“It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization.” Today, he describes the corporate culture much differently, “To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money.”
For me, this episode made me think about our culture here at PRIER. We have no problem with someone making money, PRIER too is a for profit business. We work hard to develop and maintain our culture here at PRIER, throughout all levels of our business. Instead of trying to explain our culture, I think it might be best explained with our Mission Statement. As I was considering how to make sure our culture holds on for the next 143 years, a few of the many things PRIER does to maintain that culture come to mind:
- Twice monthly we meet with the entire company over lunch to talk about the happenings of the business, to celebrate our successes and to try and learn something that can make us all better.
- PRIER provides generous benefits for our associates, Medical Savings matching, 401K matching, paid holidays, vacation days, tuition reimbursement and flexible scheduling.
- We continually talk about who we are and who we want to be to all our associates. We want to follow the “golden rule”, want to be our customers’ “best” vendor and we want to treat all relationships with respect and professionalism.
- We do our best to hire people based on aptitude and an attitude that will help us manage the business based upon the tenets of our Mission Statement.
Of course, PRIER is not perfect, neither are the people who work for PRIER, so one of the questions we continually ask ourselves is “does this fit with who we say we are?” If it does, we are doing our job, if not, it’s time to adjust our course and get back on the right track. By continually asking ourselves that question, any of our adjustments to get back on course are only slight ones.
I’m not sure if Mr. Smith’s resignation from Goldman Sachs will have a significant effect on what happens on Wall Street, but it did have an effect on what happens here at PRIER, if nothing else to make us again take notice of what WE are doing as a company. If that made any other small businesses take notice, then his public resignation may just make our entire country better.
Fore! Nick is currently coordinating a charity golf tournament to be played this Friday. With 90 degrees and sunny in the forecast, it looks like the weather is going to cooperate for this one!