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Culture is king

James Evelegh's editorial from today's edition of InPubWeekly.

By James Evelegh

Culture is king

“Your culture is what your company does when you’re not in the room”, was the slightly unsettling message Dennis CEO James Tye delivered to publishing leaders at May’s PPA Festival.

Getting your company culture right is important. As management consultant Peter Drucker put it: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Publishers like Immediate Media and Dennis have made establishing the right culture throughout the organisation a top priority.

Why’s it so important? Simply because, all other things being equal, a positive company culture will mean better results.

For James, the attitude of the people at the top is absolutely critical, and he had a few tips for the assembled bosses, which I paraphrase here:

1. Find out what your company culture is now. You do this by, err… talking to your staff. You might think you know it already, but the chances are that your view is very different to that of your team. You don’t know what you don’t know. 2. Be willing to change your own behaviour. Be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of believing your own BS. 3. Remember, it’s actions not words. Fine mission statements are all well and good, but what really counts is that your actions demonstrate that you have bought into the culture. 4. Express it well. You and your leadership team need to be able to clearly articulate the company culture. This does not always come easy, because the concepts can be nebulous, but practice makes perfect. 5. Write it down. Communicate the vision widely, internally and externally. Put it on your website, on mugs, in the reception. Assuming that it’s been collaboratively arrived at and the senior management team is fully engaged, then shout it from the rooftops; it’s your passport to success.