During our webinar yesterday “3 Keys to Better Forecasting” my colleague Larry Gorkin and I discussed how companies must adopt a set of processes and disciplines around metrics and monitoring.  Creating a forecast at the beginning of a year or quarter matters little if the firm fails to keep track of business performance on a regular basis.  Only through continuous monitoring will you be able to DO ANYTHING when circumstances change.   Of course, the Trefis Planning and Forecasting Solution facilitates this process, but you have to build the muscle memory into the corporate culture.

Or is it the company culture?

Is there a difference between the two?

Yes there is a BIG difference, and here’s why you should care.   

Whenever you get two or more people together in any organization, those people will create methods of communicating and interacting among each other that help organize time and effort.  These methods could include the way desks and workstations are positioned, where people go to lunch, after work activities, dress codes and annual parties.  These things make up “Company” culture.  When you hear people say “At our company, we work hard and play hard,” or “It’s a family atmosphere,” that’s a company culture they’re talking about.

At Trefis, Alex and Cem like to grab dumplings every now and then.   Michael and I love our Nespresso machine; Larry loves his decaf from Starbucks.  With offices across the globe, we do a lot of work via Skype

The thing is all organizations have a “company” culture.  When people get together, they create one.  It just kind of happens.

Now “Corporate” culture is very different. 

A “corporate” culture is a combination of systems and processes that are put in place specifically to drive competitive advantage in the marketplace.  Encompassing such things as work flow processes, infrastructure, training, communication and commitment to a well articulate mission statement (there are lots of others), a corporate culture is deliberate, difficult to build, hard to imitate and results in consistent returns to the organization in product quality, service delivery, cost controls or a combination of those. Corporate culture can’t easily be imitated.

The thing is very few organizations have a corporate culture.  It’s hard to build, and even harder to maintain, despite the benefits.

You can name the powerful corporate cultures out there including GE, Dell,SouthwestAmazon, Wal-Mart,Digitas, IBM, and the New York Yankees…each of which has a track record of producing consistent results.  Even Springsteen has a corporate culture, which why every time you see him you know you will get an amazing show.

Why should you care about the difference?  Take a look at your organization.  You know you have a “company” culture already.  But what is your “corporate” culture?   The second one matters more.

Apply this thinking to your planning and forecasting capabilities.  Then check out the replay of “3 Keys to Better Forecasts”, original date: March 23, 2016.