Why is a company culture so important
I was reading a book call The World is Flat and the author was discussing the importance of a country’s culture in making changes in adapting to changes in the world’s economy. He was referring to a country’s culture as:
• How well the country adapted to change
• How open the country are to other nationalities
• Their willingness the country is to embracing change
• How each country valued education
• How easy each country was to do business with
• How well each country’s political systems responded to change
Being a small business coach I could not help notice how relevant creating a culture is to the success of a business.
Before we go further we must define what culture means. Culture can be defined as the way a company defines and captures what’s important to ensure a company’s success. After the culture is defined, storing that knowledge so it can be passed down to future generation (new employees) takes on a whole new meaning. We can begin to understand why defining and implementing a corporate culture is so important.
Some things to consider when defining the type of culture you want to create would include:
• How do you and how much do you empower your employees to make decisions?
• Do you delegate and what do you delegate?
• How open you are to accepting input for others (employees, clients, suppliers) and how do you act on that information?
• What types of employees do you want to hire (the best and the brightest or people who are expected to leave their heads at home?)
• What are the values you want to embrace and promote to your customers, employees and suppliers (fairness, honesty or just meet the numbers?)
• What kinds of behaviors do you want to measure and reinforce (behaviors that create long term relationships or just make the sale and move to the next opportunity?)
Many companies do not give much attention to their corporate culture. It just evolves through the people they hire. It is usually driven by the attitude and behaviors or the company president and is passed along unconsciously.
When you take the time to define and create your corporate culture you are telling others what kinds of people will flourish in your company; it tells tell the market the companies you want to business with, it defines the behaviors that will be accepted in your organization.
Creating a specific company culture is just as important to the success of an organization as a sound business plan. In fact, the definition of how you want your corporate culture to perform should be a part of your business plan.
Of all the companies I studied, the most successful in the long term, were very clear in what their corporate culture would look like and they took action to see that is was implemented.