Chapter 3

Culture

Culture describes the pattern of shared assumptions and behaviors that a group adopts, usually over time and often without intention. Common behaviors in a culture at one point in time may make sense in terms of achieving the goals of a group. In companies, culture can be like an invisible electric fence. You can’t see it, but you know where it is when you feel the shock.

Wall Street Blues

My first day at Merrill Lynch, after passing the dreaded Series 7 exam and spending weeks in New York for training, I was sitting in my cube when I noticed that the men in the office gathered in the lobby. At exactly 11:45 a.m., they all walked out of the building together. To lunch, of course, but to my new-broker eyes, it looked like they ...

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