What Type of Culture Should You Create?

If you want to create a new business culture, the first step is to understand what culture looks like and means to your organization. Second, learn how to measure and define your business’ current culture, and third, decide if you want your culture to change, and if so, how?

 So what does a culture look like and why does it matter?

Imagine moving into a shared house with a group of strangers and this is what you get:

  • the rules are easy to live with and they make sense to you
  • the other roommates value a lot of the same things you do
  • the environment matches perfectly with the way you like to live; and
  • it attracts the kind of people you like to be with.

Would you stick around?  Yup, most people would.  That’s culture and that’s why smart business leaders are paying a lot of attention to it.  It matters.  It matters so much that it can be a great way to predict who will stay and who will leave your organization.

According to the Harvard Business Review web site called, The Culture Factor, “People are drawn to organizations with characteristics similar to their own; organizations are more likely to select individuals who seem to “fit in”; and over time those who don’t fit in tend to leave.”

Finding the right roommates/employees is fantastic. Replacing roommates/employees over and over again is exhausting for everyone.  Plus it costs time and money. So it pays for businesses to know their culture so they can find employees that fit and really belong there.

So, what is your current culture?

If you can figure out what your business values and how it works now, you’ll get a better idea of your current culture and how you might want to change it. In this great Harvard Business Review video called, “The 8 Types of Company Culture” they explain that researchers have found that company culture can be defined under two main headings:

  • How people interact with each other: Independently or interdependently.
  • How they respond to change: Organizations can be stable or flexible to change.

And here are the eight characteristics of culture: Whatever a company focuses on the most, will define their culture.

  1. Learning
  2. Enjoyment
  3. Results
  4. Authority
  5. Purpose
  6. Caring
  7. Order
  8. Safety

Employee surveys can measure what your company focuses on the most.  If you want to change your culture and what it considers a top priority here are some examples of famous company cultures.

Learning: Tesla

“I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous new technology where you see it and you’re like ‘Wow, how did that even happen?’”
—Elon Musk, cofounder and CEO

Purpose: Whole Foods

“Most of the greatest companies in the world also have great purposes….Having a deeper, more transcendent purpose is highly energizing for all of the various interdependent stakeholders.”
—John Mackey, founder and CEO

Caring: Disney

“It is incredibly important to be open and accessible and treat people fairly and look them in the eye and tell them what is on your mind.”
—Bob Iger, CEO

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