What Culture Actually Means
Justin Drummond, the chief operating officer of Planet Fitness Growth Partners, LLC., shares the importance of company culture.
Culture. What does that mean? In simple terms it is habits, beliefs and traditions of a certain group of people. But why is this important in our industry and all industries? How does it impact business?
The culture of an organization can perpetuate one of two things:
- A vibrant, diverse, collaborative and inspirational backbone that is the catalyst for the company’s success.
- Or the alternative: A dull, self-promoting, individualistic mentality that could ultimately lead to segregation, lack of efficiency in the workplace and a disharmonious environment.
I am aware all businesses want to have the aforementioned culture as opposed to the latter. However, how are you implementing this way of thinking among your hundreds and maybe thousands of employees?
If there is one thing I have learned throughout my tenure is that culture eats strategy for breakfast. This means the environment your organization has established will be the bedrock on which the company operates and makes decisions — tough decisions at that.
For example, during the pandemic and shut downs when most businesses had to, unfortunately, let go of their entire staff, we decided we would do whatever it took to keep our staff employed. We live and breathe the “aloha spirit” and one of the terms often used, “Ohana,” which means family. Our teams are our family. The “aloha spirit” is one of the foundational pieces to our culture.
In an workplace that promotes a positive environment with likeminded people who are inclusive and diverse in thought and background, inspires others through servant leadership, and are committed to changing people’s lives by creating meaningful collisions and connected experiences — this is where success lies. The impact is this. When your culture thrives, your business thrives.
A focus on culture is a focus on your business. There are two quotes that highlight this:
- “I used to believe that culture was ‘soft’ and had little bearing on our bottom line. What I believe today is our culture has everything to do with our bottom line, now and into the future.” — Vern Dosch, the author of Wired Differently.
- “Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.”— David Cummings, the co-founder of Pardot.