The 8 Types of Company Culture
Each company consists of many different people and every single person contributes to that company in different ways.
All the habits, thoughts, beliefs, practically any and every aspect of one’s life reflect on the way he/she acts at work.
Here we shall discuss 8 different types of company culture and explain why are they important.
It’s an inevitable and inseparable part of every company.
Somehow it comes naturally, people don’t even think about it, but it plays a very significant role.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPANY CULTURE
First of all, if one is to ask should a company establish its own culture in the very beginning or it is better to let it come as the time goes by, what would be the right answer?
Actually, the truth is that it should be a bit of both.
It’s a common fact that no country can exist without culture. The definition itself describes it as something that happens when people gather.
If we try to apply and explain it as a part of an organization, that would be a mix of desirable values for an organization to be prosperous and successful.
Let us say that some set of rules and ideas exist as a foundation which unites people around a common goal.
That would be something which defines the direction a company should head to, some values that will make it stand out above the competition.
That’s where each person plays a very significant role in building and growing those ideas to make them stronger and more quality.
Company culture, as we see it, should be a mission and vision which represent both established ideas and personal impacts united in one goal.
You have probably heard that content and motivated employee will be more productive, and that can only bring good.
And when the entire team is like that, the company can only have multiple benefits from that. Think of it as a perpetuum mobile!
A happy employee works more productively which leads to success in the company, and when there’s a success on that level, that makes employees happy! As you see, even the description itself has that continuous motion!
WHO IS YOUR INNER CIRCLE
Before we get down to explaining those 8 types, you need to know that there are two concepts which are responsible for forming all of them on a two-dimensional axis.
Ranging from highly independent to highly interdependent they both have different approaches.
The independent values individuals who thrive on their own, while the interdependent takes group effectiveness to measure the overall success.
Response to change
This one ranges from stability to flexibility, allowing people to express themselves in different ways. Stability favours rules and hierarchy whereas flexibility means innovation and diversity.
These dimensions result in eight types which we shall describe here. Just so you know, things don’t necessarily have to be black and white. These values often mix and are prone to change, if the situation requires so.
Their purpose is to make some general division for the sake of practical definition.
As we already mentioned, it’s those basic rules which unite which each person’s habits and thoughts and all together form a culture.
When a company leadership sees that certain pattern works fine, they grow and support it, because it leads to success.
Many different factors have an impact over these two, such as geographical location, type of company itself, the number of people working in it and so on.
The idea is to recognize the positive sides and use them for mutual benefits. If you think of culture as a living creature, all this makes lots of sense, because it’s susceptible to daily changes.
DEFINING COMPANY CULTURE
As said, there are eight different types. Even though there is a precise division here, it doesn’t mean that each of them is the only one present in some company.
Yeah, one is usually dominant, but the other may intertwine with it.
This system’s main focus is on mutual trust and relationships. One would describe such an environment as welcoming and warm place, where people are highly collaborative.
The main idea is to support and help each other. What unites employees is loyalty.
Company leaders put the main emphasis on positive relationship, sincerity, and teamwork. This type of team is excellent for those whose well performance takes motivation from a positive working relationship.
Disney is the most common example to represent this.
Here is all about altruism and idealism. People who work in such places are open-minded and compassionate, and the idea to do good for the world’s long-term future unites them.
They focus on global communities and sustainability. Contributing to the greater cause by sharing ideals is the mutual mission leaders put emphasis at.
We could list Whole foods as an example to depict this type of culture.
This type of environment is structured and unambiguous, so this is a perfect environment for those who are methodical and like to play by rules.
Respect, structure and shared norms, as well as time-honoured customs, are the qualities leaders put stress too. Moreover, cooperation strongly unites all the employees.
SEC is the company which serves as an example of this.
Curiosity is the quality that leaders desire here.
All the employees like to explore alternatives, spark new ideas, expand and create, they are highly inventive. Leaders like to stress knowledge, adventure, and innovation as main goals to unite people working there.
People working in such places are the ones who value stability and personal achievement. They value learning over things that might be attained through work.
We could list Tesla as such company.
Excitement and fun- that-s all this type is about. The atmosphere in such places is light-hearted, full of daily excitement, where people feel happy about working there.
Stimulation and playfulness are the ideas which motivate the employees to perform the best they could. Leaders appreciate a good sense of humor and spontaneity as key virtues.
A good example of such a company is Zappos.
Achievement, winning, success are the characteristics which unite all the employees. This is an ideal place for those who do their best when there are set goals which lead to winning results.
All the employees are usually merit-based and outcome-oriented, with the aspiration to achieve top performance. Goal accomplishment is the virtue leaders highly appreciate.
GSK is a company which reflects this kind of culture.
Decisiveness and boldness, as well as the strong control and highly expressed competitiveness, are the qualities employees possess.
Leaders emphasize that people working in such places are dominant and confident ones.
Simply put, here personal advantage motivates more than organizational success. Those people are constantly looking ahead, they like to compete a lot.
An example of such a company is Huawei.
Unlike some less strict types of company culture, this one is all about being risk conscious and conscientious.
The employees think carefully prior to making any decision and the desire to feel protected and anticipate changes unite them.
Such environments are predictable, pragmatic, where everybody makes plans carefully. Those are the qualities leaders appreciate.
A good example of such company is Lloyd’s of London.
As you could see, each type has strictly defined goals which unite them as well as qualities which the leaders of such companies appreciate and grow in their working environments. Some of them are different in almost every aspect, while you have types with certain similarities.
The main point is the people who want to work in any of such places are able to identify with it. That all the characteristics we mentioned here are the ones one finds in him/herself because that way one will contribute to the team.
Otherwise, it makes no sense pushing yourself if you cannot find any of these aspects to motivate you.
THE FRAMEWORK OF INTEGRATED CULTURE
Remember the two concepts which precede the eight types we described here?
They fit into each other based on people interactions and response to change. That’s where all the types can or cannot work together. People and the company they work in should coexist in harmony.
Speaking of all these types, you may say that each one of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. But none of these is good or bad by itself, or better than the other. It’s all up to individual styles which seek like-minded environment to grow in personal and business aspect.
Sometimes an employee may get confused for a moment when there are more types which coexist. For example, wanting the employees to be result focused and caring simultaneously may seem to confront in the first place.
However, all the big companies consist of several teams and finding the one which exactly matches your ideas is not so difficult.
The most important thing is that the overall atmosphere is positive, and when you have that, the rest comes naturally.
This framework is very useful for managers to evaluate, diagnose and describe all the diverse patterns that occur, regarding both behavior and working style.
That’s how they evaluate whether a person is compatible with the company’s overall goals.
Here are some of the benefits of well-defined framework managers can use:
- When a new executive is assigned, they help him orient in that model and determine the most effective way to lead the team
- Evaluate how if employees are consistent in their views over a longer period of time
- Gives them a better understanding of a company’s culture, with excellent insight into effects, both intended and unintended
- When the merges and acquisitions happen, the framework points out the differences between the cultures and helps in finding compromises
- A well-defined framework also serves to create a balance between individual leadership style and overall organizational culture
- Each culture has subcultures, and this may also help in identifying them, both those of higher and lower performance
- It serves as a guide to design aspirational culture and infiltrate new ideas and changes when necessary
CHANGING THE CULTURE- IS IT POSSIBLE?
Sometimes there are situations which require for company culture to change. As with everything, trends constantly change.
What might have been working well at some point may not be consistent in contributing at some other point of time.
When it comes to developing and executing a new business plan, things are rather easy, as that doesn’t necessarily have any influence over employee’s personal aspirations and working style.
However, changing the culture is an entirely different thing. This directly hits each and every person, as their style is the one that has to change. Having in mind the things we said about uniting with like-minded people when seeking for an ideal working environment.
It’s a thing which involves emotions and one’s personal dynamic.
But, be at ease, as there are some really good and successful ways which can make this happen without major problems.
1. Articulate the aspiration
The first thing to do is analyze the current situation and see what are the necessary changes that should occur.
As we said, many things change as time goes by. Trends are almost like living creatures, so keeping up with them can sometimes be very challenging.
Leaders must find the things in common for the existing type and the one they are planning to establish.
This is something that they can discuss openly, as every single opinion and idea matters in this transitional period.
This is where the organizational skills of a higher level are deeply appreciated, as changing the culture is a very complex process. That doesn’t come overnight.
Whoever is the person in charge to deal with the major part of transition must point out real and present situation’s advantages and disadvantages and stress out why the change is necessary.
2. Leadership turnover- how to select and develop the right person who matches the target culture
Some would say that this is the most challenging part of the cultural transition. It’s not only the type of culture that changes but as the new one will be established, it’s so natural that the leader won’t be the same as before.
However, in companies where you have a healthy working atmosphere such things are not necessarily stressful and problematic. That’s because team members are aware of all the aspects that go along with a big and significant change.
But, there are actually two ways to make this work. One is to change the leader and the other is to educate and train the existing one to move the organization to a new mode.
Some people are aware that they simply don’t fit the new ideas, and they leave the position themselves. On the other hand, some of them are asked to turn the position over, because they are unsuitable for the necessary evolution.
As we mentioned, every big corporation consists of several teams and finding the suitable one is not always a stressful and shocking thing to do. This may serve as a compromise in the above-mentioned situations.
3. The power of organizational conversations about the culture – underscoring the importance of change
Talking and discussing things is always important, for every aspect of one’s life. You can apply the same logic to cultural transition in companies. The employees are encouraged to discuss the situation and use mutual skills and ideas give some useful directions.
That’s the power of teamwork! Such behavior has one more positive impact- leaders will be encouraged to deal with it more relaxed, as employees are willing to contribute and help the change takes its place as easier as possible.
As for conversations, there are different types- formal, informal, in a real meeting or some team building. Of course, new technologies serve to make the whole thing more approachable and easily understandable.
4. Organizational design as a weapon to reinforce the desired change
When all the parts of puzzles are ready, what is left is to put it together.
Again, this is where organizational skills are of vital importance.
The change has to be done on multiple levels, team by team. People should get proper education and training to understand the new type which will be established so that they feel comfortable working in a new cultural model.
As we said, emotions are involved here, so the one who’s the main in charge of the changes to happen should be someone who understands people. That person has to ensure people that they will still be equally productive and important for the company, as soon as they catch up with innovations.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CULTURAL TRANSITION IN COMPANIES
As you can see, the whole procedure is very complex, but not necessarily complicated.
The purpose of changes is to help us learn something new about ourselves, about the company we work in. Every change brings lots of positive things and helps us grow in every aspect of our lives.
One should not be afraid of changes. As long as there’s a good plan to follow, along with these steps you learned here, you can guarantee the success!
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