I had a very interesting interview today. Actually two interviews, or maybe it was just one interview in two parts, I'm not entirely sure. It was a follow-up to the one I did back in February.
It was very surreal in some ways. For one thing, my current gravid condition cannot be hidden in any way. It's my most salient feature. By Danish law, the interviewer is not allowed to notice this, however. And I'm under no obligation to mention it. It's sort of the invisible elephant. For another thing, though I was qualified for the job as it was discussed in the ad (it was worded in a very general way), and while I think I would be able to do the job (assuming an extreme learning curve), the tasks on the job have absolutely zero connection with anything I've ever done in my entire life.
So, I'm still confused. The main thing that stuck in my mind is the article I looked at, in the magazine that was in the interview room, on the role of culture in business. I was skimming more than reading (I had only a few short minutes in between interview parts), so the main thing that I brought from it was a simple sub-heading, 'culture eats strategy for breakfast'. Just like so much of the rest of the whole experience, it sounds really good, but means essentially nothing.
It's been in my head, off and on, since. What is the connection between culture and strategy? Of course culture is important, but is it so very important? Because this multi-national company I was interviewing at is known for its extreme corporate culture.* Would this not eat local culture for breakfast, to some extent?
And what about my culture? I went into the interview with the same attitude that I had in the first one, namely that it was all about having fun with it, and getting the experience. In retrospect, that seems a very Californian approach. A sort of 'we are the center of the universe, so let's go out and sell our worth.'
And that's where my brain starts to fizzle out. So many questions, such a lack of time to ponder them. So, what do you think? Does culture eat strategy for breakfast? Or can the two not sit down at a breakfast meeting together, and discuss business?
*I realize that any of you with any knowledge of the job market in Denmark has just figured out the company in question. Please don't ask, because I won't confirm it. But you're probably right.
*Photo credit, http://www.tamarackwv.com/food_services/breakfast_menu.aspx. It's the kind of breakfast that I'd imagine culture and strategy enjoying together.*