“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” – John F. Kennedy
What is culture? Is it the holidays we celebrate? Or is it the type of food we eat or the language we speak? Can culture also be about our behaviors, traditions, and values?
In Wikipedia, culture is all that and more. It involves every field of studies from art, biology, society and technology. Culture is the “cultivation of the soul or mind … having a unique identity … namely the full expression of the authentic self”.
From a previous blog post, every business is defined and recognized by the meaning of its culture. Some companies are known for creative innovations, relaxing atmosphere, trendy or breaking the boundaries in their respective industries. While some companies prefer cultures that are competitive, work extensive, stress-driven and restrictive.
Both types have a reason for being the way they are. From an article in Forbes, what is the secret weapon behind your business’s culture?
How Is Business Culture Related To Your Culture?
The basis for every business’s culture comes from its Founder(s) and employees experiences while working there. Similarly, everyone’s culture originated from our experiences as a child growing up with family, environment, and society. Every experience shape the way we behave, speak and think. Our own culture shapes our personality and the manner of how we communicate with society at large, including our workplace.
Does your business’s culture match who you are as a person? If the two is not matching, would it not be difficult to collaborate and function as a team since the rhythm of the environment and its people are not in sync? As mentioned before, culture is the “expression of the authentic self”. If the culture of the business is not identical to the values and vision of its Founder and people, there will be a lot of problems in the future.
The solution to avoid problems is to truly show who you are as a person and give reasons why your business does what it does. People are usually attracted to those who have similar values and culture. If your perceived company culture is false, your new culture might become an “untrustworthy” business.
In other words, culture is a natural process that already exists from the start of the business because the Founder already has his/her own culture. Culture can improve over time as long as the Founder and the people can find a common ground and work as a team.
Culture in Web Development
A common cultural problem that many business owners have, especially when their target audience speaks another language, is translation. For others to understand us, they must speak our language. In face to face conversations, we can either use a dictionary or a translator does the talking for us. For websites, there is an easy or hard method of translation. Which one do most prefer?
The easy solution is to add a translator widget directly on the website. A popular example is Google Translate.
If you are looking for something quick and not care so much about the language grammar, then Google Translate is enough. However, the problem with Google Translate is that you are left powerless because you have no control over the texts translated, unless you work for Google.
Second alternative version is to use separate subdomains or subdirectories for each language to include new translated versions of the pages of your current website. As you can tell, the time it will take to finish this is dependent on how many contents your website currently has. But you do have control over the texts that get translated and be able to separate out the different languages into sections for more organized navigation and improved SEO.
The big picture is that easy solutions take less time, but provide less control. While harder solutions take longer to achieve, but gives you complete management overall. Who does not want to feel in control of their website and business culture? Shouldn’t you be able to create that presence and cultural branding at will?