Is Your Culture Worth Recreating?

I’m in. All of the way, not holding back – I’m a Capital One employee.  I’ve always prided myself on the ability to “fake” my employment with my clients.  I can mimic the values, common phrases, and acronyms of my clients a few weeks into the relationship (with sincerity), which as a contractor/consultant made me successful.  I’m 7 work days into this relationship with COF (Capital One Financial) and it’s not just a matter of mimicry.  There is a distinct culture in this organization and I want to be in lockstep with the organization.

We’re focused on maintaining their culture.  The entire onboarding program is about including you as a part of this culture.  I thought of posting about “how” we maintain our culture, but I realized that many organizations don’t have a culture worth maintaining, much less recreating.  I’m thinking the honeymoon will end and I’ll find the things about the organization that makes me nuts, but 7 years into my marriage, I’m in more of a honeymoon today than I was the month I got married – so maybe this doesn’t have to end.

Here’s why I think this culture is a good fit for me:

  • Values: The company values come up in most of the meetings.  They’re not just words on a page, they are guiding principles by which decisions are made.  
  • Collaboration: This environment is hard core about collaboration.  I’ve already challenged IT on a system implementation and they were supportive. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  They agreed that we should take more time to get stakeholder buy in on requirements.   They are open and sincerely value team work. I know, right?
  • Laid Back Business:  My friends warned me about the finance industry and how stuffy it can be. Instead, it’s jeans, untucked, and lots of laughing.  They’re just fine with my feauxhawk and value my input more than they care about what I’m wearing.
  • Paradoxically Conservative and Strategically Bold:  We walk a fine line between being innovative and playing it safe.  The history of this organization is amazing and they openly share the wins and the failures. I appreciate the honesty and the fact that the focus on analysis is tempered by creativity and the human element.



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