We’re not alone in knowing that investing in Company Culture reaps rewards. But who else “gets” Company Culture and what do they say about it?
Sometimes people think that Company Culture is foosball tables, free meals and crazy office layouts and perks. But it’s not.
Company culture is the output of your values, your brand, your company’s core beliefs, the way you lead, manage and treat your customers and the way you communicate and treat your employees. It’s true that magazines and blogs often talk about crazy and exciting company culture’s in terms of the freebies, perks and workplace oddities that they have but thats just because they are fun and easy things to write about.
Truly influencing company culture is a long slog of tough decisions needing an accurate moral compass and the courage to do what is right over what is popular or expected.
Culture is the output of what you do much more than what you say you’ll do.
Culture is what people see in our actions, decisions and choices – writing things on the wall is the easy bit. But these leaders seem to get it and it’s good to feel at home with the CEO’s and leaders some of the world’s most successful businesses in knowing that company culture can truly be an unbeatable competitive advantage.
And it’s not possible to write this article without acknowledging the contribution made by Patty McCord and her team at Netflix who were several years ahead of us all when they wrote the Netflix Culture & Values deck. Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg famously said it might have been the most important document to come out of Silicon Valley. I know its importance to my own business Reward Gateway is such that it even has an RG short url – rg.co/netflix because we refer to its so often!
Don’t confuse “great” with “easy”
I’ve been on record many times in saying that great cultures are not necessarily easy cultures. It’s a common mistake to think culture is soft and our Glassdoor employer reviews are testament to that – most of the, although positive, talk about how important performance is and how Reward Gateway not an easy job or company.
For me, culture is the output of a set of behaviors, choices and decisions that you make – it is a statement of the type of business you are and as it’s leader, of the type of leader that you are. You’ll see that from my choice of quotes (there are hundreds available to the quickest of internet searches). Great culture is valuable, rewarding, engaging and profitable. But no one said it was easy!
My favorite 6 Quotes on Company Culture
You can see that these leaders understand that Company Culture is much more than values, its much more than statements. It’s the fabric of how you behave as an organization and as a leadership team over the long term that creates your culture.
Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks
“The only thing we have is one another. The only competitive advantage we have is the culture and values of the company. Anyone can open up a coffee store. We have no technology, we have no patent. All we have is the relationship around the values of the company and what we bring to the customer every day. And we all have to own it.”
Phil Libin, Co-Founder, former CEO of Evernote
“We try to have the kind of a culture that doesn’t value excuses in the sense that when you’re supposed to accomplish something, and you’re at a high level, then your job is to accomplish it, in spite of difficulty. And you’re rewarded for dealing with that.”
Laszlo Bock, SVP People Operations, Google
“We want to understand what works here rather than what worked at any other organization”
Louis Gerstner, IBM
“I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”
Jack Welch, former CEO at General Electric
“Soft culture matters as much as hard numbers. And if your company’s culture is to mean anything, you have to hang — publicly — those in your midst who would destroy it.
It’s a grim image, we know. But the fact is, creating a healthy, high-integrity organisational culture is not puppies and rainbows.”
Doug Conant, CEO at Cambell’s Soup :
“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace”