Corporate Culture Is Infrastructure – My Twitter Interview With Cindy King

I had yesterday the privilege to be interviewed by Cindy King, on Twitter and on her blog, about cross-cultural communication. My answer to one of her questions (“Culture is…” in one word) raised a few interesting comments, and leaded me to further thinking. Culture is infrastructure.

From the fast growing literature about Enterprise 2.0, I only read few things about interaction between corporate culture and the necessary changes induced by embracing social tools behind the firewall. The relationship between governance, managerial routines and corporate culture is nevertheless far from easy to unveil, and has important implications in driving 2.0 initiatives.

Every company has a corporate culture

Even if not clearly communicated or formalized, relationships between employees, working habits and managerial style always define a set of embedded hard-to-move rules. Understanding these rules is a crucial step in determining which initiatives will or won’t be successful.

It is not always what you think it is

While CEOs and founders usually imprint their own vision as a corporate culture, reality is often a bit different, as day-to-day work usually follows its own path, independently from formal business processes. Micro-interactions are here much more important than macro-statements in determining the collaborative ability of a company.

Not all corporate cultures are suitable for E2.0

Apple is of course an obvious example of a company which successfully stays away from social media. A strong and meaningful corporate culture has by itself as much power as today’s most evolved social platforms.

Changing corporate culture is the hardest task to undertake

Changing an operating system takes time and commitment, but switching infrastructure is a radical move. Collaborative routines can easily be introduced in the most top-down company, as long as the wish to collaborate exists. Here too, look at micro-interactions between people to get a clue about potential success.

As usual, it is all about people

The fact that networks and communities must be driven by clear business goals shouldn’t obscure the key role of the Human Resources department.  The larger the initiative, the stronger the HR commitment and support might be.

This entry was posted in As experimented, English and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Corporate Culture Is Infrastructure – My Twitter Interview With Cindy King

  1. Pingback: Twitter Interview With Thierry De Baillon

  2. Cindy King says:


    Thank you for such a fun Cross-Cultural Twitter Interview yesterday. And it is great to read more of your thoughts. As you know, I appreciate the questions you raise here and look forward to more conversations on this.


  3. autom says:

    “Micro-interactions are much more important than macro-statements in determining the collaborative ability of a company.” – this statement resonates well with me, along with the point you raise about “Not all corporate cultures being suitable for E2.0”

    merci d’avoir partagé cet article – autom

    • Thierry says:

      @Cindy Thanks a lot Cindy. I will be happy to discuss further with you. Let us program another phone chat 🙂
      @Autom I had great conversations on Twitter with Graham Hill (@GrahamHill) who pointed me toward research from Nicolai Foss and David Teece on importance of micro-foundations in strategic management. I do believe that E2.0 efforts need to be undertaken at such micro vs macro scale.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Corporate Culture Is Infrastructure – My Twitter Interview With Cindy King | Sonnez en cas d'absence --

  5. Polprav says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  6. Considerably, the post is in reality the sweetest on this valuable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your incoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be adequate, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will at once grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Good work and much success in your business dealings!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading Facebook Comments ...