On his Recognize This! blog today, Derek Irvine wrote about the challenging culture at online gaming creator Zynga. As Derek points out (drawn from a New York Times article), the tough cultural environment has caused:
* Employees to plan their exit as soon as they can collect on stock options after the IPO
* Other employees to quit mid-project in protest of the work environment
* Zynga to miss out on a highly desired acquisition target, even though they offered $200 million more than the company who ultimately acquired the target company
This story is truly one of how a difficult work culture can negatively impact a company’s current and future prospects and market performance.
Zynga is particularly instructive when compared to Facebook itself. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is so tightly focused on preserving the Facebook culture as it grows, he’s carefully restricting how quickly the company adds new offices and locations. As he explained in a recent Boston Globe article:
Zuckerberg said that Facebook, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., has only one major satellite office, in Seattle. “We’re growing that,’’ he said, “and we want to really get the culture there right before we start opening up other offices.’’
In his recent workshops on how to build your own culture of recognition, Derek pointed out:
“Corporate Culture is a bit like a bonsai tree. It can be steadfast and strong, but it requires deliberate nurturing to grow in a particular way.”
What are you doing to nurture a strong, positive culture in your organization – and to ensure it grows appropriately along with your organization?