When you’re in sync as a management team, it means you have time to talk about what’s working, and what’s not. You can hash out issues between people or between groups. And when you meet with frequency, it becomes okay to raise even silly things you think might not be worth the time. Those things often are indicators of bigger issues, or opportunities — but without a familiarity and comfort — and a cadence — many of them never get surfaced.
I’m leading you right now…Really? I thought it would feel different.
You have to start with culture, values, and a commitment to creating a fantastic workplace. You can’t fake these things. They have to come from the top.
These variances suggest that the future of newspapers, rather than being determined entirely by sweeping trends, can be significantly affected by company culture and management — even at papers of quite different sizes.
People matter. More than machinery, products, or real estate. People invent and build. People support and serve customers. Your people either create or undermine value, cultivate or kill relationships, drive or reduce success. A well-conceived strategy living in the hands of unhappy, misdirected, misinformed people is a sure way to a slow and painful death. There is no comparison to being in the hearts and hands of energized, informed, and motivated people.
Companies are not linear, inert systems. They are ever-changing, organic communities that are dependent on the engagement, talent, and energy of their people to operate successfully. Ignore the mental well-being of your people and culture at your own peril. Step inside any company, no matter the size, stage of development, or level of success, and the culture is either driving the strategy or undermining it. To exist in the first place, a company must have a clear purpose, a deliberate intent, and a set of ideas that it uses to pursue a clear goal—but it’s the people who have to execute it.
This is an excerpt, you can read the entire article here:
“Kurt Andersen of Vanity Fair penned a great article this month on the comparative lack of cultural innovation over the last 20 years.Andersen notes that in architecture, art, fashion, music and other aspects of popular and consumer culture, there is very little difference between the culture of 20 years ago and that of today.By contrast, think of the enormous differences between 1992 and 1972, or between 1972 and 1952, or 1952 and 1932, or 1932 and 1912. Technology has changed significantly, of course, but styles haven’t… Andersen speculates on a number of reasons, not all of which I find convincing.But one reason occurred to me immediately while reading the piece, which Andersen does eventually address: the fact that culture and media are increasingly dominated by shareholder-interested, risk-averse conglomerates that have too much to lose by taking significant creative initiative…The malaise of large-scale corporate domination of our economy isn’t just political and economic. It’s cultural, too. It’s the slow death of conformity and creative strangulation disguised as cool and individual expression through ironic nostalgia and the commodification of discontent.”
Culture, like brand, is misunderstood and often discounted as a touchy-feely component of business that belongs to HR. It’s not intangible or fluffy, it’s not a vibe or the office décor. It’s one of the most important drivers that has to be set or adjusted to push long-term, sustainable success. It’s not good enough just to have an amazing product and a healthy bank balance. Long-term success is dependent on a culture that is nurtured and alive. Culture is the environment in which your strategy and your brand thrives or dies a slow death.
I would say this even stronger: culture is what is implemented in the organization and in the head of the employees while strategies, plans and organization charts are incomplete and one dimensional sketches of what we want the organization to be. The problem is that we think that we can bypass the concept of culture to get directly from these sketchy plans to changed organizational behavior, when in fact the changed culture is what we really want to achieve.