A business is this sort of third-party entity… you know, "the business", the "brand". It’s really kinda’ cool. But, that entity is just that. A business isn’t human. It doesn’t have emotion, feel empathy or go out of it’s way to do good - that’s our job….
Culture is the conscience of the business.
The culture side isn’t the only way to make a decision. But it’s certainly a part of it. Of course the business needs to be fed (profit). Without that, nothing here matters. If the brain can’t get food - yea, it just doesn’t work anymore. Profit is certainly a part of the working system. But that’s just one part.
If the business side is the brain, the culture is the heart and soul.
Tapping into the culture of the business help to keep a business balanced. Culture gives a business it’s moral compass. A healthy culture can tell you things. It can help to make the right decisions. When the culture is healthy, it’s a valuable resource.
Think about it. There’s an entire army of smart people living the values and expressing the brand all at once. A collection of aligned people using their emotion, instinct, momentum and judgement to guide the business from the ground-level.
Without a healthy culture, a business becomes a belligerent and insatiable zombie-entity.
It will make decisions against it’s best interest, going through the motions in a destructive half-shuffle daze. It might look like: short-term over long-term gain, missing an opportunity due to a lack of focus or bias, or going all defence without mixing in some offense.
Top-down or bottom-up? Why not use both sides to make the best decisions possible?