by Darrin Murriner
The ideal company culture is the one that allows you to execute your strategy in an effective way.
I know that is a bit of a cop out, but the reality is there is no one ideal company culture and each culture should be the right mix for the people that in your organization and is built to allow your people to do the best work they were hired to do.
This means each organization should have a different culture. After all, culture is created by people and every organization is made up of a different set of people. We founded Cloverleaf on the premise that culture is created by the collection of individuals that are a part of the organization. And at the most basic level a team has its own unique culture. This is why even in large, established organizations you will find many subcultures exist across the organization. IT and Sales often have completely different cultures inside the same organization.
Oftentimes I see teams or organizations try and emulate other cultures. This happens frequently with organizations in the midwest that try and create “startup culture” by adding beer kegs and ping pong tables. But the reality is it is the mix of day to day to motivators that influence decisions that often have the biggest influence on culture.
For example, a manager that says quality is most important but when confronted with production targets places efficiency over small decisions that contribute to a quality process / product. Employees notice these subtle shifts or incongruence and it will impact morale and ultimately culture.
Oftentimes organizational culture is heavily influenced by the founders and reinforced with hiring practices. When we started Cloverleaf we invested time early to identify values we wanted in the people we hired. After all, these values are key factors in creating the culture you want. We looked at ourselves and the characteristics that had been instrumental in getting us to key milestones as an early stage startup and identified the following values and embedded them in hiring practices to ensure we hired people that could reinforce this on a day to day basis:
- Relationships Matter – We are interdependent.
- Authenticity – The whole person matters.
- Optimistic Persistence.
- Bring delight to work.
- Curiosity for growth.
Darrin Murriner is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cloverleaf.me, a technology platform for building high performing teams. Prior to founding Cloverleaf he managed large and complex teams at companies such as Arthur Andersen, Fifth Third Bank and Munich Re. He is the author of Corporate Bravery, a book on decision making and corporate culture.