There is nothing more important than culture

I have had a good run on my blog recently.  I don’t know why.  I just try to do my thing. May this year is already as good as last year in terms of numbers of reads but I mustn’t let these things get to me.  I write for the pleasure and not necessarily to be read.  (If I keep telling myself this, I may one day believe it.)

So Thinking Digital is over for another year.  It is going to take me a little while to absorb everything that I heard and saw.  There was probably too much for a brain of my size.  This year was one of the best, a classic perhaps, with such a variety of speakers and subjects.  Informative entertainment is a heady mix.

In the first session there were two speakers, both very commercially oriented and both from organisations that I was well aware of, Mark Mullen, the CEO of Atom Bank to which we had provided the original circuitry so that they could get going and Darren Jobling, the digital innovator behind ZeroLight, who I have met through my work with Dynamo.

Both gave fascinating insights into how their businesses tick, the differing issues or challenges that they face and the markets in which they operate.  Both were very clear about the objectives of their organisations and were prepared to turn down potential clients that did not fit in with their plans.  That was all very interesting but not what pricked my attention.

Both talked about the culture of their organisations and how this was the most important factor in their success.  Having the right people, with the right ethos and the right values ranked above all other attributes.  I knew that and have been working tirelessly in this arena for many years yet changing cultures is hard.  Their tasks were not easy.  Developing and maintaining a culture is a continuous process yet both were able to start afresh.

Darren said that the three most important aspects to consider were the plan, the people and the culture.

Although the organisations were growing and transforming they had the ability to pick and choose the people that they wanted.  Mark told us that you are better not to fill a vacancy than to fill it with the wrong person, or as he put it ‘You are better to have a hole than an arsehole.’  He went on to add that you have to care about the people you work with otherwise how can you expect them to care for your customers.

They were both great to listen to and their thinking about organizational culture resonated very much with mine.  I guess I am not alone then.

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