Now, I'm not always responsive to suggestions for blog posts, but since the writer shares both my mitochondrial & Y-chromosome genotypes, I was more easily swayed.
The question posed is this: what do companies asking this really mean, or more specifically what might it mean that they don't intend (very Dilbert-esque). Presumably they are trying to make a statement about deeply embedded values, but what does it really mean to have something in your DNA? For example, do they mean to imply:
- A lot of our company is unfathomable to the human mind
- There's a lot of redundancy here
- Often we often repeat ourselves often repeatedly, often repeating repetitiously.
- We retain bits of those who invade our corporate DNA, though with not much rhyme or reason
- A lot of pieces of the organization resemble decayed portions of other pieces of our organization
- Some pieces of our organization are non-functional, though they closely resemble functional pieces of related organizations
- Most of our organization has no immediate impact on routine operations, or emergency ones
- Most of our organization has no immediate obvious purpose, if any
- Our corporate practices are not the best designable, but rather reflect an accumulation of historical accidents
Now, many of these statements may well be true about a given company, but is that what you really want to project?
What's in my company's DNA? Well, that's easy -- it's what the customer ordered! :-)