Inevitably, just about any popular term that starts out as a relevant message or talking point becomes an overused buzzword. It loses meaning, becomes fodder for the content mill and is increasingly a point of ire and contention among those that simply don’t want their time wasted with unnecessary or unrelatable trends. If you follow business and management thought leadership, you might have recently come to the conclusion that company culture is another one of those trendy “been there, done that” topics. Well, we’re here to tell you–It is not. Company culture isn’t a buzzword or a trendy topic, rather it is the basis for any and everything you should be focusing on when developing and fostering growth in your company. And here’s why.
Company Culture Has Always Existed
You may only recall hearing “company culture” as a term recently, but that doesn’t mean it is new. Actually, the idea of a company having its own identity and culture dates back to the earliest of general management and business studies though it has gone by very different names. From the beginnings of standardization and factory and assembly line processes to inspiring entrepreneurial spirits at new tech startups, the importance of company culture and development has always reigned supreme. Even when the focus was actually on removing as much cultural deviation as possible (which is not a current best practice in case you were wondering).
Company Culture Is Aspirational
A lot of buzzwords become technical features of a larger plan. Enter “Content is King” or “Buyer Personas” to note recent marketing buzzwords. They exists as tasks and elements of important long-term strategies. However, company culture is not one of these things. It may be a part of something larger (after all, what isn’t?) but is on its own is a largely aspirational and inspirational concept meant to be ongoing and its own, standalone project.
Company Culture Is A Living, Breathing Entity
Remember when you hired the last rockstar and made your choice based on “personality fit”? How about when you held your last team building activity and your CEO’s administrative assistant did a dead on impression of Jeffrey Tambor? All of these individual acts and actions constantly feed into the unique definition of your company’s culture. Every contribution, every evolution–they help define and continually evolving company culture as you and your company understand it. What you choose to incorporate into your activities, how you relay it to others and whom you share it with all factor into the end product. Except for there is no true end product–just company culture today as it exists based on what you and your team have contributed and helped shape.