Every company has a culture.
But most have a dysfunctional one.
The Three Musketeers is a novel by Alexandre Dumas set in seventeenth-century Paris. It tells the story of a young man named d'Artagnan who wants to join the Musketeers of the Guard.
The Three Musketeers made the phrase “all for one and one for all” famous (“tous pour un, et un pour tous”).
All for One and One for All.
This sounds a lot easier than it is. Unfortunately, the cultural dynamic we often see is “All for me and none for you!”
Companies actually have dozens of cultures.
The accounting team has a culture. The European sales team has one. The manufacturing plant has a different one.
The key is to build a One-Company culture that unifies and aligns everyone.
Unfortunately, Bain & Company research found that only 10 percent of companies have a high-performance culture.
While there are many reasons for this, one of the most dysfunctional is infighting.
Sometimes, this behavior is demonstrated in the budgeting process, which is often managed as a zero-sum game. Sometimes, it manifests itself in unhealthy internal competition and power struggles.
Peter Drucker famously said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That sounds good, but I am not sure it is true.
What is true is that companies with One-Company cultures can leverage the full breadth and depth of the firm to win and serve customers. These highly aligned companies eat their fragmented and dysfunctional competitors for breakfast … lunch … and dinner!
Ideally, your company has built the One-Company mindset into your culture from Day One.
If, however, you have allowed your culture to disintegrate into warring tribes and dysfunctional fiefdoms, you have a lot of work to do.
Does your company have a One-Company culture?
NOTE: This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction.