Amazon’s Culture: How to Shape an Enduring Organizational Culture

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Amazon’s Culture: How to Shape an Enduring Organizational Culture « Leadership « Stephen Blandino

11/07/2013 11:33

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Amazon’s Culture: How to Shape an Enduring Organizational Culture
March 23, 2012 — 2 Comments The growth and success of Amazon.com is remarkable. There’s a good chance you’ve ordered something (or many somethings) on Amazon. You might even be a loyal customer taking advantage of Prime Membership with free 2-day shipping. But what you might not know is how Amazon created their organizational culture.

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Recently I’ve been reading Change or Die by Alan Deutschman. In
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And while it’s easy to make quick hires so that you can lighten your own load, doing so can be lethal to the organization. Bezos was brutal in his hiring discipline. But he had to be if he wanted to firmly establish the right culture. There are a number of things that define your culture, but the people you hire are the most influential in creating culture. They bring to the table their beliefs, values, and behaviors which shape culture from the very beginning. Bezos said, “Cultures are these fantastic things. Cultures are not so much planned as they evolve from that early set of people. Once a corporate culture is formed, it tends to be extremely stable. It stays around. It ends up building on itself” (p. 49). To create or protect a healthy organizational culture, you’ll need an effective hiring process. Furthermore, you need to know what types of questions to ask. I don’t believe you have to hire people exactly like you in terms of skills. In fact, doing so may keep the organization from gaining traction. But you must recruit people with the same DNA. Skills determine if a job gets done. But DNA determines if the organization stays true to its vision. Question: What have you found to be a practical way to shape the culture of your organization?

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