Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Understanding The Importance Of Corporate Culture

Every corporation or mid sized business has its own distinct culture ... their own values, style, beliefs, tactical priorities ... their own unique way of getting things done. It is like the glue that holds the individual layers of a piece of plywood together, you don't see it or give it much thought until you try to take it apart. This almost always is indirectly imparted by the owners and management of the company, although sometimes respected and valued employees may also influence these matters, invariably if they differ greatly from the prevailing beliefs of the company leaders they probably would not be able to maintain their status as " valued and respected". As corporate culture is a by product of the owners and managers in an organization interacting with and influencing each ... other any time there is a significant change in the organization, such as a new CEO, new owners, or several new departmental managers ... the company's culture will almost certainly change as well.

As a manager in a company one must constantly be aware of the specific nuances and characteristics of his company's culture. If as a manager your values, beliefs, and way of getting things done is outside the sphere of your company's there is bound to be disagreement on a number of important issues, and it isn't a right or wrong thing necessarily, it's an approach and a comfort zone kind of thing. I would recommend to anyone in management to take an honest look at your workplace, make notes, and determine what kind of "culture" is driving it, stay observant and watch for changes. How successful you are going to be within any organization will, to a great extent, depend on how well you fit into that company's unique corporate culture, or to what extent you might influence it! If your style of management is of the supportive and nurturing style, and the rest of the company management is at the other end of the spectrum, trying to change the way they do things could well be an uphill battle!

Not only is it critical that you understand corporate culture for you to evaluate to what extent and how you can contribute to the company, it is equally important (maybe more so) when going through the process of hiring employees for the company. Try to get a feel for what type of work environments they have been exposed to, where they thrived, and where they did not ... it is one of the biggest and most important of intangibles to consider when trying to determine who will be the best "fit" in your company!

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