Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preserving the culture

I met with an incredible individual who represents an iconic brand. He was gracious, opened his world up to me and shared his focus and vision. The number-one priority on his list? Preserving their culture.

His company's culture has been extraordinary for over a century. The values they have could be compromised if they don't watch out. And if those values disappear, so will his company. That simple.

To be clear, he was not saying he wanted everything to stay the same, far from it. He's very involved with new technology and they have very aggressive growth goals. Rather, he said, the only way to reach those goals is to protect the culture.

One insight he gave me was balance. He said he noticed the departments of the company that were challenging the culture the most were the ones that had an imbalance between long-term employees and new ones. He felt there needs to be a dominance of long-term employees in every department to make sure the culture didn't become weak or confused. That makes sense, it's entirely possible a department may have fifty new employees from forty different cultures from all over the world. A little of that is great, too much, he argues, will be damaging.

His iconic brand will live on beyond any of us, as long as the culture is preserved.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

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