by Allan H. Church and Jay A. Conger

When you join an organization, you have a short window of time to adapt to its culture. It’s the old 90-day rule. And we know too many talented individuals who have stumbled in their new company because they failed to read the cultural tea leaves. This happens because most organizations don’t explain the cultural rules to newcomers, and new hires are so focused on the job and the new boss that they overlook the rules’ profound influence. Yet understanding them plays a big role in your initial success. Being cognizant of not just what your colleagues do but how they work matters if you want to be effective and be perceived well.

In our work, we have noticed five dimensions of culture that require your attention. These have the greatest impact on your ability to navigate a new job:

  1. Relationships
  2. Communications
  3. Decision-Making
  4. Individual Versus Group Perspectives
  5. Change Agents