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What Culture Is, and What It Is Not

What Culture Is, and What It Is Not


Cultural fit is essential to a happy and productive working relationship. But so much is written about “company culture” that this seems a trite and clichéd statement.


That’s exactly why I wanted to write about it. Because most of this talk about culture focuses on the frivolous and the unimportant. This distinction needs to be made.

Culture is:

  • The way tasks and projects are approached
  • The degree of conformity required within the organisation
  • The level of formality expected
  • Collective attitudes towards customers, suppliers and peers
  • The collective outlook on business, life and ethics

In short, culture is theway things are done. Attitudes, values and actions.

Culture is not:

  • The beer fridge and pool table in the break room
  • Team nights out and early finish Fridays
  • Your no-expense-spared Christmas parties

When you think culture, think attitudes, values and actions related to the work itself, not frills and side benefits. That way, you’ll be able to accomplish two things: relate your culture in a way that really resonates with top performers (they don’t care about the frills), and evaluate prospective team members on the cultural values that actually have an impact on job success.

This article was written by Harrison Wright Managing Director