This is the first of a four-part series -- written by Dani Hao at Procurify.
Cultivating a ‘good’ company culture has already been written to death in the form of academic literature, business publications and ‘best practices’ white papers alike. Silicon Valley firms often tend to boast about their culture within their job descriptions as a way to attract top talent, for example highlighting perks such as gaming consoles, unlimited time off - or showcasing fun videos of parties within the offices.
Culture, however, is fluid - it changes as the organization grows. With every additional team member, they bring forth their own beliefs, values and preconceptions to the organization, and shapeshifts the culture slowly. Culture is actually not dichotomous - there is no good and bad company culture. It is defined based on the individuals that consistently contribute to shaping it.
However, what many companies don’t realize is that there is another side of company culture - spend culture. According to company spend experts such as Procurify, Spend Culture is a segment of a business’ broader organizational culture that encompasses the values and behaviors of the people working within it. An organization’s spend culture reflects the shared beliefs and practices that informs how, why and when money should be spent within an organization.
Just like every person has a unique set of values and beliefs influencing how they choose to spend, manage, and invest their own money, each business also has a distinct Spend Culture that impacts its operations. Understanding an organization’s spend culture can better inform which resources are allocated and used, and how. Spend also includes both financial metrics as well as other non-monetary measures such as hours spent or personnel involved.
The Spend Culture Continium
To give an example, if you are an organization that tends to spend quite freely - maybe it’s time to pay attention to placing more controls within your spend culture. Perhaps giving your teammates the freedom of making their financial decisions is good, but is causing poor spend visibility and headaches for your finance team.
Alternatively, if you are an organization that is wholly controlled and calculated in your spend culture, it’s also important to think about what this might mean for your team. Perhaps there are too many levels of approvals needed before a project can be financially approved, or maybe there may be too many bottlenecks that actually restrict your team from executing on the projects that need to get done.
If organizational culture is so important in organizations, it’s also important to consider the spend culture - as spend culture is what truly financially backs your organizational culture.
Discover your organizational spend culture and how to improve it by taking Procurify’s spend culture quiz at www.spendculture.com