Our Team Workplace

Cultural Reflection and Iteration Activity

Agenda

Timing

Activity

:05

Introductions

:15

Hopes, Fears, & Questions

:15

Strengths & Weaknesses

:05

Introspection

:30

Culture Retro

:25

Shared Customs

:10

Closing Thoughts & Looking Forward

Introductions (5 minutes)

Introduce each other and share the agenda. (e.g. “My name is Thomas. I joined the team in January as a contractor from a company called 8th Light. I work remotely from NYC!”)

Hopes, Fears, & Questions (15 minutes)

What are your hopes for (joining) the FED team? What are your fears? What are your burning questions?

Strengths & Weaknesses (15 minutes)

What are your strengths (as a contributor/leader/manager). What are your weaknesses? What do you enjoy about software/the work we do? What do you dislike?

Introspection (5 minutes)

Draw how you’re feeling about your workplace environment and how it enables or prevents you from doing your best work. (You can share this drawing to help answer the next few questions).

Culture Retrospection (30 minutes)

Good or bad, what did you come into this meeting hoping to talk about? What is your ask of the team?

“Improve” “Shoutout” (e.g. “Working-from-home feels fraught with tension and the general agreement around it seems ill-defined. Can we define some rules around it?”

What cultural aspect of our team are you most proud of? What do we already do that we should give voice to?

“Keep” (e.g. “Forming a snack train to head upstairs is a nice way to have informal chats!”)

Shared Customs (25 minutes)

Expectations

What expectations of the team or others do individuals hold? (e.g. “I expect the team to set aside time for timely PR reviews.”)

Agreements

How do we want to work together day to day? (e.g. “We work on Central Time from 9am to 5pm”)

Boundaries

What personal boundaries do you want the rest of the team to know about and respect? (e.g. “I turn off Slack notifications on the weekend”)

Closing Thoughts & Pro-spection (10 minutes)

How can we incorporate these shared customs into our day-to-day work? How do we better embody our culture and better have our defined culture reflect our team?

References

Meeting-context Definitions

Word

Definition

Agreement

An agreed upon guideline, process or protocol designed to guide the flow of value

Commitment

An intentional limitation of our freedom of personal choice in favor of consented-upon team decisions

Consensus

Unanimous agreement

Consent

Absence of objections that fall outside of any individual’s range of tolerance

Flow of Value

Deliverables traveling through an organization towards customers or other stakeholders

Folklore

Implicit norms that the team assumes through observation or tribal knowledge

Practice

A basic idea or rule that guides behavior, or explains or controls how something happens or works.

Range of Tolerance

Everything that is not our personal preference but also not something we would object to

Team

A group of people collaborating toward a shared driver (or objective).