Gerstner on Culture

“I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game — it is the game.”– Louis Gerstner, Jr., in Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?

Corporate Culture isn’t a new idea any more.  But I think that its importance is on the comeback.  In 2008, many people are observing that “how we look at the world” is one of the most important things that shape how our lives go.  Add to that two other observations: (1) “how we see the world to be” is something we have to work hard to perceive, since it is so fundamental that we can have a hard time starting to grasp it and (2) “how we look at the world” is something we can change, if not easily.

Same goes for businesses.  “How your company sees the world to be” is a fundamental part of a business’s corporate culture.  It’s hard to grasp, and it is something that can be changed, if it needs to be, and if the company has people willing to do it.  This is true at every level of the corporation, and in every part of the corporation’s mind: strategy, management, and marketing.

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