Company culture, first and foremost, is about the way in which a company identifies itself and its most important values. We could define it as the way a company’s employees behave when no one is watching. What do our employees get up to when no one sees, when there are no bosses or managers around? Their actions, decisions and problem solving methods, the way they handle criticism and raise doubts: these are all the aspects that make up a company’s culture; a series of norms that are the foundation from which your employees work to solve the problems they have to deal with every day.
Identifying the culture we want is not easy: not only do we need to know exactly where we want to take our company, but we need to be very clear about how we plan to get there. Company culture is not a list of rules and laws that are set in stone, we need to keep an eye on it, adjust it, and renew our cultural code, adapting it to the continuous changes that life imposes on us.
There is no such thing as a perfect business culture, nor is there an ideal one, there is however, a useful and functional culture for every scenario, tailor made for us, which reflects the entrepreneur’s personality and the values the company wants to live by, and communicate to the outside world.
Apple’s business culture could never work at Amazon and vice versa. If the aesthetics of the products are of utmost importance, immediately next on the list of priorities is the need to offer products at the lowest possible price. It follows that Apple invests billions in setting up workplaces bursting with beauty and creativity, while Amazon saves on employees’ frugal workstations. There is no right or wrong culture, both of these work, and are in-keeping with their company’s values.