Strong cultures appear in organizations whether you choose to build them or not. However, if you’re not the one building the culture, it may not turn into the one you want—and this can make or break the entire business.
Sharon Florentine writes, “If there’s one big lesson to be learned from the recent revelations about ridesharing startup and Silicon Valley darling Uber’s culture, it’s this: Culture can be a four-letter word if it is ignored. Culture can be a four-letter word if is toxic. And toxic cultures kill more businesses than recessions. And it is liable to kill Uber too, says Steven L. Blue, president and CEO of Miller Ingenuity and author of American Manufacturing 2.0: What Went Wrong and How to Make It Right.
“Many CEOs wrongly believe culture is a concept reserved for ‘squishy, beer-for-lunch, feel-good’ companies and hot startups, and that it doesn’t deserve a place ‘at the grown-ups table,’ according to Blue. But that thinking couldn’t be further from the truth: Culture should, in fact, be at the top of every CEO’s priority list. ‘I’m always prepared to make a compelling case to convince CEO’s that culture is every bit as important as strategic planning. I can cite all kinds of studies and dazzling statistics that prove that positive cultures create positive financial performance. But now I know I don’t have to thanks to a four-letter word: Uber. Uber’s toxic culture is front and center,’ Blue says.
“According to recent reports, Uber has engaged in everything from sexual harassment to stealing driverless technology from Google. Even some of its own investors claim the company fosters a toxic culture, Blue says.”