Business Culture

Business Culture
April 18, 2016 Gary Shotton

If you are the business owner, you are responsible to set your business culture.  If you don’t take charge someone else will. #000055

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Business Culture

By Gary Shotton

This text is in Extreme Rough draft and will be edited in the near future.

Hello. My name is Gary Shotton, and I’m sure glad that you’re listening to me and these videos. I hope they’re beneficial, and today we’re going to talk about setting a business culture and the importance of setting that big business culture. We’re going to talk about things that could be negative about a culture, and how you can change that culture, and some examples that I’ve lived through and know about and how important this culture is to the well-being of your company, to the success of your company, to the profitability of your company. So I’m going to start with my days of employment. I graduated from college as an engineer, a minerals engineer, and I went to work for a large oil company in the state of Wyoming. That’s one of our state’s here in the United States for those that are watching from a different country. It’s not one of our biggest states. Certainly does not have most employees, but it has a lot of minerals. We were tasked with the process of taking a mineral out of the ground and then processing it into basically a fine dust, and this- won’t go into the detail, but is from a clump to a dust. Just really fine, and in the process, we had a culture at that plant that I stepped into, and it was a culture of absolutely the dirtiest, the most filthy environment you could ever work in. It was dirty. It was horrible. The dirt when you start adding dust and it starts building up over time, they call it the angle of repose. And so, if you had a shelf right here and dust keeps building up on that, after a while it will build up until it comes to the slope that whatever else that’s going to be added to that dust pile, on every purling, on everything in the plant was at that level. And so, all it took was just a bump on the wall, and dirt would fly down throughout the entire plant. Oh, it was a health hazard. We had lung cancer. This is in the 70s, the 1970s, and those early 70 days we put on a little mask, but that didn’t help. We had the culture of dirt and filth. I was tasked, as the engineer, to come up with plans, and to implement things that would change that culture. I wasn’t the person in control. I was a subordinate to the plant manager. His name was Frank. I won’t use his last name. Great guy. Well, Frank’s this great guy, and he sees the problem, but let me tell you what happened. Until Frank got out of his seat, out from behind his desk and started walking through that plant and seeing how dirty that culture was, nothing happened. No way was I going to create anything that’s going to change the culture of dirt. He had to put pressure on people. He had to make people do the job and that’s the one point that I want to make here. The top person in your company, probably you, you’re the one that’s responsible for the culture. You can’t delegate that if you’re not on board, if you’re not setting them, if you’re not plunging the trail, if you’re not breaking the ice. Whatever term you want to use, if you’re not making- you’re not going to do all the work, but you’re the one that has to set the culture. I am the one that sets the culture in this company. Let me give you another example. After working for the oil company for nine years, ten years, I moved to a new state, to the new town I live in now. I had and started my very first business, a moving and storage company where we hired workers to move furniture. We would load up things from the house or things from inside an office. We maybe sometimes rolled them down on carts and sometimes we would carry them, but we went from wherever they’re setting at into the truck. We’ve moved the truck to the new location and set it back up in the new destination. We had a situation where we were trying to hire good people that look good and were clean cut and would talk good and we could not find that many good people. So, out of necessity, we had one person. I don’t remember his name, oh, it doesn’t matter. He came from off the street. He had bad language, he had body odor, he had a grubby look. We tried to butter him up, tried to make him just look a little better, but nothing changed, and you know what started happening? We saw some more workers, and he had all his friends. All his friends that couldn’t get a job any place else, he started bringing them over to work for us, and at some point I started looking. What is going on? This is not our culture. We’re hiring people that don’t fit us. By the way, when you hire someone, that’s something you should be determining. dDoes this person fit in our culture? Is this person going to add to improving our culture or going to subtract from our current culture, and directed to culture? That’s why we try to promote from within. We know this person already fits in our culture, and we then try to promote them to new skills, new abilities. We try to promote inside, but if you go outside, don’t just look at the resume. Don’t just look at their last job. Was their culture good? Have they jumped around from job to job to job to job? That’s not a good person. You want a culture of people staying with you for a long time. So in our current business, we watch the culture. I’ve gone up, I’m at a machine shop. We could have calendars with pictures of ladies that don’t have a lot of clothes on. Guess what? That’s not our culture. I’m the boss. I see that it isn’t an issue now, because it doesn’t pop up. I see something I don’t like, I can say something. I say listen. This is not what we want around. We need to change this calendar. We have screensavers on many of our computers. I walked up to a screen saver. It wasn’t a naked lady, but it was pretty close, and I said you know, get that off your screensaver. This is not who we are. I was in our restroom. We have it right by our restroom, and I heard somebody let out a big old four letter word that we wouldn’t use , and I looked around the corner and said you know, sir you can work here, but we don’t use that language in our company. I can set the culture, have some backbone, stand up for what’s right. Don’t get pushed over. You don’t have to be obnoxious yourself. There’s a way to handle this. You set the culture. You have the right to set the culture. You have the responsibility to set the culture. We actually happen to have a service we come in with what’s called Marketplace Chaplains. We actually have chaplains come in one or two times a week for an hour, and they wander through the shop making themselves available to our workers if they have problems at home, if they have problems with a teenager, they have marriage problems. I can’t hear that. I don’t want to be involved with that, but we have a way for them to get some help. You know if we have somebody that has a divorce in our company, that’s something we can’t control, but I will tell you that will affect that person’s production every single time they’re on the phone dealing with it, their minds on it. They’re less productive. So we’re better off having a culture that propagates family values. We let people off to take family events. We told some person he had to take off. He didn’t want to take off because he needed to be at his son’s event that was getting a special award in the middle of the afternoon. We told him clock off, go take care of it, listen to your son, be a part of it. Come back, clock back on, work a little extra. Everybody’s happy. You set the culture. I hope this helps. The only way that we can see our video is really reaching a worldwide audience is if you will share them. Will you consider that? That’s the only thing we ask from you. If this was valuable to you in any fashion, or if other videos in our video library were a value, would you consider telling your friends? Email them, Facebook, give them a link. There’s a way to do it right there in front of you.


  1. Curtis Evans 6 years ago

    Good video! Many companies don’t get this. They don’t lead by example or set the tone.
    They let someone else do it.

  2. Alla Pavetic 5 years ago

    Business culture sometimes seems not that important, but wrong images and messages sent by the employees can harm the company a lot more than we think. We need to stay true to our vision in everything. And business culture is often those minor things that can turn the customer off or win him over in a moment.

  3. Alla Pavetic 5 years ago

    Business culture sometimes seems not that important, but wrong images and messages sent by the employees can harm the company a lot more than we think. We need to stay true to our vision in everything. And business culture is often those minor things that can turn the customer off or win him over in a moment.

  4. Author
    Gary Shotton 4 years ago

    Great comment.
    Glad to get your comments and input. Blessings, Gary

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