Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.
This week, John and Rachel discuss a Harvard Business Review article “Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture” by John Coleman.
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Good morning. It’s Monday and John Garrett is here, that’s me, with an episode of Green Apple Slices, obviously picking up where I left off last week. On the other line is Accountants and Alliances Group guru, Sage, somewhere in Canada. I don’t even remember your name anymore — Rachel Fisch.
Rachel: That is my name. Yay, you did it.
John: I got that part right.
Rachel: You did.
John: So we’ll do that. Next week, I promise I will do it because I’ll have it written on my hand. I will do that.
Rachel: Just get it tattooed there. It’s fine.
John: Right. That won’t be weird.
Rachel: Not at all.
John: Yeah, especially if you get a different title, then I’m like, oh, great, like this is awesome.
Rachel: It’s okay, just like strikethrough and then do the next line. So then you end up with this huge tattoo of — yeah.
John: I feel like you’ve had this happen with others. So I’m not alone in this.
Rachel: I’m not saying anything.
John: Right, right, right. We always get together and talk through an article that we found. I found this one in the Harvard Business Review. So there were words that I didn’t quite understand in here. But the title was “Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture” by John Coleman. I saw it had bolded, bulleted, numbered list. So I was like, this is right up your alley.
Rachel: Rachel will like this one. No, it’s true, because it’s interesting, because we talked about something kind of similar a couple of weeks ago where it was like the six basic ingredients, right? It was the Randy Pennington.
John: Yeah, Randy Pennington. Absolutely.
Rachel: About the whole — it’s a chef thing, right? It’s not a formula. So this kind of supports that in the way that it’s laid out, basically saying, this isn’t a step one, step two, step three thing. But John Coleman, the writer, is kind of like, these are the things that I’ve noticed that are consistent in organizations that have great culture. So this isn’t the if you do these things, this will happen, but here are some commonalities that you might want to take a look at. So I thought it was a great approach.
John: Exactly. And one thing that I thought was really interesting was at the start of the article, he talks about how James Heskett wrote that culture can account for 20% to 30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with culturally unremarkable competitors. So when it comes to like your stock price and your bottom line, 20% to 30% of the difference, which is pretty significant, is just culture. So taking the time to invest in that is totally worth it because it goes straight to your bottom line. I thought that that was pretty significant because I think the way that people look at culture is kind of like, it’s single digits differentiation, where it’s like, well, if we have a good culture, it’ll be 5% better. And it’s like, no, it’s 20% to 30% of the difference.
Rachel: Right, which is significant, or that they’d see culture-based activities as cost centers and not that there’s a revenue generating or that there’s a business benefit component to it, which we’ve talked about so many studies and some of the stats that speaks and that no, no, it’s good for your business to have great culture.
John: Right. So just believe us, everybody. Just believe us. But the six listed were vision, values, practices, people, narrative, and place. So if that doesn’t make it any clearer for any of you, you can read the article.
Rachel: Where’s that clarity we were talking about a couple of weeks ago?
John: Exactly, right? But you can read the article at greenapplepodcast.com, but we will keep talking about it, but I’m just letting you know, if we didn’t get enough information, then you can get it there. But I don’t know, was there one that that jumped out that you were surprised then?
Rachel: You know what? I think it was the practices. The practices is that this is an active thing that needs to do. So this is not an element of great culture is not teamwork posters on the wall. It’s something that you need to do that needs to infiltrate every area of your organization and that you need to continue to practice to do throughout your time there. It’s an action.
John: I thought narrative was interesting in just that you have a unique story as an organization. I feel like we’re always hesitant or reluctant to share that story and that narrative because that’s what built us to be who we are today. They use the examples of, of course, Coca-Cola and its heritage. It goes back so far, and they have a museum even. But even some casual stories which I didn’t realize of just Steve Jobs being completely fascinated early in his life with calligraphy and how it just went to — the detail that you put in all the letters carries over into the detail that you put into your product. So I think that narrative is something that a lot of people forget about as, well, this is what we do and this is how we do it.
Rachel: How did you get here?
John: Right. Because the stories people love and people will remember and people will be able to tell to others, and then you’re the only one with that story. You’re the only one that got there that way. So don’t be afraid to share that and to tell that.
Rachel: For sure.
John: So that being said, there are four more and you can even read those too, if you want, but permission granted. I hope everyone has a good week, and check out greenapplepodcast.com. On Wednesdays, I interview a professional known for a hobby or passion outside of work. It doesn’t have to be life changing amazing, all world whatever. Just anything, anything at all. So if that’s you or anyone you know, please reach out because I’d love to showcase them on the show because there’s been some really cool people, especially recently.
Rachel: There have, yeah.
John: Absolutely. So that being said, have a good week, Rachel. We will talk next Monday.
Rachel: You too. Talk to you later.
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