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What Is Your Corporate Culture?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 21, 2006

Even small organizations have a workplace culture. Is the office laid back? Is it a family-like atmosphere? Or perhaps it’s got a survival-of-the-fittest feel. As the business owner, your personality and management style will largely determine the corporate culture. It will be affected by the people you hire as well. If you are a type-A personality and you hire a bunch of type-A personalities, your culture is going to be profoundly different from that of someone who takes a more laid-back approach to business.

Why is it important to determine your company’s culture? Because every time you hire someone, you should be thinking about whether he or she will "fit" into the culture you have created. Studies have shown that individuals hired based on their fit with the company are far more successful than those hired based on their fit with the job opening. In other words, you could hire the best accountant in the world, but if he clashes with the company culture, he is doomed to fail.

John Challenger
Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Reader Comments


August 21, 2006 1:59 PM

A cultural fit between the corporation and its people is essential, as you say. But it seems to me that trying to organize the fit by analogy is not that simple. It is more difficult than one thinks to tell in advance who will fit.
Corporate culture and individual behavior interact all the time. A paradox: a lot more energy is devoted to planning than to trying to understand the reasons for a successful or failed integration.

Jerome Alexander

December 23, 2006 1:47 PM

Most corporate executives are so far removed from the actual day to day operations that they have no idea what the real culture is like. Surrounded by "yes men", toadies, and climbers who tell them exactly what they want to hear, they will never "get it." In my book, "160 Degrees of Deviation," I describe the value of actually listening to the cynics and skeptics who are so often overlooked and ostracized. Give it a try!. Jerome Alexander

Jerome Alexander

December 28, 2006 7:36 PM

Attempts are changing the corporate culture from the ivory tower are doomed to failure. Top executives are too far removed and out of touch to even realize what is really going on. More in my book "160 Degrees of Deviation: The Case for the Corporate Cynic." Jerome Alexander

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