In today’s age of customer control, company processes are still important. But they’re subject to increasing flux. They need to be invented and reinvented on the fly, according to the desires and dictates of customers.
They can’t be developed at the top of the organization and handed down for workers to implement. They must be designed by the workers themselves, often in the moment.
To accomplish this, a company must develop a culture of creative autonomy, guided by a shared understanding of “how we work together” or “how we behave.” Company culture is the complement to customer mores, the rules that determine how customers belong to tribes.
The best way to shape company culture is to encourage adherence to a set of values. For example, the world-class experience that Ritz-Carlton provides its guests comes directly from its master value of “service.” This value is broken down into 12 sub-values that employees must agree to uphold.