Posted by on November 14, 2019 · 1 min read

The biggest takeaway from “What you do is who you are: How to create your business culture”(1) is that companies often require cultural reprogramming in order to evolve and scale.

What’s the best way to reprogram pieces of your culture? Force action by creating a shocking rule that your teams need to follow. Each of the shocking rule requires an implicit underlying point that gets imbedded in culture.

Here are a few examples:

  • Shocking rule: Partnerships at VMWare should be 49/51 where VMWare takes the 49.
    • Gives the BD team the ability to lose
    • Underlying point: if you’re negotiating something on the margin, give it to the partner
  • Shocking rule: Amazon has no powerpoints in meetings. They require a writeup to get passed around before the meeting. Silence while reading. Then discussion.
    • Forces preparation
    • Underlying point: Dive deep into details through education and preparation.
  • Shocking rule: FB uses the term “move fast and break things”
    • Gives developers permission to deploy broken code without worry. Speed is more important.
    • Underlying point: prioritize speed over quality.

(1) book authored by Ben Horowitz