An entrepreneur was asking me questions about corporate culture and why I thought it was so important. After my usual lines about it being the only sustainable competitive advantage within our control, he said that they were having challenges with certain people getting along even though they meet their corporate culture standards. I thought about it for a second and realized he was right — a strong corporate culture doesn’t mean everyone is best friends. In fact, even with a strong culture, everyone isn’t going to like hanging out with every other team member.
A strong culture doesn’t mean everyone likes everyone else. A strong corporate culture does mean the following:
- Common values
- Mutual respect
- Alignment and clarity of purpose
Of course, it’s great when people are good friends with their co-workers, and we actively want that, but personality styles don’t always mesh and we’re most interested in smart people that get things done and have our same core values.
What else? What are your thoughts on the idea that a strong corporate culture doesn’t mean everyone is best friends?