Hubspot Treats Its Corporate Culture Like Software [PRESENTATION]

Hubspot via SlideshareThe workplace is changing at rapid pace — it’s mobile, decentralized, and flexible.

“The biggest problem most companies have is that they operate much like a company from 50 years ago — despite the fact that the world has changed,” says HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Shah. “The second biggest problem is that they don’t think of their culture as being for the people. Culture is not about perks and parties. It’s about what you believe and how you behave.”

At first, HubSpot, a marketing software company, didn’t think much about its culture. “We simply created a place that we (the two founders) loved to work,” Shah says. But as the company grew and hit around 100 people, it realised they needed to think seriously about what people they wanted. So they began creating a “Culture Code”. One of the places they looked was Reed Hastings’ famous presentation on Netflix’s culture.

“The Netflix culture deck was a major inspiration,” says Shah. “I’ve read it many, many times — and can recite parts of it from memory. Other companies I’m inspired by that have distinct and remarkable cultures are Zappos, Facebook and Patagonia — to name a few.”

The presentation reflects how HubSpot’s reacted and built a culture around some key changes in the work world:

  • People work for a purpose, not a pension
  • The 9-5 workday is dead
  • So is the idea of staying at one company forever

And so it’s not just a manifesto, but becomes part of a company, and everyone participates in creating and changing it.

“We treat the culture deck like software — we iterate on it frequently and realise it’s never ‘done,'” says Shah. “We also use it for recruiting and interviewing. And finally — but most importantly, we use it for reviews. We specifically have a process where we rate people on how well they match our culture. The key to this is honesty and self-awareness. If any HubSpotter feels like a part of the deck is B.S. — they can (and do) call it out. That’s why there are so many “lner notes’ in the deck.”

This is a “public beta” of the Culture Code, check here to see it as it changes.

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