Chapter 4. Your Kind of People

The thing I have learned at IBM is that culture is everything.

Lou Gerstner, former CEO, IBM


Like the culture of any society or group, culture is defined by a largely unspoken and sometimes even unconscious consensus about how people should think, speak, and act. It is this culture that gives organizations and teams a sense of distinctiveness; that allows people to identify with and be loyal to the organization; and that provides a climate, which, however good or bad, defines how things will be done. Components that make up any culture include repetitive patterns of observable behavior, group norms, values, habits of thinking, mental models, root metaphors, and symbols.

In the previous chapter, we shared tools that could help you to figure out what type of work you should be doing to maximize your engagement. In this chapter, you'll discover where you should be doing it, meaning in what type of organization. Most managers focus on a candidate's experience and achievements when recruiting for an open position, and candidates typically focus on compensation, benefits, or maybe work hours. Both sides relegate culture to an afterthought, or worse, maybe consider it something that will get fixed in orientation and training. The reality is that many new hires find they are square pegs trying to fit into round holes, and no amount of training will change that.

According to a July 2007 Office Team Survey, in collaboration with the International Association ...

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