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Characteristics of a Successful American Corporate Culture

Succeeding in the United States requires good business instincts, a compelling product, a solid strategy, skill in execution, and the ability to operate within the boundaries of accepted and anticipated corporate behavior.

Operating in the U.S. market requires certain adjustments that reflect the prevailing corporate culture in the United States. The value of a compatible corporate culture is seen in the way you motivate and manage your employees, the way you project your image to the community, the way you engage in sales and marketing, and, of course, the way you manage your client accounts. Engaging in any of these fundamental and critical tasks outside the limits of accepted corporate culture can lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, high staff turnover, client exodus, and, ultimately reduced revenues and a falling company value.

True to our strong desire to see you succeed in the U.S. market, Tudog presents the 10 Characteristics of a Successful U.S. Corporate Culture.

1. Focus - Whether its long term vision, and overall set of objectives, or a specific project, things get done quicker and more successfully if the entire team remains committed and focused. Confusion and distractions are seen as barriers to progress. Planning comes before implementation, so that once a path is chosen the work tasks can roll forward. Flexibility comes into play if there are complications or stumbling blocks. Otherwise, remain true to the plan without last minute changes or constant shifts in objectives and tactics.

2. Consistency - It is understandable in today's fast paced world how service and quality can, at times, sink to levels below normally high standards. As understandable as it is, it is still unacceptable. Establish your methods of operations, your quality control procedures, your customer service processes and stick to them, all the time, every time. Start at very high levels of performance and then stay there.

3. Confidence - Your Company needs to project confidence in your brands, your products and your company. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too. Show your confidence in your commitment to your strategies, your products and your customers.

4. Persistence - We've all heard the stories of the companies that persisted and made it because they didn't know how to say "quit". Suffice it to say that Colonel Sanders needed to pound a lot of pavement before he found a fried chicken lover. And even Bill Gates had to suffer predictions from the Chairman of IBM that the market for personal computers could be counted in the 100s. On one level the lesson is never say never. Don't believe those who don't believe. On a higher level being persistent means maintaining relationships and developing new ones. It means constantly moving toward the end zone, even if it means you have to get there by crashing through the large, mean defensive tackles a few yards at a time. Create schedules of exposure and follow-up, and unless you are specifically asked to back off, stay in front of people on a regularly scheduled basis.

5. Niceness - Is it strange that we add niceness as a characteristic of the American corporate culture? Sure, there are lots of less-than-nice things going on in the halls of corporate America, from unfair treatment of employees to vicious gossip. But the goal, on a corporate level, is civility and courtesy. It is hard to be nice to clients when nobody is being nice to you. Companies understand this and try to instill elements of manners and fair play into the corporate way of doing things. People are drawn to other people who are upbeat, friendly, positive and interested in others. People who are pleasant to be around. So, yes, niceness is a definite foundation of good business. 6. Humility - Humility is not the opposite of confidence. You can be confident and humble at the same time. All it really requires is an inherent respect for everyone you meet. It is bad business to access someone as irrelevant and to treat him or her that way. Inevitably this becomes the same person you need to close a deal sometime in the future. People do not forget when they are treated poorly. So be respectful of everyone. Treat everyone as if your next deal may depend on him or her. It just might. 7. Truthfulness - It is bad business to say you can do something you cannot do. Know your limits and never say you can do something you can't. Always tell the truth with regards to all aspects of your business, and when you make a mistake admit it before the other party discovers it. Integrity is the cornerstone of your reputation, and your reputation is the core of your business. People will understand and forgive mistakes. They'll have no tolerance for lies.

8. Stability - Americans embrace innovation. They understand that innovation of product and tactics are critical to ongoing success. They also work hard to incorporate their innovations into the processes they use to drive operations. From the outside this sometimes seems stiff, but it isn't. It's solid. It's stable. It does not inhibit innovation, it breeds it.

9. Strength - Getting back to Colonel Sanders, if he was a bit weak of spirit we might all be eating Polish Boiled Chicken instead of the world famous KFC. And if Bill Gates listened to every nay-sayer, he might have finished Harvard and gone on to be an analyst at some Wall Street firm. It's good business to listen to what the market is saying. It's bad business to let every bump in the road seem like the one that could knock you off the road. Strength is a core concept to corporate America. Strength of will. 10. Teamwork - Bobby Bonds hit 72 home runs and his team didn't make it into the World Series. Take this to mean that no matter how good the individuals are, if they aren't working as a team they haven't got a chance of winning. American corporations encourage collaboration, joint projects and teamwork. To achieve this you need to reduce the level of competition within your organization and reward team efforts.

These 10 foundations of American corporate culture are set in place to create a pleasant work environment where people are properly motivated to perform at their highest levels with loyalty and commitment to the company. They are designed to promote business, generate sales and grow the value of the company. And most of all, they are intended to create and maintain a positive image of the company in the hearts and minds of the public. After all, the company we work for is an extension of who we are, and we all want to feel good about who we are.


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