What is Corporate Culture?

Wikipedia defines corporate culture as

Organizational culture is the collective behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people attach to their actions. Culture includes the organization values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs, and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders. Wikipedia

Build a strong corporate culture

Building a strong corporate culture is a job that never ends. The first thing you need to do is to define your corporate culture. Further below in the article, you have two excellent examples. In addition, you can look at John Coleman's description of the six components of a great corporate culture here. Once you have defined the corporate culture the next step is to make sure the organization lives up to it. Leaders in the organization will need to make sure they and employees live up to it. Example: when Netflix implemented its new culture, one key point was high-performance. They saw their company as a pro-sport team and that every individual needs to earn their spot. For Netflix, this meant that people that no longer serve the needs of the company would have to go. This can be tough especially when you have individuals that helped you to become successful in the beginning. You need to be prepared and ready to make the tough decisions necessary when you implement your culture. If you don't, your defined culture will be weak, not real and not living up to its potential.

Corporate Culture - Two excellent examples

Netflix culture description

In this presentation, Netflix presents its culture description - Freedom & Responsibility. The presentation has received a lot of praise. For an example, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg praised the presentation in an interview in GQ Magazine (February 2013) saying “It may well be the most important document ever to come out of the Valley." The presentation contains Netflix seven aspects of culture:

  • Values are what we Value
  • High Performance
  • Freedom & Responsibility
  • Context, not Control
  • Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled
  • Pay Top of Market
  • Promotions & Development

Have a look and get inspired!

Culture from Reed Hastings

HubSpot Culture code

The HubSpot culture code has been viewed over 600 000 times and was created after being inspired by the Netflix culture description. Hubspot spends a lot of time creating this, and you can read more at their blog plus get some good advice here. The HubSpot culture code consist of ten points:

  1. We are as maniacal about our metrics as our mission.
  2. We obsess over customers, not competitors.
  3. We are radically and uncomfortably transparent.
  4. We give ourselves the autonomy to be awesome.
  5. We are unreasonably selective about our peers.
  6. We invest in individual mastery and market value.
  7. We defy conventional “wisdom” as it’s often unwise.
  8. We speak the truth and face the facts.
  9. We believe in work+life, not work vs. life.
  10. We are a perpetual work in progress.

Culture Code: Creating A Lovable Company from HubSpot

Infographic - Corporate Culture Mindset

I looked around, and I found this interesting Infographic from HumanResourcesMBA.net that is not as detailed as the above examples but gives some additional inspiration.

Infographic about the corporate culture mindset