Corporate Culture: The Key to Sustaining a Business
There is a saying that goes; as long as there are corporations, there is culture. However, we need to understand what corporate culture is? Does it differ in Iraq from elsewhere? Who is responsible for setting its foundation?
The answers to these questions were discussed in a business meetup held by KAPITA, called Corporate Culture: The Key to Sustaining a Business. The discussions centered around the concept of corporate culture and its position and role within the growing business ecosystem in the Iraqi private sector. We aimed to dive deep into the topic and discuss the different perspectives on what corporate culture is, what defines a “healthy culture” and how to implement it.
The Meetup was moderated by Mohammed Jamal, Managing Director of Research and Development in KAPITA, as he initiated the discussion by raising the question:
What is corporate culture?
“Corporate culture is the shared values that employees should aim to achieve by behaving a certain way”. Marwan Ahmed, VP of Commercial Development and People at Miswag, said, “of course, values differ based on each company’s goals, and the values should be formed by the good productive qualities of the employees”.
Is corporate culture different in larger companies than in smaller ones?
“The application will be different. The corporate culture can be defined by the manager or an employee. It is harder to control larger companies due to the increasing number of subcultures within it”. Ali Al-Hili, Marketing and Communicating Consultant at Blue Pay, stated.
Where do subcultures come from? Is it the type of employees you hire or the type of culture that you decide on?
“Subcultures will form naturally with time, based on the type of employees working together. Managers should hire people that fit the values that the company aims to have in order to achieve its goals”. Marwan Ahmed said, “Do not look for a culture fit, look for a value fit”.
What type of cultures are there?
The attendees agreed that there are two types; a friendly culture and a strict one. Some of the attendees expressed their disagreement with the friendly culture. To them, maintaining hierarchy and a strict culture will result in a higher productivity outcome from the employees.
While a friendly culture was considered crucial by the rest, Mujahed Waisi, Founder of KAPITA, stated in agreement that “I believe that it is important to get to know your employees on a personal level. It might be scary to befriend your employees, but I think in Iraq, it is necessary”. He added, “The key to sustaining human capital is to cater and try to provide to the employees needs as much as possible, otherwise you will lose them. We are heading towards tough years for the Iraqi private sector, with new foreign companies making their way into Iraq. This only shows how important it is to create a solid team of employees that you trust and can trust you”.
Who is responsible for creating the culture within corporations?
Some of the attendees believed that it should be predetermined by the managers then adjusted with time to fit the employees’ workflow in what best serves the greatest productivity. While others believed that the culture creates itself when managers are not involved in enforcing anything.
What type of cultures are best suited to Iraqi corporations?
The type that is mostly preferred is the one that gives recognition to the employees while promoting healthy positive outlooks, both financially and mentally. On the other hand, the corporations that do not give recognition to its employees, no matter what strategies are applied, its “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” as the saying goes.
About KAPITA’s Business Meetups:
KAPITA’s Business Meetups serves as a space for entrepreneurs, startups, stakeholders and interested individuals to meet and connect to professionals and help them share their experiences, expertise and advice. As well as deliver a true image of the different sectors of Iraq, in an open discussion that targets different topics.
Business meetups provide a great opportunity to build professional relationships and communicate with other attendees through networking, in addition to the valuable information that is presented.