Corporate Culture: The Difference is Our People [Infographic]

Really cool infographic based on the culture at Google, Pixar and Patagonia… consistently ranked as some of the top places to work in America.

Corporate Culture: The Difference is Our People..

Corporate Culture Mindset
Image compliments of Human Resources MBA Degree Guide

What is Corporate Culture?

The set of tacit understandings and beliefs that form the foundation of how an organization works.

– What Defines the Culture?
– Individual and team behaviors
– Corporate definition of norms
– Specific processes
– How individuals and the organization make decisions
– Is Culture Important? (Quotes from business experts)
– “Culture eats strategy for lunch,”
– “We have plenty of technology. What we need is to pause and change the culture to capture the value,”
Leaders in a New Kind of Corporate Culture


– Culture
– Employees must be linked, not ranked
– Pixarians are linked together by complementary skills
– “When art and technology come together, magical things happen.” – Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull
– No top-down mandates
– Creative ideas come from collaborations
– Enabling – Not Telling
– Passionate leaders get their power from enabling others to do their work not telling them how
– Soft skills (collaboration and improvisation) are as important as hard occupational skills.
– Innovation demands the ability to live with ambiguity
– Without all the information, intuitive decisions are necessary
– Trying to avoid failure often results in stagnation
– “failure is that negative space around success.” Randy Nelson, Pixar University Dean
– Innovative leaders create diversified teams.
– Hire some “wacky” free-thinking creative folks!
– Passionate innovative leaders make work fun
– Remember when you take yourself too seriously, life ceases to be fun
– Cool Things about Working at Pixar
– Superheroes Guard Your Office
– Forget security systems. Pixar is guarded by the Incredibles.
– Your Coworkers Are Actually Creative
– Not just while making up excuses to stay home from work.
– Buzz + Woody + Legos = Heaven for Toddlers
– If those movies about genius toddlers were true, this would be where they worked. (Hopefully, wearing tiny suits)
– The Best Wall Art Ever
– Animators make the only truly inspirational office art we’ve seen
– All the Cereal You Can Eat
– Pixar has a giant room full of cereal, which is maybe the best thing ever
– Cube, Sweet Cube
– Animators work in cute little huts instead of cubicles. (Bigger and more luxurious than some apartments)


– Culture
– Doing as little harm to the environment as possible
– 1% of sales goes to environmental causes
– Long-term view
– We behave as if we’re going to be here 100 years from now
– Flexible work hours
– Blurring lines between work and play works for us
– Believing in/Acting on our mission
– Patagonia partnered with Ebay to encourage consumers to buy used instead of new – even their own products
– We love our people!
– Individuality flourishes while employees take pride in contribution
– Employee recognition and awards
– Individuals or groups are rewarded with things like gift cards, travel and parties
– Cool Things about Working at Patagonia
– Best Perks
– Alternative work environment
– Fitness
– Community & environmental support
– Fitness Benefits
– Exercise areas for yoga or aerobics during workday
– Many facilities include showers, bike racks and surfboard racks
– Free weights and exercise available
– Flextime
– Let My People Go Surfing
– Great balance between work and life
– Culturally accepted for employees to take time off to pursue balance
– Green Initiatives
– Patagonia sent 7 teams to help after the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill
– Employees were paid regular salaries while helping in the Gulf
– Environmental Internship – employees work for nonprofit environmental organization of their choice


– Internet Giant with Over 24,000 Employees
– Culture
– Flat management structure – no vast hierarchy
– no task is too small for anyone to pitch in on
– Founders care about mundane details
– They even busy themselves with keeping cereal fresh in the cafeteria
– Team spirit extends to ideas
– Ideas aren’t filtered by layers of management
– Everyone makes suggestions
– The Google-O-Meter gauges popularity of employee suggestions
– “Chief Culture Officer” is an actual job title at Google
– Main responsibility is to keep Googlers happy
– Location Themes
– Offices have fun themes to keep life interesting (London – an indoor park, Zurich – meeting “eggs” instead of “rooms”, Mountain View – bowling alley)
– Be Googley – What it means according to employees
– Possibilities
– Be excellent to each other
– Be outrageously clever
– Make stuff happen
– Cool Things about Working at Google
– Google bikes throughout the Googleplex
– Ride from building to building. None are locked; employees simply take them when they need them.
– Doctor on campus
– A doctor regularly visits so Googlers don’t have to leave for check-ups
– Google is known for its “20% time”
– Employees can spend one day/week on whatever interests them
– Extraordinary on-campus daycare
– Employees can bring their children to work
– Google uses goats to eat brush
– Reduces fire hazard in fields near their California headquarters
– Eat like rock stars
– Their first company chef was Charlie Ayers, caterer for the Grateful Dead
– Google employee perks are famous
– At one time, they offered a $5,000 subsidy toward hybrid cars

Why Change the “Success Paradigm”?

– Business conditions have changed
– Existing culture doesn’t facilitate appropriate responses
– New technologies require a new culture
– Corporate reorganization requires new cultural aspects
– Embedded cultural beliefs that maintain status quo
– We are different
– Let’s stick to our tried-and-true approaches
– Just be patient; this crisis will pass
– We can’t afford to disrupt things now
– Let’s count on our people in the front lines; they’ll do the right thing
– Strategies for change
– Top-Down Change:
– leader sets the goals
– describes the outcomes desired
– provides feedback as to how the goals are being met
– gives rewards for desired performance
– Transformational Leadership
– Presumes that culture change grows at the grassroots level
– Leaders inspire the organization through
– vision
– optimism
– enthusiasm
– emotional appeal
– provides personal support and encouragement
– set personal examples
– challenge their peers
– Strategic Approach:
– requires a business focus
– connects culture with the organization’s vision
– uses measurements to track progress
– Helpful Tips for Change:
– Perseverance, consistency, encouragement, reassurance
– strong leadership must walk the talk
– Compelling case to cement singular shared vision
– highlight the wins



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