Feedback from a project manager: “We feel constrained by the way we’re working. The new employees were expecting a more laid-back or chill culture. They were under the impression that they were going to work on cool projects with fun clients and have more freedom in their work. But it feels like a grind.”

Me: “Well, we do have cool projects and fun clients. How about we get the office together and explore what kind of culture we want to create? Then, we can build our work processes to support this vision. This approach is better than allowing project execution to dictate our culture. Perhaps there’s a way to balance the culture we desire with the way work gets done.”

The culture you wish to perpetuate is reinforced by the processes you create. They go hand-in-hand.

These might include methods for completing projects, workflows, or procedures to guide how work is accomplished. Some might call this an operational framework.

Balancing people and processes takes work, but it can pay off. The dividends come when the culture of a place and how work is executed become the same, not separate from each other.

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