If you were to ask me the most important element for success in business, I would say it is company culture.
The point of failure for many companies is often rooted in a passive attitude toward culture. They rely on documents to spread cultural awareness, rather than instilling company values through action. Real culture is an outcome of conscious choice.
What is real culture?
If you look at what culture is in a general sense, it is nothing but a pattern of behaviors. It’s not what we say we are, it’s not what we say we believe in—it’s what is present in every day actions and decisions. Real culture is the physical manifestation of patterns of behavior where there is a fair degree of consistency.
This culture manifests itself in day-to-day work life: how people treat one another and how operations are run on a daily basis. People often associate cultural values with abstract concepts like truthfulness, morality, honesty, integrity. But the decisions you make as an organization are rooted in what you value.
What is the conscious choice?
Culture starts with a core belief system, and these core beliefs are the foundation of a company’s identity and a fundamental part of all business decisions.
For example, if you value customer happiness as a key part of your company culture, every action and decision should be made with the customer’s benefit in mind. Not only do you make yourself available to the customer by answering calls and providing assistance, but you must structure your company and products in a way that provides genuine value to your customers.
What is Forte’s culture?
The culture at Forte is highly supportive. We accept, support, and believe in shared success. We also truly believe in the spirit of collaboration and this belief manifests itself on a day-to-day basis. It’s seen in the way we treat our colleagues, the way we react when somebody seeks advice or help, and the way we treat our customers when they have a problem. Our success with customers starts, first and foremost, with mutual respect and the desire to help them.
When we developed our set of core values at Forte, we determined who we are as an organization. Our conscious choice meant not only saying these are our core values, but including them as quantifiable company goals and initiatives. We make culture quantifiable by declaring and demonstrating culture as an important part of the success and scalability of our organization.
This is why Forte has maintained a strong culture through the years, even as we have grown to over 100 employees. Read more about how to scale your company culture here.