The first we wrote about a few weeks ago in a post titled Design Your Team. In it, we introduced the role the social contract plays in supporting teams to design and align on their unique values and working styles.
The second thing we observed in these teams was the presence of a quality we call culture making. Sometimes one person with "official" authority or power would set a strong tone and direction for the culture. But just as often, we saw culture emerge as a shared practice performed by several or all individuals within the team.
We define culture making as the capacity to see oneself as an active participant, an actor and shaper of one's own culture. It’s about taking shared responsibility for making and shaping the groups and teams you work with and within. To support more people taking responsibility for their culture, today we're introducing Culture Kits—toolkits to support you to make and shape your culture.
We envision all kinds of teams using the Culture Kits. The themes of the kits include values, creative energy, relationships, and work-life strategies. We've uncovered these themes in research we’ve done across the world. They resonate with people working in many kinds of roles, in diverse domains and industries. All teams can make and shape their culture in unique ways, but the challenges we experience in doing so are universal.
They can be adapted, remixed, and reused
We’ve released the kits under a Creative Commons license so you can adapt and remix them in ways that make sense for you and your team. This recognizes that different groups have different needs, cultural touch points, and aesthetics. For us, these kits aren’t about creating homogenous culture. They’re about supporting unique cultures to emerge and thrive.
We’re sharing three kits now (and more kits later)
We’re launching with three kits we’ve been experimenting with at Dropbox, and we have other Culture Kits on the way. For every kit, we’ll share more about its origin and development here on dropbox.design.
Future kits include a Relationship Toolkit and a guide to using Open Space to host inspired, fruitful gatherings.
We imagine the Culture Kits will support you and your teams as you shape your own culture. The kits will help foster psychological safety, so every member feels seen, heard, and supported. And when everyone feels supported, they can make unique, creative contributions that advance the mission and work of the team.
Thank you to Michelle Morrison, Andrea Drugay, and Dropbox’s Brand Studio for bringing these Culture Kits to life and to Ximena Ampuero and Eduardo Ramirez, researchers who joined me on the project that inspired this work.