Thursday, April 2, 2015

GE is Yankee, Coca-Cola Deep Southern: do regional cultures shape corporate ones?

I enjoy seeing the many applications of the framework set forth in my fourth book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. From college football conferences to the governance of the United Methodist Church, practitioners have availed themselves of the model to better understand the world they operate in.

Here's another example: corporate behavioral consultant Rossina Gil's recent three-part series on the relationship between the American Nations and the corporate cultures of various firms that emerged from one or another of them. Here's a taste, on New Netherland:

Tolerance, upward mobility, and an overwhelming emphasis on private enterprise are tenets which are really the legacy of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.  And, while New Netherland had Tammany Hall (i.e. political machine associated with corruption and abuse of power), it has come to value cultural diversity, freedom of conscience, and freedom of expression.

Strong Diversity, Work Ethic, Meritocracy, Entrepreneurialism
“Goldman Sachs genuinely makes a concerted effort to hire a diverse pool of people and ensure that there is a culture fit at the point of hiring. This is definitely not PR/lip service to the concept but a fundamental belief amongst senior management.”
“Environment conducive to taking initiative, challenges and making your opinions count.  Hard work. Long hours. You may have to forgo the ‘life’ part of the ‘work-life balance’ sometimes!”
“There is an entrepreneurial culture/attitude which is part of the DNA of the firm and allows anyone with a good idea to flourish and succeed. There is a great collegiate atmosphere on the trading floors where MD’s will sit next to new graduates and share thoughts and experiences.”
 Here are links to Part I ("the North"), Part II ("the South") and Part III ("the West".)

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