Adapting to the Corporate Culture
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I recently had a reader ask me what he should do about an office environment
where the workers have incompatible Personality Types; e.g., Types A, B, C, and
D. His concern was that some people didn't like to be told what to do and others
stubbornly didn't want to work with others. First, it is difficult, if not
impossible, to find a homogeneous environment whereby everyone is rowing on the
same oar in a concerted manner, particularly in this day and age of
self-absorption. Managers should certainly understand the different personality
types, but shouldn't let this be a deterrent for creating a harmonious working
environment. More importantly, the manager needs to understand and take charge
of the corporate culture.
As I have written, there are logical and physical dimensions to corporate
culture. The physical includes such things as office layout, temperature,
ergonomics, and basically anything affecting the human senses of sight, sound,
touch, smell, etc. Managers should understand people will adapt to their
physical environment. If it is sloppy, they will do likewise. If it is clean, it
will remain clean (as long as the manager instills the necessary discipline).
The logical side of corporate culture refers to personal behavior and
includes such things as ethics, speech, common courtesy, protocol, etc. Here,
some role models are needed as well as a code of conduct or policy manual.
Employees shouldn't have to guess what the proper form of conduct is. Instead,
it should be spelled out for them along with some visible examples (such as the
boss). If the manager wants teamwork, he'll make them believe they are team
players and coach them accordingly. However, if the boss wants rugged
individualism, he'll allow petty politics to flourish.
I am amazed when I meet managers who do not grasp the significance of the
corporate culture and allow others to dictate its behavior, such as their
subordinates. One key element separating success from failure for a manager is
his or her ability to control the corporate culture. If they allow others to
dictate the culture, the manager will always be dancing to someone else's tune,
as opposed to the other way around. Imagine a baseball team run by the players
as opposed to the coach. Players would fight over the positions to play, game
strategy, what plays to call, even what to wear for a uniform, and in all
likelihood you would never again see a "sacrifice bunt." No, we need managers to
instill the necessary discipline, assign duties and responsibilities, and
instill a sense of teamwork towards a common goal. In my book, that is called
controlling the corporate culture.
Yes, managers need to understand the talents and personalities of their
workers in order to utilize them to their maximum potential, but they must first
create the proper working environment for the staff to adapt to, not the
For more information on this subject, see my article entitled, "Understanding
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective
Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of
M. Bryce & Associates
(MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the
management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-02-03 11:52:11 in Employee Articles