Why “Culture” is not just another business fad

corporate culture crisis 1404

This was a rather flippant cartoon I drew yesterday in my notebook, that actually makes a serious point about our business model, namely:

    1. Now that the ideas of “job for life” and “work-life balance” are well and truly consigned to the dustbin of history…

    2. Now that we’re expected to answer work emails at 11pm on Christmas Eve…

    3. Now that we’re expected to fly to Chicago in February, so we can get up at 6a.m. in time for a breakfast meeting and talk about nothing for five hours [This actually happened recently to a Geneva-based friend of mine]…

    4. Now that instead of getting business cards printed up like a normal person, we devour our so-called free time writing business books and trying to figure out how to get them published…

    5. Now that anything that is any good is overpriced and bleeding us white…

    6. Now that we consider ourselves successful, yet still spend four hours a day stuck in traffic…

    7. Now that the average adult’s life is governed by a level of FOMO that was traditionally reserved for insecure teenagers…

    8. Now that the rich are working longer hours than the poor for the first time in history…

    9. Now that a nice, middle class neighborhood in the big city is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

    10. Now that the party is FRICKIN’ OVER…

i.e. The nature of work is changing. People’s relationship with work is changing. The changes to society will be vast.

And the companies that understand this better than the other guy will be the companies that win.

Which is why “Culture” is not just another business fad, but actually something REALLY important.

Consider yourself told.


  1. Great article! A little depressing but true :(

  2. Jane Gadd (@JaneGadd2) says:

    I don’t think work-life balance has been consigned to the dustbin, I think many have it and many more are struggling to attain it, those “in charge” can run themselves ragged for a pot of gold and hotel room loneliness, permenantly plugged into their phones. it’s their choice. History is not a dustbin. They haven’t sold everyone into thier idea of work 24/7. Some of us work to help and enjoy family and friends, live a simple life full of love.

  3. Good post, but you sound down – cheer up! :) We have more choice today than we have ever had and It seems to me that if we work for someone who sends an email at 11pm on Christmas eve and expects a response or holds a pointless 5 hour meeting AND our values don’t hold true with these actions, then we should bolt or at least say no. (perhaps we get what we let others expect). Clearly there must be greener pastures out there for those with the skills and attitude that provides choice. Never have we had a better opportunity to work where we want with who we want…. i totally agree that culture is not just a fad. Culture will be (if it is not now) the most important component of a sustainable competitive advantage, because in the end it will attract others who think and feel the way the leader does (regardless of what they say) Thanks!

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