Corporate Culture Predicted to be Top of Mind for Business Owners in 2015

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CEO of nationally-ranked N2 Publishing has announced a business forecast: Corporate culture will play a greater role in the New Year, regardless of company size.

The unpredictability that comes with a changing business environment means company culture has never been a timelier topic

Organizational culture defines the behavior and beliefs of human beings within a corporate setting. A concept experts have long studied, many business owners are just beginning to realize its potential to promote a positive work environment, consistent work behavior and generate financial wellness. But one North Carolina CEO says he’s been witness to this for years.

Based on his own experience with N2 Publishing – one of the nation’s fastest-growing publishing firms – Duane Hixon, CEO, is convinced a defined corporate culture has a significant positive impact on the workplace. What’s more, he predicts this initiative will be a top priority going into the New Year, not simply for his company, but for many others.

“For us, having a ‘culture deck’ in which we outline our expectations on behavior and attitude keeps us consistent. As the years pass, our strategies will – and should – change. But our core principles and beliefs on how to engage in business should stay relatively the same,” Hixon said.

“For example, our baseline of success is trust. If our people don’t trust those they work with, we will have all kinds of issues that make growth more difficult. When our team can see, over time that we stand behind the expectations found in our culture deck, they learn what to expect and are more able to trust their leaders.”

Research bears this out. In one well-respected study, management thought leaders John Kotter and James Heskett found that strong business cultures are rooted in the ability to successfully adjust to change. In turn, this links directly to strong financial results.

Flash forward to 2015, and owners will confront a business world that changes faster than ever.

“Advancements in tech have made a huge difference in business. The unpredictability that comes with a changing business environment means company culture has never been a timelier topic,” Hixon said.

This month, GM President Dan Ammann told Fortune that creating a culture of accountability could be Key to bypassing issues like the management and design blunders the auto giant recently suffered. While Hixon agrees, he pointed out that large firms aren’t the only ones that should concentrate on this business element.

“Corporate culture is for every business, big and small, because the predominance of social media in today’s world means every company is in the public eye, regardless of size,” Hixon said. “It’s for every business, because shared expectations on behavior in the workplace mean shared messages. All it takes is one message to be inconsistent with your culture and the whole world will know about it.”

According to Hixon, N2 Publishing’s culture deck is still undergoing consistent evaluation and refinement. “If there was a shortcut to creating a strong corporate culture, there would be a lot less confusion, risk and disgruntled employees in the general workforce already,” he said.

“I believe that most companies who lack a defined culture don’t know where to start or they think it will take too much time to create. But with research in place to show it isn’t a waste of time – and with the working world changing faster than ever – I hope business owners find ways to make their corporate culture a number one priority. There is simply nothing more important.”

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Claire Dillard
Bon's Eye Marketing
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