# Section 10: Organizational Culture
_How does culture emerge within an organization, and how can managers and leaders shape it? What role does personality play in the cultural DNA of an organization? How can you effectively leverage the culture within an organization?_
Parr. S. Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch, Fast Company. Author: Fantigrossi, Steven Marc; Editor: Steele, Samantha E
Culture is defined as “a balanced blend of human psychology, attitudes, actions, and beliefs that combined create either pleasure or pain, serious momentum or miserable stagnation.” An organization's brand is a result of its culture and serves as the most important factor in helping an organization stand out from the pack. An organization won’t be successful in the long term by only making good products and a profit, a good culture is also necessary. Good culture incorporates focus, motivation, connection, cohesion, and spirit in order to create a healthy workplace environment for employees to succeed. Employees and leadership alike must understand the vision of the organization and take steps to move forward towards its goals. Workers should be happy to be at work, be loyal to the organization, and put the team before themselves by working with others to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
But successful company culture cannot be created overnight, it has to be embodied by everyone in an organization from the leader down to the bottom. It has to be indoctrinated into employees from day one, just as a U.S. Marine learns the values of “the few, the proud” during the first day of training. In order to develop and nurture good culture, dynamic and engaged leadership must effectively communicate its organization’s values both within and outside the organization and show that they genuinely care; “authenticity and values always win.” Employees must be given clear roles and held accountable when they violate the values that they should be upholding. Also, organizations need to stop and celebrate the organization's success and take time to learn from its failures.
Organizational culture is a driving force in retaining both employees and customers. But having a common culture shouldn’t be confused with a lack of diversity. Core values drive culture and it is essential that everyone in an organization is moving in the same direction. However, within that culture, people of many different backgrounds, experience, and skills must be included to make a organization successful. By hiring employees who believe in the core values of an organization and that fill a unique role, an organization will be well-suited to be prosper in the long term.
Kantor, J. & Streitfeld, D. “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace.” The New York Times, August 15, 2015. Author: Swartwood, Hilary Ann; Editor: Farrior, Cheri Nicole
Taylor, B. “Why Zappos Pays Employees to Quit, and You Should Too.” Harvard Business Review, May 19, 2008. Author: Rosa, Edwin Emory
Can a Teacher Be Too Dedicated? The Atlantic. Author: Boucher, Timothy M.; Editor: Dorries, Joshua Wayne
Sutherland, J. & Sutherland, J.J. (2014). Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. Crown Business, Happiness: pp 145-170. Author: Dorries, Joshua Wayne; Editor: Orlan, Samuel Lawrence
Female company president: "I'm sorry to all the mothers I worked with." Fortune, March 3, 2015. Author: Sarawat, Fariha; Editor: Dorries, Joshua Wayne
Chamorro-Premuzic, T. “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?” Harvard Business Review, August 22, 2013. Author: Gobbo, Andre Francis; Editor: Hamlin, Madeleine Rose
This article aims to explore the reasons why there are so few women in management positions. It starts by going through the three most popular explanations for why this phenomenon exists: (1) they are not capable, (2) they are not interested, and (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass ceiling. However, the author finds that these 3 explanations fail to account for the largest reason why women are underrepresented in management roles: a failure to distinguish between confidence and competence.
The author then goes on to explain that because we conflate confidence and competence, we tend to view men as better suited for management positions because they display their confidence (sometimes even hubris) more often than women. The arrogance and overconfidence more often found in men translates into them being perceived as better leaders, when in fact these traits are inversely related to leadership talent.
In most sectors the best leaders are usually humble. This trait is more commonly found in women than in men. Furthermore, this is true not just in the United States; the author cites a study done involving 23,000 participants in 26 different cultures indicating that women are more sensitive, considerate, and humble than men. The author cites another study showing that normative data on thousands of managers from across different industries and sectors points to men being consistently more arrogant, manipulative, and risk-prone than women.
The author makes an important distinction between _getting_ a management job and _doing the job well_. This difference is why many incompetent men find management roles and proceed to not do well. Because of this, many leaders tend to fail in their roles. The author notes that good leadership has always been the exception, not the norm.
Because there is a rise in trying to get women into leadership roles, the author notes that women shouldn't be trying to adopt these faulty characteristics of men in order to become more appealing for management positions. Rather, women should be emphasizing the characteristics that make them better in leadership roles: eliciting respect and pride from their followers, effective communication of their vision, empowering and mentoring subordinates, and a more flexible and creative approach to problem-solving.
While the glass ceiling is quite thick for most women, the author finds a bigger problem in the lack of career obstacles for incompetent men, and that we equate good leadership with psychological features that make the average man more inept than the average woman.
Carlson, N. “The Untold Story of Larry Page’s Incredible Comeback.” Business Insider, April 24, 2014. Author: Swartwood, Hilary Ann; Editor: Dieselman, Andrew
Grant, A. (2013). “Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture.” McKinsey Quarterly, April. Author: Perez, Philip A; Editor: Steele, Samantha E