Culture Chat

And other musings on humanizing the workplace
Managing Company Culture Unique to Your Organization

Managing Company Culture Unique to Your Organization

October 11, 2017
Kyle Fitzsimmons

When it comes to company culture, there is a lot of noise and cliché around what it really constitutes. Does culture really eat strategy for breakfast? Do people really leave the culture and not the company? Is your culture your most valuable competitive asset?

The short answer to all these questions is "Yes," but to varying degrees. Your culture should represent what's deeply valued in your organization; and more importantly, it should reinforce and clarify what drives success for the enterprise.

Don't Copy Company Culture

All the cool "culture kids" (e.g. Netfliz, Zappos, Hubspot, Amazon) do this really well. They are unapologetic about who they are, how they work and why it drives their success. They readily recognize that their culture may not be for you, and it's certainly not for everyone. That's why you can't simply copy their cultures. You cannot just decide to be like Zappos, for instance. You have to understand what's important to your organization's success and then create, nurture and maintain the right culture for it. 

Manage Company Culture

Managing your culture needs to be a priority and you should be intentional about it. Your culture will certainly grow organically, but it will likely grow into something you neither want nor need it to be. Companies that manage their cultures well do it continuously. They spend as much time and expend as many resources as they do for any other component of their operating system. They stop throwing platitudes at those clichés and start getting serious about them.

Don't Go It Alone

In order to be intentional about managing your culture, you probably need some tools. They exist, you know (wink wink). Those tools should help you measure your culture; they should help you then analyze it so you can identify your priorities; and they should, most importantly, help you do something about those priorities. It's one thing to identify them, it's another entirely to actually respond to them. Find a tool that will help you create a plan, heighten visibility and buy-in to it, and instill accountability around results. 

Image credit: flickr/Jenny Cestnik

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