So often the importance of company culture is overlooked. In the past few months, I have put emphasis on mapping 834’s culture out, but not all companies see the need to define their culture. Take Uber for example, they are facing a media firestorm and branding crisis due to their toxic culture.
How does company culture fail? It can be chalked up to multiple small things that continue to pile up.
- Leadership hasn’t set the tone or example. Culture starts from the top and trickles down. In our culture map, we defined what leadership looks and acts like. If you have ambiguous phrases like “embody the brand” – no one knows what the hell that means. Be specific!
- Address issues when they arise. If you see something happening that is not in line with your defined culture then have a process for dealing with it. If you ignore the issues or don’t give individuals the power to fix it, it will only get worse.
- Keep culture front and center. At our bi-weekly strategy meetings we address any issues that come up. We review 834’s culture map on a quarterly basis to ensure it is still relevant. Culture will change and evolve over time, which means you need to be aware of where you are at and where you are going.
If you reach the level of a shitshow that Uber is currently dealing with, then you need to own up to the mistakes and outline the plan moving forward. It amazes me that companies refuse to do that.