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A new age of competition

08 Jun 2021

The age of “Always On” seems to bring about a revolving door of competitors who can scream, post & blog, the loudest and repeatedly at that. Are you reading this blog to possibly even validate that theory or does content actually hold merit?

Corporate Culture dominated the headlines in the latter part of the decade while “Survival” seems to be the only thing that matters at the start of this one (decade). Does Culture truly have a place, when the best of strategies are made redundant due to the havoc the pandemic has had on businesses? Is culture only reserved for multinational companies or do SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) stand to gain/grow from it?

What is Corporate culture?

“Culture is what happens when no one is looking”. It isn’t how people behave when they have an instruction / task that has to be followed to the letter because they are being observed. It’s what gets done when they are allowed to work autonomously or your personal opinion is asked of a problem or query. If workplace culture is also a sum of habits of individuals that are part of an organization, how do you measure culture?

Can we measure it?

While this isn’t as simple as rating it on a scale of one to ten, the three indicators below can help gauge whether the desired habits / corporate culture is heading in the right direction 

1. Your clients make it a point to relay how good your team is to the management.

  • This could come in the form of a verbal / written appreciation
  • A referral to another company searching for a service you offer.

2. Ideas surface weekly at every level of the company on how to improve performance, brand positioning or product mix.

  • It’s equally important that the ideas are voted on, addressed and appreciated even if they are not executed.

3. Senior leadership team volunteering to mentor new recruits to guide them through the early years of their career.

The magic number!

According to Robert Dunbar a British Anthropologist who postulates that humans with their current size of neocortex can maintain up to a hundred and forty eight social contacts. If we take that into the workplace, we assume that an organization larger than a hundred and fifty people will automatically start to fragment, split and tear apart; by not talking, eating or drinking together or even as far as not knowing each other's name. In essence leaving large corporates always searching for utopia.

SME’s on the other hand stand a far greater chance of maintaining a desired company culture in comparison to large enterprises. This isn’t a given ofcourse. SME’s in turn need to adopt processes and workflows to ensure corporate culture is supported and sustainable.

All things considered, how does a company gain a competitive advantage? According to McKinsey, diversity is the wildcard that edges out your competitors by as much as 25%. It no longer remains confined Webinars discussing inclusiveness & gender equality or a pain point at board meetings.

Diversity in organizations out performing competition.

Diversity brings about different groups of people with varied strengths, culture and experience. An organization can leverage these strengths to learn, be empathetic and improve every aspect of their business eventually providing a unique perspective to stay ahead of the competition. Corporate Culture alone can’t make a business resilient to its competitors and global shifts, but diversity of gender & ethnicity just might.

The Total Office:  

As a provider of workspace solutions, The Total Office helps elevate the work experience of its customers by addressing collaboration, acoustics, environmental sustainability and well being at the design stage using globally recognized products and tools. This enables its customers to raise their productivity in the workspace laying a foundation for innovation and a sound work culture. The Total Office is Headquartered in Dubai, UAE serving the country and the wider Middle East region. For more information visit:  



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