(artist cred: Praachi)

Wow what a year so far — I’ve really enjoyed and learned a ton from blogging. Thank you to everyone who read my posts, re-posted, gave me feedback, initiated a discussion, reached out to me personally, and in general for all your support and encouragement. Also shout out to Praachi (who started painting again!) and Asmi for their beautiful art over the past months.

To summarize my mini-series, I shared ideas, frameworks, and thoughts around what I think the raw fundamentals of building good culture are — specifically the elements that every organization should have in place, including:


(artist cred: Praachi)

Ever wonder where your career is going? What is the next step for you? Do you feel stuck or like you’re not growing? Society keeps us in a structured environment throughout our childhood — you go to elementary school, then middle, then high school…you go to school and then go find a job. If you are in a job with a defined ladder, you know what will likely happen over your tenure at the company given you do decent work. But from my experiences in tech start up land, there are no ladders. You really have to get creative about…


(artist cred: Praachi)

How does your day to day work fit into the larger business strategy for your organization? Every company should be able to identify their top 2–3 strategic priorities. They should then be able to translate those priorities into activities and metrics (and put those into their job descriptions). The activities are the things employees do, while the metrics are the measurements of those things, so progress can be tracked — see my post last week on goals and success metrics. If there is a clear tie-in between the activities you perform and the overall company objectives, you will know how…


(artist cred: Asmi)

Like I wrote in my first post, my friend Jerry always tells me: if you ain’t keeping score, you ain’t playing the game. As part of my series on the raw fundamentals of good culture, this post focuses on goals and success metrics. Every employee should have specific goals that tie into larger team and company goals, and a set of success criteria that helps them measure and track their progress towards those goals. Aligned goals help employees understand how they are contributing to the bigger picture. Without clear goals, employees can feel lost or find it difficult to know…


(artist cred: Praachi)

Assistant Regional Manager or Assistant to the Regional Manager? Last week I discussed fair compensation as part of my series on the raw fundamentals of good culture. This week, let’s dive into job titles.

Titles are a descriptive identity that employees have at the workplace. An accurate and clear title can tell you quite a bit about an employee. Titles typically involve two parts — a level and a function. A level describes the amount of responsibility someone has, whereas a function describes an area of responsibility, such as a team, department, or project. …


(artist cred: Praachi)

Dough, cheddar, green, stacks, paper, gotta get this money! As part of my series on the raw fundamentals of good culture, last week I detailed what a good job description entails. This week’s deep dive will be on fair compensation, so let’s get into it.

Companies have various ways they determine compensation. Typically they consider full package compensation, which includes salary, commission, bonus, benefits, and equity. Depending on the type of role, level, industry, or geography you are in, you will be paid differently. For example:


(artist cred: Praachi)

Role clarity and accountability are key foundational characteristics of a workplace culture that enables people to do their best work and provides a sense of inclusivity. In last week’s post, I shared five fundamentals that every organization needs in place to even begin to have good culture. This week’s deep dive will be on job descriptions.

People need job descriptions because, on a basic level, there needs to be an agreement between the organization and the employee on duties and expectations. It’s absolutely crazy to not have one, especially if you’re at a company with more than 10 people. Without…


(artist cred: Asmi)

Happy new year! Over the span of my career, I’ve spent time in academia at Georgia Tech, in government at NASA and the Obama White House, in corporate land at McKinsey, and in start-up tech at Stack Overflow. Through my experience I’ve learned a ton about culture, leadership, management, communication, and strategy, and I have a ton of thoughts and ideas on those topics. So I’m starting a blog! I’m very excited about this and a bit anxious, but let’s be real, all new things are always a bit of both.

Back in August, I published my first article on…


Companies must go beyond public statements and external donations by actively investing in their Black and Brown employees.

Mihir Pathak, Ph.D., Ujima Now

Protests across the country are driving societal progress and we are starting to see changes in the form of legislation, transformation of local law enforcement practices, and open conversations about race at the kitchen table. Corporations are donating to noble causes including the Equal Justice Initiative, Black and Brown Founders, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. This is simply a start.

Although executives may be saying the right things and putting some dollars behind external organizations, what…

Mihir Pathak, PhD

Co-Founder at Ujima Now & Executive at Stack Overflow

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