16 Thoughts from Leaders on Company Culture | Fooda

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Company culture is the marriage of people, structure, and process. Building and maintaining a strong culture is arguably one of the most important jobs for executives, thought it tends to take the backseat compared to things like product and strategy. If that’s become the case at your organization, here are thoughts from 16 leaders on company culture that might push it back to the forefront.

1. “Culture is the magic start-up ingredient.”

– Colin Angle, Co-founder, iRobot

2. “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

– Anne M. Mulcahy, CEO, Xerox

3. “Hire great people and give them freedom to be awesome.”

– Andrew Mason, Founder, Groupon

4. “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

– Reid Hoffman, Co-founder, LinkedIn

5. “The way I think about culture is that modern humans have radically changed the way that they work and the way that they live. Companies need to change the way they manage and lead to match the way that modern humans actually work and live. We’re trying to re-craft culture in a way that really matches that. I think that 99% of companies are kind of stuck in the ’90s when it comes to their culture.”

– Brian Halligan, CEO, HubSpot

6. “There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”

– Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

7. “When you’re in a small boat, you can see who’s paddling hard and who’s looking around.”

– Ev Williams, Co-Founder, Medium and Twitter

8. “Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.”

– David Cummings, Co-founder, Pardot

9. “Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers — poets, actors, journalists — they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don’t fight science and they don’t fight technology.”

– Neil Degrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

10. “We try to have the kind of a culture that doesn’t value excuses in the sense that when you’re supposed to accomplish something, and you’re at a high level, then your job is to accomplish it, in spite of difficulty. And you’re rewarded for dealing with that.”

– Phil Libin, Co-Founder, Former CEO, Evernote

11. “We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”

– Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

12. “The number one muscle to flex in hiring is culture.”

– Brian Halligan, CEO, HubSpot
(one more from Halligan because he’s very quotable)

13. “Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”

– Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO, IBM

14. “Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core, that you don’t even think of it as culture.”

– Brittany Forsyth, SVP of HR, Shopify

15. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

– Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft

16. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

– Peter Drucker, Author

Since Mr. Drucker brought up food, allow us to weigh in. As a food company, we have a few thoughts on creating and maintaining a strong company culture. As we learned in elementary school, there’s a social element to lunch. Eating meals together is an essential form of social bonding across all cultures. It also helps form closer teams at work. The stronger social connections become between colleagues, the less incentive workers have to look for positions at other companies.

Providing meals for employees is an excellent way to create a strong company culture, see how Fooda can help your company implement a daily food program.