More of the same is less — Culture fit vs culture add and autism in creative teams

Jordan Ellis
2 min readMay 16, 2023

Over the last decade there’s been a shift in the workplace. Happiness and job satisfaction gets people to stay put in their role for longer. So, we started hiring for culture fit, people who matched the company’s DNA. Without realising it, companies have built a mechanism that homogenises teams. At it’s worse, it creates entire companies of people who all think the same.

Breaking patterns of thought

When we hire for culture fit, we seek people who are like us and who think like us. We curate a mindset that reinforces any biases that may already exist and narrows our ability to problem solve.

A culture fit approach builds on what is already working.
A culture add mindset fills the areas that your culture lacks.

Hiring with a culture add mindset encourages diversity of thought. Diverse teams bring together a collection of unique experiences, viewpoints, and ideas. Having a broader set of perspectives helps to solve problems better.

Curating culture

Often, when we think of diversifying our teams, we think of race, ethnicity, and physical ability. We often leave out neurodiversity, which is easy enough to do when it’s not as visible. Autistic thinking in creative teams specifically can be a refreshing, radical, and often a much needed shake up into what is otherwise a uniform way of thinking.

The big thing about fostering inclusive culture is being ready to be accommodating. This will usually take the form of reasonable adjustments and internal training. Reasonable adjustments should be offered from the very first time a potential hire is reached out or responded to during the hiring phase.

Hiring for thought diversity is only the first step in improving a creative team’s output. It’s crucial that for this to be effective contributors feel encouraged to vocalise their thoughts, opinions, and feedback. You’ll know your team is high performing when it feels comfortable and empowering to challenge, share, and discuss in critiques or pull a few people together to challenge your work.



Jordan Ellis

Hello, I’m Jordan an autistic design lead working in fintech