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On an Organization's Cultural DNA

Have you ever stopped to think about what makes working for your organization appealing?

Perhaps you have wondered why you feel that you are on a different frequency than the rest of the organization?

When Yahoo recently announced that Marissa Mayer would become the Chief Executive Officer there was a great deal of commentary - both speculation and excitement. One remark from Netscape co-founder Marc Anderson I found to be particularly insightful and compelling. Anderson stated that Yahoo had appointed a "product-centered CEO" in Mayer rather staying the course with an interim "sales-centric CEO."

Anderson's insight highlights the fundamentals of what an organization wants to be and the how its culture supports the philosophy. It's apparent in every industry that there are successful organizations with different or even unique philosophies and cultural structures. Take for example the "technology market' in which EMC is known for its sales culture; Google for its scientific engineering culture; Amazon for its supply-chain culture; HP and Xerox for their operational cultures; and of course, Apple for its design and marketing cultures. I have personally have customers in markets that have cultures defined by customer experience as well as healing ministries.

At VMware, we are very fortunate to be a part of what I believe is a diverse culture founded on engineering and service learning cultures. At the core, we are engineers working to solve the issues of this new era of business and technologies with software-define datacenter solutions. We are also people that enjoy learning and sharing new ideas. This has been cultivated by our leadership, our peers and of course, our customers and community. I particularly find this culture very appealing and a great fit - I'm fundamentally an engineer and a learner.

Of course, cultures do change. Some, even, can be wiped out as the environment (or markets) evolve. The most transformative work is being done right now by organizations and it's critical the 'corporate DNA' is not at odds with itself. For example, aligning the cultural philosophies of IT and the Business to drive transformation as a singular unit when environmental trends require adaption.

What's your organization's culture and how does it impact you and your customers?