Corporate Culture is a Continuum You Define For Yourself

By Richard Eichen, Managing Principal, Return on Efficiency, LLC,

It’s circular – companies have cultures, attracting and retaining a type of employee who reinforces the culture, good, bad, or OK.  This is why some established companies struggle with becoming agile except in name only, or agile companies scale into inflexibility.

Based on our experience, here’s a quick view of where companies place themselves on the Continuum.  Note – the key phrase is ‘place themselves’.  What do you do? I worked for a Tech manufacturing company with a strategy and mandate to hire smart, already successful ‘oddballs’ (OK, this is self-incriminating but it’s true), compensate very well, and where no organizational unit could be over 500 employees. Innovations required a mix of new employees without internal history and a select few insiders who knew their way around the organization to get things done. Yes, it made for a messy org chart, but we could turn on a dime.

Here’s a visual summary of our take on the Corporate Culture Continuum :

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Can a company move their circle to ICI? Yes it can, but it requires dedication, hard work, a Board Mandate, and a willingness to live in the new and uncomfortable.