Why and how we must embrace the malleability of culture

Just as company values and unwritten ‘rules’ are never one-size-fits-all affairs, nor are they cast in stone. Organizations adapt to change, and employees must, too. Beware the unyielding.

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Communications teams are continually talking about the importance of company culture. It’s baked into messaging, Q&As and talking points for executives.

Now more than ever, companies are changing at a rapid pace. As communications pros, we have to start thinking about culture as an evolving entity and ask: What does it take for employees to fit into a given culture in this new environment?

Let’s pretend that employees’ fitting into a company culture is like their fitting into a sweater. You have three candidates in front of you. One is wearing a sweater one size too large. One is wearing a sweater that looks perfectly tailored with no room in any dimension. Last, you have someone who, let’s charitably say, is wearing the same size sweater as they did when they were in high school. Which person would you choose to hire?

Most hiring managers are dazzled by candidates they instantly imagine fitting in. Personally, I imagine who they will go to lunch with, the great ideas they will have in brainstorms, the new business pitches where they will answer the crucial question. Basically, I want the candidate whose fit is impeccable.

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