Culture Outside of Business Land

Quick observation on this.  We hear a lot about team and culture at startups.  ”Can this founder recruit well and build an awesome team?”  ”Would I want to work on a team with this person?”

In bigger companies, culture obviously matters also.  I spent the six years prior to school at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as an investment banker and as a private equity investor.  I covered financial institutions.  Not only was I right in the middle of the financial crisis, but all of my clients were too.  I had a front row seat.  Along that six-year rollercoaster, I worked on/interacted with some stellar teams and with some absolutely miserable ones.

Not sure if I have a ton to add to the “culture matters in business” conversation at this point.

However, I have found it fascinating to listen to people in completely different disciplines discuss people and culture as much as us “business people” do.  My fiancee is currently a third year medical student at Weill Cornell.  This year, she and all of her classmates do their several-week “rotations” through different areas of the hospital to get a taste of a bunch of career options.  Think of it like a full year of short summer internships, except way, way, way more stressful.

Anyway, I’ve heard iterations of this sentiment constantly from her and her classmates: “I think I [love/hate] rotation X, but my attending physician was [terrible/awesome] so I can’t tell if I like the job or the people”  or “Oh you just had your ABC rotation?  Who was your attending?  Oh s/he’s [amazing/miserable]”.  

These several-week rotations are going to inform her and her classmates’ decisions about what kind of doctor to be- a pretty important call.  Interesting that one good or bad personal experience can impact such an important decision.


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