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Is Your Business Culture Good or Bad? Strong or Weak?

Business Culture Position

Your culture is the next frontier of brand and employee innovation.

Many companies think culture will magically happen–and they’re right. Unfortunately, it often isn’t the best culture for their business.

At the core of human instinct is the desire to make sense of the world around us and to develop patterns based on those findings. Culture is complicated, but it is pliable, always adapting and changing. What you put into your culture is what you get out of it. The critical question for business owners to ask is “how am I positioning my business culture for long term success?” 


Looking at the Four Positions of Business Culture:

A Culture position can be broken down into a graph of strong vs. weak, and good vs. bad. 

Strong Cultures in Business:

A strong culture has a significant influence on their followers. These are customers or clients for businesses. These people like the product, but they also adore the ethos of the company and how it impacts their life.

Strong cultures continue to feed the core viewpoints the users have, and in so doing, they create a more energetic experience between business and customer, and even between customer to customer.


Weak Cultures in Business:

Weak culture has nothing to do with the kind of culture a business has, but rather thair positioning of that culture. If a culture is weak, it has little influence on the person’s viewpoints, ethos, and patterns of life. Highly profitable companies can have a weak culture. These are often products that have a high reliance on traditional advertising. This approach proves difficult to lifestyle brands, who find themselves needing to connect in ways more relevant to their users. 


Good Culture for Business:

These cultures are sustainable and improve the quality of life for all those within their sphere of influence. They allow ethics and morals to influence the way they do business. If coupled with founders and leaders who have business acumen, they become some of the most unstoppable companies in the modern age. The strength of Silicone Valley can be found not in the number of Ph.D.’s available, but in the culture, they have created.

I believe there are two main reasons tech startups with great products fail. The number one reason would be business acumen. If you don’t know how to make the right decisions quickly, you’ll be drowning in the demand of a competitive business. But say that tech founder was business savvy, the number 2 reason this rising star would become a devastating meteor is because of their pattern of unethical culture. 


Bad Culture for Business:

Bad culture builds itself on the ethically and morally low tactics of business. They place greed, stakeholders, and personal gain, far above fairness, the workers and clients and community good. 

Although many companies with bad cultures see their demise, they can still have a profitable company with a strong cultural position.

These are the banks that formed the 2008 crash and the oil companies who repeatably endanger, then destroy global resources and communities. Their workers, customers, and communities are all involved in the cultural sphere of influence they create. And whether it is personal values or physical loss, bad culture companies bring down the society around them. I am not saying these industries (banks and oil) in and of themselves are bad, but this is to illustrate how impactful a bad culture with a strong position affects the world.

The 5 Pillars of Brand Strategy post is a great post to see if you want to know more thought on brand culture.

Check out Siobhan McHale on Culture Change book on Amazon, if you want to go deeper on this topic

Your business already has a culture. Smart leaders will recognize the need to pause and consider their position, then readjust and pursue the right trajectory for the future.  

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