I don't mean that in a shallow way, like people just looking at ethnicity, gender in that but in a deeper way, when you actually ask your hiring teams to consider questions like, look at each candidate and think what perspective or skill or whatever does this person-- Could this person bring to our team that our team does not already have? And those kinds of conversations are really-- Can change the way you think about hiring.

All right, we've got respect for doubt where we've got our diversity. Yes, we've got respect for diversity. Yes, is that enough for good decision making? No, you need something else, you need psychological safety. Psychological safety is a term that was coined by Dr. Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School and she describes it as the shared belief that a team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.

I could do four hours on this. I'd like to work on-- This is something I think is really important. I do workshops on it but I'll just give you the Quickie stages of psychological safety. You can think of it as broken down into four parts. This is from a book by Timothy Clarke.

That the first stage of it is people feeling that they belong in the team like they have a right to be there. Not that they don't feel like an outsider.

The second is that they feel safe to make mistakes, that they can ask for help, that they can learn stuff and they won't be ridiculed or put down for it. Once you've got that, you can move on to the next one.

And they can feel that their contributions will be welcomed, that the team actually wants to hear what they have to contribute and again, doesn't matter, see them, won't punish them or shame them for it and the hardest one of all, is to stay as though they feel safe to challenge the status quo that everyone on the team feels they can say to everyone else, I think you're doing this wrong because that takes a lot of courage.

You want to foster the sense of safety and, by the way, any kind of innovation involves challenging the status quo. If you don't have psychological safety, you do not have meaningful innovation happening. How do you know if your company values psychological safety? Again, there's signals you can look out for. First off, when you're trying to reach a decision or contrary opinion solicited, is it just to get this group thing going or does people say, I think this is the right idea but who can tell me why this is a bad idea? People shows a willingness to listen to outside opinions. That's a good thing to have.

Are there topics that you never talk about in meetings, maybe you talk about them or on the lunch cooler or whatever but if they're never talked about in meetings, that's a sign that maybe psychological safety doesn't exist. Or bad meeting behavior is tolerated. If you see meetings happening and people are bullying or insulting or mocking or talking over or hogging the floor, those are all signs that your company does not really value the fostering of psychological safety.

And once again, meeting facilitation. If that's valued-- Because that's something a facilitator can help with and this one, I think, is rarely done but it's something I think is crucial-- Is crucially important.

Is our managers held accountable for creating psychological safety? It's quite easy to measure psychological safety. Amy Edmondson came up with an instrument, a small survey instrument for measuring it which means there's no reason why you couldn't measure it on teams and then hold your managers accountable for creating those conditions to get raises or promotions because it's a critical skill.

We've got our diversity. We got a good decision making down but I'm still going to finish that autonomous cross functional teams. Teams, what am I going to talk about here? Well, everyone talks about teamwork. That's a great thing, teamwork and all that but I don't think all organizations really respect teams and teamwork and what I mean by that is, is this a team is not just a group of people. It starts like a group of people but by working together, they develop team norms, they develop relationships, they develop trust, they develop expectations and it's these-- This is emotional labor, this connections that actually make a team amazing. When you got a really good team, that's the part that makes it work. It's not the individuals by themselves and a Smart Company will respect that investment in creating that and not just treated that way. I see teams often literally undermined or teamwork undermined by the incentive systems out at a company. When you're working in a team, it's very frequently the case that somebody on the team or many people on the team will have to subsume their own local goals in order to support larger team goals. Like, somebody has to do this in between work this, maybe that might be less interesting or more supportive but it's critical for the team's overall success but doesn't make that person look great individually and if you are measuring people just on their individual effort or the visibility of that and not on the team results, you are actively undermining teamwork. You are turning cooperation into competition and that's going to reduce the output of your teams. Here's some signals to look for to know if your culture really rewards teamwork.

First off, are your teams held jointly accountable for team outcomes? And that means that everyone on the team should be accountable to all the outcomes of that team. That approach will foster people working together and help people to do what they need to do to make the team work. I saw a case once where others, this cross functional development team or product team, I should say, where the designers were held individually accountable for the usability of the product but the developers were held accountable for feature delivery and bug fixing. The trouble is that the designers couldn't be successful without the developers implementing their changes and recommendations but when they had those recommendations, the developers would deprioritize them because they were not considered bug fixes or feature delivery. The incentives for the team pretty much guaranteed failure of the overall team effort. If they were held jointly accountable, then the developers will be motivated to make sure those fixes as well. Second, or high performing teams get kept together so you got a great team.

Do you bring new projects to them or are your teams constantly broken apart and reformed and broken apart and reformed, throwing away all of the work done to build those team relationships? When teams are praised or rewarded for success, are they praised as a group? Or does leadership pull out one person just the leader gets all the praise? Or just the developers or just the design miners are worse yet just the rock star on the team. I think rock stars, the existence of rock stars is super toxic for teamwork and not that the existence of them as human beings, but I see it often that someone they get a reputation that way, that leadership will tend to give them credit for a lot of stuff that wasn't entirely them. They don't see all the other work that other people did to support them and hold them up and that and in the very worst cases, when someone develops a rock star aura around them, it can enable them to get away with toxic behavior with impunity and that's my last point there is, if you see a rock stars on the team who are doing crappy things and they're being allowed to get away with it, that's a good sign that your company does not really value teamwork.

I got through our first sentence. The next thing we want is our teams to be aligned on outcomes. That is to say, you want your team to accomplish something in the market or deliver certain value. It's not about here's your feature list, what you're going to be doing, you want to be continuously responding and learning.

What do you need for that? Well, first off empowerment, which we've talked about.

Secondly, you need innovation. You want the teams to be able to innovate, to try to find new ways to solve the problems you put in front of them. Innovation means you have to have risk tolerance because you don't always get it right and a learning mindset. You have to think about always growing and what you're learning for. That's a lot there.

What are some of the signals that your culture actually values these things? The first thing I look for is the strategy. I asked him what their strategy? And I cannot tell you how many times they give me a feature list, our strategy is we're going to build ABCDE and F, like that is not a strategy. That is a feature list. That's a good sign that they're not certainly have the right mindset for this.

The other signals I look for are really about how people try to-- What they do with risk if they try to avoid it or pass it off? For example, when an experiment doesn't pay off if you try something and it doesn't pay off, is that seen as what did we learn from this or is that seen as you failed? Why didn't we deliver that? Why did you think of doing that? You can see that kind of response from leadership tells you a lot. If you see people trying to shift blame, that's a sign that they understand we're going to be punished which again means that there'll be much less willing to take risks. The risks that you need for innovation.

The other thing you'll see people doing is going to their boss before they take any risk. I'm going to get someone to sign off on it. It's not my fault and just think of all the extra psychological labor that adds to a team if they're constantly having to do this stuff to protect themselves. When you have actual metrics, are people choosing real hard metrics that will really tell them the hard truth? Are they picking metrics that are going to look good because they have to report them upward and they want to make sure they're looking good? That's another one and it will put up a good sign rather than to be bad things.

This is a thing I think is good is if you hear leaders talking about the risks as a portfolio. We're going to take these risks, these are the big risks. I'm taking the small risks and the payoff for them because if leadership thinks about this as an investment and not a failure, that's a good sign. The last thing here is about being accountable for delivering value but that's actually related, again, to empowerment and other things. We've already talked about it. I'm going to move on from here.

Now, there are some cultural values that I believe are important no matter what your process is. Just I have three of them down here.

The first one is employee engagement. Employee engagement is important because engaged employees are happier at work. They work better and harder and they stick around longer. They produce better quality work and that no employee engagement comes from a whole bunch of different things. Number one is psychological safety. That's super important to get your employees engaged. There it is, again.

Another one is the relationships they have with other people at work. You can see were a good team dynamics important there and the third one is, as the meaningfulness of the work itself, perhaps somebody whose job is saving lives might get a little more own from someone whose job is selling as I don't know, depends how people are internally motivated. Their employee engagement is limited by some things. One of the things that limits it is people's energy that they have left after the rest of their life happens. If you have something going on at home, some tragedy in your family or some other thing or you got 15 kids or whatever, you're not going to have as much energy left to bring to work and so for that reason, I think it's also important that companies value work life balance because you give people the space they need to take care of the stuff they need at home. They will be more present for you at work. I think it's a foolish manager who thinks by trying to get every hour out of somebody's getting into work late and get them to work weekends that you're actually getting more productivity out of people.

I think you get more hours but you-- The productivity actually tanks and if you destroy-- If the employee engagement that kind of brings all your numbers down across the board, so it's very short term and foolish thinking.

The last point is ethics. Ethics are super important. There's a number of signals you could look for, to see if your company Values Ethics, hopefully, it's pretty obvious. One of them is do you talk about ethics at work? That's a good sign, if you do if it is the topics avoided, that might be a warning sign. There's other things. Were you ever asked to ignore rules or regulation? I know we're supposed to go this way but we get away without doing that. Are you ever asked to do something like that? Are you ever asked to use dark patterns? If he uses dark patterns in this design, we can hit the numbers over numbers we're trying to hit.

If you find yourself being requested to do things like that maybe your employer is a bit shady on ethics. I think ethics are really important because again, not having them people know if they're doing the wrong thing. It's going to kill engagement which will bring your work down, your best people will leave because frankly, nobody wants to work on the Deathstar.

OK, so let's say you go through this whole exercise. When you think about the process, you want--
You think about the culture, you need to support that process and you can do a gap analysis by looking at the cultural signals from your own employer. Once you get there, how do you actually shift your culture? How do you make these changes happen? Well, I wish I could say at this point that I could give you a list of five handy tips. Do these five things, you will shift your corporate culture but it does not work that way. Culture is fundamentally set by the expectations and the belief system of your leaders. Any kind of culture change requires leadership buy in and it may even require more than that and may require leadership training.

For example, if you have a boss, if you're in a command and control situation where the boss doesn't want to empower the teams, you may ask why, like, why are their bosses like that if it's not a good way to work? And there's a few reasons this can happen is sometimes bosses are like that because they themselves are being micromanaged from above and that micromanagement tends to go down layer by layer.

In fact, when I was prepping for this talk, I was talking to a senior executive says that this can happen even to CEOs of companies who can be micromanaged by the board. We can go way up their bosses, sometimes they just are inexperienced or they're new so they don't know how else to manage. Or sometimes they just think that the smartest person in the room because they get paid the most. As I mentioned earlier and notice that none of those three things can be fixed by change management, all of those things will require either leadership coaching, leadership self-change, or leadership outside change. Least has been changed out there but if you're the boss, and you want to make culture change happen, I got to say, this is all on you. You can control to a large extent the culture in your organization.

I recommend starting with psychological safety, if you establish it in your own team, it will also tend to flow downwards and once you've established in your own team, your reports will tell you where things are going off the rails where things need to be fixed. That's where I think is a great place to start. Be open and willing, that you might have to change, that you might have to learn how to manage new kinds of processes and be very deliberate and talk about the changes you want to make to the culture. Make it obvious what you're doing and walk the talk at the end of it. You're the person who can make this happen more than anyone else.

If you're middle management, you can still make a lot of change. You can change the culture in your own team but you can't protect them where they interact with people outside the team but what you can do is you can start talking about this, you can take these kinds of ways of thinking that I put here other ways, and talk about culture and how it affects process and where decisions are actually being made and get this-- Make these things that are largely unconscious, conscious, in your in your work. Have that conversation going on. You can model best practices which hopefully will improve stuff on your team.

If you're in a toxic situation. If you're a middle manager and your management is toxic, you can protect your team by quite a bit of it, you can be like an umbrella but I will say this will take a heavy strain on you personally, if you do that. It's very stressful to do that and I hope you don't ever have to do that.
If you're an individual contributor, trying to make culture change, my first question is, don't panic. This is-- It's not easy and you know you're not. It's not an easy thing to do and it requires a lot of work. Again, I think the best thing you can do is start the conversation. Just point out where things are happening. Feel around it a bit. If you're an individual contributor and you are in a toxic team, my advice is get out if you can. I don't think-- I don't know how many of you ever been on a toxic team but I think a lot of people stay too long thinking they can fix things and the damage it does it just not worth your time.

OK, so let's say what you want to do? What will work? If you're the leader, if you're in a position to make change, I think there's two schools towards culture change. A few years ago, I was speaking to the VP of a company. A VP at a company and who had been hired specifically to deal with a cultural problem. They had been in the news for some toxic cultural situation and he told me he was dealing with it and I said, well, what was your method? How did you fix the problem? And he says, I took the fast route. I let go 75 people. I call this the surgical option and honestly, I think it is the correct thing to do. When the problem is toxic people, people who dehumanize others could be little assault, racism, sexism, homophobia, all that stuff that is unacceptable at work, you get a warning but you need to remove those people because they do so much damage to employee engagement and teamwork and everything else that it is. It's just not worth keeping them around. It just really is not but it leads to the question of, oh, what are those people exist? By the way, the obvious thing usually is sometimes those people are rock stars or they're perceived to be rock stars or sometimes they're dating somebody senior or there's somebody's child or nephew or that and that they shouldn't really be there.

People will say, you'll hear excuses made for oh, don't mind, Bob's just like that but he's really good. We need that but there is no skill that any individual has that can make up for the damage and I've seen on so many occasions, a team where someone's believed to be the rock star and when they're removed, the team transforms and rises far above what they were doing with that one person keeping everyone else down. It's another question isn't about Bob. We've got rid of Bob but what about Bob's manager? What about the person who was enabling this behavior or tolerating it? Does that person need to be removed?

Timothy Clarke, the guy who wrote for stages of psychological safety was talking about that and his belief was that you don't necessarily need to remove people like that often. Their problem is they don't think they can take action because they wouldn't get management support and often, they're conflict avoidant, they're always just trying to de-escalate conflict rather than actually deal with the problem. These people probably just need coaching and they need support from above and they need to start sending very strong messages that they will no longer tolerate anything like that but let's-- OK, so that was going to talk a lot about toxic culture.

What about the non-toxic things? The behaviors that aren't quite right that you want to shift? Well, I think this is our second option, is what I call braces and the idea of braces is to support the new culture that you want from all sides, long term, slow and steady pressure until you get there.

One thing to do is to talk about culture. Make it really clear exactly what you want to do and what you mean by it? It's just not these nice kind of high level, we want to value diversity. What does that mean? Specifically, what are the specific behaviors that you want to see? How will you know when you're doing it right? And these are great conversations to have. You want to establish, demonstrate and monitor those desired behaviors and do this long term.

The third thing you do is-- Another support is you align your business practices to it. That is to say your cultural, behavioral needs you want should be reflected in how you hire, how you reward people, how you do people's evaluations, how you run your meetings, how you promote people, that should all reflect the cultural values that you have and then you just keep it up. You do that. You don't. It's not a onetime project. It is not an inspirational poster. It's not a two hour workshop. This is an investment that's done over a long time, put it up there and keep it on and what happens then is your staff turns over as things change, as new people come into the organization, see these new cultural signals and they absorb this as the way things work around here. This is the culture that that you get.

As I've seen this done, by the way, this is not me theoretical. At Autodesk there's a huge amount of attention to culture and there's a multi-year effort made to drive the culture to where we want to be very specifically. I've seen it work and I've seen it work at scale. It is very possible.

I'm going to wrap up here. I'm kind of as I said, I've just retired from full time work at a company leadership position. I'm an independent consultant now and just thinking back over my career. I got my first programming job 38 years ago, writing word processor and EDD six assembly code that dates me and I spent about the first I took human computer interaction and university was a graduate course because that was only available as a graduate course in the 1980s but I spent the first 10 years of my career trying to convince my fellow developers that they needed to pay attention to human computer interaction or user centered design or what we now call UX because I realized that technology needs good design to deliver value. It wasn't enough to have the technology and then agile came along and I found myself becoming this methodology was process one. Thinking about the stuff and trying to come up with new ways because I was realizing that design and technology work together. Need a good process to make the work and because of the things I talked about today, I came to realize longer term that process needs good culture. If you don't have the right culture, your good processes can't thrive and you can't deliver the value that we all want to deliver into the world to make the world a better place.

Fundamentally, at the beginning of my career, I thought everything was about technology to cool technology but I came to realize that it was about people all along and that's where I'm going to leave here. That's-- It really is people. We need to take care of it. Healthy relationships, healthy teams are that-- Are the foundation of good decision making of meaningful innovation of Team health. You want to make sure you have that in place. If you're a leader, you want to create these situations, you want to-- You're the one who can control this. You want to be deliberate in the culture that you're architecting, you want to be the place that everyone wants to work and need to remember that when I say culture eats process for breakfast that works both ways. In a healthy culture, a bad process will not thrive. It will get fixed. Thank you.

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Wed, May 25, 6:20 PM UTC

Building an Organization Structure that works for you
Pamela Mead

Pamela Mead

Global VP of Design, SumUp