I like to think that I know a thing or two about vocabulary and its application to everyday life. However, I will admit, there have been times where I’ve thrown around a word or a phrase without being 100% sure of its meaning. This typically happens with broad phrases, and we’re all guilty of it. But, what’s cool about language(s) is that it’s virtually limitless, so there’s always room to learn something new. I’m sure you’re thinking, “okay, Taylor, that’s great and probably not as profound as you think it is. What does this have to do with business?” Well, one of the phrases I’ve heard people throw around and not actually have it stick is “business culture.” It’s used broadly as a cliche with little meaning behind it, often used incorrectly.
While it’s easy to correctly define such a phrase, it is so general that it is difficult for some to have a true grasp of its meaning. Whenever I’m unclear on something, I go to the smartest person I know for clarity – my father. My dad, Mike Leddin, is the executive director of a law firm in Chicago. Throughout my life, he’s been my go-to person for advice and explanation, and this was no different when I was seeking the root meaning of business culture. Since he has a tendency to be more eloquent than I, let’s have him weigh in…
“The business culture within a company is as critically important as the products/services that are produced,” said Mike Leddin. “Creating the right culture, one that fosters teamwork and encourages contributions, thoughts, and ideas at all levels, will be ultimately reflected in the end product/service.”
He added, “The business culture should clearly reflect the social and ethical responsibility of the company, including management’s commitment to act responsibly in all ways. Properly communicated Mission and Values Statements both internally and externally, will not only define the goal and objections of the organization, but also the manner in which these be will be sought and achieved.”
What stuck with me most was his conclusion:
“Business culture is not simply a statement or goal, it is the result of the manner in which we act each day.”
This idea of business culture is important for every team member to keep in mind as we walk into work each day. Questions such as: “What am I providing people?” and “Why should they trust me?” should factor into your definition of business culture.
A company is only as strong as its morals and values. Make sure yours has one that you believe in, lest you be just another brokerage in a sea of competitors that don’t lack clarity.