Culture, Engagement, Branding

The True Source of Company Culture

Yesterday we began to explore the source of company culture in any organization. Today we’ll look more into where that culture comes from.


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Inside a company that’s leadership-driven, employees are expected to feel like they can take initiative whenever it’s appropriate and they’re empowered to act. Employees feel comfortable approaching their superiors with suggestions, questions, and projects.

They even petition their bosses for raises and bonuses sometimes. When scouting for talent, leadership-driven companies seek out talent with innate leadership capabilities and individuals who are “self-starters.” Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is known for continuously empowering its employees to be leaders.


While most mission-driven organizations are nonprofits or grassroots start-ups, that’s not always the case. Employers that are mission-driven seek employees who are passionate about a cause or a particular craft. And they expect their employees to remain passionate about that cause or craft while their employees remain at their organization.

Sometimes, the mission can trump personal needs or other organizational concerns. Yet mission-driven employers tend to be deeply connected to their local communities, partners, and clients. Genentech is a good example of an organization with a mission-driven culture.


Task-driven cultures have smaller teams that work together on tasks relevant to the organization or focus on client accounts together. Typically, new hires are vetted by all team members before they’re hired.

All work is reliant on positive and productive team collaboration, so there are usually multiple conference rooms and meeting rooms available. Smaller marketing firms have the likelihood of being more task-driven.

Competition and/or Sales-Driven

In competitive organizations, employees compete to land the best accounts, generate the most sales, and earn more money. Generating revenue is a top priority for sales-driven organizations.

Typically, this type of company culture offers commission-based pay and regular bonuses or incentives that must be earned. Salesforce and Oracle are well-known sales-driven organizations.


In a data-driven organization, employees rely on data to make all decisions, and they’re very results-oriented. Employees of all status are empowered to make their own decisions, but they must have the data to back them up. Most employees are adept at data analytics and visualization and share data with one another across departments constantly.

Most data-driven organizations rely on advanced technology and platforms to help them better understand their data, as well as how their organization is performing. Gartner is an organization with a strong data-driven culture.

Progressive or in Transition

Ambiguity is a dominant characteristic of organizations with progressive cultures, as their funding will most likely come from advertisers, grants, or donations. And their leadership is constantly changing and turning over.

Each employee learns to become comfortable with multiple mergers and acquisitions and looks at them as opportunities for career advancement and growth, or he or she leaves (companies with progressive cultures tend to have high turnover rates). Often, employees will talk openly about potential buyouts or mergers. LinkedIn is a great example of this, after it acquired

After reading the information above and in yesterday’s post, you should have a much clearer understanding of the different shapes and sizes of “company culture.” And now, you’ll be better able to understand your own organization’s company culture or be better equipped to change it.