Too often it feels like the route to business growth lies in contracts or investments that compromise existing core values. But, can companies keep increasing profits without selling out? Culture expert Jay Doran says yes. But to succeed, a company needs to define its culture first and embed it in all facets of its organizational structure.
Jay Doran is a man on a mission to make companies understand that corporate culture goes beyond dress-down Fridays and annual gym memberships. His advisory firm, Culture Matters, works with businesses to help them to grow without losing sight of why they started in the first place. For him, defining a company’s core culture – its values system, mission, and beliefs – is key to productivity and profit. He says, “The margin of profit in cultural development is related to how employees interact with each other and their customers. More profit is the result of more productive interactions.”
Embedding a corporate culture is no easy task. It can be challenging to explain great culture in words. As such, the process has to be a practical exercise to be effective. As Jay Doran says, “People know good culture when they feel it or see it more than when I talk to them about it.” For Jay, this involves working closely with CEOs and business founders to help find solutions to problems arising in productivity, turnover, brand alignment, and profit. The return on investment, however, is significant. Jay says, “Cultural development beyond catchphrases or buzzwords takes serious and methodical work, but the payoff is exponential both financially and emotionally.” The result is a unified workforce and increased staff retention – all hallmarks of a profitable, growing business.
Jay Doran believes that for companies to grow without compromising their values, an open-minded approach to inclusivity and diversity of thought is needed. He has spent his life obsessed with what culture means and constantly seeks to better understand the world around him. One of his key learnings has been that successful companies embrace conflict. Jay says, “Embrace conflict to understand your counterpart better.” For him, it is also the cornerstone of any cultural learning. Jay adds, “Learning takes stress, but with stress comes responsibility – so that a culture doesn’t break down, so people don’t break down.” In welcoming diversity and learning from it, companies can gain confidence in their underlying values system.
Growth – that respects core values – is the natural result of an organization being confident and secure in its defined culture. When a company effectively applies its culture in its decision-making then it will stay true to its mission and goals. Clearly defined corporate culture equals increased profits, better staff retention, and a unified, productive workforce. As Jay Doran says, “Culture means competence, meaning, productivity and fulfillment.“ Selling out isn’t the only option for growth.