You don’t hear many kids say, “When I grow up, I want to work in insurance.” Admittedly, even I didn’t think insurance was very “cool” at a young age.

Executive Summary

The clearer the culture, the stronger the company, writes Bob O'Leary, CEO of Philadelphia Insurance, who notes that the "just show up" and give 100 percent philosophy of the founder is still sustained today as the company recruits disciplined, entrepreneurial, trustworthy employees committed to a high sense of urgency. The passions of employees line up with the insurer's two biggest business segments—nonprofit and human services insurance and fitness and wellness insurance—and PHLY rewards commitments to both with time off.

How can the insurance industry stack up against companies like Google and Apple, which sell an image and their culture as much as their compensation and benefits?

I say, why can’t we?

You don’t have to replicate a company’s “cool” culture. Finding the right culture to help achieve your company’s goals is essential. When people connect with a culture, they enjoy their work and working environment. When they enjoy coming to work and the people they work with, everyone is motivated and a company is more productive.

Corporate culture, sometimes called company or organizational culture, encompasses many things. There are so many explanations and definitions for it. It’s not what leadership dictates, a relaxed dress code, free food, trendy office spaces or an inspirational poster on a wall. Culture can be implied, if not expressly defined. The clearer the culture, the stronger the company. Similar to building and sustaining success, building and sustaining a corporate culture is a continuous journey. Culture must be maintained, developed or sometimes reinvented—whatever is best for each company to survive and support its employees and business.

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