Free coffee, gym memberships, and birthday days off; are these the hallmarks of inclusive, progressive corporate culture? Jay Doran would argue, by themselves, no. Great business culture is much more than the sum of the perks and incentives offered to staff. Instead, culture is embedded into the motivation, strategy, and profit-making of each organization. What’s more, those businesses that can clearly define their underlying core culture have the keys to greater financial rewards.
Jay Doran has a wealth of experience working with business leaders and CEOs to help them evaluate, define and implement business-wide cultural goals. He is the CEO and founder of Culture Matters, an advisory firm that helps companies grow without losing sight of why they started in the first place. For Jay, a personal quest to more deeply understand the definition of culture has transformed into a vision to help the corporate world. A world where the concept is not easy to define in actionable terms. He says, “People hear the word ‘culture’ and think of Pizza Day or incentives, as opposed to competence, meaning, productivity and fulfillment.” Real, transformative cultural awareness, attests Jay, comes from the top-down. That’s why he works primarily with founders and senior leaders to solve problems as they arise, within the context of productivity, turnover, strategy, and brand alignment.
Once a company has a clearly defined culture, argues Jay Doran, it will see increases in staff retention and profit. He says, “When we talk about culture, the profit made comes from how employees interact with each other and their customers. More profit is a result of more productive interactions”. But, it takes an organization open to diversity in thought, constant growth, and inclusivity for cultural transformations to be successful. Companies need to be willing to allow some open conflict too. As Jay says, “Learning takes stress. But stress needs responsibility to ensure a culture does not break down, so people do not break down.” Embracing and validating differences in thought processes and beliefs can become liberating for company core values.
Jay Doran’s insights come from a lifetime spent studying people. He believes his tendency to be open and creative with just the right amount of stubbornness has given him the ability to drill down into what makes individuals and businesses tick. His obsessive search to better understand the all-encompassing concept of culture and better understand himself has led him on a journey to do something worthwhile. Jay wants to live his life helping people think, act and do in more beneficial ways. Through Culture Matters, Jay clarifies an organization’s purpose, vision, and mission, working with business leaders to address objective and subjective needs.
It can be easy to think that a great, productive corporate culture needs little more thought than offering away days and healthcare. In reality, companies that spend the time and money to embed culture into the fabric of their business and unify their staff to work together within the same values system will see a substantial return on investment. As Jay says, “Cultural development beyond catchphrases or buzzwords takes serious, methodical work. But, the financial and emotional payoff is exponential.”