Editor’s note: Fall 2022

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CULTURE is more than the latest trend or buzzword. It is expected. Companies are increasingly in the spotlight and words like ‘authenticity’ and ‘lip service’ are common. What it boils down to is: are companies saying and doing the same thing. How many organizations live by the culture they claim?

In this issue of Strategic, we share interviews with industry experts and opinion pieces about culture, and an insight feature on reputation. 

Bogdan Apostol’s advice for CEOs is that if you want to bring your people on the same page, start by defining those attitudes and values that are beneficial and in line with your company’s objectives and act as a role model yourself. 

While communications alone does not create a culture, it helps to sustain it. In an interview, Cat Colella-Graham said communications is key in sustaining a healthy culture, but cannot build it.

Honesty and consistency are required in forming and maintaining organizational culture. If it’s not true, don’t pretend otherwise, advises Francis Ingham.

Culture is not a matter of ticking a box, it needs to be cultivated. During his interview, Alastair McCapra said company culture isn’t a problem to be solved, it is like a garden that needs constant watering, weeding and pruning. 

Barbara Nestor says the golden nugget of culture is when you can make the connection between an individual’s personal purpose and the organization’s purpose – this is where you get real engagement.

Working models, be it remote, hybrid or in office, are regularly linked to culture and trust. In his article, Michael Collins outlines why for him working from home is a culture-setter rather than a culture-deterrent. 

Courtney Malengo says the absence of what is said, can speak louder than the words spoken, and the same can be true of an action versus inaction. 

Sadhbh Sullivan asks “Are there any real repercussions for false promises?” She said the general consensus is that many of the programs designed for implementing change are based on the business of the past or the ambitions for the future rather than the organization’s current state.

Orlagh Shanks looks at the impact of communication on small companies as they grow and how to maintain a great company culture during periods of growth.

Mike Klein says it’s possible, and often tempting, to broadcast one’s virtues as current and valuable even where they are more aspirational. 

Louise Harris writes that we all know that culture is the foundation of employee attraction, engagement, retention, and productivity overall – meaning a better performing business. But creating a great one is easier said than done. 

In an insight feature about reputation, Steven Shepperson-Smith writes “Organizational reputation now has tangible value in determining who consumers buy from, who particularly younger employees choose to work for, where investors will place their money and which industries government will feel it can support or might require interventions.”

I hope you enjoy this issue of Strategic and that it resonates with you. 

Take care,