There seems to be quite a lot of confusion about what company culture is and what company culture is not. This presentation helps to clear up what company culture actually is, what the important layers of the company culture are and why sub cultures, the environment, the chemistry and connections are so important. By the end of this what company culture deck you will be empowered to build the right long term plan to improve your business
What Company Culture Is
Strategy Culture Trust
Culture aka Company Culture is known as…
• Work culture
• Company culture
• Organisational culture
• Organisational health
Culture seems to be confusing almost
everyone in the business world.
Books, Podcasts, LinkedIn updates, YouTube videos
all talk about culture and what it is not.
They don’t clearly deﬁne what culture is.
I’m going to take you through what
Company Culture really is
Company Culture Is
• Company culture is trust
• Company culture is the work environment you co-create
• It’s how people feel, yes feel
• It’s the non-verbals, the cues and interactions
• It’s how colleagues communicate, especially when not everyone is watching or
• It’s how colleagues work together, it is how colleagues show up and support each
• It’s the accepted behaviours
• It’s how the data and information ﬂows and how conﬁdence builds
Company Culture Is:
Company culture is how colleagues and the company are set
up for success
Company culture can be the simple things like meeting
• Example of having too many meetings
• Creating a meeting to make a decision
• Or having meetings without agenda’s.
Company Culture Is
• Company culture is not HR (or just owned by HR)*
• Company culture is not a marketing tool or a PR stunt
• Company culture is not leadership dictating what works and does not work
• Company culture is not a series of perks like an oﬃce dog, free beers and a ping
pong table or quarterly sessions talking about culture.
Company Culture Is Not:
* HR aren’t in a position to be trusted by most employees, the old hire and ﬁre model is too engrained
into colleagues & businesses of all sizes
It’s not a blog post or an email, not one internal
memo and not a reminder on chat tools that we
should be doing better or doing more.
These are just baby steps towards company
And yes a reminder, it is more than a mailing list
or a dedicated chat channel to ask questions.
For many colleagues company culture is the why
am I doing this when elements of the business
The Perks Problems
Perks - Not Culture!
Perks - Not Culture!
Perks have been a misconception
for a number of years and masks
what is happening and what
makes a successful company.
You could blame huge tech businesses for leveraging
narratives & helping to confuse perks with culture.
A good place to work is more than feeding your team,
oﬀering a pool table and oﬀering barista services etc
Company Culture is
more than just the
Did you and your business get confused?
Did you join a co-working oﬃce to feel cooler?
The communication, the cues,
the connections, the guidance,
the agreed principles, the
company’s pulse, the heart
beat of an organisation
Wait It Is More
Company culture is more than a buzzword
Company culture is more than a couple of old school pulse survey sent into
Company culture is more than a last resort
Company culture is how the company knows how the company performance
is doing, how the company tackles obstacles together and continues to build
Company culture is:
• Developing your people
• Improving understanding and objectives
• Developing communication
• Improving the environment
• Improving collective expectations
• And improving your companies performance
Culture: Know Your
This is Jess
Jess loves connecting with
people similar to her in the
Jess is an introvert but
wants to discuss her
work on slack and
Jess isn’t always heard
at work - even with her
Jess is listened to in team
meetings but not by her
Jess speaks her mind and
engages a lot when it
comes to improving how
the team can work more
Jess is a good
communicator and oﬀers
to work closely with
Jess fondly remembers
a previous manager
who would make her
Jess isn’t able to talk to
her boss or bosses boss
about making work
This is James
James is one of the leadership
James is an extrovert,
he is the sales leader
James believes in
SQL’s, MQL’s and what
the CFO and CEO say
James loves reminding
people just to do their
James manages over
shouty emails and
doesn’t read slack
James runs it his way or
no way. He doesn’t
believe in good or bad
company culture as he
cannot manage it in
James is an awful line
manager James is famous for not
saying hello to his team
in the mornings
One Is Rewarded -
One Is Punished
Me Team Department Company Org
It’s How People Choice Their Part
Am I here?
Are they for me?
Does it connect?
Do they work together
Do I support my team? Do I belong to my departments?
Do we connect?
Everyone has a
they are punched
in the face
Focus Mike Tyson Quote
Everyone has a
blew up in their face
Culture & Leadership
Let’s be honest, almost all leadership and HR teams are too
disconnected from the day to day, this means neither
understand the pulse or heartbeat, nor are trusted internally
enough to make the right steps forward when it comes to
culture, this then impact strategy.
Company culture does, however, need the HR team and
leadership buy-in and has to have complete backing in-front of
the departments and in the boardroom, and yes even the CFO
signing oﬀ on ‘soft skills’.
Company culture is more than disagreeing and committing in
the management meetings.
Yes company culture is hard,
Yes it is long term and yes it’s about weeding out the work
politics and setting up success across the business
Company culture is directly connected to company
Company Culture =
Company culture needs nurturing and developing and is an
ever-evolving and a growing part of your organisation.
It’s not a one and done
It’s not a recurring agenda item for the senior leadership team
don’t have time to skip through
And hear about from just one of their trusted people.
If in doubt, remember:
Your people build and develop your products
That drive proﬁts.
The Culture Build
Workplace / Environment
Ideals, values - BHAG, these are the guides and guiding principles.
If these are hard or something people reject the rest can break very
quickly, tech isn’t going to bring this back
Culture - rolling up to compass, the below factors all rolls up into culture.
This is the hardest thing to deﬁne and hardest to shape without clear &
This is how certain departments or sub teams work together and
integrate. These are the things new people need to use as a guide and
What is acceptable, what is not across the organisation at any one points.
Behaviours is how chemistry and connections are centralised and often
Chemistry is the hardest to interview for and understand before a team or
teams work together. Chemistry is between people, teams and the way of
operating, bad chemistry will kill teams
Connections is how people ﬁnd each other, work together and develop
relationships. Connections bond chemistry & often sets long term
behaviours. If connections breakdown then the rest can fall down
The workplace (whether in an oﬃce or remote) is vitally important, the
more time we spend in the oﬃce and together the more important your
surroundings are. If you are unhappy in your workplace or in your speciﬁc
environment you will not build good connections, build the right chemistry
and behaviours will fail.
Subcultures, team and departmental “tribal behaviours” are
far more inﬂuential than any businesses realise or work on
Subcultures often go on undetected and unspoken of, leading
to numerous issues
Why Are Sub Cultures Are Important?
You have subcultures within the same oﬃce, often within
teams in departments.
For individuals: Trust, behaviours & belonging all essential at
the individual level. This is before we connect with our team,
our department, our company.
Work is: me and we (company), not one or the other.
Yes, Management is vitally important to your company culture,
your company likely is not set up to allow a company culture to
develop or to succeed properly.
Your company is not likely built out to support leaders and
develop the next generation of leaders throughout your
These are all signals of company culture and belonging to this
The Environment Is Crucial.
Working in the oﬃce, working from home, working remotely or
the Hybrid model.
Just because we are not within the same walls, it doesn’t
mean anyone is less important, their situation is diﬀerent and
not to have a rule that applies to all.
All important lessons and learnings should apply no matter
what your set up is or has to be.
Leadership is more than a
job title or job
Something That Will Shock Many:
Culture is set by the employees daily, guidance and principles
set by leadership.
These factors help to set their company culture up.
It’s the signals, actions, behaviours and the support that makes
company culture win. This makes company performance.
Not writing statements on the wall, not a commitment to
something that was written months ago and never revisited.
This is why culture cannot be decided upon from the leadership
team or by one department.
Why Has The Company Culture Broken?
The truth is:
Many leadership teams have got culture wrong as it was being
directed by the wrong departments
By leaders who were completely disconnected from the teams
Culture became a buzzword and not an essential part of the
No one is in a better position to help address company culture
than the right internal people,
Without the right framework and being able to step back, scan
the landscape and gain insights - you will struggle to make any
Company culture goes
hand in hand with
strategy and it has to be
treated as a constant
Company Culture +
= Company Focus.
Are you ready to tackle company culture?
Are you ready to prioritise and put company culture front and
centre of your business?
Company culture should now be clearer, for leaders, the next
generation of leaders and people who just a better workplace
and those who just want to do their job.
2020 has been challenging for everyone,
2021 has to be clear, concise and ensure your people and your
business is set up for success.
Take the Focus challenge!
Improve company culture and build an ongoing alliance with
strategy to ensure it is treated as a business-critical item.
+Thank You From Focus
The world of work has lost its focus!
Focus was created to cut through the noise, cut through confusion and
ensure businesses focus on developing their organisations and
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