Building Culture for Your People: A Constructive Approach

Culture: Your Company’s Second Product

Over the past decade, I’ve been exploring and working on company culture. As I’ve discovered, culture is a product and your employees are its customers. In this article, I’ll explain why this epiphany matters and offer advice on how to apply the concept to create more effective cultures.

Customer Feedback / Culture Feedback

In building a product, you wouldn’t ignore customer feedback. The same goes for your company culture. To create a culture that meets your employees’ needs, you must understand what they are.

Product Is Never Done / Culture Is Never Done 

Just as a product is never truly “finished,” your company culture is never done. To evolve, your culture should adapt and grow to better serve your employees’ needs.

Measure/Analyze Product / Measure/Analyze Culture

To understand how your product is performing, you analyze customer feedback. Likewise, you should measure and analyze your culture based on employee feedback, such as an employee Net Promoter Score survey.

Clear Product Omissions / Clear Culture Omissions

Deciding on what features not to include in your product is as crucial as deciding what to include. Similarly, you should intentionally omit certain aspects from your culture that do not serve a purpose.

Product Feature Pruning / Culture Feature Pruning

Just as you might prune features from a product, it’s necessary to prune features from a culture to ensure its continued efficiency.  

Technology Debt / Culture Debt

When you hire someone who doesn’t fit your company culture, you’re incurring culture debt. This sort of debt can be far more challenging to address than technological debt-which may be resolved by removing the problematic implementation.

Product Design / Culture Design

To get the most out of your product, you need designs that encourage customers to use it effectively. Similarly, you should design your company culture as a guide and reference for your employees.

Shipping Product / Shipping Culture

Your product and culture are meaningless if you don’t release them. You must release your culture in forms that are valuable to your employees.

Product Rewrites / Culture Rewrites

When a product needs significant revisions, it may need to be redesigned. Culture rewrites also become necessary when a company culture becomes dysfunctional or toxic.


Your company culture is just as critical in running your company as your product or service. When creating your organization’s culture, understand that culture is also a product and that employees are its customers.

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