The iSeatz Culture Manifesto - Culture Add vs. Culture Fit

My previous article discussed how iSeatz defines its culture with the iSeatz Culture Manifesto. One of the most celebrated sections in the manifesto, "Culture Add vs. Culture Fit," digs in deeper to determine if an individual matches the company environment or has the qualities to build on the environment in a positive way for the company. 

The term "culture fit," has long been a cornerstone of hiring practices. By definition, it is the practice of hiring individuals who share similar values and perspectives as the organization. However, organizations like iSeatz are challenging this conventional wisdom, advocating for a paradigm shift from hiring for “Culture Fit" to embracing the concept of "Culture Add." This transition is not just a semantic change; it represents a fundamental reevaluation of how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are integrated into the fabric of organizational culture. 

The essence of the Culture Add mindset lies in recognizing the inherent value that differences bring to an organization. It champions the idea that diversity in experiences, skills, and perspectives enhances the collective intelligence of a team. By actively seeking individuals who can contribute uniquely to the organizational tapestry, iSeatz aims to create a workplace where innovation thrives and every team member feels a sense of belonging.

At iSeatz, we believe that excellence and diversity are inextricably linked. As such, we have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to building out a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy and practice. There is much work left to do. But, we are fully committed to building and maintaining a culture of support, awareness, and sensitivity about the importance and impact of our differences. We recognize that our differences are our strengths and are committed to leveraging these differences to build a stronger iSeatz.

Outside of iSeatz, research consistently supports the benefits of diversity in the workplace (Ely and Thomas, n.d.). Diverse teams not only bring many perspectives to problem-solving but also outperform their less-diverse counterparts (Jõgi 2017). By embracing Culture Add, iSeatz is positioned to tap into a broader talent pool, unlocking the full potential of its workforce.

However, transitioning to a cultural mindset is not just a matter of adjusting hiring practices; it requires a cultural shift within the organization. iSeatz emphasizes that the commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond the recruitment phase and should permeate everyday interactions. Leaders and team members play a crucial role in fostering an environment where different viewpoints are not just tolerated but celebrated. Employees are encouraged to challenge the status quo, present innovative solutions, and contribute to an environment of continuous learning. 

The Culture Add philosophy is not just a buzzword but a strategic imperative. When it comes to growth at both the individual and organizational levels, Culture Fits may excel at familiar tasks, whereas Culture Adds are more adept at exploring new ideas and driving innovation.

The shift from Culture Fit to Culture Add represents more than a change in hiring strategy. It is a commitment to building a workplace that mirrors the diverse and dynamic world we live in. At iSeatz, we strive to be at the forefront of this cultural evolution, recognizing that diversity is not just a checkbox but a driving force behind organizational excellence. The power of Culture Add lies in its ability to transform teams and its potential to shape a brighter and more diverse future for all.

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