Succeeding in the Job: The Corporate Culture


Matching your behavior to the culture of the company will enable you to have a successful run.  You learned some things about the culture when you first joined the company, but it is important to keep your head up to listen for changes that may be forthcoming.  Clear, obvious changes can occur if the company is in trouble and there is a change in direction.  More subtle changes can occur even if the company is doing well.  Look at the stages a company goes through — where is yours now and where is it going?  You will see the successful behaviors that you need to exhibit to be successful at each stage.


  • The Dream
    • The Need: Imagination, market research and planning to identify a great idea
    • Successful behaviors:
      • Identify a need
      • Complete market research to test your idea
      • Talk with others you respect inside and outside your field
      • Sleep on it
      • Try the idea again in its newest iteration
      • Anticipate critical needs
  • Starting a New Business
    • The Need: Set the vision for the new business to get off the ground
    • Successful behaviors:
      • Seat the initial strategy and define the critical issues
      • Be prepared to do anything and everything
      • Act fast and flexibly with a problem solving mentality
      • Figure out what to do and what not to do
      • Be energetic and optimistic
      • Take educated risks and be prepared to “ask for forgiveness”
      • Expect limited resources and devise creative solutions
  • Building an Organization
    • The Need: Establish structure and standardization
    • Successful behaviors:
      • Establish systems, standards, policies and procedures
      • Define roles as they become more standardized
      • Follow the new guidelines
      • Help others to understand the need to have more structure
      • Rein in those who are slower to understand
      • Be prepared to start or run a new department
  • Maintaining a Successful Business
    • The Need: Continue to challenge the organization to seek new and better ways to operate; don’t let complacency set in
    • Successful behaviors
      • Continue to perform well in the core business
      • Do not lose sight of serving your clients
      • Anticipate how the market will change in the next 3 months, 1 year, and 3 years
      • Check your strategy often to be sure that changes aren’t necessary
      • Continue to produce flawless operational efficiency
      • Build consensus-solidify your team and make changes in a subtle manner
  • Fixing the Business
    • The Need: Reenergize a business that has seen better times and is on the verge of decline
    • Successful behaviors:
      • Identify the parts of the core business that are successful and put resources to them
      • Identify the weak parts of the business and commit to changing them
      • Refocus on providing outstanding products and services to your clients
      • Stop focusing on your internal organization and organizational politics
      • Produce at the highest level and be a positive force for change
      • Expect downsizings and be prepared to deal with the survivors
  • Saving a Business
    • The Need: Seek to reinvent the business before it becomes extinct
    • Successful behaviors
      • Formulate a new strategy and sell it to colleagues
      • Communicate the state of the business to colleagues and ask for their support
      • Build consensus for change even it confronts the traditional
      • Focus on a few clearly defined goals and objectives
      • Seek to gain early wins and celebrate them
      • Remove those people who cannot make the adjustment and act as barriers to progress



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