Monday, November 26, 2012

11 Indicators of Corporate Culture

The article excerpted and linked below provides a thumbnail sketch of 11 indicators that reveal insights into corporate culture.  I read the article with interest as it bears on Collaborative Construction's on going efforts to both understand and modify the cultures we encounter in the built industry.

The article is geared to individual job seekers, but the lessons apply with equal force in the B2B environment where potential collaborative partners are contemplating joining forces.  For that reason the built industry should pay particular attention to research and advances in this arena.  If the built industry is to modify its own culture, and encourage the formation of integrated teams made of many different companies, those involved need to be aware issues similar to those discussed.

  1. Does your next employer focus on getting the big stuff right, or the small stuff? If it’s the first, you’re heading into a culture of creativity. Breakthroughs are crucial. Someone else can take care of the details. If it’s the second, you’re in a culture of craft. Precision is what pulls you ahead of the competition. End up on the wrong side of this divide, and you’ll be seen as the person who is “too detail-oriented,” or “too sloppy” to succeed.
  1. Which discipline calls the shots in an internal tug-of-war? Google operates as anengineer’s paradise; Oracle, by contrast, regards sales as the driver that makes everything go. For that matter, think of Steve Jobs fixating on Apple’s product design and then telling engineers to make that vision come true, instead of telling designers to accommodate whatever the engineers wanted. When you switch jobs within an industry, your fate depends on getting this new rhythm right. Be ready to realign your priorities if some department that you didn’t expect – such as finance or legal – turns out to be in command.
  1. What gets you fired? What mistakes are tolerable? Companies never advertise these grim truths, but they play a huge role in defining culture. At some places you safely can talk back to the boss, miss a deadline or overshoot your budget, as long as you do great work. At other organizations (just ask David Petraeus!) it’s a different story. Rules are rules, and people who don’t understand that are sent packing.
  1. What powers do your new leaders hold? Founder-run companies are famous for bosses who weigh in on everything from entry-level hiring to your desk decor. Your success depends on accepting this hands-on presence. Not so at many public corporations, where senior management can be surprisingly distant. Once you’ve settled into a particular system, it can be quite jarring to switch.
  1. How does your new company work through disagreements? Many top hedge funds treat confrontation as a way of life, on the belief that stress-testing helps the best ideas prevail. In other areas of finance, keeping everyone working together harmoniously is the ultimate goal. Try to find employers whose conflict-resolution strategies aren’t violently at odds with the way you handle strife.
I may post a built industry centric parody of the list all 11 indicators in the future.  Meanwhile read the whole thing and give some thought to what the indicators say about your company and your companies ability and willingness to adapt, adopt and deploy the innovative new tools and processes required to advance in a knowledge based economy in the information age.

While the The eleven items listed below provide interesting insights.  

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446

Collaborative Construction Website

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