NSFW activities,1 absentee management,2 outright racism.3 The steady stream of reputation-killing misbehavior continues to dominate news feeds. Reports like these are finally turning more than stomachs as business leaders realize the new truth of twenty-first-century capitalism: ignore company culture at your own risk.

Mitigating risk is far from the only reason to embrace culture as a business tool. Some of today’s best-performing companies regularly featured on Fortune’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For”4 point to culture as a major part of their success. Intuit, Autodesk, and Adobe regularly credit culture for ...

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