Updated: Aug 30, 2017
IN 2015 THOSE PAYING ATTENTION SEE THAT COMPANY CULTURE IS QUICKLY BECOMING THE ONLY TRULY SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
I like to talk with people about company culture. A lot. My zeal for the subject combined with the simultaneous organizational-employee benefits make it a great topic for conversations regardless if I’m sipping a mocha or Manhattan.
The problem is that the benefits of company culture have yet to be valued in any real way by executives and decision makers en mass. This is why I bring it up so frequently and this is why when one of my culture nerd colleagues pointed out a distinct rise in culture jobs on LinkedIn I nearly jumped out of my shorts.
Hilton worldwide was recently looking for a Manager of Brand Culture & Internal Communication to “develop and coordinate the culture and internal messaging delivery for the Hilton Garden Inn brand”; Amazon subsidiary Quisdi needs a Manager of Culture and Employee Engagement to “uphold a positive, active, friendly and meaningful environment […] to build relationships, promote health and work-life balance, and create community; and Workday seeks a Leadership & Culture Director to create a special culture that enables our Workmates to change the world by putting their professional passions to work every day.
Execs can see that it’s going to take more than a fair wage and a free lunch to find, get, and keep the best people.
What does it mean that more companies are creating management and director-level roles with culture in the title?
I would venture that organizations have woken up to tech behemoths, headhunters, and the lure of entrepreneurship all competing for talent, the ultimate limited resource. Execs can see that it’s going to take more than a fair wage and a free lunch to find, get, and keep the best people.
In a world where talent is the advantage, competition is fierce. A thoughtfully curated culture not only makes a firm more attractive, it enables everyone to do their job better. Leadership can connect corporate purpose with employee behaviors; Remote employees, on-site contractors, and out-sourced freelancers can create value faster when the how and the why of the organization is made clear; even high-potential candidates seek out the companies with credos in which they believe.
A talent-driven motivation to creating culture isn’t the fully actualized version of the world I see — one where culture is at the center powering the organization — but it should help companies beat their competitors off the blocks.
In 2015 those paying attention see that company culture is quickly becoming the only truly sustainable competitive advantage. And for now, I’m ecstatic to see more of these culture-centric roles in the world — if only that it helps me make my case at more cocktail parties.