Uber Transforms Its Notorious List of Core Values Into Cultural Norms

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In an article in The Washington Post, Jena McGregor explores Uber’s new cultural policy, where ‘Hustlin’ is out. Doing ‘the right thing’ is in’.

Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, immediately recognized the need for sweeping changes to the way the company did business. He asked for feedback from more than 1200 employees the company's new cultural 'norms'. He wrote, "the culture and approach that got Uber where it is today is not what will get us to the next level. As we move away from an era of growth at all costs to one of responsible growth, our culture needs to evolve."

Creating a bottoms-up approach is exactly what ‘Emotion Revolution in the Workplace’ initiative is all about. The key to success here is what Uber does about it beyond the words.

 Heidi Brooks, from the Yale School of Management, recognizes that the Uber choice to focus on "norms" rather than values is a nice way of holding the focus on what people actually do, rather than what they intend/pretend to do. We have so much normative behavior around tolerating the gap between intended behavior and actual.

She further shared with me that crowd-sourcing the norms is an interesting choice at this juncture for them. We’re interested to know more about how they weeded out and focused on what they selected. That process could be a powerful one, especially if enacted from the perspective of emotional intelligence.

In my book, From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, I provide specific and pragmatic advice on how to create cultures within organizations that can create the sweeping changes Khosrowshahi envisions. I hope the transition from words on paper to actual practice becomes a reality in the very near future.

Photo credit: flickr.com



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