Store window with the hashtag “be curious” on the window
Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

Recently in our Site Reliability Engineering organization in Azure, we established a set of cultural values that we hold ourselves and each other accountable to. Admittedly, these are aspirational in some ways but they are repeated and reinforced at all hands meetings, used as a frame in 1:1 meetings with managers and direct reports, and explicitly screened for during the interview process. It was a great exercise coming up with them that involved looking at well-functioning past and peer teams and borrowing where appropriate to foster the type of environment and culture we want to provide our own engineers. Microsoft has a good set of cultural values already with the focus on Trust and Growth Mindset so these are meant to be supplemental to the company-wide values. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and being explicit and direct about our values brings clarity to each individual on how they can apply and extend it in their own actions every day.

We came up with a set of 4 cultural values for our Reliability organization:

We Are Intentional

We Are Kind

We Are Brave

We Are Infinitely Curious

Through these 4 values, we are building an open and inclusive organization that allows each person to be their best, and true, self at work. Culture is a living thing that is always shifting so we are evaluating and making changes within these principles. I hope you find them useful and if you feel the urge to join in, check out our open Azure Reliability roles at http://aka.ms/AzRelJobs.

Principal Engineering Manager for Azure by day, run coach for @teamchallengenw by night