Is Your Corporate Culture Good or Bad?

Picture of people rating Corporate Culture Good or Bad

Corporate Culture Good or Bad?
Smart leaders know if their corporate culture is good or bad.  Why?  Because they know culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.

Culture Defined
Culture is the set of beliefs or practices that are characteristic of a certain group of people. Over time, cultures develop because they are useful for success and survival.

  • For example, early studies of African, Eskimo and Native American societies revealed ways of living that were not only different from western societies, but were also very different from each other.
  • It was found that each population had its own unique way of adapting, surviving and thriving together.
  • These traits were passed from one generation to the next because they are believed to be useful for survival and adaptation.

The same is true in business.

Corporate Culture Good or Bad Defined
Culture in the corporate world is not all that different from general culture. We define culture as “The Way” things get done within an organization. Every company and team has its own unique way of doing things.

  • “The Way” endures because it makes sense to the people of the organization.
  • “The Way” represents smart and proven strategies for success and survival that have worked well in the past and should work well in the future.

Some aspects of corporate culture are very easy to see – i.e. how people dress, when they show up to work, how they treat customers.  Other facets of corporate culture good or bad are harder to observe because they represent assumptions, values and core beliefs.

The Impact of Culture in Business Performance
Regardless of whether the cultural attributes are observable or not, they matter.  Our latest organizational alignment research found that cultural factors account for 40% of the difference between high and low growth companies.  Additionally, your corporate culture will evolve whether you like it or not.

Shape Your Culture for Success
Only you as leader have the ultimate power and influence to shape it…for good or for bad. The message? Decide what kind of culture will support your business strategy and then take steps to make it happen.

For example, if you are a business that needs to depend on innovation (e.g. Apple), you need to create a culture that has characteristics that encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. You want employees who are:

  • Not constrained by “rules” and who like to dream
  • Looking for “new and better”
  • Not afraid of failure
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Experiment and re-work ideas

If you are a business that, instead, needs to depend on productivity (e.g. UPS), you need to create a culture that is efficient and predictable. You want employees who are:

  • Dependable
  • The very best at their job
  • Thrive on competition
  • Not content with anything less than perfection
  • Loyal to the company because the company is loyal to them

The Bottom Line
While cultures can be healthy or unhealthy, we do not believe cultures are not good or bad. We believe cultures are aligned or unaligned with their business strategy.  Once you have clarified your business strategy, you need to explicitly align your culture with your plans for success.

To learn more about aligning your culture, download The 3 Levels of Aligning Your Corporate Culture

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Director of Human Resources

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Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

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Director Human Resources

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

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VP Human Resources

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Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

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VP of Human Resources

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VP of Human Resources

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

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HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

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Firmware Engineering Manager

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Senior Vice President

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Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

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Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
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Samsung

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