To build a world-leading product or service, prioritise team culture

Want to build a world-leading product or service? Team culture is a critical part of success.

Last month, I spoke at the Canterbury Tech Summit about why culture matters for better performance and innovation on our teams. Below, I’ve included some of my highlights from the Summit as well as a summary of my talk and a link to watch the full video. At the very end of this post, I also share a bit more information about Multitudes, a new product to measure culture from passive data, without surveys; Multitudes was born out of insights from our Ally Skills NZ work.

Highlights from the Canterbury Tech Summit

The Canterbury Tech Summit is the South Island’s largest annual tech conference that brings together leaders in innovation, technology and business to share ideas, grow their networks, and be inspired.

Kit Hindin did a great job as the MC, and there were some amazing speakers. I especially enjoyed the talk by Brooke Roberts, of Sharesies, about building a purpose-led business. For Sharesies, their purpose is giving everyone the opportunity to grow their wealth. They’re a New Zealand company that makes it easy to invest with as little as $1. Their approach has meant that they’ve been able to bring in customers who aren’t typically active in investment—50% of their investors are women, and 80% are less than 40 years old. It just goes to show that the issue wasn’t that women and young people weren’t interested in investing; they just needed a product that was designed for them.

Image shows Brooke Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Sharesies, presenting in front of a room of people. On the wall next to her is a slide that sad: 79% [of investors] are under 40 years old, $167 is the average deposit, and the gender engagement has been balanced.

Why team culture matters

During my talk, I covered three key things:

  • Why culture matters if we want innovative, high-performing teams

  • Better ways to measure culture

  • Tips for taking action next week to improve your team’s culture

If you’d like to watch the full video, check out the link at the end of this article. For a quick Tweet summary of the talk, read on below (or check it out on Twitter here):

Tweets from Ryan Hawker: “Why must team culture be a priority to build world-leading products and services? Let’s find out! (1) Project Aristotle - top driver of performance is psychological safety. (2) 85% of a company’s value comes from its intangibles. How do people feel about your company? (3) Surveys and observations are the old way of understanding and measuring team culture. The new way is to use @MultitudesCo apparently. Insights from team interaction software. (4) Make your workplace safe to contribute to and take time to reflect on how things are going. (5) Change happens faster when you ally together across diverse groups of people and thought.”

The highlight of my day was definitely when Nigel Latta mentioned my talk as part of his closing keynote—though he forgot my last name and the company name, and by the time I realised that he was speaking about me, he’d already moved on to his next point. :-) Luckily, we always have Twitter:

Twitter post from Lauren Peate: “It’s a big day when @NigelLatta mentions your talk as part of his closing keynote at the #CantySummit19. Thanks, Nigel! (The rest of that sentence was “Lauren from @MultitudesCo.”) @CanterburyTech”

To watch the whole talk (it’s ~30 minutes, including questions), follow the link below:

Note: In the talk, I mention a product called Multitudes, which measures culture from passive data that companies already have—without the need for surveys. This product was born from Ally Skills NZ work, and I’ve launched it with another Ally Skills NZ facilitator, Alix Klingenberg.

Too often, we position culture as something that the HR / People & Culture teams manage. As a result, most of the culture measurement tools are also set up in very centralised ways, with HR teams running the tool for others in the company. Alix and I believe that culture is something that all of us shape, and so we wanted to create a culture measurement tool that’s lightweight and that provides relevant, actionable data for any manager. Multitudes is that tool.