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Scott Galit 2016年06月01日

企业文化是让企业保持长期成功的最好方式

企业家内部网络是一个在线社区,那些美国初创公司中最具思想和影响力的人物会在此及时回答关于企业家和职业生涯的问题。今天的问题是:企业家需要采用哪种领导风格?回答者是Payoneer的首席执行官斯科特•加利特。

企业家可以获得无数关于如何领导的建议。一些专家认为,最好的领导者是那些带领公司在业内排名一路攀升,从而赢得尊敬的人。另一些人则认为,领导者应当扮演领袖人物的角色,负责统一战略目标并将它清楚地传达给员工。

然而,这一建议的问题在于,当今的领导者往往不具备它假定的控制力。随着公司的数字化程度越来越高,产品周期越来越短,获取资源越来越容易,全球竞争变得极度激烈。在这样的环境下,运气和时间似乎才是获得成功的主要因素。毕竟,你几乎控制不了客户(不断变化)的需求,控制不了科技的发展速度,也控制不了竞争对手做什么。即便你最重要的资源——你的员工——带来的优势也只是暂时的。随着时间的推移,你最优秀的员工有许多都会离开去寻找新的机会。

简而言之,你可能花了几年时间来打磨你的行业知识,成为最鼓舞士气的沟通者,招募了最有才华的团队,但科技上的变革却让你的产品很快就被淘汰。所以,如果产品、流程和人力都只能赢得短期的竞争优势,还剩下什么是企业家应该去做,从而领导他/她的团队取得长久成功的?

答案是企业文化。

专注于培养强大文化的企业家可以创造唯一可持续的竞争优势。领导层会变化,团队人员会流动,行业环境在迅速变化,企业文化往往是企业唯一不受外界影响的方面,也是让企业保持长期成功的最好方式。

想要建立强大的文化,企业家必须维护他/她的团队的价值观。当你需要在短期成功和维护文化之间做出抉择时,你的决定会产生巨大的影响力。

几年前在Payoneer,团队决定引入一名新的高管来推动公司发展。不幸的是,他带来了专业知识的同时,也带来了政治和冲突。一位向他报告的副总裁能力有限,这位新高管直言不讳地提出了这一点,并且雷厉风行地着手换人。然而,这位副总裁有着我们看重的一切特质——她善于团队合作、聪明、努力,与我们建立的公司息息相关。我们试了很多办法来解决这个情况,但都没有用。

有一天,这位副总裁告诉我们,她选择退出。我们知道,我们最终还是要让她离开那个岗位,不过如果我们看着她被排挤出去,就会传达出一个信息:我们愿意为了短期目标而牺牲企业文化和价值观。毕竟,我们怎么表明自己关心员工?一个新来的人认为他们不再被需要,他们随即就会被抛弃吗?为了维护我们努力营造的文化,我们需要把长期员工的重要性放在短期成功之前。

我们让这位新的高管离职了,努力让副总裁留在了这个岗位上。她只多干了六个月,但我们借此向整个公司表明了立场:我们会把我们的员工、我们的价值观和我们的文化放在其他一切之上。用这种方式,你就能在这个充满阻碍与机遇的、不断变化的世界里建立可持续的强大文化。

在建立企业文化上,没有什么万能方案。就如谷歌(Google)的拉兹洛•博克曾经说的那样:“我们想要知道在这里怎样管用,而不关心在其他机构中怎样管用。”对我们来说,吸引聪明努力的人才和培养团队精神的文化是最重要的,所以我们需要仆人式的领导风格。其他公司可能需要许多聪明独立的创新人员,让他们有足够的自由来取得自身的成功,那些公司或许更加需要魅力十足的变革型领导。任何告诉你有万能方案的人,都把问题看得太简单了。作为一名领导者,你最重要的事情,可能在于发觉那些确立企业文化的关键时刻,然后做出决定,支持和确保你的文化在其他任何事情之上。 (财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What leadership style should every entrepreneur try to adopt?” is written by Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer.

As an entrepreneur, there’s no shortage of advice on how one should lead. Some experts swear that the best leaders are those who gained respect by rising through their industry’s ranks. Others believe a leader’s job is tied to their role as a figurehead—the unifier and communicator of strategic goals.

The problem with this advice, however, is that it assumes a level of control that doesn’t often exist today. As companies become increasingly digital, product life cycles shrink, access to resources level, and global competition becomes extremely intense. In this environment, it can seem like luck and timing are the primary factors for success. After all, you have little control over the (constantly changing) needs of your customers, the pace of technological change, or what your competitors do. Even your most important resource—your people—is a fleeting advantage. Over time, many of your best employees will leave to pursue new opportunities.

In short, you can spend years fine-tuning your industry knowledge, become the most inspiring communicator, and recruit the most talented team, only to have a technological disruption render your products irrelevant. So, if product, process, and people are all only capable of producing short-term competitive advantages, what is left for an entrepreneur to focus on in order to lead his or her team to sustainable success?

Culture.

An entrepreneur who focuses on fostering a strong culture will be able to create the only form of sustainable competitive advantage. As leaders change, teams come and go, and the environment rapidly evolves, culture is often the only aspect of the company that does not have external dependencies, and can be the best way to enable long-term success.

To promote a strong culture, an entrepreneur must protect the values of his or her community. It is often in the moment when you have to make a decision between near-term success and sustaining your culture that your decisions will have the greatest influence.

Several years ago at Payoneer, the team decided to bring in a new executive to drive growth. Unfortunately, in addition to his expertise, he also brought politics and conflict. One of the VPs who reported to him was in over her head, and the new executive was very vocal about it and pushed aggressively for change. However, the VP also represented everything we valued—she was a team player, smart, hardworking, and connected to what we were building as a company. We tried multiple times to address the situation, but nothing was working.

One day, the VP told us she was quitting. We knew we would eventually need to transition her out of her role, but that if we allowed her to get forced out, it would send a message to the entire company that we were willing to sacrifice our cultural values to achieve our short-term goals. After all, how could we claim to care about our employees, only to create an environment where they are discarded when someone new decides they are no longer needed? To sustain the culture we had worked so hard to create, we needed to prioritize our long-term employees over our short-term success.

We let go of the new executive, and we worked with the VP to keep her on. This only lasted for another six months, but we had made it clear to the whole company that we would keep our commitment to our employees, our values, and our culture above all else. This is how you create a culture that is strong and sustainable in an ever-evolving world of obstacles and opportunities.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to corporate culture. As Google’s Laszlo Bock once stated, “We want to understand what works here rather than what worked at any other organization.” For us, a culture that attracts smart, hardworking people and fosters teamwork is most important, requiring a servant-leadership style. Other businesses may need to have lots of brilliant independent innovators who are given the autonomy to drive their own success, which might be a better fit for charismatic, transformational leaders. Anyone who tells you there is one playbook is vastly oversimplifying. As a leader, your most important job just might be to recognize the moments that are culture-defining, and to make the decisions that support and sustain your culture above all else.

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