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    The Culture Show - Recap

    Last night on a fun and engaging HR Happy Hour show, Charee Klimek from Vocii, and Meghan M. Biro from TalentCulture joined us to discuss organizational or company culture; what it means, why is it important, and how companies and candidates can better understand and leverage culture.

    If you missed the show, I encourage you to listen to the replay here:


    The show brought up quite a few interesting topics, and honestly one hour probably was not enough to cover such a wide-ranging, slightly ambiguous, and diverse subject such as company culture.

    For me, a few points really resonated:

    One - There has never been more of an opportunity for organizations to communicate the message of what they believe in, how they see themselves, and the kinds of attitudes, behaviors, and values that the people that inhabit the organization exhibit, and by extension what types of people would be good candidates in the future. With all the free and low-cost tools and mechanisms available to organizations, if your message is not getting out the way you desire, either you simply don't care, or you are not really trying hard enough.

    Two - Culture is not just about having a cool company blog, or a CEO that likes to Tweet.  There actually were great company cultures and places to work at before Zappos came along, (I am not sure anyone actually said that in the show, but I think it is true).  Culture is woven into the everything the organization does, from what products and services it offers, to the way it deals with its stakeholders, even to the way it is reflected in its physical surroundings, the way it treats the environment, the community, and even the world at large.

    Three - And thanks to Mary Ellen Slayter from SmartBrief from the SHRM VIP Tweetup in Washington, we learned that SHRM (at least at this week's Legal-themed event) is doing a solid job promoting fear, restraint, and a firm grip on the status quo with respect to the use of social media.  Rather than rehash it all here, go check out Mark Stelzner's blog for his take.

    Thanks once again to Charee and Meghan and all who called, listened, and tweeted!

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    • Response
      This past Thursday on the HR Happy Hour the topic was (organizational) culture-what it is, why it's important, and why company's should be paying attention to it. There was a sense that culture was (or should be) THE deciding factor in recruiting and keeping the right people in an organization. I ...

    Reader Comments (6)

    As you know from my tweets during the show I don't believe culture is at all ambiguous or difficult. It is what it is. What makes it difficult is when it isn't what we WANT it to be. When we are in a company that has a different culture than what resonates with the individual we have a disconnect and many employees want to change it rather than change their employer. Normal, more so today with employment a less sure option if one were to leave a company. But changing culture is a function of all employees - including the leadership. Unfortunately, leadership has more votes (meaning their behaviors and direction carry more weight) and can stifle any change. That leads to the social media discussion...

    Since culture by definition is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization - social media brings those shared values to the surface more easily. When there is a disconnect between the "rank and file" and the leadership - social media brings that to life and creates tension between what leadership "wants to believe" and the reality. Most leaders can't handle that so rather than change they will stifle the tools that raise the issue to the surface.

    IMHO - if you have a wide variance in what leadership thinks and the rank and file believe - the company has a hiring problem not a culture problem.

    March 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Hebert

    Paul - thanks so much for the great comments. I think your point about disconnects being more of a hiring problem than a culture problem really makes sense. I think the more open organizations and candidates become, to some extent empowered by social media, these hiring mistakes will lessen over time. We will see.

    March 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Hey folks,

    Great audio. I enjoyed it immensely and you bring up some good points that I can incorporate with some of my clients. So often as a vendor I talk to a lot of people in this space that really don't have a strong grasp on what their message is, what their culture is and how that differs from department to department at times.

    March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCade

    Cade - Thanks very much and I am glad you found the show useful.

    March 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterSteve

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