Corporate Culture Wars

Carleton is an Associate Director Portfolio Management in Queensland, Australia.

The project was game changing. The outcome would transform the organization, but the organization could not deliver it in its current hidebound, process-driven form. The team we created was committed and effective, but not bound by the preconceived limitations of the organization. We drew from the best and brightest people in the organization and supplemented their skills with clever people from outside agencies.

At the end, after the well-received project had been celebrated for its successes, a senior manager said to me, “You’ve done so well with this project, but now we need to bring you back inside the tent.” So began one of the more interesting lessons I have learned about how the culture you create within a project affects talent within an organization.

Corporate culture is the sum of values and behaviors that make up the character of an organization. It exists independent of your company’s vision and strategy as “the way we do things here.” Peter Drucker is reputed to have said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” meaning that what you do is far more important than what you say you will do. Talented individuals only thrive if the corporate culture allows them to carry out the behaviors that make them stellar performers.

Culture is difficult to change as it involves changing the behavior of an entire …

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"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

- Woody Allen

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