How can we identify if a company is the right cultural fit for us?
The very question posed to EU Business School students by successful entrepreneur and people and organization shaker, Emma Giner, as she opened her fascinating Crafting Your Future webinar conference, entitled ‘Power to The People: Understanding Company Culture and Finding the Right Fit’, which took place on Friday, March 26 at 4.30 p.m. CET.
As Mrs. Giner sees it, “finding the right entourage, where you can be yourself and where you can develop yourself and can have a positive career” is the key to accurately identifying that perfect career fit for you that will allow you to prosper within your professional career lifespan. In other words, the people who you work with; whether that be as a sole trader or in a team; will be crucial when we embark on identifying that ideal cultural fit, where both your core values and purpose are shared.
Before we delve into the analysis of what was a truly inspiring webinar, first let’s briefly outline Mrs. Giner’s stellar career to-date. A language and fashion enthusiast, successful entrepreneur, and people-oriented “retail animal”, Emma demonstrates expertise in a whole host of areas. From retail development director and international human resources director to specializing in creating multicultural teams, Emma is also an entrepreneur and lecturer.
Emma has a proven track record in managerial and directorial positions at high-end fashion retailers such as Mango, Massimo Dutti, Inditex and Oysho. She launched her own entrepreneurial project in 2016 as a people and organization shaker. She helps organizations maximize their talent with the primary focus being placed on achieving extraordinary results. Mrs. Giner has co-worked with the likes of Coca-Cola, L’Oréal and Euroleague Basketball.
Taking the spotlight within this blog post will be a whole host of thought-provoking insights that Emma offered within her presentation. From the necessary and positive shift in corporate mentality that occurred at the beginning of the 21st century, to how she was inspired to bravely take the leap of faith by becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 42, Emma Giner ensured to provide EU Business School students with plenty of food for thought. Read on to find out exactly what the “retail animal” had to say.
The Inspiration Behind Giner’s Decision to Become an Entrepreneur
A reminiscent Emma shared with us exactly why and how she decided to take the plunge into the entrepreneurial world at the beginning of her not-to-be-forgotten Crafting Your Future webinar. The presence of a young, 23-year-old entrepreneur and CEO at an international HR conference, which Giner had herself attended, was the inspiration behind her entrepreneurial lightbulb being switched on. It was a particular comment that has stuck with her. A comment which subsequently changed completely her career path outlook.
“He addressed us,” Emma began recalling, “by saying that “I guess, that as HR Directors, you assume that us young talent are just cueing up at the door of your companies just wanting to work for you. That is not the reality. We (the young Z Generation) want to be ourselves, we want to be authentic. We are not finding this opportunity and so we prefer to work in our own way.” An incredibly revealing and life-changing statement, Emma shared.
Sharing Similar Philosophy, Values & Culture: The Key To Finding The Right Professional Fit
Prior to this decision to alter her career path in 2016 and launch her entrepreneurial project as People and Organization Shaker, Emma had spent the past 15 years of her professional life climbing the leadership ladder at high-end fashion retailer Inditex. She admitted to absolutely loving her time spent, as she put it, “actively shaping the philosophy and culture of the company,” where she undertook roles such as training & development manager, corporate training and development director as well as her final position within the company, international HR director. “I was crafting my career but (as time wore on) I felt that something was getting too comfortable. There was a moment where I felt like I was a hamster on a wheel.”
Mrs. Giner referred to her time at Inditex as an experience where she “kind of crafted (her) own career.” She revealed to us that the reason why she enjoyed her time at the prestigious fashion company was simple: she shared the values of the company. She celebrated and embraced the culture of the company. Take note, everyone, this is how you can successfully identify whether the company you might decide to work for will be beneficial to you and your professional life. You are at the forefront here, in Mrs. Giner’s eyes. Power to the people is the clear takeaway message that Mrs. Giner wished to express to her audience.
20th – 21st Century: A Significant & Positive Shift in Corporate Mindset & Approach
An enthusiastic and interactive Emma then proceeded by making reference to what was, as she believes, a vital alteration in the mentality of businesses around the world at the beginning of the 21st century. She outlined that the 20th century business mindset was “product, product, product” and that the external client was not so much at the forefront as we have become so accustomed to seeing in today’s world.
The 21st century, however, as Emma explained, marked a defining change in corporate mentality, as the once product-oriented way of running businesses transitioned to a “people, people, people” mindset. Mrs. Giner then explained this transition in further detail. She illustrated that, throughout the 20th century, companies would commonly adopt a policy of “buying low and selling high in order to get bigger margins,” whereas the 21st century has seen a shift to more of a focus on collecting data, and hereafter turning this data into insights and then finally converting these gathered insights into action.
Emma, whilst in the midst of explaining this to her eagerly tuned-in students, stressed that the external client has been the primary focus for companies since the turn of the century over 20 years ago, a very different picture from what it once used to be. “We see (now) that we definitely needed to shape business organizations in a different way. (Today) the external client is playing a super important role,” she shared.
The Generational Clash
Fascinatingly, we, in terms of a professional working society, “find four different generations working together in the workplace.” As pointed out by the retail and start-up expert, the baby boomer generation (1946-1964), the X generation (1965-1976), the Y generation (1977-1992) and the Z generation (1993 to present) are all seemingly still having an equal presence in working environments.
This, however, might be cause for concern, potentially, warned Mrs. Giner. “Of course, each generation has a different way of understanding what the ideal structure of a company should be.” Whether it be a more hierarchical company structure, which is commonly associated with the baby boomer generation, or a more equal-playing field 360 degrees way of doing things (Z generation), it is clear that there is no one dominant way of running a business in today’s corporate-related world. It will sure be interesting to examine how this current generational clash develops throughout the coming years.