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What defines your company culture?

A few weeks ago, my 14-year-old son was watching a news report about an issue that arose in a certain company as a result of its ‘bad culture’.

He asked me what defines a bad culture, and how do you measure how good a culture is? Short of telling him that this is the enigma at the heart of every organisation, I thought about how best to describe what are the building blocks of culture in any organisation.

Without too much scientific analysis, I came to the view that character and kindness are the core building blocks to building a culture.

By this, I mean that any organisation’s culture is built on the character of the individuals within the organisation. The shared sense of accountability, transparency and integrity that each display to one another; and the mutual respect and support that they have for one another when times are tough.

A sense of belonging too, as well as a shared view of the future and a collective buy in to where each stakeholder would like the business to go, creates a culture with which all individuals in a business can identify.

When kindness is absent, it points to the character of the participants and, in turn, reflects on the culture in just as profound a way as when it is present.

Linked to this (and in my view, more significant than any other individual corporate value) is the need for kindness, as evidenced in the interactions between colleagues, and between an organisation and the clients and communities which it services and in which it operates. It doesn't cost much; it is often under-valued, and it is hard to quantify. Yet, when I think of all the significant moments in my career, or my interactions with other organisations as a customer, the value of kindness (when present) has been the one that has resonated most for me.

It is important for C-suite leadership to assess their current and future corporate leadership. This can be done through a desired strategy, embracing core values of the company through continuously developing cultural foundations for tomorrow’s business success. The notion of culture has become a critical ingredient to ensure long term sustainability. This can only propel your business forward.

It is the elements of humanity that create a platform for each individual in a company to grow. These elements include kindness, lack of fear (admitting that we don’t know it all, or that we need help), appreciation and gratefulness. Furthermore, people like working with people with whom they identify, so these values attract the right clients/customers.

As we grow on personal levels, we make our organisations and our communities better. True leaders create these platforms for their team to grow and develop, not just professionally, but personally too.

At BACCI, whilst we remain continually focussed on our core responsibilities to our clients in managing their wealth diligently, within a robust investment framework and delivering above market investment returns over time; we also believe that our approach is one that sets us apart in a sea of “sameness”. Our clients resonate with our story as a business, and have all appreciated the fact that we add the human touch compared with what can be a faceless experience within the much larger corporate brands in the investment industry.

I have a sense that when my 14-year-old son is ready to enter the marketplace – in whichever sector he chooses – he will understand that a business’s culture is something you just ‘feel’ and will thrive when it resonates with him.

Oliver Dresner

BACCI Investment Solutions


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