Adaptation to the company culture as a manager

Florian Jourda

First Engineer & Principal Architect at Bayes Impact



When I was at Box, a new Director of Engineering was hired. He had a soothing nature and was used to smooth internal politics. When some differences of opinion occurred he preferred not to raise them, and told his engineers not to make too much noise when they disagreed with the CTO. This behaviour was at odds with the company culture, and a philosophy gap broadened between his team and the CTO's mindset. The atmosphere became toxic: since there was no discussion anymore between the CTO and engineers, many of them did not trust his choices or value his decisions anymore.

Actions Taken

When the CTO realized what was happening, he decided to let go of the new DoE. It took him a full month of one-on-ones to handle the situation and to improve the tense atmosphere that had been created. This was because he had to handle the lack of trust, and solve the problem of misalignment at the same time.

Lessons learned

The problem could have been avoided in the first place if the Director of Engineering's company-culture fit had been evaluated during the hiring process.

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Florian Jourda

First Engineer & Principal Architect at Bayes Impact

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