Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/culturematters/public/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3283
Why Company Culture Matters

We all know it matters: Culture.Organization_Triangle

It matters even more when you’re working internationally, because then the different cultures play a role and can (and often do) disturb the workflow and communication processes.

That’s what we call “National Cultural Differences“.

The Other Side of the Same Coin

Why company culture matters is because it is the other side of the same culture-coin. If your organization is working internationally you will have both:

  • National Cultural Differences
  • Organizational Cultural Differences (that is if there are offices of the same organization in different countries)

You might wonder which one is dominant?

The answer is National Cultural Differences. In companies that have different offices around the world, the national culture will dominate the way people work.

That is not to say that there are no similarities between, say, IBM in the USA, and IBM in Sweden.

But since the Americans are more motivated by achieving goals than the Swedes are, setting sales targets for Swedes as would be done in the US would be a lot less effective; National culture dominates.

Values versus the Way We Work

Often I hear people talk about the “Values of an Organization“.

A culture has values, but an organization has “a certain way of working” and doesn’t have values.

Let me explain:

Examples of values are:

  • Ugly or beautiful
  • Good or bad
  • High hierarchy versus low hierarchy
  • Process oriented versus goal oriented
  • etc…

Examples of a certain way of working are:

  • Meetings start on time, or starting times are flexible
  • We have a clean desk policy
  • We celebrate Christmas together
  • etc…

Of  course in any organization there is the national culture present and the organization culture, so it is always a combination of values, and ways of working.

Fast and Slow

McKinsey 7s Framework

Consider the previous image, better known as the McKinsey 7S model or framework.

This framework conveniently displays the differences between the so called “Fast” and “Slow” organizational culture components.

  • Shared Vision: This is centrally  the organizational culture. All the other components lead to this shared vision & mission.
  • Skills: What people are able to do to accomplish the organizational goals.
  • Staff: The actual people working in the organization. But also what kind of people are working in the organization.
  • Style: The management style being used in the organization; and how people interact with each other.
  • Structure: How do communication lines run, including roles and responsibilities.
  • Systems: The tools people use to make the organization work, including its infrastructure.
  • Strategy: The alignment of the organization in order to achieve its objectives.

As you can see in the image, two colors are used.

The red-ish color indicates the so called Fast variables; management can relatively easily change the strategy, structure, and systems used in an organization. However, changing any of those three red variables will not necessarily change the result of what an organization is trying to achieve.

For that to happen, you need to address the purple-ish variables as well; the so called Slow variables. Of those Skills is the easiest to change (you can train & teach people), or you can hire people with certain necessary skills. Finding the right people to get things done is not always easy, let alone changing the style and atmosphere in an organization.

This is Why Company Culture Matters

Often management only changes one or more of the Fast variables, hoping that the company will follow (that is the people of course). If they don’t, management might try another strategy, system, or change the organizational structure.

Not very often does management look at the picture from a holistic viewpoint; taking all seven factors into account in order to achieve its goals.

And in order to achieve your goals and have happy people, paying attention to all those factors is important. That’s why company culture matters!

Tell Me What You Think!

If you want to know why company culture matters in your situation, get in touch with me, or leave a comment below this article now.

Work With Me

1 + 13 =


You Can Also Listen to the Culture Podcast and Management Podcast

Chris Smit PodcastCulture Matters Podcast (on international business)Build your Cultural Competence, listen to interesting stories, learn about the cultural pitfalls and how to avoid them, get the Global perspective here at the Culture Matters podcast on International Business.

We help you understand Cultural Diversity better by interviewing real people with real experiences.

Every episode there is an interview with a prominent guest, who will tell his or her story and share international experiences. Helping you develop your cultural competence. Welcome to this culture podcast and management podcast.

To Subscribe to this Management Podcast, Click here.

Culture Matters Podcast in iTunes
The Culture Matters Culture Podcast. Available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio Culture Matters Podcast in Stitcher
Click here to get the podcast on Spotify spotify logo culture matters podcast
Talk to your Amazon Alexa and listen to the Podcast Culture Matters Podcast on Alexa

If you have a minute, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the visibility and the ranking of this culture podcast on iTunes immensely! A BIG THANK YOU!

Enjoy this FREE culture podcast!

Music: Song title - Bensound.com

Chris Smit

I'm passionate about Cultural Difference. I have been helping organizations save time and money when they work Internationally for the last 19 years. I have had the fortunate opportunity to hold lectures, workshops, and consulting projects on this subject World Wide. It has made me understand my own culture much better, and appreciate the differences around the world.
I have a Master's Degree in Organisational Psychology and have lived in the USA, the Netherlands and, currently, in Belgium.
Thank you!

Chris Smit
Did You Like What You Read?

Did You Like What You Read?

If so, why not sign up for our mailing list?

You'll get only (!) 1 email a month with our latest articles & podcasts.

All for Free! Can't say no to that one!

Sign-Up Below Now...

One More Thing to Do: Check Your Inbox (and Spam box) to Confirm Your Subscription. Thanks!

Shares
Share This