Elevator thoughts. Culture is key.
Updated: Jan 23
When I first started my career, I joined the Chalhoub Group, a large distributor/ retailer for luxury brands in the Middle East.
During my induction I was given a card with a definition of what the group expected from their employee’s behavior in and outside of work. I’m not going to go into the details of it but simply put they were defining the culture they wanted as an organization.
At the time I thought to myself how is this any of their business how I behave and how I go about doing my job?
I’m an individual and have my own traits and style of doing things.
Its only later till I started to interact more with people in the company and go to external meetings that it all started to make sense to me.
You see defining a culture in my opinion is the key to the success of many companies. Its critical. No single person needs to be greater than it. And everyone needs to align with it.
Culture is what drives creativity, productivity and a willingness from employees to sacrifice for their company.
Its what draws consumers to it products and services also.
Think Different. Just do it.
I since joined three more companies, each with their own set of definitions of how they wanted to operate.
Some didn’t have them written down and it was an unwritten direction, while others made them so complex that the general direction was up for interpretation.
Regardless though the culture was always driven top down and if leadership didn’t take these at heart it was obvious that the teams would not follow suite.
Many disregards this theory of defining a culture, by belittling its significance to realize that a successful one lives in the products, services and eventually in the customers creating a very strong brand loyalty.
As I got older the significance of my role in helping define a culture became more apparent and critical to me. I have interacted with many brands that I held in high regard only to lose interest when someone from their teams didn’t carry herself/ himself in the way the organization defined itself.
Some may think I’m touching on a shallow topic, but when we look at future generations and realize that connections are what they are looking for and loyalty is not going to the highest bidder, companies need to start doing a gut check.
Do you want talent to come work for you?
Do you want customers to come buy from you?
Do you want everyone to keep their eyes on you?
Then define a culture. Make it live everywhere. And check the egos at the door.