Culture matters

We all know what it’s like to hear someone say something that shouldn’t cause offense but is said in an off-putting way. A person’s tone of voice can negatively affect the whole conversation regardless of subject matter. And no matter what your company does or what products you offer, your culture as an organization can affect your success in surprising ways.

I was recently reading about a start-up CEO’s struggle to determine what his company’s culture is. “The culture that you develop sets the tone for every interaction and decision in your company,” Chris Myers of BodeTree explained. Even when he was just beginning the company with his co-founder, he now believes he should have spent more time thinking about their corporate culture.

As his team expanded, Myers remembers, “there have been incidents … where our innocent actions are perceived as being secretive or opaque. Sometimes it’s closed-door meetings or hushed phone calls.” It mattered, he said, because his coworkers weren’t sure what kind of corporate culture they were dealing with. They’re not sure whether to trust their leaders or not.

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