By Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin
I recently listened to a great podcast that tied culture to business resilience – the ability to quickly and successfully adapt to unanticipated business challenges. Any great marketer or business leader will read this and think, “tell me something I don’t already know.” However, I found it to be an excellent reminder of how immensely valuable a strong corporate culture can be -- especially in today’s COVID-impacted work environment.
Almost overnight, companies had to find alternatives to sales processes heavily reliant on in-person meetings, marketing strategies heavily reliant on live events and working arrangements heavily reliant on corporate office camaraderie and collaboration. Not surprisingly, the companies that had strong corporate cultures to fall back on stood out and were able to more quickly adapt.
I have been fortunate to work for some incredible companies that had strong cultures. The biggest thing I have learned is that it is impossible to dictate what you want your culture to be. It will grow organically from the top down, starting with the chief executives. Perception truly is reality when it comes to corporate culture. Just because you intend a message or action to be received one way does not guarantee it.
The best advice I can think to share today for marketing or leading through change is to lead by example, hire for culture and don’t make excuses for those who don’t support your culture. Life is too short and culture is too fragile.