Why Corporate Culture Matters: Jive and Adaptability


by Claire Pennock on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015.

“Corporate culture” is a phrase that gets tossed around quite a bit nowadays, and with good reason. Studies, like the one performed by Professor Charles O’Reilly and his team at Stanford, show that companies walk a thin line between creating a strong internal culture and promoting financial growth, since these two goals are often at odds. However, they also found that companies can achieve both goals—provided that they remain adaptable and pay attention to their employees’ unique strengths and ideas. As noted in the article linked above, “[Their] research found the most powerful corporate cultures embrace ‘nonuniform behaviors and adaptability in particular.’”

 

Not-so-coincidentally, adaptability is a crucial feature of many successful tech startups, and one that I’ve learned to value over the years. I’ve been lucky enough to intern with a variety of these organizations, from startups composed of five people working out of a rented office to an international Microsoft Gold Partner. So naturally, the first thing I noticed about Jive Communications was that, despite the considerable size of the office, there was still that “start-up atmosphere” in the air: Sales reps chattered on the phone while marketing teams brainstormed ideas in excited huddles.

 

If I could use one phrase to describe the attitude of the folks here, it would probably be “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” That can-do attitude translates to an adaptable — and by extension, effective — corporate culture, one where we are united by a common sense of purpose rather than endless lists of procedures. It’s the primary reason I chose to accept Jive’s offer of employment. So today I’ll be outlining the three strongest values that spring from this adaptability, and how they can really help your business soar.

 

Equality

 

Although I’m newly graduated from college, I can see the CEO’s office from my desk, and he frequently comes by to chat with me and my coworkers. Every last member of the Jive team is seen as an important asset, no matter their position. Many companies claim similar values, but Jive is one of the few that really lives it. We even have an email account, personally monitored by the higher-ups, where employees from every department can submit their great ideas for discussion.

 

So what does that mean for you, the small-to-medium sized business owner? It means that we’re not going to give preferential treatment to larger competitors, because we believe in quality phone service for all. We address every single client from our headquarters in the American West, providing fast and efficient support. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a single phone to kickstart your new business, or if you need to keep pace with ever-increasing demands — Jive will treat you with the same care and respect as we do our most established clients.

 

Self-Reliance

 

While it is common practice for many companies to outsource some of their more complicated technologies, Jive firmly believes in the concept of self-reliance. All of the code for our softswitch platform was written in-house by our own skilled programmers and developers. That ownership means that we have full control over future possibilities for Jive, and can guide our programs to the highest level of quality.

 

Despite being the fastest growing Hosted VoIP company in the industry, Jive remains — and plans to stay — a privately owned company. Again, this means we have the power to shape our own destiny.

 

Independence

 

Contracts can be frustrating, especially when you’re not entirely sure about a service. We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of getting locked into a contract only to regret it later. One critical element of Jive’s corporate culture is independence, and that means no contracts and no nailing down your phones to prevent you from switching companies. We want you to make up your own mind about the quality of our service.

 

Another way Jive promotes independence is by offering customizability. Our visual dial plan editor is based on the philosophy that you should have total control over your phone system. It’s simple, intuitive, and open to anyone with an administrative capacity. If you need to change something quickly you’ll be empowered to do so on your own schedule.

 

If adaptability is indeed the hallmark of a strong and effective corporate culture, Jive will be here to stay for a while yet.


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