Not long ago, we were working with an entrepreneur who had asked us to evaluate his business in the event marketing industry. While the company was highly creative and doing well, the problems seemed to stem from a recurring pattern of turnover (among the creative leaders, the controller, the new business developers) and workplace disenchantment. People came and went through a proverbial revolving door.
From our client's perspective, the challenge was how to hire the right people to support the company's rapid growth, but we could see that the culture he had created seemed to foster employee disarray. Was the problem in the business segment itself, as the CEO thought? Or was the problem the CEO himself (as we wondered)? Or, perhaps, was it the company's culture? And if so, was this a good time for changing that culture?
For this particular entrepreneur, culture was an elusive "thing" that he knew he should pay attention to. However, he wasn’t sure what his culture actually was, much less why it would lead to so many people coming and going.
As we began our work with him, we could tell that the problem was a little of everything, which is what an organization's culture is all about.