For more than two decades we’ve tallked about the mandatory culture-fit in the corporate world. As we all know, this means that every employee should be characterized by a set of values, principles and behaviors strictly aligned with the corporate culture.
At a first glance, this seems obvious. A structured, strict or formal person wouldn´t feel confortable or welcomed in an adhocracy, with a great level of agility, empowerment, swift decision making, with just a few or no rules. Or a proactive, impatient and entrepreneur mindset wouldn´t be, probably, the best choice for a stable family business.
But, moving apart from these extreme examples, if everybody thinks and acts in the same way, you get small added value. And mitigate team’s potential and effectiveness.
You can have the best of both worlds. You can retain the “basics” of your cultural assets and acquire valuable elements that your culture lacks, enhancing the organization’s standards and culture.
So, the be more concrete, you can establish a set of core values and principles and design a set of guidelines for people and leadership standards. Make the “invisible”, visible for everyone. But, additionaly, hire new people that, being aligned with the core, bring diversity, innovation, critical thinking and better decision making. These people may come from outside your industry, from an alternative academic/ training backgrounds, from other geographies and national cultures. People that were exposed to different realities and challenges throughout their lives. And sooner than later, you´ll probably spot on these newcomers “positive deviations” (that add value to culture, leadership and management processes) instead of the traditional “negative deviations” – always researched in the culture fit approaches.
If you change from culture fit to culture add, you enable your talent and leadership attraction capabilities, from defensive to ambitious mindset – and build a more positive corporate ecossystem to learn, develop and innovate.
Managing Partner of Darefy – Leadership & Change Builders