Corporate Culture: Why Should I Care?

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 16, 2019 | Go to article overview

Corporate Culture: Why Should I Care?


Corporate culture: why should I care? That was a question used during the promotion of the Corporate Culture Series' first event on Aug. 8. I was honored to be included as a panelist along with two culture enthusiasts: Sirmara Campbell of LaSalle Network and Jacki Davidoff of Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy. The moderator, Mary Lynn Fayoumi, CEO of HR Source, asked some direct questions that exposed how culture is viewed in the business sector.

Culture, as in organizational culture, was the Word of the Year in 2014 on the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. The most researched word. Every organization has a culture. What is culture? I like this explanation: Culture is composed of a set of underlying values, beliefs and assumptions that drive collective behaviors such as how decisions are made, how people lead and interact with each other and what is encouraged or condemned. It may be explicit or assumed.

The key word is behavior. The culture of any organization is the behavior that is permitted or enacted. Families have cultures. Groups have cultures. Every business has a culture. The conscious thought in most progressive organizations regarding culture has become: "is our culture good?" There are tests to determine the exact stage of a culture, but the simplest way is to observe behaviors. People treating each other with respect is an indication of a good culture. Another would be employees acting with integrity.

Campbell stated during the session that culture is not just Ping-Pong tables. Her point was well received. There is a clear distinction behind perks and cultural behaviors. Perks should be the reward for positive behaviors, not just an alternative time consumer.

How does a positive culture impact a business entity? The following are four advantages of a sound organizational culture:

* Culture cannot be replicated whereas products, capabilities and services can.

* Prized culture attracts and retains top performers. …

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