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A business wallowing


in its own culture is 


rapidly irrelevant, and  


moving toward extinction.


(Yet corporate giants need it to survive!) 


I just read somewhere (Twitter?) that “Company culture is the priority” for some business organization whose name I’ll withhold to spare them embarrassment. I never heard of the company, but no doubt it is either part of some corporate giant sprawl or, sadly, some idealistic young tech business that is tripping over its own inexperience.

Any company that devotes its priorities to promoting, maintaining, nurturing, and protecting its own culture is totally out of touch with the realities of doing business in 2010. Admittedly, “never forgetting where you came from” is a healthy, driving energy force for every business owner, but dwelling on it is exactly what is wrong with the ways corporate giants conduct business today.

If your business is not customer-centric in every application possible, it is headed toward the great business burial grounds up in the clouds. Developing pie-in-the-sky programs to attract and keep top industry performers is a waste of time and money unless you totally lack the leadership it takes to foster and cultivate top performance from within.


The short solution:

Stop wasting so much energy on trying to inbreed specific employee characteristics and allegiances at a time when the only ROI you’ll realize will be major deficits (you remember him?).

If you’re not running some incompetent government agency, heavily subsidized corporate entity, or dreamy-eyed inexperienced new venture, don’t think of a culture focus as your bailout.


Here’s the bottom line: You cannot focus on your company’s culture AND on serving your customers exceptionally enough to earn ongoing profits AT THE SAME TIME. There’s simply not enough hours in the day to devote your concerted efforts in both directions simultaneously. If you haven’t a treasure chest in the closet, stick to pleasing your customers.

What was it Abe Lincoln said about not being able to please all of the people all of the time? Yes, some self-absorbed employees will jump ship who are not catered to, but do employees who come to work with a daily “what’s in it for me” attitude do your business any good to start with?

Did you go into business to cater to employees or to cater to customers? Sure, employee recognition and motivational performance incentives are nice, warm, fuzzy actions. But don’t let them get in the way. If you do a good enough job of pleasing customers, you will automatically please employees as well…at least those who matter to your business.


Those employees who are intrinsically challenged to be outstanding performers, who want to build their careers on achievement will rise to the opportunities you provide when you set the example.

Teach them how to embrace your customer base, instead of constantly pandering to their requests for more social activities.  


Is that a thin line? Perhaps. Yet, business owners who understand communications, and who practice leadership by example, and management by wandering around, can substantially reduce the need for many employee recruitment and reward devices because they create an environment all by themselves that make others gravitate to serve their pursuits. Voila! “Counter Culture”!

Put the spotlight on the customer and teach employees how to focus it, how to keep it shining and how to change the bulb when necessary, then reward them for how well they do what they do instead of for the promises of their smiles behind their resumes.

We need only look briefly at the complete financial losses attached to professional sports team owners who buy into promises of greatness vs. those who make the long term investments of cultivating from within. A great team culture doesn’t matter if you can’t perform in the clutch. or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One comment so far

One Comment to “COUNTER CULTURE”

  1. Hal Alpiar’s Blog » WEBSITE OVERKILLon 04 May 2011 at 8:24 pm

    […] main product or service message you want your target customers/clients/patients to see and hear? Can you spare visitors the company history that no doubt has great importance to your great great great grandfather’s uncle’s […]

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