The Shape of Work

#9: The important aspects and the biggest misconceptions about organizational culture, with Amit Sharma

April 28, 2021 Springworks Season 1 Episode 9
The Shape of Work
#9: The important aspects and the biggest misconceptions about organizational culture, with Amit Sharma
Show Notes

In this episode of The Shape of Work we are talking to Amit Sharma about the important aspects of work culture and all the misconceptions about it. Amit is the Head of Human Resources and Business Partner at Tenshi Life sciences. He has worked across industries such as Oil & Gas and Pharma.

Amit was named in the prestigious Top 50 HR influencers by SHRM in 2019. Interestingly, Amit wanted to be a professional cricketer and played at the age level. But, with his parents’ dream of making him an Engineer, he started his career journey working as a Data scientist, but soon realized it was not his cup of tea. He then made the transition from data science to HR.

He speaks about culture and shares his experience across various industries and explains how human nature at work differs across industries.

What drives a company culture?

According to Amit, a lot of things that happen within an organization are shaped by industry realities. The only truth in a corporate setup is that resources are limited and an organization has to make the most out of these resources available. Whenever you change industries, the first thing that comes to your notice is the availability of resources and the budget.

With reference to an oil and gas industry, Amit shares that in this sector, the manpower cost can be as low as 2-3% to as high as 20-25%, of the total revenue. If you're working in an industry with a high profit margin, sales are considered the most important there.  It revolves around the idea of planning and selling at the right time and building a sales-driven culture.

Culture is a part of every industry. If you quantify between tech versus distinct, the question that you have to ask is,

What is it that you value the most?
What is it that we believe is driving our business?

Truths about culture

Amit believes that culture  has everything to do with care.

There are three truths about any organization's culture:

There is no right or wrong. Netflix does not have the best culture in the world but a culture which suits them. Culture fits according to its purpose.

Culture is never static. No organisation can work within the same culture through a long period of time. They have to keep finding improvements every few years.

Every organization’s culture will always have a historical element within itself.  There are many change agents/factors which dive in to change the culture that prevails within an organization. However, it is important to appreciate the historical element of your culture.

It is important to understand that it is the leader who defines the company culture to a large extent. HR and people managers will act as guides. That's why the islands of culture are simply a reflection of the latest personality of the leaders being followed by their employees.

Input vs outcome based management

Amit shares a quote by Peter Drucker terming it as his favourite pandemic code:
“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic.”

It is important to understand that working from home is nowhere near to working from the office. Everything, right from something as basic as writing emails, has to change completely because of the changed work setting. Organizations need to reassess their technological and people capability. In addition, leadership and managerial capability are also important.

Amit’s LinkedIn -
Amit's Twitter -

Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast host: Abhash Kumar