Culture article brainstorm.

SEPT 28, 2023
By Michelle Zamora

The only sustainable competitive advantage. Culture is the only sustainable, competitive advantage. I’ll get back to that a minute. In thinking about culture outside of a business context, I immediately picture this image-the thumbnail for this post-an image of thousands of Peruvians, bumper to bumper, suffocating eachother, jumping up in down, in the midst of pouring rain, smoke, and light. Hot, smelly, outraged (in the best way) humans, piled on top of each other to cheer for their team and their country. I took this picture, but the image would be engrained in my mind even if I hadn’t had my camera, which luckily I did because I lost my phone in the midst of all the chaos.

While this image embodies what culture means to me, culture in the context of business might look a little different, or it might not?

Some topics I’m thinking about for this article include the following:

  1. Leadership vs. management styles
  2. Conflict resolution
  3. Inclusive hiring practices
  4. Ambitious women 
  5. Mental healthcare for healthcare professionals
  6. #serverlife - restaurant workers behind the scenes
  7. Shared mission and vision creating bonds among team members
  8. Startup culture-fail early, fail often
  9. When does networking feel less like a job and more like fun?
  10. Applying to jobs is worse than dating
  11. Instability and uncertainty around job security from startup to corporate layoffs
  12. Psychological safety in the workplace
  13. Ritualistic critique vs. quarterly reviews
  14. Coaches/mentors in the field

True enough, it is an “Audacious goal to mobilize large groups of individuals,” as spoken by Josh Levine, but some things are easy to get behind, like a football game: Peru vs. Chile, televised in the center of Lima. So how do companies and organizations do it? Who does it well? Who doesn’t? How do you get the majority of your people on your side, rooting for your team, all the time, through and through, loyal ‘till the end. How do you maintain employee retention and make people want to be at work, fighting the good fight? From Starbucks to Amazon, Sticker Mule to CCA, Sacramento City College Makerspace to IDEO, Google to Nike. If culture truly is the only sustainable competitive advantage, because this world is so volitile, changing faster than the speed of light, constantly and consistantly, that no new innovation, technology, no new business model or marketing campaign will save your business. 

Becuase ultimately what culture comes down to, in life or in business is people. People make the machine go, they are the reason for the teams to even get up and play. People, rallied together for some common good, cause, vision, mission. Without them, there is no team, there is no business.