So, what’s your general understanding of the term ‘Corporate Culture’? It must be on the lines of – something that describes and directs the ways a company’s owners and employees think, feel and act; right? In short, with the term ‘Corporate Culture’, your perception is associated with the professionalism of a brand. The professionalism that is generated at the top and runs down to everything about a brand, its services and functioning. After all, that’s what makes a brand what it aims to be.
Well, what we just mentioned is an *ideal* scenario of genuine corporatism. However, what is in parallel existence is something ENSO terms as ‘Pseudo Corporatism’. Yes, you read it right. Pseudo Corporatism – the pretence of being a corporate enterprise with modern looking infrastructure and smart sounding staff on the surface, but, what lies beneath is a hollow and unstructured work environment.
A quick peek in to this neo-age farce
“I see it around so very often! It is disappointing, damaging and ridiculous– all at the same time.” – says Ms. Neeja Shah, owner and CEO at ENSO; as she talks about her experiences with Pseudo Corporatism.
- Where’s the vision?!
A truly corporate enterprise builds its foundation on a clear, well-thought after and purposeful vision. This gives a definite direction to the business which is vital for multiple reasons. Absence of this vision can gradually turn a venture in to a headless chicken – scattered, confused and often suicidal!
“People today have great ambitions, beautiful looking offices and inspirations drawn from all over the world. And it is all quite appreciable.” affirms Ms. Shah. “However, what is neglected many times is this clear and well calculated vision on the part of the business owners. When there is no vision, what will you align your brand or business with for the longer run?” There you go – the first pitfall of getting indulged in to pseudo corporatism!
- What about the core values?
Defining the core values of a company gives its team a set of guidelines about behaviours and mindsets. That, in turn, helps them achieve their company’s vision. “Unfortunately, many of the companies today do not give due importance to defining their core values. What happens as a result is a damaging disparity between brand promise and brand experience”, opines Ms. Shah. How true is that! Faking the corporatism may look less time consuming, but the damage it does to a brand is fatal and long lasting.
- When your actions DON’T speak louder than your words!
A company can talk wonderful, look awesome and can trick the consumer in to believing it. But it all comes down crashing as soon as the consumer doesn’t find your vision and core values translated in to your work and services. “I have seen many ventures taking off on a super glamorous note. Their consumers feeling all excited about their *proud* association with them. But as there is not much of an effort made to convert the promises in to reality, either out of lack of capacity or as a careless underperformance, the consumer feels let down. And I have witnessed how this negative propaganda does faster rounds than the positive ones, which ultimately results in a quick fall out of the customers” a disillusioning observation by Ms. Shah.
- The team too has to live up to its brand
The owners, employees and all the other stakeholders of a company are ultimately the face of the brand that they are working for; as far as the true corporate culture is concerned. “In the case of pseudo corporatism, you will often come across some team members who seem to be somewhat of a misfit to the company in one way or the other”, marks out Ms. Shah. “For example, you expect them to function and perform in accordance to their official designation but these employees are often incapable of executing their own jobs effectively! It’s a sad reality of pseudo corporatism resulting out of bad recruitment policies. This starts creating loopholes in the very base of a brand and the hollowness that it generates can make you a poor brand in today’s fiercely competitive commercial world”, she adds.
“Going by my work experience in Dubai, I feel sad to see how our lack of professionalism is keeping the bigger businesses away from us. This short cut of pseudo corporatism is doing no long term good to us, if you ask me”, says Neeja Shah. “We have tremendous potential, great work power and smart business skills. All we need is that finer touch. The commitment towards our own vision, the patience to build up a genuine corporate environment and a strong resentment towards this self-damaging short cut called pseudo corporatism. As soon as we fix this, we are in for a party! The world awaits us”, says Ms. Shah as she signs off.
“There can be no separation between corporate culture and brand.”