It is so true that companies work very hard to define their Values and Culture and then spend the rest of the time imposing it from the top down. This article presents some interesting ideas around creating a dynamic culture, encouraging and empowering employees to be constantly looking to challenge the status quo, one another and strive for innovation and best practice at all times. The author believes that this can be achieved by nurturing communities within your business rather than a company wide culture.
I haven't seen this approach at all in the companies Collingwood partners as the large majority invest heavily in a company wide Vision, set of Values and therefore culture.
In order for organizations to thrive as they grow, rather than focusing on maintaining a culture, startups should instead concentrate on building a community. What's the difference? And, why does it matter? First, a culture is imposed. It's established by the company and employees are expected to be a part of it, to participate, even if it doesn't fit their style or personality. Culture is about the company, and how you as an employee fit within it. It is often not very authentic, purporting to serve the needs of employees, but without anyone ever asking them what they want. It's frequently a carry-over from the founders' interests and the environment they want to work in. On the other hand, community is the manifestation of the people within it, guided by the company values.