Every business from a one person shop to a multibillion – dollar firm has a corporate culture whether it knows it or not. Corporate culture may change as the business grows and changes. A vision, developed in a strategic planning session, can shape the culture by providing a vision.
Let’s break down the parts that make up the term “corporate culture”:
- Values: the things that a business considers most important with respect to its internal systems and its customers. Values are the things a business holds most dear, the thing for which it strives and the things it wants to protect as all costs.
- Beliefs: these are the assumptions business owners hold about themselves their customers and their organization.
- Norms: these are best defined as unwritten rules of behavior.
Corporate culture does and should change over time. Culture does change over time as the organization grows and as new people are added. In a small business where the owner has direct contact on a daily basis with the entire operation, he/she is directly dictating the corporate culture. As additional layers of staff are added, the direct contact disappears and the well-managed culture now can become distorted.
As an organization grows in order for it to be successful, it must manage the changes in the corporate culture so that the values, beliefs and norms support the other changes taking place.
Too many small business owners don’t want to think about “corporate culture”. Their main focus is on surviving more so than building a successful business.
What has to be recognized is that every business has a culture. That culture will have a major impact on the firms future success because it supports the other changes needed to make the transition from entrepreneurship to professional management.
A worthwhile exercise is to determine your own corporate culture by looking at your values, beliefs and norms.
They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
Nick J. Petra CFP sustainability is the key word in the “new business revolution” coming next quarter. Subscribe to this blog at www.strategicduck.com and be the first to learn how to benefit your business.
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