Sustaining Corporate Culture in a Growing Organization
An organization's culture can be a significant source of sustainable competitive advantage. For the organization, it can attract job candidates who fit and align employees working in different teams around common goals. For employees, a strong culture can generate pride, satisfaction, and purpose. However, a strong organizational culture can easily decay with a company's growth as new employees join the firm and business units develop cultures of their own. This technical note proposes that the growth a company can sustain while preserving its culture is governed by its ability to attract employees who fit with its purpose and values and to preserve and foster this alignment over time. To achieve this, an effective leader must formally articulate the purpose and values of the company and rely on four management systems that can be collectively thought of as a "North STAR" orienting managers' and employees' attention in the intended direction. This note details these organizational capabilities and management systems and describes the steps that successful companies take in order to preserve a strong culture through periods of growth.