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Corporate Culture Mindset: The Difference is Our People

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The editors at Human Resources MBA Degree Guide decided to research the topic of:

Corporate Culture Mindset: The Difference is Our People

What is Corporate Culture?

The set of tacit understandings and beliefs that form the foundation of how an organization works.


- What Defines the Culture?
- Individual and team behaviors
- Corporate definition of norms
- Specific processes
- How individuals and the organization make decisions
- Is Culture Important? (Quotes from business experts)
- "Culture eats strategy for lunch,"
- "We have plenty of technology. What we need is to pause and change the culture to capture the value,"

Leaders in a New Kind of Corporate Culture

PIXAR


- Culture
- Employees must be linked, not ranked
- Pixarians are linked together by complementary skills
- "When art and technology come together, magical things happen." - Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull
- No top-down mandates
- Creative ideas come from collaborations
- Enabling - Not Telling
- Passionate leaders get their power from enabling others to do their work not telling them how
- Soft skills (collaboration and improvisation) are as important as hard occupational skills.
- Innovation demands the ability to live with ambiguity
- Without all the information, intuitive decisions are necessary
- Trying to avoid failure often results in stagnation
- "failure is that negative space around success." Randy Nelson, Pixar University Dean
- Innovative leaders create diversified teams.
- Hire some "wacky" free-thinking creative folks!
- Passionate innovative leaders make work fun
- Remember when you take yourself too seriously, life ceases to be fun
- Cool Things about Working at Pixar
- Superheroes Guard Your Office
- Forget security systems. Pixar is guarded by the Incredibles.
- Your Coworkers Are Actually Creative
- Not just while making up excuses to stay home from work.
- Buzz + Woody + Legos = Heaven for Toddlers
- If those movies about genius toddlers were true, this would be where they worked. (Hopefully, wearing tiny suits)
- The Best Wall Art Ever
- Animators make the only truly inspirational office art we've seen
- All the Cereal You Can Eat
- Pixar has a giant room full of cereal, which is maybe the best thing ever
- Cube, Sweet Cube
- Animators work in cute little huts instead of cubicles. (Bigger and more luxurious than some apartments)

PATAGONIA


- Culture
- Doing as little harm to the environment as possible
- 1% of sales goes to environmental causes
- Long-term view
- We behave as if we're going to be here 100 years from now
- Flexible work hours
- Blurring lines between work and play works for us
- Believing in/Acting on our mission
- Patagonia partnered with Ebay to encourage consumers to buy used instead of new - even their own products
- We love our people!
- Individuality flourishes while employees take pride in contribution
- Employee recognition and awards
- Individuals or groups are rewarded with things like gift cards, travel and parties
- Cool Things about Working at Patagonia
- Best Perks
- Alternative work environment
- Fitness
- Community & environmental support
- Fitness Benefits
- Exercise areas for yoga or aerobics during workday
- Many facilities include showers, bike racks and surfboard racks
- Free weights and exercise available
- Flextime
- Let My People Go Surfing
- Great balance between work and life
- Culturally accepted for employees to take time off to pursue balance
- Green Initiatives
- Patagonia sent 7 teams to help after the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill
- Employees were paid regular salaries while helping in the Gulf
- Environmental Internship - employees work for nonprofit environmental organization of their choice

GOOGLE - Internet Giant with Over 24,000 Employees


- Culture
- Flat management structure - no vast hierarchy
- no task is too small for anyone to pitch in on
- Founders care about mundane details
- They even busy themselves with keeping cereal fresh in the cafeteria
- Team spirit extends to ideas
- Ideas aren't filtered by layers of management
- Everyone makes suggestions
- The Google-O-Meter gauges popularity of employee suggestions
- "Chief Culture Officer" is an actual job title at Google
- Main responsibility is to keep Googlers happy
- Location Themes
- Offices have fun themes to keep life interesting (London - an indoor park, Zurich - meeting "eggs" instead of "rooms", Mountain View - bowling alley)
- Be Googley - What it means according to employees
- Possibilities
- Be excellent to each other
- Be outrageously clever
- Make stuff happen
- Cool Things about Working at Google
- Google bikes throughout the Googleplex
- Ride from building to building. None are locked; employees simply take them when they need them.
- Doctor on campus
- A doctor regularly visits so Googlers don't have to leave for check-ups
- Google is known for its "20% time"
- Employees can spend one day/week on whatever interests them
- Extraordinary on-campus daycare
- Employees can bring their children to work
- Google uses goats to eat brush
- Reduces fire hazard in fields near their California headquarters
- Eat like rock stars
- Their first company chef was Charlie Ayers, caterer for the Grateful Dead
- Google employee perks are famous
- At one time, they offered a $5,000 subsidy toward hybrid cars

Why Change the "Success Paradigm"?


- Business conditions have changed
- Existing culture doesn't facilitate appropriate responses
- New technologies require a new culture
- Corporate reorganization requires new cultural aspects
- Embedded cultural beliefs that maintain status quo
- We are different
- Let's stick to our tried-and-true approaches
- Just be patient; this crisis will pass
- We can't afford to disrupt things now
- Let's count on our people in the front lines; they'll do the right thing
- Strategies for change
- Top-Down Change:
- leader sets the goals
- describes the outcomes desired
- provides feedback as to how the goals are being met
- gives rewards for desired performance
- Transformational Leadership
- Presumes that culture change grows at the grassroots level
- Leaders inspire the organization through
- vision
- optimism
- enthusiasm
- emotional appeal
- provides personal support and encouragement
- set personal examples
- challenge their peers
- Strategic Approach:
- requires a business focus
- connects culture with the organization's vision
- uses measurements to track progress
- Helpful Tips for Change:
- Perseverance, consistency, encouragement, reassurance
- strong leadership must walk the talk
- Compelling case to cement singular shared vision
- highlight the wins


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