For me the most exciting thing to analyze in an organization is it's culture. I just love this sort of stuff, no matter what I hear about how successful (or unsuccessful) a non-profit or business is, I want to know what the culture is like. I want to know this because I truly believe there is a correlation between strong company culture and financial success.
I really like how Zappos focuses on culture first and then lets the success follow organically. Here are the fruits of Zappos' fun and zany culture:
I've come to agree that you can hire people with all the right qualifications and skill sets, but it has to be a culture fit. Culture fit is far more important than qualifications and skills. When it comes down to it, people can become qualified and develop the right skills to do a phenomenal work, but you can't teach someone to have the right attitude. Make no mistake, experience and skills are critical, but culture fit must be weighted equally.
Sure there are many great companies out there, but they could be even greater if they did not compromise on culture fits and hire solely based on skills.
The great contemporary organizations of the 21st century all have strong cultures and values. Does it matter what your values are? No, just have them and commit to them. One way to commit to them is to interview for the values independent of job experience and technical ability. If the person you hire shares in the values of your organization, then you have a culture fit.
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Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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