What culture type is your business? - Karthik Siva - MARKETING Magazine Asia


What culture type is your business? – Karthik Siva

karthik environment

Michigan Business School created an interesting model to determine and diagnose the culture type of an institution or business after extensively researching various attributes that drive organization effectiveness.

This Culture archetype model ultimately managed to distil all attributes to just four significant drivers. This model referred to as – Competing Values Framework is attributed to Robert Quin and Kim Cameron.

They used four simple and insightful quadrants and classified organizations based on –

  • Flexibility
  • Focus
  • Externally driven
  • Internally driven

An organization that is Flexible and Externally driven is entrepreneurial, visionary and experimental. Such an organization was referred to as Adhocracy Culture. This entity is focused on being the first in the market. This culture is often chaotic, open and inefficient, but innovative. An example would be Tesla. The theme of this organization is likely to be – We create.

An organization that is Flexible but Internally driven is a mentorship driven organization focused on empowering people. This culture is about collaboration and facilitation.

Such a culture maybe referred to as the Clan Culture. Netflix and Pixar are examples of this. These are very team driven cultures where jerks are not tolerated and results are paramount. The theme of this organization is likely to be – We collaborate.

An organization that is Focused and Internally driven maybe referred to as a Command and Control culture. Here roles are clearly determined, status is well defined and hierarchy reigns supreme.

Classic examples are most Government institutions, Army and a majority of traditional business entities. Here the focus is on order, efficiency, well defined KPIs etc. The theme of this organization is likely to be – We control.

An organization that is Externally driven but Focused is singularly driven by its competitiveness – i.e., keeping track of the market and outsmarting competitors with a view to beating them.

This entity is very efficient and very competitive. Such a culture plays great emphasis on speed. Xiaomi and Huawei are examples of this type of culture. The theme of this organization is likely to be – We compete.

Karthik Siva is a highly acclaimed and respected international strategy consultant, nation branding expert and leadership mentor to CEOs and entrepreneurs. He is the founding Chairman of Global Brand Forum, Asia’s most influential Forum for brands, business and leadership, described by BBC as the “Davos of Branding” and by Straits Times Singapore as the “World Cup of Branding”.

After obtaining his Masters in Business Administration from India, Karthik has spent more than 25 years in senior leadership positions advising Governments, regulators, global brands, regional corporations, NGOs and SMEs across Asia Pacific, U.S. and the U.K. Karthik currently advises and enables business owners and SMEs to globalise and scale their businesses through strategy, innovation, branding and leadership development.

Karthik is also a highly sought after keynote speaker and trainer in international and regional forums. Karthik’s leadership and expertise has been recognized and commended by several CEOs and entrepreneurs including Nobel prize winner and former Vice President of the United States – Al Gore. Karthik is also the author of Tools, Tips & Thoughts for Entrepreneurs, SPARK and How to Present and Persuade with Power?.


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