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Miners have culture too: Which corporate culture is your firm?

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Management, Media, Mining, Publications


Last November, we published a Strictly Boardroom article on ‘corporate culture’ as part of a wider self-lead study of a subject which keeps popping up in our business and academic lives. As a starting point, before jumping into the serious reading, we reflected on some of the organisational cultures we’d come across in the minerals industry and academia:

Egocentric – “Our high-profile leader ‘Jonno’ really typifies the culture.”

I am Legend – “Our founder ‘Sir Humphrey’ set new standards in conducting business in our industry. That’s the way we like to think we still conduct our business too.”

Entrepreneurship – “Our mantra is to try new things – and to tolerate failure – indeed to celebrate it.”

It’s all about you – “We’re a company that rewards individual performance to the extreme your salary will be at-risk from the get-go – but your performance bonus will be in six-figures.”

IQ – “We’re the smartest guys in the room and we know it. We reward brilliance.”

Technology – “We’re early adopters. We apply new technologies before the inventors have even thought of them.”

Systems – “Brilliance doesn’t lead to success – but being well organized does. Our procedures are founded upon international standards and best practices. We even write the standards.”

Audit – “We check our activities religiously and frequently. We are always compliant.”

Guild – “Our professionals are renowned industry-wide. We are way ahead of the academics.”

Intrapreneurship – “What can you and your colleagues do collectively do for the company as smart, collaborative corporate intrapreneurs.”

EQ – “Before you make a decision, always think about how your colleagues, your external stakeholders and family, community, shareholders, management and the board will be impacted.”

It’s all about us – “We leave nobody behind in our work teams. There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Aussie Mining’.”

The Debaters – “We prefer talk, a lot, before action, eventually.”

Safety – “Take 5: Everything we do is founded upon safe practices. Everybody comes home safe at night.”

Alternative – “We’re an anarchist, punk collective co-operative focused on disruptive innovation and social transformation through revolutionary blue-sky business.”

Lifestyle – “It’s a great place to work, bu7t probably not to invest in.”

My Indecision is Final – “We prefer to talk a lot…”

Bland – “Our culture does not stand out in any way.”

Stressed – “Things seem to have gone from pluralistic to individualistic…”

Which have you experienced?

The original article is available to subscribers of entitled “Miners have culture too: Which corporate culture is your firm?” or contact me.

For keen followers of the Strictly Boardroom column, our book “Strictly (Mining) Boardroom Volume II: A Practitioners Guide for Next Generation Directors” was published last year and is available as a paperback or e-book from Major Street Publishing or Amazon. We’re pleased to say that the book received a very positive review in the AusIMM Bulletin and in Geoscientist magazine – the member’s publication of the Geological Society of London.