Historically, “culture” within an organization has been defined as a value statement. e.g. IBM, HP, Google OR Yahoo.This is because “culture” drives the behavior and interactions of a firm’s representatives both within and outside. A culture (or value) statement could be used by employees or other stakeholders as a “frame of reference” when they act on the firm’s behalf.
To make culture as a driver of technology disruption was unheard off, till the early 2000’s. One of the pioneers of the culture movement was Tony Hseih of Zappos. Tony Hseih, the founder differentiated himself from the rest using “Culture” as the pivot. Anyone could look at their awesome “culture” here. Most employees think so well of their workplace, that it makes you feel jealous.. Read more about this in “Delivering Happiness” – Tony’s book…
More recently firms such has Hubspot have released more detailed manifestos (135 slide presentation) of the firm culture.[slideshare id=17415022&w=427&h=356&fb=0&mw=0&mh=0&sc=no]
In a high growth rate industry with a lucrative compensation structure and a competitive workforce, Culture plays the role of a guiding framework. Defining a culture early on and forcing a firm’s ecosystem – i.e. employee, customer, stakeholders, investors – to adhere to it, plays a very important role in increasing the amount of positive perception about the firm in a market.
In recent times several disruptive start-ups such as Snapchat, Uber, Zynga have been at the receiving side of unwanted media attention because of incidents completely unrelated to their business execution.
One of the large parameters everyone talks off while hiring is “cultural-fit” … Several distractions such as unwanted media attention or litigations or cases of dishonesty could be avoided if firms clearly define their culture. And if these firms followed up with enforcing a “cultural-fit” along with a “skill-fit ” for the new employee.