This article has been adapted from Originals by Adam Grant.
When a founder/CEO creates her organization, what hiring model does she have in mind? Specifically, should she attract people predominantly based on deep skills, or based on highest future potential or based on cultural fit? It really depends on her ambition level.
When the goal is to create a new company successfully, a culture fit is by far the superior model for success. Culture fit means having the same passions and goals, strong emotional bonds and a strong sense of belonging and cohesiveness. There is strong commitment and emotional bonds among employees and to the organization. In case of strong cultural fit, it is hard for the employees to imagine working anywhere else. This becomes a commitment to pull the growing enterprise out of thick mud and through thin ice.
Commitment cultures tend to falter over time, no matter how fruitful they were in the early stages of the organization’s life. It gives startups a better chance of survival but eventually peters out growth rates. One reason why is that as they attract, select, socialize, and retain similar people, effectively weeding out diversity in thoughts and values. In volatile settings like digital and Internet industries, the benefits of strong cultures disappear. Once a market becomes dynamic, companies with strong cultures prove too insular.