Defining Your Company Culture, Hogwarts Style


It’s time to get your company culture sorted: Hogwarts style. No, this isn’t a Buzzfeed quiz; it’s a look into the kind of working environment your company fosters.

Company culture defines your organization; it is your corporate personality. Not only will it dictate the environment your employees work in, but it may also influence how customers perceive your brand. A company’s mission, values, ethics, even goals and habits should fit right alongside its culture. Company leaders, from CEOs to managers, all set the tone for what a company’s culture will be.

In a 2017 survey of business leaders, only 28 percent of participants believed they understood their culture well, while only 19 percent thought they have the “right culture.” Another study revealed that 73 percent of employers believe a great corporate culture gives their organizations a competitive edge.

Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has one unique way of designating group culture. You don’t need to be a Potterhead to know about the four houses. Brave, Loyal, Clever, or Cunning – each student is sorted based on their strongest trait. It isn’t too farfetched to imagine the same can be done for companies. Google may be a Ravenclaw while Tesla might be a bit more Gryffindor. Which house best describes the work environment you want to create?


Gryffindor for the Bold Decisions

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry,

Set Gryffindors apart.

Is your company daring, brave, and unafraid to make a bold decision? As our ‘Spotlight on Strategy’ series highlights, the great business decisions will definitely be remembered…as long as the outcome works. If your team is prone to solving problems head-on and dealing with the consequences later, you might have a Gryffindor culture.


Hufflepuff for the Hard Workers

You might belong in Hufflepuff

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,

And unafraid of toil.

If there’s one thing you know about your team, it’s that they’re all in for every project. Known for their strong work ethic, trustworthiness and loyalty, you can count on the company and its employees to come together and get the job done. If your problem solving approach is teamwork, you might be a Hufflepuff.


Ravenclaw for the Clever Ones

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you’ve a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind.

Known colloquially as “The Smart House,” there’s more to being a Ravenclaw than being bookish. Beyond their cleverness and love of learning, they are also noted for their creativity and acceptance of people and things that others might consider odd. Are there a few Luna Lovegoods amongst your team? A proper Ravenclaw takes their learnings from anywhere and everywhere, whether it’s books or competitor failings. If your team looks at every solution, tests them all and then chooses the best option, you might be Ravenclaws.


Slytherin for the Self-Starters

Or perhaps in Slytherin,

You’ll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means,

To achieve their ends.

Before they were known as Dark Lord lackeys, Slytherins were known for their ambition and tendency to look after their own. Not too bad if you steer clear of the deceit and evil! Companies with a Slytherin culture always want to be better. These companies are resourceful and always looking for the next winning tactic. If your approach is to calculate all of the options and choose the one that most benefits your company, you might be a team of Slytherins.


So which Hogwarts House best describes your company? Most would say a balance of the four would strike the perfect chord. However, it’s important to have a defined culture – even if it’s not exactly defined by the world of Harry Potter. While great success can be achieved when members of different houses work together with an open mind, the key is having shared values and a clear mission to guide your employees. Take a look at your own company to decide what works, what doesn’t, and where the magic lies.