Culture is key to successful strategy

New design less resign

A new “free-spirited” architecture trend is transforming the corporate offices of Seattle. “I think one of the lessons is to understand your business, and understand what your people need to do their best work,” says Martha Choe, the Chief Administrative Officer at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and advocate for creating inspirational work environments. By breaking down walls and removing private offices, architects hope to exterminate all expressions of hierarchy and create an open, flat conversational culture. Click here to find out how other companies are altering their offices to improve the cultural environment.

A very public departure

When Greg Smith resigned from executive director and head of Goldman Sachs United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, he did not leave quietly. Through the op-ed section of the New York Times, he shared the brutally honest truth behind the cultural erosion in one of the most influential investment banks in the world. Coupled with this public stoning, the response through social media outlets, such as Twitter, was enough to completely upset any reader’s cultural perspective on the firm.

Click here to read more about Greg Smith experience with Goldman Sachs and after 12 years, why he felt he needed to leave the firm.

Let your fingers do the talking

Social media has created a transparency of information between businesses and the public. The consumers (who may also be a potential employee) affect the company’s public image, drive brand awareness, or like the aforementioned Greg Smith, provide an insider’s perspective to company culture. Viewing social media as a tool rather than a hindrance can help you dictate how your company is viewed. Here are some suggestions from 10 of the top executives from companies like Oscar de la Renta and IBM on how to speak to an audience with authenticity and relevance.

Culture is not “one size fits all”

Facebook employees often participate in “hackathons” meant to foster innovation through shared knowledge and effort in hopes to create something bigger and better than one person can do alone. A “hackathon” may not seem exciting to everyone – certain cultures attract specific people. So, Fast Company asked social media experts such as Ried Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn, and Dennis Crowley, cofounder and CEO of Foursquare, to express their views on how to build and nurture a great culture that will help attract the right people and ensure the successful execution of your particular business strategy.


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