I’ve interviewing quite a bit in the last few weeks as I’ve been searching for my next exciting adventure. It’s been tough simply because there are so many great companies doing so many exciting things out here in the Bay Area and every company is attempting to do “life changing” and “world changing” things.
As I talk shop with the founders, the leadership, and the staff I’ve begun to realize how dramatically my thinking has shifted when it comes to professional development, growth, and things like “quality of life” when it comes to corporate culture and organizational health.
What I’ve realized is that every company talks about how good the culture is but very few of them are able to illuminate and communicate effectively what that means on a day-to-day basis.
I think this is because it’s easy to cast a blanket statement about how healthy an organization wants to be (i.e. on paper) but very few have given it deep and serious thought about how this practically plays out.
And, very few organizations have created well-thought through systems and programs to ensure that culture is continuing to develop in a way that is healthy and natural.
What this means, then, is that my goal in some of these conversations (especially the early stages) is to understand as clearly as possible in no uncertain terms what it is like to work in that environment and the distance between what I read and what is really happening.
This means that asking the hard questions about culture, about organizational health, is my responsibility. It goes without saying that everyone will work hard and put in the hours required to make the organization a success… it’s about how it gets done and with what levels of trust the organization is built on that determine health.
An important side-note: Very rarely will an interviewer ask a candidate what they are looking for in terms of organizational health. I think there’s a lot of opportunity for education and coaching for your staff on how to do interviews really well.