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The Culture Canvas: Can we make team culture actionable?

For many, many years people have the tendency to work together on almost everything. We went —and still go— hunting together. We play soccer, tennis and rugby together. And we solve the world’s most complex problems. Or at least we try.

Why? It’s in our nature. We know we can get more done together. And it’s often more fun to accomplish something together.

A wild guess? This will not change for a another period of many, many years to come.

Times did change, though. Over the last fifteen to twenty years, technology snuck up on us. And in particular, the internet happened. This, to overstate the obvious, has greatly changed the way we work together. Something often referred to as The Future of Work.

What will your Future of Work look like?

We all have a sense that this Future of Work offers a lot of possibilities. Project teams are distributed, people work from home, email is being dumped for Slack or Basecamp. Everything is agile or lean. Or both. Self-managing teams are growing in popularity.

But deadlines are still being missed while everyone talks about new cloud productivity apps, nothing has really changed. There’s more noise than ever before.

We still send tons of email. We attend endless meetings. And the conference calls with multiple countries never start or end on time.

Maybe you as well see the possibilities for working remotely, or running projects in a more effective way. Maybe you are also looking for ways to contribute and make an impact. Maybe you too crave a better work-life balance.

With every complex subject you are enthusiastic about, a question comes up: If I want to do something with this, where do I start?

The Culture Canvas: Can We Hack Team Culture?

The thing we noticed instantly is that more technology is not the answer. Co-operation and collaboration start with one thing, and one thing only: People. It’s always about people. It just always is. So if it’s about people, this leads us to another question: How can we hack team culture?

Our assumption was, to hack team culture, we need to make what we do regularly, the most important thing. That’s how we came up with The Culture Canvas.

We’ve identified 10 key decisions all teams make. Sometimes consciously, but most often unconsciously. Yet the implications of these unconscious decisions often result in challenges. If we resolve the obvious, but often overlooked, challenges from the start, it saves time, energy and frustration further down the line. Actually, it makes the team function better, allowing to get the job done with better results.

The Culture Canvas is designed as a roadmap. It asks questions, without telling you what to do, to leave room for your own specific needs. The changes are either small or simple, and often both. The Culture Canvas is designed to be actionable in your very next project. There is no need to change everything you do, or to learn a new ‘collaboration language’ before getting started.

Are you curious to join this experiment?

Do you want to be part of this experiment? You can download the Culture Canvas along with the free ebook here (, and start hacking team culture yourself.


We’re Kevin Weijers, Nevo Hadas and Alissa van der Voort. We help startups experiment with shaping their culture. If you want to know more about the Culture Canvas, feel free to reach out (