So, another blog post about company culture. Fact: if you search “company culture” on Google (“don’t be evil”), you get about 24,800,000 results in 0.87 seconds. Most of the results talk about the importance of culture, how it is a differentiator from a hiring/retention standpoint, how it helps define your brand, and the ways it fosters a working environment conducive to how people want to work to facilitate their best professional efforts.
All of this is true – culture is incredibly important to companies in this day and age. All too often people define their company as having a “culture of transparency,” a “culture of empowerment,” or a great culture defined as “craft beer, free lunches and dogs.” And while it is flattering that employees may speak of their company in such a way – what they are describing are cultural tenets.
Most companies that impose a culture often defy the very meaning of the word. The definition, in many of its incarnations, is “the beliefs and attitudes about something that people in a particular group or organization share.” Successful companies lay out the tenets of the culture they want embraced, either through corporate values or by the tenets/pillars that embody the company’s vision and sensibility. Then, by the early members who live by those values, stewardship and ownership of the company culture takes place. Employees are the embodiment of the culture: how they work, their curiosity, their communication, their care, and maniacal focus on customer satisfaction and innovation.
The employees I just mentioned are the team here at CloudHealth Technologies, who I joined in September. This culture has seen its workforce double in size, up to 240 people in the last twelve months. There could have been a huge cultural shift, but instead an opportunity arose for the Founder to evolve the cultural tenets so that they reflect the evolution of a company with offices on multiple continents and thousands of customers and business partners worldwide. CHT team members may interpret the words slightly differently, but they all embrace our cultural tenets and demonstrate them on a daily basis.
Recently, we had the entire worldwide team in Boston for our 2018 Company Kickoff and WW Sales Meeting. We presented our long-term vision and explained how 2018’s goals will help fulfill that vision, propel us into the next stage of our evolution, and ensure we achieve our company mission. I saw pride in what everyone achieved in 2017, and I saw passion and energy for the coming year…as well as for what we all must accomplish as individuals, departments, and as a company.
I witnessed the care that the team has for each other and for our customers. I saw communication and new bonds forming. I saw collaboration, problem solving, knowledge transfer, and innovation on display. I witnessed curiosity and respect. I saw the team in professional and social environments. This is a team that genuinely enjoys and relishes what and who we are at CHT, and the impact we can all make.
I saw the cultural stewards who have a maniacal focus on our CUSTOMERS. I saw CARE, INNOVATION, individuals and teams that want to IMPACT. I saw COMMUNICATION on many levels. And, for a team that works so hard, I saw laughter, too. A great sense of HUMOR reminds us all that though life will always be bigger than CHT, however hard we work to fulfill the company’s mission – the journey is what is important!