The 12 factors illustrated above make up the unique culture of every business. Some factors may play a critical role in the day-to-day activities of your business, while others don’t apply. If you want to have a comprehensive understanding of your corporate culture (and how to use it to attract top talent!) you have to evaluate what that culture is made of.
Culture starts at the top. You CEO is responsible for setting the tone for your entire organization.
Your culture is shaped by your corporate strategy. The unique mix of the four chief business strategies employed by your company shapes your culture.
The four chief business strategies are:
1) operational performance
2) product excellence
3) market growth
4) financial maximization
A start-up will have a very different culture than a Fortune 500 company. Where you are in the life-cycle of your business plays a big role.
All businesses compete for something. It could be sales, recruits, investment dollars, or market share. The prize you covet says a lot about your culture.
The nature of the industry you’re in makes a difference. In the promo world, the summer is slow and we’re scrambling for holiday orders in the fall.
Sitting on a ton of cash or barely scrapping by? The resources that you have (or don’t have) makes your company what it is.
Is your company open to change? Making change work is hard enough without internal obstacles, with them it’s nearly impossible.
Great managers build great teams, perform when it counts, and develop the new talent needed to grow. Lousy ones just collect a paycheck.
Are you hiring the right people? Can they excel in your business? Making mistakes here costs a lot of money and hurts morale.
What capacity do you have for change? Can it be rapid or does it have to be slow? Planning processes dictate how flexible your business can be.
Are things on track or are you behind where you expected to be? How do you respond when things fall behind? In our experience, this is the critical deciding factor on what you’re culture is.
Is your business driven by deadlines or is it more casual. It takes a certain person to thrive under a deadline. Hire carefully.